1 Corinthians 6
Oh these Corinthian Christians. I keep thinking things will turn but to no avail. They had their own thoughts and their own sets of rules they were following. I am sure that Paul was beginning to feel that he was beating his head on the wall. Paul starts out this chapter addressing lawsuits. Apparently the Corinthian Christians were also arguing in and amongst themselves and they had things that they were beginning to feel that they needed an arbitrator to settle. So they took their matters outside the church and they were suing their brothers in Christ. Paul was stating this just could not be. Paul does not understand why the Corinthian Christians would seek justice from those who weren’t walking in Christ. I think we don’t have to think of this thing just in the context of lawsuits but I think we should be careful if we are taking our disagreements to people outside our churches. I truly think that one of Satan’s most cunning tactics against a church is to stir up divisiveness in the church, or communities, or workplaces, or families. It makes no sense to be taking our arguments outside the church to those people who aren’t Christians. We as Christians should be fully capable of handling our conflicts within ourselves.
Paul asks the question “Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers?” (v5) He has gone on to tell them that having lawsuits among them is already a defeat. It is tearing down the church. I have seen it and I know you have too. As soon as you go so far as to think you need outside help to settle an argument or a lawsuit you are giving Satan a step into your church to tear you up. This can be said of Christian friendships or Christian businesses also. Satan would like nothing better than to tear things up from the inside out. But when you take your arguments and your disputes to someone outside the circle, you are inviting him in to do just that. Oh I have been so guilty of this before. I get my feelings hurt or I am angry about something and I think I need a judge and jury to help me try my case, or at least a listening ear to tell me I’m right and they are wrong. When Paul says “Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough?” That should stop us in our tracks to realize if we have a dispute then we must settle them among ourselves. If you need an arbitrator it must be a christian. We should be able to settle the disputes among ourselves in our christian circles, but even when we can’t we have to trust God to settle them. I had a situation a while back where there was something going on in a church that I attended. Now I felt that everyone’s heart was in the right place but I also felt a practice was wrong. I’m not talking about blatantly wrong like the sins that Paul has listed just not being handled right. But I was in the minority of those who thought it was wrong. So I prayed about it. And while I prayed about it I asked the Lord to either change my heart about the situation or to change the situation. Over time, slowly some of the practices began to change and the next thing I knew it was not an issue anymore. We saw in the previous chapter if it is blatantly wrong, we are to confront our brothers and sisters in Christ concerning sin. But how many arguments or disagreements are not blatant but just an opinion. That is what we must be careful of. The people on the outside of our circles do not need to be helping us decide our arguments or our disagreements. Because we were them at one time. But we are supposed to be different.
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
We have been washed in the blood of Jesus. We should have been cleansed of sin by what Jesus did for us on the Cross. We were sanctified, we should be living as set apart people. We are to be able to love people of the world without acting like people of the world. And we are justified. God’s grace justifies us by faith. Not by things we do, feel, say and think. But we truly for the sake of His name we really should be acting like it.
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
Paul had apparently used this statement “All things are lawful for me” to the Corinthians before. However it appears that maybe the Corinthians had decided to use the phrase as a license to sin. Paul addresses that here. That while we do not live under the “law” anymore. That does not mean that all things are good for us. Paul is addressing food as well as sexual sin here. Paul is using the illustration of the body and sins against the body. We are to treat our bodies as the temple of God. Sexual sin is the one that will destroy the body the quickest. But I think that even mentioning food, Paul may be pointing out that there are lots of things that may be done against your body that are sin.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Sweet Lord, may we handle our disputes amongst ourselves and if we can’t handle them may we lay them at the foot of the cross. And at the end of the day may we only do and treat ourselves and each other as yours so that we may glorify you!!
Please pray for the medical professionals and first responders.