Knowing Who You Are!
Show me my heart, Lord Jesus; show me Your heart for me as I seek You in Your Word.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:1–11
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 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.
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.
ReflectLook at the final verse of our passage from “But…” How do you think those words should impact the behavior of the church?
In churches all around the world today, believers take other believers to court or churches drag other churches and Christian organizations into the public legal arena. I think that Paul would be horrified.
In verse 11 we find Paul stressing exactly who these Corinthians are, just as he does in 1:4–9. The consequence of this, as we can read throughout this letter, is that they ought to behave as sanctified, justified (righteous) people, who are indwelt by the Spirit of God. Instead they fall out with each other so completely that they end up in court!
Paul sees this as a matter of shame (5). The world watches and, inevitably, is not impressed. Disunity and bad behavior make a very bad impression. In the eyes of other people they demonstrate that the church is no better than anyone else. Verse 7 is very challenging and suggests it would be far better to graciously accept injustice against ourselves than to defend our rights yet damage the reputation of the church.
Do you have a disagreement with another believer that hasn’t been resolved? Can you be the voice of reconciliation today?
Pray for any church you know that is in open turmoil. Pray for justice but also for grace even to accept wrong done against us.
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