Avoiding Lawsuits with Christians
6 When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! 2 Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? 3 Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. 4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? 5 I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 6 But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!
7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Avoiding Sexual Sin
12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.
15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Let’s focus on the first 11 verses. Paul is calling into question the Corinthians “wisdom”. It seems everyone was suing everyone in the church, brothers against brothers. This is a problem, and the heart of this problem is an issue in the Christian church. People would rather run around and be offended, sue each other or complain to as many people as will listen rather than going directly to the person who “offended” them and talk about it and settle it. You see it on social media all the time, people airing their grievances to the world. But Paul is writing because the very specific problem they are having is lawsuits against each other. Paul is saying that as believers, and with the love of Christ in our hearts, we should be settling these disputes in a God honoring way. And if need be, let yourself be cheated (vs 7). In other words, let it go! If you have tried to settle your differences to the best of your ability and yet the other person is still being unreasonable or dishonest, then it is on them. They will have to answer to God for that. Paul is also appalled that, as believers, we would take our internal disputes to a non-believer to be settled. He is implying that this would really hurt our testimony to the world. He lumps this act of lawsuits among believers in with other sins like idol worship, homosexuality, prostitution, greed, drunkeness, etc.. This is very serious
Paul is not condeming law courts by any means. There is definitely a time and place for them. He himself requested to be brought before the Roman courts. But he clearly sees an issue if two Christian brothers cannot settle a dispute between just them. If you currently find yourself in a dispute with your fellow Christian brother or sister, dont’ complain to the whole world, go settle it with them. If need be, go seek the counsel of the church leadership or a fellow believer with wisdom. These kinds of things should be done quietly and quickly. And be prepared to just let it go. Money and possessions can be easily replaced compared to a damaged reputation and testimony.
Lord thank you for another day of life. We thank you for the sunshine and the challenges of the day ahead. Help us to be a light to the people around us, and help us to always have the courage to settle our disputes directly and in an honoring way to you Lord. Bless the work of the hands of each person reading this today, in Jesus name, amen.