This sermon was based on 1 Corinthians 6:1-11.
Lawsuits Among Believers
1If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!
7The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters.
9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men6:9 The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts. 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
REMEMBER YOUR AUTHORITY
- Paul teaches that the saints will judge the world and judge angels.
- God created humanity as both physical and spiritual beings – but at the fall we died spiritually.
- There was another fall in the spiritual realm when Satan rebelled against God.
- Since then he has been causing trouble and opposing God on the earth.
- Christ came, and in his death defeated Satan. As the gospel message is spread Satan’s rule is diminished and his defeat is compounded.
- His final defeat will come on the judgment day – all the angels and nations will stand before the throne of Christ. The saints reign with Christ and will play a part in this judgment.
- If we have this authority in eternity, surely we can deal with the disagreements that arise between us instead of turning to the law courts (as the Corinthians have done).
- This is being applied to personal conflicts, not crimes.
REMEMBER YOUR IDENTITY
- In verses 9-11 Paul described the lifestyle of Corinth and reminds the church that some of them used to live this way.
- In Christ there is a total change of identity and behaviour.
- Now as we live for Christ we are his ambassadors and our actions reflect on him.
- Getting involved in conflicts like the one in Corinth are a lose-lose situation for the cause of Christ.
LAY DOWN YOUR RIGHTS
- We may have rights, but often the best thing to do with those rights is to lay them down for the good of somebody else and the cause of the gospel.
- This is exactly what God did for us in Christ – even though he was in the right and we were in the wrong, he was willing to endure the wrong on himself to reconcile us to him.