1 Corinthians 6:1-11
6 Suppose one of you wants to bring a charge against another believer. Should you take it to the ungodly to be judged? Why not take it to God’s people? 2 Don’t you know that God’s people will judge the world? And if you are going to judge the world, aren’t you able to judge small cases? 3 Don’t you know that we will judge angels? Then we should be able to judge the things of this life even more! 4 So if you want to press charges in matters like that, appoint as judges members of the church who aren’t very important! 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that no one among you is wise enough to judge matters between believers? 6 Instead, one believer goes to court against another. And this happens in front of unbelievers! 7 The very fact that you take another believer to court means you have lost the battle already. Why not be treated wrongly? Why not be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong. And you do it to your brothers and sisters. 9 Don’t you know that evil people will not receive God’s kingdom? Don’t be fooled. Those who commit sexual sins will not receive the kingdom. Neither will those who worship statues of gods or commit adultery. Neither will men who are prostitutes or who commit homosexual acts. 10 Neither will thieves or those who always want more and more. Neither will those who are often drunk or tell lies or cheat. People who live like that will not receive God’s kingdom. 11 Some of you used to do those things. But your sins were washed away. You were made holy. You were made right with God. All of that was done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
The Corinthian church is taking disputes between believers to secular judges to be decided. Paul is outraged by this, telling them that one day as believers they will judge the earth and angels, so how is it that they think there is no one within their fellowship they can trust to settle their disputes. Paul says that it is preferable for them to accept injustice against themselves rather than fight in front of unbelievers. Paul reminds them that sinners will not enter Gods kingdom, but that they are no longer sinners, they are cleansed, holy and made right with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I am reminded in this passage that I am not the person I was before I was saved. I now have the Holy Spirit and His wisdom which enables me to give up my need for revenge and to value the good witness of the church to the world more. If I can’t deal with someone with grace then I need to bring my grievance to one of the mature people within the church, who have much greater wisdom than the world does.
Dear Lord I need your help to protect the reputation of your church by honouring my brothers and sisters in Christ. Give me the grace to forgive and to accept the wisdom of those to whom you have given your spirit. Amen
Written by Dimity Milne