Tuesday, October 8, 2019

1 Corinthians 6 (Pt 3)

1 Corinthians 6:7 (ESV)
[7] To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
Many read 1 Corinthians 6 and conclude that we just need to let people walk over us for the sake of our testimony. But verse 7 is not the only verse in the chapter. Yes, at some point we may need to just take the loss and write it off as covered by the cross. But the chapter also has these verses.
[3] Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! [4] So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? [5] I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, (1 Cor 6:3-5).
This is what taking a matter to the church is about. When there is a dispute we ought to be able to call together wise, godly people from within the church that can judge the matter. We are not just doomed to being taken advantage of. This, of course, necessitates three things. First, we need to have wise, godly people in the church. There usually are, but we may have to look for them. Second, we need to be willing to be held accountable to them. Too often we just walk away and look for another church. Third, we need to be willing to bring the matter to them in the first place. Too often we are either overly aggressive, attacking others, or we are overly passive, letting people walk over us. Neither honors God.

Biblical unity is not easy. It takes time and energy. It requires biblical and spiritual wisdom, and the courage to exercise it. It requires a willingness to confront in a firm but gracious manner. It requires that Christ be more important to us than our stuff because sometimes it requires us to be willing to take the loss, forgive, and go on. Unfortunately today it is easier to either go find another church with people I like, or grit my teeth and keep worshiping with people I don’t really like. Neither of those two options honor God. Neither of those two options are biblical unity. Neither of those two options are spiritually healthy choices. What God has in mind is for believers to live as brothers and sisters in unity, forgiveness, and love no matter what. That’s not easy, but if the world could ever see it, what a testimony it would be.

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