Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

1 Corinthians 6:18

Please help me to understand this. Why are sexual sins specified by Paul as being the only sins against his body? Why not, for example, drugs or alcohol?

And what is it in the nature of a sexual sin that makes Paul highlight this as being against a man's body?


2 Answers 2


I think Matthew Henry's Commentary answers your question best:

It is not so much an abuse of the body as of somewhat else, as of wine by the drunkard, food by the glutton, etc. Nor does it give the power of the body to another person. Nor does it so much tend to the reproach of the body and render it vile. This sin is in a peculiar manner styled uncleanness, pollution, because no sin has so much external turpitude in it, especially in a Christian. He sins against his own body; he defiles it, he degrades it, making it one with the body of that vile creature with whom he sins.

Also, the New Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary on the Bible goes into further detail on the context in Corinth for Paul's writing:

On the basis of OT teaching (e.g. Gen. 2:24, quoted in vs. 16), reaffirmed by Jesus (Mark 10:2-12), he believes that sexual intercourse is not an inconsequential, isolated act but one uniting man and woman in an intimate, complete, and enduring bond. Consequently he is revolted by the thought that a member of Christ's body should ever be united with the body of a prostitute. In Corinth, most of the prostitutes were slave women attached to the service of a pagan temple. It was commonly thought that any man having sexual relations with with these sacred prostitutes entered into communion with the god whom they served (cf 10:18-22)

Finally, I feel Proverbs 6:32-33 sums it up very succinctly:

He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

  • I have always found this confusing. Genesis 2:24 teaches that through sex a man becomes one flesh with his wife (marriage). Having sex with someone else, including a prostitute, is adultery, not entering into another marriage. A man and woman are bound in marriage until one of them dies. So, how do you become "one flesh" with someone when you are already " one flesh" with someone else?
    – moron
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 9:45

Sins like alcohol an drugs are more of outside stuff being put in a body, but in a case of sexual sin, its where you use yourself to intertwine with someone's soul and thus creates a soul tie. In any other sin there are not soul ties created. This also involves the secondary person while any other sins are done individually.

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