Summary: Ultimately the biblical issue is Church division. Just as there can be internal actions that divide the church, there can also be external actions that divide the church. Paul hopes to set a biblical standard here for believers to follow.
INTRODUCTION: When I hear the word courting, my mind immediately goes to thoughts of dating, courtship and marriage. So, it was not so much of a jump to remember this story about marriage,:
A wife was sitting at the breakfast table and asked her husband, “What if something happened to me and I died first? Would you marry again?” He thought for a while and then responded, “Yes, I probably would.” Then she asked, “Well, would you bring your new wife to live in this house and have her sleep in our bed?” “Well, I hadn’t thought about it, but I probably would,” he said. She probed further, “Would you let her use my golf clubs?” “Oh no,” he replied, “She’s left-handed.”
Well, as amusing as that story might be, it is not the kind of courting we are looking at this morning. The Apostle Paul took time here in Chapter 6 to instruct the Corinthian Church regarding the use of legal remedies, the “Courts”, so to speak. He was concerned that this group of believers was too quick to involve the world in those matters better dealt with in the church.
Hence there present attitude and actions were courting danger!
Ultimately the biblical issue is Church division. Just as there can be internal actions that divide the church, there can also be external actions that divide the church. Paul hopes to set a biblical standard here for believers to follow.
I THE SEVERITY OF THE ACT – 6:1
1 Cor. 6:1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?
A The word “DARE”
1 Word carries with it the idea of extreme conduct.
2 In other words conduct at the edge or beyond the edge of what is acceptable
B The issue in question
1 “A dispute”
2 The word means a “lawsuit” or some sort of legal quarrel
3 It also is a word that caries the meaning of an unimportant matter, or common matter.
4 So the issue is a quarrel over a trivial matter
a According to the San Antonio Express-News, a dozen students who took a Microsoft computer certification course at the Houston branch of Southern Methodist University are suing the school, contending they were misled the course would be easy.
b The Sacramento Bee reports that Lee Williams, 23, is seeking $25,000 in damages from a tattoo parlor for misspelling the word “villain” on his right forearm. The problem is, the incorrect spelling “villian” came from Williams himself, who was unsure as to the spelling of the word upon entering the parlor. After much debate he settled on the incorrect spelling. In fact, Williams did not even notice the error until years later, when a friend made fun of him.
c In Orlando, a lawsuit was filed against a rental car company by the estate of a woman who was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver. The woman was riding in a rental car driven by her boyfriend, an Irish tourist, who was legally drunk. He was eventually charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence.
The suit alleges that the rental car company should be liable for the woman’s death because the company “either knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at pubs as a major component to Irish social life.”
C The Core Problem
1 WHAT MAKES THIS ACT SO SEVERE IS THAT CHRISTIANS WERE HAULING EACH OTHER INTO COURT FOR TRIVIAL THINGS. THINGS WHICH SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO THE COURTS IN THE FIRST PLACE
2 Believers need to understand that a relationship with Christ changes our actions, thoughts and desires.
a We are now under an obligation to settle issues like brothers
b By choosing the courts believers were choosing to settle issues like adversaries and not brothers
D What is at stake
1 Paul says that when we take matters into the court we are placing them with the ungodly.
a I am not saying that there are no Christian judges in the world today.
b There are Christian judges and we need more of them
2 What Paul is saying is that the church was bringing their matters before those who were without the benefit of God in their lives
a Those unable to see things from the Christian perspective
b Those whose judgments were based on the culture of the time
1) Treatment varied with the class of the individual
2) Laws favored the upper class
3) Those of a lower class were not able to bring legal action against those of a higher class.
3 Before the action even gets started – the judgment is against the believer and the church