1 Corinth. 6: “The Bracketology of Sin”

Paul addresses a number of things, rather expressively, that believers should avoid. If you’re keeping track at home, Paul lists the following things as things that will keep you from inheriting the Kingdom of God:

  • Don’t take another believer to court
  • Sexual sin
  • Worship of idols
  • Commiting Adultery
  • Male prostitution
  • Practice of Homosexuality

Or if you’re a…

  • Thief
  • Greedy Person
  • Drunkards
  • Abusive
  • Person who Cheats People

Keep in mind, anytime Paul creates a list, he’s typically highlighting specific issues found in that particular church. This means one thing for the Church in Corinth… It was jacked up!


In the spirit of “Bracketology” (the study of the NCAA Basketball Championship Bracket) it’s unfortunately common for people to rank these sins like seeds for a college basketball game. I can just picture the mental jumping jacks people would go through thinking about #5 seed “Greedy Person” taking on the #2 seed “Worship of Idols.” [Radio Announcer Voice] Who will win when these two titans of sin clash together for sinful domination?

You see, that’s the problem Paul was up against in the Corinthians Church. People then, as well as people now, think they can rank sin and determine what sin is more harmful than the other. As long as I’m not like    (fill in the blank)    then I’m okay to    (fill in the blank)   .

Paul fiercely rejected the idea that there is ever an “acceptable sin.” I’m not interested in reading Chapter 6 to gain knowledge for my next debate, or treat it as an argument builder. Instead, I want to be challenged to realize that, I too fall short of God’s glorious standard, and I too have to recognize the sin in my own eye before I can call it out in someone else. Understanding our sinful nature, only serves as a healthy reminder that we are in need of a Savior! Paul points people to the hope found in the transformational power of God in verse 11 (NLT) 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

I Am Allowed to do Anything

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Found in verse 12, we find a common expressions of the Corinthian believers, “I am allowed to do anything.” We also know it must have been used often because Paul quotes it twice again in 10:23. Here’s the thing, this wasn’t just an expression for these people, this was a statement revealing their warped understanding of their bodies and Christian freedom. They didn’t believe they existed for their body, but instead, they believed their body existed for them!

We play a very dangerous game when we believe that how we treat our physical bodies, doesn’t have an impact on our spiritual bodies. The Corinthians believed that their physical bodies were completely separate from the spiritual bodies. This led Paul to indicate that our bodies were not made for sexual immorality. Yes, we were made for sexual pleasure, but not immorality. Listen, you can’t commit a sin with your body without it effecting your soul.

Temple of the Holy Spirit

Paul utilizes the understanding that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit at the end of this section, but I couldn’t help but think how appropriate it would be at the beginning.

Think about it like this: I think your physical and even spiritual choices would be different if you truly considered yourself to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. I hope we would desire to make different life decisions based on the knowledge that the Spirit is in us, and with us, wherever you go.