1 Corinthians 6: Lawsuits among believers

This chapter is jammed full of stuff to talk about, but I will try to keep it to 2 or 3 major points.

“When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints?” (v1)

This is the first verse of the chapter and Paul is making a claim:
Morality does not come from the legal institutions.
“Is it right and moral?” Is NOT the same thing as asking “is it legal?”

So, when the Christians of Corinth are faced with drama, they’ve been taking to the legal institutions! Paul is making a case that the laws of God are higher than the laws of man.

At the same time, Paul is not saying the laws of man have no meaning – but rather that God’s laws should have a higher priority.

Even if something might be legal, that doesn’t make it right.
Can you think of any examples of something things that are legal in this country, but might still be wrong?

The second major point comes from verse 7.
“In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you.”

With this second major point Paul brings us back to the issue of hypocrites.
Remember, the people who say one thing and do another? The church in Corinth claimed to be Christians, but they were doing things that were apparently ending up in lawsuits?

Verse 8 says: “But you yourselves wrong and defraud – and believers at that.”
He’s calling them out. He’s telling them, aren’t you supposed to be the “good” guys?
The people of Corinth said they followed Christ, said they loved him and wanted to obey his teachings, but their actions said otherwise. Apparently they were lying and deceiving one another.

Paul ends this point by re-emphasizing that heaven is not for wrongdoers. You don’t get to be a hypocrite and then get rewarded. (Duh)

The final point we’ll look at here is verse 12:
“”All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial.
“All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.”’

What? How can all things be lawful? Didn't Paul just go on and on about wrongdoers and how they don’t get into heaven? I’m confused!

There’s a whole bunch of varying interpretations on this passage, but if we take those lines in light of the entire passage, using the context to help us understand – I think we can find some answers.

Romans 6:16 talks about how we are all slaves to our influences, and we can either be slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. When you are following righteousness, all the things you wish to do in love – there is no law against those things! The end of 1 Corinthians 6 goes on to talk about how we are one with the Lord. When we are one with the Lord, all the things we do in love are good.

But when we are slaves to sin: when we follow only our own selfish desires, those things are not beneficial. They dominate us and control us, and Paul is saying: Break Free!

Don’t be dominated by sin.

What things in our society dominate us?
What things do you think control us when we don’t focus on Jesus?

As always, we’ve only scratched the surface and run out of room.
Until next time, peace and love friends.

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