Summary: Concern for Christ is more important than our concerns.
Title: Airing Dirty Laundry
Text: 1 Cor. 6:1-11
Truth: Concern for Christ is more important than our concerns.
Aim: To make Christ’s concern more important.
Life ?: What will be my response when Christ’s concern is most important?
When I was twelve or thirteen I worked at a motel cleaning the grounds. One of my jobs was cleaning the swimming pool in the morning. I used a pool broom with a long handle to push the dirt on the bottom of the pool halfway across. I’d do the same on the other side. Then I’d angle the broom to push the dirt into the drain.
One morning while I was cleaning the pool, a family came into the pool area. They were in a big argument. Both parents and kids were loudly making their point. I wasn’t eavesdropping on the conversation because you couldn’t help but hear. I remember turning to look at them as they argued. The problem was I didn’t pay attention to my work and I pushed the broom out to far. I lost my balance. There was no recovery. Fully clothed, I fell into the pool. When I surfaced, the family that was airing their dirty laundry had a good laugh at my mistake.
The bickering and fighting of the church members at Corinth had become public, and Paul was not happy with the way they chose to resolve their disputes. He is shocked that they were actually suing one another in civil court. What most concerned Paul was the testimony the church at Corinth was conveying to the community about Jesus Christ. They witnessed that Jesus Christ changes lives, yet when they had disputes they responded to one another like the unsaved world. This is the teaching that underlines Paul’s admonition about Christians taking one another to court. Concern for Christ’s reputation is more important than our rights.
What’s our response when Christ’s reputation is more important than our rights?
I. RESOLVE THE PROBLEM (I COR. 6:1-5)
Paul concluded chapter five by saying we are not to judge those outside the church but we are to judge those inside the church. In light of that, don’t go outside the church to ask them to decide matters that should be resolved between believers. The word “ungodly” simply means someone that doesn’t know Jesus Christ as Savior. He is not a Christian. Why would you ask someone how a Christian is to respond in a dispute when he doesn’t know anything about Christ?
Paul asks the church a series of questions that reveal the theological grounds for not taking their disputes to the ungodly. He says that in the future they are going to be a part of the glory of Christ when He judges the world and spiritual beings like the angels. In some way Christians will participate in Christ’s judgment of the drama of history. If that is our future, can’t we settle these “trivial matters?” The word “trivial” is our word micro.
He exposes the foolishness and immaturity of this church with biting sarcasm in v. 5. They’ve boasted about how wise they were. Yet they have no one wise enough in the church to make a good decision on these trivial matters?