Summary: ? It concerns division in the church with regards to litigation. Jesus said the world will know we are His disciples by love not lawsuits! Here’s yet another problem Paul encounters.



INTRODUCTION: This passage really has nothing to do with a beauty pageant. If it did you would be wondering how such “ugly” got to the throne! Then what’s it all about? It concerns division in the church with regards to litigation. Jesus said the world will know we are His disciples by love not lawsuits! Here’s yet another problem Paul encounters. It sounds an awful lot like many churches today.

This passage has to do with the courtroom. Some of the members were suing other members, in pagan courts, over inconsequential issues. I mean, these people could have been regular cast members on “Court TV”. The result of this was that they were bringing disgrace to the church and Paul thought it abominable and inexcusable. Note his advice.

I. The Rebuke (v.1-4)

The Corinthians were proud of their intellectual ability, yet they couldn’t solve petty squabbles. Look at their:

A. Behavior (v.1, 4): They were going to pagan courts to settle their disputes instead of resolving their problems among themselves. See Matt. 18:15-17. They had at their access the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God, yet they be-passed that to present their case before the “unjust” (unrighteous). These didn’t have the ability to discern spiritual truth. The problem wasn’t the disputes but the way they were handling them. They were going before people who had no standing in the church. To Paul, this was unthinkable. You don’t have to hang out your dirty laundry for all to see.

B. Blindness (v.2-3): “Don’t you know?” (v.2, 3, 9, 15-17, 19-20). Paul speaks here of the future judgment (Matt. 19:28; Lk. 22:30; Rev. 20:4). We will share with him in what he does. That being the case, surely we should be able to handle personal conflicts.

II. The Results (v.5-8)

Look at the consequences of their conduct.

A. Shame (v.5-6): The reputation and image of the church was being damaged. If the “family of God” could not get along evidently Christ wasn’t making that much of a difference in their lives.

They were quick to judge their preachers, yet unable to solve their own differences. They claimed to be so wise, yet were not wise enough to settle disputes!

B. Selfishness (v.7-8): All this grew out of selfishness (Mk. 8:34). Christians should act in the best interest of others. They were defeating themselves. They may have won the case, but they lost as a Christian. “A dog can whip a skunk, but sometimes it just “ain’t” worth it.” Look at v.8. The picture here is that of bringing false/unfounded charges in order to profit at the expense of another.

See v. 7. Jesus said “Turn the other cheek.” Why not be wronged (adiked-an injustice), and defrauded (apostero-to rob) rather than disgrace the Christian cause. Why? Because most of us are more concerned about our own welfare than the churches welfare. Your witness is more important than your possessions.

You may say, “Well, this makes me a doormat.” I don’t think Paul meant that we shouldn’t hold people accountable. But remember that “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” You take the high road and God will make it up to you.

III. The Reminder (v.9-11)

What did Paul remind them of?

A. Their Past (v.9-11a): Do a study on these issues. This is what they used to be/do. They had wronged God.

B. Their Present (v.11b): Look at what God had done for them. Paul reminds them of what/whose they are.

CONCLUSION: How can one carry a brother to court and do the exact opposite of what God has done for them.

Note: Keep in mind here that Paul is talking about matters that are inconsequential. He’s not talking about major crimes but petty squabbles. The courts in our day need to deal with criminal issues. Also, remember Paul was not against the court system. He would later on use the court.

There you have “Queen Corinth and her court”.

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Sharon Summers

commented on Aug 11, 2019

Thank you and God bless for leaving such an insightful sermon for one to ponder on. I was looking for something that could help explain 6:6 a bit clearer and you have done an excellent job at that. Let those who can hear, hear. Amen and Amen 🙏🏻 💜

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