One Body, One Flesh, One Spirit – 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 verses 16 to 17

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 6:

1 Corinthians chp 6 vs 16 and 17 – One Body One Flesh One Spirit – JS Gillespie – 07102014


Notes from this weeks message:


3 sections in 1 Corinthians:

3 Reasons for Righteousness:

  1. Fellowship with one another (6:1-8)
  2. Citizenship in the Kingdom (6:9-11)
  3. Relationship with God (6:12-20)

In verse 13 Paul uses the false slogan of the Corinthians to:

  1. Dispel error
  2. Deduce the truth


  1. Dispel error

The error that we can deduce purpose by knowing function

We don’t start with function and work out purpose

We must start with purpose – with the Lordship of Christ and from this bring all function into subjection to Him.

Under control of that purpose we see that man wwas created (Gen 1:26) for:

  • Relationship with God
  • Resemblance to God

This is confirmed and completed in Christ in Romans 8 and 1 John 3


  1. Deduce the truth

If it is true that:

  • meats are for the belly

and thus:

  • belly is for meats

Thus if we apply the same reasoning to the body we see that the:

  • Body is for the Lord

then it must also be true to say that:

  • Lord is for the body

In which case the body must be in a fit state for Christ, by His Spirit to reside in us.

Herein lies the reality of our:

  • Fellowship with God
  • Usefulness to the Lord

So this 3rd section of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 deals with our:

  • Relationship with God

all other relationships are to be understood in terms of their impact on this the greatest relationship of all:

  1. Relationships that Hinder
  2. Relationships that Help


  1. Relationships that Hinder

v15 – ‘members of an harlot’

This takes us into a very interesting and important area; into the truth that what we do physically impacts upon what we are spiritually.

Over the years there has been great debate over the nature of man.

Debate has raged over the years as to wither or not man is:

  • Bipartite
  • Tripartite

Man certainly at the very least has:

  • Body
  • Spirit

That much is clearly seen in Genesis 2:7:

  • Physical part from the earth: ‘of the dust of ground’
  • Spiritual from God: ‘breathed into his nostrils’

Yet man is surely not fully explained simply by:

  • a part from the ground
  • a part from God

There was in Adam something distinctively Adam; distinctive from the purely physical or even biological, and distinctive from the breath of God

There was in Adam a 3rd and distinctive identity, something so distinctive from the creator that in Genesis chapter 3 it would demonstrate with catastrophic consequences, its utter distinctiveness from God by rebelling against the creator.

2:7 “and man became a living soul”

There was a part of Adam that cried; “I am Adam” – and that part rebelled; to that we append the name: “soul” (2:7)

It is tempting to jump to the conclusion that it is the soul which connects / hard wires the ‘body’ to the ‘spirit’ – this may be the case; although not explicitly stated in the text of Genesis chapter 2.

The important point to note however is that man does not consist of 2 independent components:

  • Body
  • Spirit

But of 2 interdependent parts:

  • Body
  • Spirit

Some over the years have either doctrinally attempted to insist on breaking the connection between the two: Eastern mystic religions, Gnosticism, Christian Scientists and some over the years have practically treated the 2 as independent from one another: a Monday to Saturday life and a Sunday Christianity; a public life and a private life, a secular life and a spiritual life.

The two are intertwinned and interconnected.

The spiritual impacts on the physical; we recognise this even in our figures of speech:

  • ‘face tripping him’
  • ‘wind always in his face’

That we can see a discouraged, depressed, downcast or negative spirit in a persons very facial features.

Not only by common observation is this the case but with biblical endorsement too the spiritual impacts on the physical:

  • Nehemiah 2:2
  • Proverbs 15:13

But does the physical impact upon the spiritual?

  • Ecclesiastes 7:3

Or more pertinently, consider Davids sin with Bathsheba – the physical sin impacted heavily upon his spiritual condition cf. Psalm 51:4,7,10; “create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.”

cf. Romans 5:1ff; Hebrews 12:11ff

The physical impacts on the spiritually

I cannot do as I please, watch what I please, touch what I please and go where I please and remain spiritually impervious to it!

The physical impacts on the spiritual, cf. Samson in Judges chapetr 16:

  • Set in Delilahs chamber – Judges 16:9,12 – a place of physcical compromise
  • Ongoing war of attrition against Samson
  • The ruth slips out by Judges 16:13

There was a progressive:

  • Physical (Judges 16:9,12)
  • Emotionsl (Judges 16:15,16)
  • Spiritual (Judges 16:20)

Entanglement between Samson and Delilah

The down fall is complete; though in grace Samson is not complete.

  1. Relationships that Hinder
  2. Relationships that Help
  • One Body – The Problem – Physical
  • One Flesh – The Provision – Organic
  • One Spirit – The Purpose – Spiritual