ESV — Chronological: Day 335
1 Corinthians 5-8

Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church

It is actually reported that there is wsexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, xfor a man has his father's wife. And yyou are arrogant! Ought you znot rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

For though aabsent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled bin the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are cto deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so dthat his spirit may be saved ein the day of the Lord.1

fYour boasting is not good. Do you not know that ga little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, hnot with the old leaven, ithe leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter jnot to associate with sexually immoral people—10 knot at all meaning lthe sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, msince then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone nwho bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging ooutsiders? pIs it not those inside the church2 whom you are to judge? 13 God judges3 those outside. q“Purge the evil person from among you.”

Lawsuits Against Believers

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous rinstead of the saints? Or do you not know that sthe saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, twhy do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? uI say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. vWhy not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even wyour own brothers!4

Or do you not know that the unrighteous5 will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: xneither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,6 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And ysuch were some of you. But zyou were washed, ayou were sanctified, byou were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Flee Sexual Immorality

12 c“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 d“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one eand the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but ffor the Lord, and gthe Lord for the body. 14 And hGod raised the Lord and iwill also raise us up jby his power. 15 Do you not know that kyour bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined7 to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, l“The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord mbecomes one spirit with him. 18 nFlee from sexual immorality. Every other sin8 a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person osins against his own body. 19 Or pdo you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? qYou are not your own, 20 rfor you were bought with a price. sSo glorify God in your body.

Principles for Marriage

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: t“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. uThe husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. vDo not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, wso that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Now as a concession, xnot a command, I say this.9 yI wish that all were zas I myself am. But aeach has his own gift from God, bone of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that cit is good for them to remain single das I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, ethey should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married fI give this charge (not I, but the Lord): gthe wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, hshe should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and gthe husband should not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. iOtherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you10 jto peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, kwhether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Live as You Are Called

17 Only let each person lead the life11 lthat the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. mThis is my rule in nall the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? oLet him not seek circumcision. 19 pFor neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but qkeeping the commandments of God. 20 rEach one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant12 when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is sa freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is ta bondservant of Christ. 23 uYou were bought with a price; vdo not become bondservants13 of men. 24 So, brothers,14 win whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

The Unmarried and the Widowed

25 Now concerning15 the betrothed,16 xI have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as yone who by the Lord's mercy is ztrustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present17 distress ait is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman18 marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: bthe appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy cas though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For dthe present form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be efree from anxieties. fThe unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, gnot to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,19 if his20 passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed hdoes well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

39 iA wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only jin the Lord. 40 Yet kin my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think lthat I too have the Spirit of God.

Food Offered to Idols

Now concerning21 mfood offered to idols: we know that n“all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” opuffs up, pbut love builds up. qIf anyone imagines that he knows something, rhe does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, she is known by God.22

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that t“an idol has no real existence,” and that u“there is no God but one.” For although there may be vso-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet wfor us there is one God, the Father, xfrom whom are all things and for whom we exist, and yone Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and zthrough whom we exist.

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, athrough former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and btheir conscience, being weak, is defiled. cFood will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care dthat this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block eto the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating23 in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged,24 if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is fdestroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers25 and gwounding their conscience when it is weak, hyou sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, iif food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.


[1] 5:5 Some manuscripts add Jesus
[2] 5:12 Greek those inside
[3] 5:13 Or will judge
[4] 6:8 Or brothers and sisters
[5] 6:9 Or wrongdoers
[6] 6:9 The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts
[7] 6:16 Or who holds fast (compare Genesis 2:24 and Deuteronomy 10:20); also verse 17
[8] 6:18 Or Every sin
[9] 7:6 Or I say this:
[10] 7:15 Some manuscripts us
[11] 7:17 Or each person walk in the way
[12] 7:21 Or slave; also twice in verse 22 (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)
[13] 7:23 Or slaves (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)
[14] 7:24 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 29
[15] 7:25 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians' letter; see 7:1
[16] 7:25 Greek virgins
[17] 7:26 Or impending
[18] 7:28 Greek virgin; also verse 34
[19] 7:36 Greek virgin; also verses 37, 38
[20] 7:36 Or her
[21] 8:1 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians' letter; see 7:1
[22] 8:3 Greek him
[23] 8:10 Greek reclining at table
[24] 8:10 Or fortified; Greek built up
[25] 8:12 Or brothers and sisters