Are you prepared to go to law before a profane court, when one of you has a quarrel with another, instead of bringing it before the saints? You know well enough that it is the saints who will pass judgement on the world; and if a world is to abide your judgement, are you unfit to take cognisance of trifling matters? You have been told that we shall sit in judgement on angels; how much more, then, over the things of common life? You would do better to appoint the most insignificant of your own number as judges, when you have these common quarrels to decide. That I say to humble you. What, have you really not a single man among you wise enough to decide a claim brought by his own brother? Must two brethren go to law over it, and before a profane court? And indeed, it is a defect in you at the best of times, that you should have quarrels among you at all. How is it that you do not prefer to put up with wrong, prefer to suffer loss? Instead of that you commit wrong, you inflict loss, and at a brother's expense. Yet you know well enough that wrong-doers will not inherit God's kingdom. Make no mistake about it; it is not the debauched, the idolaters, the adulterous, it is not the effeminate, the sinners against nature, the misers, the drunkards, the bitter of speech, the extortioners that will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you once were; but now you have been washed clean, now you have been sanctified, now you have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, by the Spirit of the God we serve.
I am free to do what I will; yes, but not everything can be done without harm. I am free to do what I will, but I must not abdicate my own liberty. Food is meant for our animal nature, and our animal nature claims its food; true enough, but then, God will bring both one and the other to an end. But your bodies are not meant for debauchery, they are meant for the Lord, and the Lord claims your bodies. And God, just as he has raised our Lord from the dead, by his great power will raise us up too. Have you never been told that your bodies belong to the body of Christ? And am I to take what belongs to Christ and make it one with a harlot? God forbid. Or did you never hear that the man who unites himself to a harlot becomes one body with her? The two, we are told, will become one flesh. Whereas the man who unites himself to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Keep clear, then, of debauchery. Any other sin a man commits, leaves the body untouched, but the fornicator is committing a crime against his own body. Surely you know that your bodies are the shrines of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in you. And he is God's gift to you, so that you are no longer your own masters. A great price was paid to ransom you; glorify God by making your bodies the shrines of bis presence.