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Paul continues the challenge with an important and often forgotten reality.
Who, on this earth, is really most capable of judging a dispute?
The unrighteous who do NOT know, understand, value or hold commitment to Godís words of truth and righteousness? The unsaved who put manís laws and reasoning above those of the Lord God Almighty Ė Creator of Heaven and Earth?
OR, the righteous who Ė filled with the Holy Spirit Ė DO know, understand, value & hold commitment to Godís words of truth and righteousness?
To put it another way, which is more important: oneís training, qualifications and appointment by men OR oneís training, qualifications and appointment in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit?
After all, does not Godís Scripture reveal that ALL of his redeemed people are to one day judge the world and even the angels?
(Dan. 7:22; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude v.6)
If that is our future, should we not now Ė in the power and knowledge of the Holy Spirit and Godís Word Ė be able to settle cases on earth between one another?
And, is it not true that to do otherwise is to declare to everyone that the world is more capable of understanding and judging truth and righteousness than Godís own redeemed and set-apart people?
Do or should the unrighteous who reject and rebel against God have authority over them Ė especially in areas of declaring what is true and just?
2.) THE BELIEVERíS ARBITRATROR (vv. 4-6)
The answer to the question of capability, Paul boldly declares and explains, is the believers.
Even the most limited of believers, implies Paul, is a better judge of a brother or sister than the most qualified and impressive non-believer!
Are Godís people really so lacking in wisdom that not one can arbitrate according to Godís Word and will? Can we not place more trust in our brothers and sisters in Christ for such things than in those still living in darkness?
What utter, despicable shame! What message do we send to the world about our faith, our Savior and our Counselor when we take our disputes before the ungodly? What message do we send about ourselves when we reject godly and Scriptural counsel in favor of the ungodly?
3.) EVERYBODY LOSES (vv. 7-10)
ďTherefore . . . total defeatĒ!!!
Whenever Christians seek to share, complain about or settle their disputes in the public square, EVERYBODY LOSES. The offended, the offender, the church Body, the lost and the unsaved. EVERYBODY!
The offended brings shame to him/herself, receives ungodly advice and judgment (even if in oneís temporal favor), creates a wedge in the church, and brings public shame to Godís name and people.
The offender is less likely to righteously accept the judgment of the ungodly and therefore to be able to move forward in any true repentance, reconciliation or right spirit Ė and has clearly lost a brother or sister.
The church is given a mark of shame, incompetence and impotence in the community where they live and have been appointed to shine Godís light.
The unsaved see in such actions a people representing God and His Word who do not themselves truly trust in either and canít even get along with one another. They are thus more likely to reject Christ and suffer the ultimate condemnation.
People of God, are we even considering such things before we take our disagreements, dissatisfaction, arguments and
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