Monday, 5 January 2009

1 Corinthians Chapter 6

Judging matters in the church

In chapter six Paul continues dealing with issues that he had heard concerning the church at
Corinth, possibly from Chloe’s people (1 Cor. 1:11), or from other brethren there.

He deals firstly with judging matters within the church. From time to time there will arise problems between brethren, how we deal with these problems is an important matter. It seems that some in Corinth were taking their problems to those outside the church. They were taking matters to the law courts that, as Paul tells them, should have been dealt with by the brethren.

Paul starts out with a rhetorical question – one for which the answer is obvious. Would they go to the unrighteous to judge between the righteous? Or, would the go to the unjust for justice for the just? The problems within the church need to be solved within the church (See Matt. 18:15-17).

We are told that the saints will judge the world. It is not clear how this will be, we are given some clues in Rev 2:26-27, 2 Tim. 2:12, Rev 3:21. One thing is sure; we will be using the Word in judgment (John 12:48). We are also told that we will judge angels, again we are not told which angels or how this judgment will take place. However we are told everything we need to live righteously in this life (2 Peter 1:3)

In this matter Paul reiterates the words of Jesus, that it is better to be wronged than do wrong (Matt.5:38-42). “why not rather be wronged…” 1 Cor 6:7.

Inheritance of the Kingdom
The kingdom of God is only for the righteous. We do not have righteousness in ourselves, it is a gift from God through Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21). We only can stand righteous before God because the blood of Jesus has washed our sins away. We can only remain righteous if we refrain from sin (1 John 3:4-10). We have to abide in God and practice righteousness. Those who abide on unrighteousness and who practice sin are of the devil and cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul is not stating that there is no longer sin and that what was sin in now lawful. He has just finished describing those sinners who would not inherit the kingdom of God. There are things, against which there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). There are things that are lawful, but not necessarily profitable. God has given us lawful means to satisfy our bodily needs but there are unlawful means as well.

A large portion of our bodies is made up water. Thirst tells us we need to replenish the water in our bodies. God has given us lawful ways in which to do this. There are also ways which are contrary to God’ law. The same is true with food. We can sin in the way we eat. So to with the sexual impulses God has given us. These are to be fulfilled in a marriage relationship only. Fornication is a sexual act outside of marriage and therefore it is not lawful.

We are members of Christ’s body (Rom 12:5, 1Cor 12:27, Eph 5:30), joined to Him through His blood. If we join ourselves to another through fornication we destroy that unity in the same way as a marriage is destroyed by fornication (Matt 19:9). Fornication is a unique sin. All other sins we do to others or to our bodies, fornication we do with our bodies.

How are our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit? We are what makes up the church. The Holy Spirit dwells in the church – He therefore dwells in us (Eph 2:19-22, 1Cor 3:16).

When we live with the realization of the price that was paid for our salvation we will find it a lot easier to remain faithful to God’s word (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 1:17-19, Rev 5:9)

1 comment:

Peter P said...

Thanks for the great message.

"When we live with the realization of the price that was paid for our salvation we will find it a lot easier to remain faithful to God’s word " AMEN!