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Summary: Authority in the church is very different to worldly authority. Leaders within the church must, first of all, be servants. We then learn to submit to our Spiritual Leaders as those who will be accountable for our souls. Christians who sue one another hav

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Litigation

1 Corinthians 6 (NKJV)

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

2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?

5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?

6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?

8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

A. The Situation in Corinth

The contenders

We can see by what Paul is saying that there was at least two members of the Corinthian church, in the midst of some kind of dispute. And now, one of them has taken the other to court to sue the other. The conflict has blown up to the point where the parties are in litigation, being unable to resolve it among themselves. The church itself has now been dragged into the courtroom as these fellow Christians argue over some petty manner.

Choosing the right court and the right Judge

The admonition in 1 Corinthians 6:1-10 is universally applicable (1 Cor. 1:1-2). Thus, it applies not only to the First Century members of the church in Corinth, but to you and me as well. In verse 4 the question asked is, “If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?” Yet how many Christians get involved in serious litigation about business, divorce and other matters and simply ignore that they one day confessed that their lives belong to God. When we give our life to Christ we also submit to a higher pattern of living and obtain citizenship in another Kingdom. If you choose a New Age or a Pagan psychiatrist to give you advice or counseling about your marriage aren’t you doing the same thing as these people in Corinth?

It is vital for the 21st century church to go back to the basics and follow Biblical principles if we really want God to bless and guide us.

B. In what Kingdom do you live in?

Paul begins by warning, "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?" Paul's use of the word "dare," appears to suggest that by "going to law" against brethren, one tempts God.

Notice that Paul continues to challenge their perception of things and reminds them that we will judge angels and even the world will be judged by us. Let’s see what Jesus has to say about the petty way people think about the litigation process in God’s Kingdom.

Matthew 12

54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Settling with Your Opponent

57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

As Jesus was teaching about God’s Kingdom and the divisions that will cause even at the level of our families he couldn’t keep silence about the hypocrisy of people that give thought to the signs of the weather but simply ignore that there is a process of judgments by wish the Kingdom is ruled.

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