The Israelites then applied this ethically, for example, in laws governing sexual relations that banned bestiality and homosexuality.
So, they concluded, what their body did had nothing to do with their relationship with God since that was a "spiritual" matter.
Paul had already addressed this issue quite strongly throughout the first letter, especially the implications of their libertine views in sexual matters that included sacred prostitution (1 Cor 6:9-20).
The Middle Eastern practice of sacred prostitution in pagan temples was readily accepted in such a climate, as well as in some of the Greek temples that stood there in the first century.
One of the major problems Paul faced in Corinth was the difficulty new converts there had in living out Christianity ethically in everyday actions.
But that freedom does not mean, Paul contends, that we are not compelled by love of both God and neighbor.
So, it might, indeed, have some practical ethical application in the case of a Christian dating or marrying a non-Christian. But it is a matter of allowing God to be God, and recognizing that when we are his people, his sons and daughters (2 Cor ), that means we are in a relationship of love that constrains our freedom for the sake of that love (1 Cor 13).
Practically, this could apply to a lot of areas of life, but not as a rigid law.
It is a matter of ethics that must come from the freedom in Christ that Paul makes clear.
It was not just a legalism, but an attempt to live out in all aspects of life what they understood to be God's purposes for his world that he had created.
Paul, trained Pharisee that he was, no doubt well understood all this and applied this principle in addressing the church at Corinth (2 Cor ).
Using the OT principle of preserving boundaries between things that should not be mixed, Paul simply says that being Christian means that the Corinthians can no longer practice the activities of pagan worship or pagan ethics, since those are things that should not be mixed with the worship of God.