Happy Monday! Last week we finished 1 Corinthians chapter five. Today, we will begin chapter six with Paul addressing the Corinthian church’s unwillingness to address and resolve personal disputes between members in the church. So not only were they not addressing immoral behavior within the church (chapter 5), they were not creating an environment that would help resolve issues between believers within the church. The lack of guidance and defusing of behaviors by leaders in the church only intensified the division in the church. Join me as we continue in 1 Corinthians chapter 6.
“When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers[a]! 2 Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? 3 Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. 4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? 5 I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 6 But instead, one believer[b] sues another—right in front of unbelievers!
7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.[c]” – 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 NLT
Paul was highly concerned about the activities going on in the church. Paul, could see the division from a far and how Satan was at play in the congregation (church and members). He reminded the Corinthians, that as Christians their matters should be able to be resolved within the church. That as a divided church, they were preventing the furtherance of kingdom work within the church and being a bad witness to nonbelievers.
Today, we have the same struggles within the church, but it should not be that way. If believers are behaving as unbelievers, where is the testimony? If believers are behaving like the world, where is the light (Christ within them)? If there is a breakdown between fellow believers then it should be resolved like sisters and brothers in Christ not as opponents/adversaries.
Sisters and brothers, let us be mindful of how the devil desires to divide and destroy the church. Let us be on guard and stand firm in the word. Don’t let the devil use you as an instrument to tear down the church, but to build it up in truth and in love. Let the church be an environment that displays God’s love and allow God to use you in the church to exhibit the love of Christ and share that love with believers and nonbelievers.
Sisters and brothers, while Satan desires to divide and destroy, we can stand firm in the faith knowing in Christ there is victory. Christ has already won we just need to walk into that victory. If you do not belong to a church (for any reason), I encourage you to get involved in a church that you can call home. A church where you feel God’s presence, that teaches the word from the Bible and where you can be discipled and encouraged in your growth/walk in Christ.
Father God, thank you for today. Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy on our lives. Lord, we don’t deserve all the things that you freely give, but you give it to us. Lord, forgive us for the times when we have taken things for granted. Lord, forgive us for the times when we have created division in the church, for the times when we stood by and did not help resolve issues between brothers and sisters in the faith. Lord, we want to be better representatives of you. Lord, help us to be humble but bold enough to stand in the gap and help our sisters and brothers to join together in love and further the kingdom. Lord, help us to provide correction and guidance as needed and be secure enough in you to receive godly correction and guidance. Lord, wherever and whatever we lack, we ask for you to provide so that we will be complete in you. Transform us Lord. In Jesus name, amen.
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