Summary: The Corinthians were pretty American - they loved suing each other. So Paul tells them to stop it and do it the grace way!
As you can see this morning we are passionate about being a gateway for the gospel to goto the nations.
I want to see heaven populated with people from all nations because of what we have been partnering with the Spirit in here!
Apostle Paul had a similar passion and he had a problem in Corinth because the lifestyle of the Corinthians was undermining their gospel witness.
As we saw last week he was pretty relaxed about the world - after all sinners sin; but he was surprised that saints were sinning quite so much. They were acting out of sorts! It's not who they are.
He dealt with persistent sin - don't eat with them. Don't share the Lord's supper with them because they are seriously undermining the cross. The church really is the body of Christ - we are organically connected to Him and to each other and that hardened persistent sin was harming the body.
Important to note the difference between struggling and hardened persistent sin.
There's a world of difference between someone who struggles with temptation to look at porno and occasionally blows it and someone who doesn't care any more and is hardened in their persistence.
So in ch5:11 he talks about those hardened in some of these
Greed - accumulation of stuff
Idolatry - worshipping idols, putting other things first
Reviling/Slander - speaking evil of others
Drunkenness - because of what it produces - fighting, immorality, throwing up on someone's carpet
He moves on in chapter 6 to Christians suing each other!
Let's read it!
Excessive litigation is a US import - we are fast becoming a compensation culture. But it was worse in Ancient Greece. The Jews refused to goto secular courts to deal with other Jews, but the Greeks loved it. Nearly everyone was an amateur lawyer.
The first line was to find a private arbiter, if that didn't work a group called the forty could appoint a public arbiter - basically anyone over 30yrs old. Then you could go to a court made up of 201 jurors and there are even occasions where 6000 people tried a case! The Greeks were nuts on litigation.
Diogenes of Sinope the original cynic apparently once took his lantern and said he was going in search of an honest lawyer. The next day a friend asked him "How's it going?", "Not bad, I still have my lantern"
Sadly the Christians were sueing each other and as v8 notes doing it to defraud each other!
This passage is about civil cases not criminal stuff. paul has a high regard for lawful authorities dealing with crime. Paul does not specify any criminal cases because he teaches elsewhere that these must be handled by the state (Rom 13:3-4). We must always distinguish between sins and crimes. Sins are handled by the church while crimes are handled by the state. Both are God's governing authorities. Furthermore, when a crime has been committed, a Christian may at times be obligated to turn in a fellow Christian, and even to testify against him in court. The church does not have jurisdiction over criminal justice. That belongs to the state, according to Romans 13.
The apostle Paul is going to state clearly that Christians, of all people, ought to be able to settle their own disputes. The key in doing so is to understand our true identity in Christ. When we understand who we are in Christ, we will not have to war with other believers over material possessions or legal rights. Paul’s point is that we should live out who we are. In 1 Cor 6:1-11, Paul provides two exhortations to help us live out who we are.
Commit to settling disputes in the church
Like a lawyer, Paul asks lots of questions, eight in fact to how them they are in contempt of Christ
v1 "When one of you has a grievance against another, does he DARE go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?"
How dare you do this he says!
Courts weren't small rooms with a few people, they were public entertainments. These lawsuits were giving the church a black eye!
Moreover, when someone hauled a brother or sister into court there, they weren’t just settling a dispute; they were holding the church itself up to public scrutiny and ridicule. Paul is concerned about the selfish arrogance of God’s people. The Christians in Corinth are publicly airing their “dirty laundry” throughout the city. These lawsuit-happy Christians don’t seem to care what other people think. This flies in the face of Paul’s simple exhortation that we should live out who we are.
They have forgotten who they are! They are the saints, enriched in Christ, not lacking any gift in chapter 1. In chapter 2 they have the mind of Christ. Surely then anyone in the church can judge a civil case better than the world.