1 Corinthians 6:1-11

In Chapter six, Paul deals with the many disputes that the faithful have with each other. Paul is
scandalized by this. They bring each other to court over the matters. It is a shame to know this
problem has been even more manifested among Christians. Getting lawyers is always the knee
jerk reaction. We are so worried about being taken advantage of, we forget about the mercy we
are to show for others. This is hard. God wants us to forgive, even when others might not be
repentant. After all, Jesus died on the cross for us while not one soul repented.
Paul’s logic is very clear. “Do you not know that the believers will judge the world? If the
judgement of the world is to be yours, are you to be thought unworthy of judging in minor
matters? … If you have such matters to decide, do you accept as judges those who have no
standing in the church?” (v1,2&4). People were going to the pagan Roman judges to see their
cases. But they have an entirely different value system than Christianity. It is bad enough that
sometimes we do not get along, but at least go to someone who has a higher standard of living,
like one who believes in Jesus Christ. But some of these matters are small enough to simply put
up with others.
We get so caught up into the “injustices” of others that we cannot let go or forgive even minor
offenses. This is the plight of humanity. So many Christians today have gone to Carl Marx to
find a judge. Socialism has made itself the enemy of Christianity. It is based on the denial of
Jesus and His church. But Carl Marx is not to be blamed. Our unforgiveness and latching on to
injustices is just an expression of humanity’s fallen state. There is a socialist in each and every
one of us. As soon as someone offends us, we want them to be punished immediately, but not
so much when we are the ones offending others. We see others as an opportunity to take
advantage of or someone to guard against. All reality is based on power, and everybody will
take advantage of you and try to overcome you if you do not keep your wits about you!
But where does this way of thinking get us? If you approach marriage that way, what does that
say about your marriage? That would be making your spouse and children enemies. How can
relationships be fostered? If everybody thought that way, there would be no room for love.
Society would fall apart over time. It would crush the human spirit and steal away any hope. Joy
would be a pipe dream. People would laugh at the thought, for it would not be their experience.
Paul says something strange. “Why not let yourself… be cheated?” (v7). Sounds like insanity to
a person without faith. But to those who have faith, we know the “power of God and the wisdom
of God” (1Cor 1:24). Do you believe? This is where faith hits the pavement. Christianity is not
just a belief system; it is a way of life and a way of thinking.
God is the judge. Paul says, “No fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves,
misers or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit God’s kingdom” (v9-10). We have
nothing to fear. If someone does evil to us, it is not something we want or seek. Yet at the same
time, it cannot take away our dignity. We “have been washed, consecrated, justified in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God” (v11). The alternative is to “injure and
cheat your own brothers” (v8). But we all know where that leads: h-e-double hockey sticks.
Many people may complain that it means letting somebody run you over. No, it is choosing to
“love those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44). Ouch. Reality is hard to swallow at times, but it is
good. Do not work so much for justice, strive for what is greater: Love.