Dear God, I am dazzled by your power and encircled by your mercy. You are the Lord of heaven and earth. I praise your name.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:1–11
Lawsuits Among Believers
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.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9 The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectJesus said, ‘You [my followers] are the light of the world’ (Matthew 5:14). God can show you and your church how you can ‘light up’ your community with Jesus.
The second half of verse 11 nails the issue. Christians should live differently from other people because Jesus has ‘washed’ us, made us holy, made us righteous (1:2). So our loving response to him is to live out that ‘cleanness’, demonstrating to the world by our lives what God is like and the difference Jesus makes. We’re no longer living to please ourselves, but trying selflessly to live out who Jesus made us.
However, some Christians in Corinth are selfishly focusing on their own ‘rights’. Airing grievances between themselves in public (v 1) is just asking for other Corinthian citizens to think of the church as unloving, lacking in integrity, inept at sorting out its own problems (v 5), unforgiving (v 7) – none of which reflects the nature of God.
Christians don’t agree on what the Bible says about homosexuality. Verses 9 and 10 are particularly difficult. But the good news is, however we think of people like those on Paul’s list and their lifestyle, by the grace of God, they too can meet Jesus and belong. Suddenly it’s wash day (v 11)! That’s the amazing power of God to transform people’s lives through Jesus.
‘Give me Jesus; give me Jesus. You can have all this world, just give me Jesus’ (CS Brown © Warner Chappell Music, Inc).
Holy One, only your power in my life can demonstrate to others the difference that Jesus can make in a life. Lord, release your power in me.
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