Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We like solutions – we like other people to provide a quick way to solve our perceived problems – and we don’t care much what the solution involves, as long as our problem gets solved quickly and easily. Learn about the hidden dangers in taking shortcuts.

Today as a bonus, not only do you get a Bible study – but we are also holding a free seminar at the same time – providing you with double the benefits of joining us. Our seminar will reveal the stunning secrets of guerilla marketing. What’s guerilla marketing you ask? Like guerilla warfare, guerilla marketing doesn’t work like ordinary marketing, but cuts to the core to get results.

I’m going to share with you the secret to any marketing effort. What’s the secret? Sell solutions – not products. There you have it, folks – that’ll be $1,000 – you can pay on your way out. Not really. The fee is false but the secret isn’t – the key to successful marketing is to find a fast solution to a problem, or create a problem if none exists, then get someone to buy into your solution.

To be attractive a solution must do these things: save money, save time, save effort, avoid pain and increase success. The people that market products in our culture have this system down pat. Instead of telling about the metal alloys made to create the latest automobile, the manufacturer spins a tale of mystery or attraction of the opposite sex or adventure or power – things that attract people – suggesting that you can have these things today if you buy their car right now.

We like solutions – we like other people to provide a quick way to solve our perceived problems – and we don’t care much what the solution involves, as long as our problem gets solved quickly and easily.

While this may be a good way to market products, it is a terrible way to grow as a believer in Jesus Christ. And that’s the issue Paul addresses with the Corinthians in chapter 6. He deals with it in two ways – examples really – of what we shouldn’t do to solve our problems.

The first is found in verses 1 through 8 and involves letting the world solve relationship problems. The second is in verses 9 through 20 and involves letting the world solve personal problems. We could also call them external shortcuts and internal shortcuts.

1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?

Now if I were a Corinthian I’d start to wonder if I was coming up for criticism just from the way he phrases verse 1. They might have said it: “if you have a dispute trounce the sucker in court till he’s ruined!” Apparently what was happening here was that well-to-do Christians were having property or business disputes with one another and suing each other in the secular court system. Of course this only happened in that ancient time and we see no parallel today – not!

Let’s walk through the section before I give you my opinion as to what Paul was and was not saying.

2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

Paul’s trying to get these people to think on a broader scale. They are all caught up in their dispute instead of realizing that their true purpose is so much higher and so much more important than wrangling over someone’s property line.

4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another-and this in front of unbelievers!

In Chapter 4, Paul said he was not writing to shame the Corinthians around the issue of arrogance – but to warn them. But here Paul means to shame them – because it is one thing to strut about and act like babies between ourselves – and its another to bring that immature attitude before those who do not know the Lord.

We have a job to do – bring the love and salvation of Jesus Christ to the world. Our job is not to see that every wrong we suffer – imagined or real – be redressed no matter what. The Corinthians had the focus on the wrong place – themselves instead of the pre-Christians around them. It is a battle for the souls of men – but Paul says in that battle – this kind of behavior spells defeat.

7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

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