Sermons

Summary: You be the judge.

Who Would Jesus Nominate for Supreme Court Justice?

“Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?”

1 Corinthians 6:1-5

Intro: Justice Antonin Scalia was running late for a dinner at the White House with President Ronald Reagan, when he got pulled over by a rookie Washington D.C. police officer. Don’t you know that I am Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia? The cop went back to his patrol car. After a few minutes he returned and presented the Justice with a ticket. Again the Justice protested. To which the officer replied, That is a good try sir, but I just checked with the White House Chief of Staff. All the Supreme Court Justices are at a dinner at the White House with President Reagan.http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/13/supereme-court-justice-antonin-scalias-greatest-quotes/ On breaking the law: “I have exceeded the speed limit on — on occasion.” – Justice Scalia

We have all heard sermons that tell us not to judge others. What do we do with 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 that says “Saints will judge the world and that Christians will judge angels”? We face decisions where we have to carefully weigh their legality. We gauge the ethics and morality of issues. We judge the validity of opinions and ideas. We do this many times every day. In fact the really big multi-million dollar salary earners get paid not for their ability to keep the rules. Not for aptitude to stay within the lines but more for their ability to make good judgment calls.

Let me give you an example: If you come here next Sunday and I say, “I just authorized $10,000 dollars for pink flamingos.” They will have our church name on them. We are going to put one in every yard in town. You might think that was not such a good judgment call on my part. However, if you come in next Sunday and I say, the ground opened up a sink hole large enough to swallow the entire church building and I authorized $10,000 for a construction team to shore up the walls and save the church. You might think that was pretty good judgment call.

What about when the decision is less extreme? What about when the choice is not as clear? Maybe it is a matter of perspective or even personal opinion. Things are not always red or green.

The Apostle Paul was writing to the Church at a time when Christians were still coming out from under the Old Testament Law and sacrifice. Some in the church were taking their religious differences of opinion relating to that Law to secular court judges to decide their religious differences of interpretation. Paul said that was not a good idea. Because secular courts and juries may not be responsive to Christian values. Then he goes a step further and asks if Christians even have Christian values. Paul did not mince words.

Let’s look at the word “dispute” Paul uses. “Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?” 1 Corinthians 6:1-5

The original Greek word for “dispute” Strong's Greek: 4229. πρᾶγμα (pragma) -- a deed, a matter) as “A habit against doing what is needed.” Paul was talking about “dispute” as a pattern of not doing what is right. It is more than just a single case but more about a lifestyle choice.

Chuck Swindoll tells a story about preaching at a Christian camp meeting. The first day a man approached him and said how much he had looked forward to hearing Dr. Swindoll and was delighted at now finally being able to realize that dream come true. That evening Chuck noticed the man sitting near the front row. But only a few minutes into the message the man was sound asleep. Chuck thought to himself that perhaps the man was tired after a long day's drive and he could not help himself but fall asleep. But the same thing happened the next night and the next night. Dr. Swindoll found himself growing irritated. On the last night the man's wife came up and apologized for her husband's inattention to the messages. She then explained that he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the medication he was taking to ease the pain had made him extremely sleepy. But it had been a once in a life-time ambition to hear Dr. Swindoll speak before he died.

We make judgment calls every day. Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we don’t. What do you do about the ones you get wrong? How we handle our mistakes does more to build our character than our successes. That means it is less about how we judge others. And more about how we measure our own quality.

Mother Teresa was an unimpressive person if you only saw her picture. She was not very tall. Her body was frail. She did not look very powerful. She was a little woman dedicated to serving the poor. But she was a tremendous leader. She had amazing influence with others. Small stature. Huge impact. She saw a need and did something about it. In the impoverished town of Calcutta she built a children’s home. Established a center for leprosy. A home for the dying and destitute. A shelter for people with tuberculosis. A hospital for people with mental disorders. Her influence reached a city. Then a nation. Then the world.

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