1 Corinthians 6:1-11
6 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
There’s a few layers or “levels” in this amazing passage…
Level one…instructions about lawsuits and in-fighting within the church. And getting secular courts to judge. Yikes! Don’t do that – better to be wronged.
Level two… get your mind on what’s coming – in the next life – not this life. This life is short – eternity is a long time. Am I playing the “long game”? When will I realise that I’ll judge angels and the universe?! I need to prepare for that time right now.
Level three – if I continue in unrepentant and wilful sin, even as a believer, I am in the same cohort as those who won’t inherit God’s Kingdom. Time to get real about sin.
Final level – I have been made holy! I can’t earn it. I can’t buy it. It’s gifted to me when I surrendered my life to following Jesus – my saviour and friend. I have a “perfect standing” before God. Given by Jesus. Because He loves me.
Lord, please help me filter every level of my life through this last level – I am loved and made holy through no other means but faith and surrender – no matter what I’ve done – because I’m loved by Jesus.
Written by Boudy Van Noppen