Day 60…1 Corinthians 6:1-8:

April 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM Leave a comment

I Corinthians 6:1-8: Believers suing believers

Obviously from the title there were disputes in the church but unfortunately the believers were not resolving them amongst each other but they were taking each other to court. Paul tells them in these short few verse…”stop it!”

v.1, Paul starts this chapter with a “how dare you” statement. He wanted to know why the believers at Corinth would dare sue another believer through the “secular courts” when any matter between believers should be taken “to other believers” not the world’s judges.

Why did Paul want to make this point?

  1. if the judge and jury that tried this case were not Christians, they would not be sensitive to Christian values
  2. basis for suing someone is usually revenge; this should not be a Christians motivation
  3. Christians suing Christians make the church look bad–bad testimony

v.2, Paul uses the phrases “don’t you realize” or “don’t you know” throughout this chapter a number of times pointing out that these believers should already know and understand these issues. Another way to say this “you should know better!” They should be able to settle these disputes among themselves because “someday we believers will judge the world.” Referring to when the believers will all be coheirs with Christ over all the world at the 2nd coming. Because of this truth, believers shouldn’t take their disputes to the world because it is a poor witness and shows lack of unity. Instead they should be able to “decide even these little things among [themselves]”

v.3, Paul adds to those we will judge, not just the world but “angels.” This could mean the angels in heaven, that they would be rulers over the angels when they reign with Christ, or it could mean that Christians will take part in the judging of the devil and demons (evil angels). Either one, Paul’s point is simple in light of the fact they would be rulers over supernatural beings in the future they “should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.”

v.4-6, Paul repeats his concern for going to “outside judges that are not respected by the church” to handle their legal disputes. This doesn’t mean they didn’t respect the world’s judges, no this meant that the world’s judges judged by an entirely different standard that believers…and still do today! Paul uses a strange phrase in v.5 that contrasts what he said in 4:14: “I am saying this to shame you.” He makes this statement because the believers should be ashamed of themselves for bringing their disputes to worldly judges when they should be looking for “anyone in the church who is wise enough to decide these issues.” Instead of using the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, which is available to all believers, they were suing one another “right in front of unbelievers.” Paul is scolding them for being a terrible witness to the world (unbelievers) by taking their disputes to the world who we as believers are to be to “light” and “salt” to (Matt 5:13-16).

v.7-8, the basic problem was simple: lack of maturity. If the Christians at Corinth had been maturing in their faith they wouldn’t have had to bring their disputes before the world’s judges but could have settled the disputes among themselves. Paul asks two very important questions: “why not just accept the injustice?” and “why not let yourselves be cheated?” These are important questions because Paul wanted them to consider the bottom line when dealing with disputes among themselves: protecting the reputation of the church! Now believers should never be treated this way in the first place and if these believers were mature they wouldn’t act this way. However if they had been wronged by another believer, mature believers should be willing to turn the other cheek (Matt 5:39).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Paul challenges the believer (and me) to be willing to accept injustice and be cheated so that church be protected. In other words, don’t think about my own reputation as much as Christ’s reputation. Always look out for how the church and Christ are perceived by believers’ actions.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  Even in the simplest of circumstances, I need to remember I am always being watched. Also to remember no matter where I go I am Christ’s representative, so live above reproach–blameless–willing to be treated unfairly so that Christ be glorified.

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Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible.

Day 18 of the “reno” Day 19 of the reno

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