1 Corinthians 6:1-11
6 Suppose one of you wants to bring a charge against another believer. Should you take it to ungodly people to be judged? Why not take it to the Lord’s people? 2 Or don’t you know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? Since this is true, 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 suppose you disagree with one another in matters like this. Who do you ask to decide which of you is right? Do you ask people who live in a way the church disapproves of? Of course not! 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 When you take another believer to court, 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 people who do wrong 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 sleep with other men. 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 this was done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was also done by the Spirit of our God.
Paul is so good at taking the heart of the gospel and applying it to the practicalities of everyday. Our lives as Christians should be different to the lives of those who don’t know him. Paul calls the Corinthians out for being at war with each other; seeking retribution and taking and holding on to offences; and looking to the world for wisdom when God has given us His Spirit. He implores the readers to be different than the world, to apply kingdom principles of wisdom, mercy and forgiveness to their relationships.
The message translation puts it this way, ‘These court cases are an ugly blot on your community. Wouldn’t it be far better to just take it, to let yourselves be wronged and forget it? All you’re doing is providing fuel for more wrong, more injustice, bringing more hurt to the people of your own spiritual family’.
Oh Lord, may my reactions and actions in response to the people in my world never be fuel for ‘more wrong, injustice and hurt’. Make me an instrument of your peace. Amen
Written by Rosie Walker