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1 Corinthians 6:13 NASB

“Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.” ‭‭

What does “the Lord is for the body” mean here?

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If you continue to read the context of this passage you will see that Paul was showing that immorality will seperate the oneness of the believer with Christ. As in a marriage arrangement, if a person becomes one with another such as in adultry, they have severed the relationship of oneness with their mate. Vss 15 and 17 show that a Christian must remain chaste as to their spirituality if they wish to be one with Christ. The Christ is for the body of a person because he is engaged to that one to become his Bride, therefore spiritual purity is required for the "consumation" of this marriage. Therefore one must remain in harmony with the direction of God's word and resist the desires of the sinful body to remain in this relationship.

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The NT frequently presents the Christian life as wholly devoted to God and Jesus:

  • Phil 1:21 - For to me, to live is Christ ...
  • 2 Tim 3:12 - ... live a godly life in Christ Jesus ...
  • Col 1:27 - ... Christ in you, the hope of glory
  • John 17:11 - ... Holy Father, protect them by Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one.
  • John 17:21 - ... as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us ...
  • John 17:23 - I in them and You in Me ...
  • John 15:4 - Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
  • John 15:5 - ... The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.
  • Col 3:2, 3 - Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
  • 2 Cor 3:18 - And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
  • Heb 12:2 - Let us fix our eyes on Jesus ...
  • Rom 12:1 - ... offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
  • 1 Thess 5:23 - Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Cor 6:19, 20 - Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

If this last verse is the conclusion to Paul's discussion in 1 Cor 6, it is entirely understandable that he says, earlier, that all we are, body, soul and spirit should be devoted to God. That is,

The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Further, on the final phrase, It is God to whom we owe life and existence according to Col 1:17, and it is God who sanctifies us completely (1 Thess 5:23.)

Barnes offers this explanation:

And the Lord for the body - "The Lord is in an important sense for the body, that is, he acts, and plans, and provides for it. He sustains and keeps it; and he is making provision for its immortal purity and happiness in heaven. It is not right, therefore, to take the body, which is nourished by the kind and constant agency of a holy God, and to devote it to purposes of pollution." That there is a reference in this phrase to the resurrection, is apparent from the following verse. And as God will exert his mighty power in raising up the body, and will make it glorious, it ought not to be prostituted to purposes of licentiousness.

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