1 Corinthians chapter 6

Believers were suing each other in the secular court. Christian believers have freedom. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. [UPDATED]

 


 

LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS

SUMMARY: The believers in Corinth were suing each other in the secular court. Paul wishes they would settle their issues among themselves.

 

VERSE 1. Dare any of you, having a matter against his neighbor, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

go to law. Christians were filing lawsuits against each other. Paul is very dismayed by this.

before the unrighteous. The believers were taking their lawsuits against each other to the secular courtroom.

not before the saints. Paul wishes for them to use the Christian grievance-resolution system. As a review, here it is:

Matthew 18:15-17. If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. 16 But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.

 

VERSE 2. Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

the saints will judge the world. Paul has a very exalted view of Christian believers.

However, in practice, Christians are no better at conflict-resolution than anybody else. Nor are they immune to political pressure, or bribery, or their own personal biases.

 

VERSE 3. Don’t you know that we will judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

things that pertain to this life. Paul feels that ordinary Christian believers are competent to make official decisions about all sorts of things.

In practice, though, that model has been a train wreck for 20 centuries.

Think of the Christian opression of the Jewish people, the Inquisition, the use of hate-speech by prominent Christian leaders against women and homosexuals, the Crusades, and on and on.

 

VERSE 4. If then you have to judge things pertaining to this life, do you set them to judge who are of no account in the assembly?

who are of no account in the assembly. Paul is puzzled that they are putting these important matters in the hands of non-Christians.

 

VERSE 5. I say this to move you to shame. Isn’t there even one wise man among you who would be able to decide between his brothers?

one wise man. Paul telling them to search for one wise person in their congregation. There should be at least one wise person they can rely on to settle disputes.

Interestingly, Paul does not tell them to put it in the hands of their leaders.

People in leadership positions are rarely able to render fair decisions. Most leaders are far too motivated by their own self-interest to be capable of objectively fair decisions on behalf of others.

 

VERSE 6. But brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers!

before unbelievers. Paul is stunned that they take their disputes to non-Christian judges.

However, in our day, with the advantage of hindsight, we can see why they went to non-Christian judges.

Going to secular judges is often necessary. Individual denominations and Christian movements are rarely capable of objective fairness.

The only way to get a fair hearing is to go completely outside the denomination or movement.

 

VERSE 7. Therefore it is already altogether a defect in you, that you have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?

it is already a defect in you. The fact that they are suing each other suggests to Paul that they have already lost the battle. In other words, Paul thinks it is wrong to initiate a lawsuit.

Why not rather be wronged. Paul tacitly acknowledges that some believers have been wronged, and that they only recourse is a civil lawsuit.

Why not rather be defrauded. Paul wants them to not stand up for themselves with a civil lawsuit. However, history shows us that we must stand up for ourselves.

Especially when the offender is a Christian leader. Or when the situation is unjust. In situations such as those, the situation must be corrected.

That’s what the Old Testament prophets were doing. In almost all cases, they were standing up to injustices perpetrated by religious leaders.

 

VERSE 8. No, but you yourselves do wrong and defraud, and that against your brothers.

 

VERSE 9. Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals,

will not inherit God’s kingdom. What if an unrighteous person has gone throughout the approved conversion rituals? Is a wicked person “lost” even though they’ve been “saved”?

 

VERSE 10. nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit God’s Kingdom.

Such were some of you. Some believers in Corinth had been “given righteousness. That is, they had converted to faith in Jesus Christ. Yet afterwards, their behaved was gravely immoral or unjust.

What of them? What of the damage they did to other people? Should it all be swept under the rug and forgotten? Such issues continue to be unresolved among Christians to this very day.

 

VERSE 11. Some of you were such, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.

 

CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS HAVE FREEDOM

SUMMARY: For the Christian believer, everything is permissible. Yet some actions can diminish our freedom.

 

VERSE 12. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are expedient. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be brought under the power of anything.

All things are lawful for me. Christians are free to do all things. But most Christians are not aware of this. They see their Christian life as a complex set of “Thou shalt not’s.”

Paul says we are free to do anything. Our life in Jesus Christ is not governed by prohibitions.

1 Corinthians 10:23. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are profitable. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things build up.

not all things are wise. We are totally free. However, not everything is wise to do.

not be brought under the power of anything. Some things can enslave us. Think of addictive substances, for example.

1 Corinthians 8:9. But be careful that by no means does this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak.

 

VERSE 13. “Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods,” but God will bring to nothing both it and them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

but for the Lord. What really matters is our life in Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 14. Now God raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power.

will also raise us up. We are destined for resurrection.

by his power. The resurrection is not something we achieve. Rather, it happens totally by God’s power.

 

VERSE 15. Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!

make them members of a prostitute? Paul is not imposing a prohibition. As we saw in verse 12 above, the believer is free to do all things. However, some things are not wise.

 

VERSE 16. Or don’t you know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body? For, “The two”, he says, “will become one flesh.”

 

VERSE 17. But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

is one spirit. This is a mystical insight. When we are joined to the Lord by faith, we become one with him.

 

VERSE 18. Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin that a man does is outside the body,” but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

 

YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

VERSE 19. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from First Corinthians.

KJV translation: Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. God’s Shekinah, his Holy Presence, has gone beyond the narrow confines of the Old Testament temple. Now, his Holy Spirit lives within us, his people everywhere.

 

VERSE 20. for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from First Corinthians.

KJV translation: For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

glorify God in your body. Some people say that we shouldn’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. They say it is an abuse of “the temple of the Holy Spirit.”

However, they also eat junk food and are morbidly obese. They are not qualified to speak about not abusing their body.

 


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1 CORINTHIANS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

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