1Co 6:12-14 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.”
Numerous scholars, including Gill, have indicated that in these three verses Paul is directly addressing concepts held by the brethren at Corinth. Since they had learned that they were no longer bound by the ceremonial law, they had adopted the attitude that they had liberty to do as they pleased. This idea is made plain in the errors Paul has addressed; division among the brethren, self-righteousness, sexual misconduct, and seeking the approbation of the world.
Paul uses their words against them in addressing this attitude of absolute liberty. Even if all things are lawful, they are not all beneficial. Because we can so a thing does not prove that thing should be done. If we are doing something that is not beneficial to the kingdom of God, should we be doing it? Are we being brought under the power of something that is interfering with our service to our Lord and Savior?
There are many simple examples we can see in our everyday lives. Many of us love to play golf or go fishing. These things are lawful for us and of themselves not ungodly. However, if we are faced with the choice of attending our Wednesday night Bible study or going and playing the front nine with our friends, which one wins out? When we begin to choose any worldly pleasure (no matter how lawful) over the service of God (no matter how simple), then we have been brought under the power of something that is going to affect our life in the kingdom.
Meats for the belly and the belly for meats: in other words, if I have an appetite for something then it is right for me to satisfy that appetite. Again, the attitude of the Corinthian church toward the fornication that was among them is proof that this was their attitude toward whatever they desired. Paul admonished them (and us) that God will destroy both the belly and the meat. We should note that the Greek word translated belly literally meant the abdomen, but was also used figuratively to represent the heart or center of desire.
Our Adamic nature may cause us to desire many things. Because we desire a thing does not mean that we should pursue it. We know that there is coming a time for all of us when we will pass from this life: our belly will no longer desire meat and meat will lose its meaning. How wonderfully blessed we are when the Holy Ghost moves in our lives so that our heart’s desire here is no longer set on the things of the world but on the things of God.
Our body was not made for fornication, whether physical or spiritual. We were designed to be the temple of the Holy Ghost (1Co 6:19). Moreover, God’s plan and purpose is to abide in His temple (Joh 14:16, 23). By His own power, He raised up Jesus, our Lord, from the dead and we were represented in Him. By that same power we are raised up in His kingdom to do that which is expedient and pleasing to God.
May we always look to Him to protect us from the danger of using our calling as an occasion to the flesh (Gal 5:13)!