Updated 4 Oct 2019
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1 Corinthians 6
Paul is dealing with problems that existed in the church in Corinth. These problems remain issues for many in the church today.
Paul is very troubled that Christians are, all too easily, seeking to settle matters in the secular courts, instead of resolving issues between themselves. Going to the courts, often wastes valuable resources, which could be used for other purposes in God’s work. It also gives unbelievers the impression that Christians, who should know better, cannot solve their own problems.
Judging the World
There will be a day of final judgement, which God will declare to His world. Here, Paul tells us an amazing truth - that God’s redeemed people will play a part in that final judgement, including the judgement of angels. For now, God has made man to be in authority and to exercise rule in the world that He has made. However, we see in this chapter, that God's people will exercise authority and judgement over matters far more important than the trivial issues we face today!
If you go to court against a fellow believer, it suggests that you are incapable of reaching a righteous agreement. You need to be willing to forgive, even if this means losing an issue, because this will be a greater witness to those outside of Christ. Issues of immorality, theft, drunkenness, slander and swindlers, need to be handled with an understanding that, before many of us came to Christ, these things were part of our lifestyle. Despite our sins, when we repented, God forgave us and made us righteous in His sight, so we must always help others to do likewise. This does not mean that we tolerate sin but, even as God has shown mercy to us, we desire to show mercy to others. However, those who do not repent of their sins will receive judgement from God.
In terms of our attitude towards our sexuality, the Bible always argues for purity, self-control and faithfulness. Here, Paul reminds us that our bodies are members of Christ himself and temples of the Holy Spirit. They belong to God and He wants us to be responsible and pure in the way that we care for them. What we eat and how we look after ourselves, directly affects how we are able to serve God in this body, which is a gift from Him. When we misuse our bodies through immorality, adultery, sex outside of marriage or excessive eating and drinking, we not only endanger healthy relationships with others but we also invite disease and sickness - which then means that we are unable to serve God anyway! Paul refers to the phrase, "The two will become one flesh", which relates not only to a physical union but a much deeper bonding that happens as a result of a sexual relationship. We have been called to be united with Christ. Our deepest bonding needs to be with him and, as a result, we can reach out with the Gospel to others, with integrity and righteousness.
Bought at a Price
In order that we might be delivered from sin and brought into a relationship with God, an enormous price had to be paid. This body of flesh has been redeemed and set free from Satan’s power, because Jesus shed his blood. We have been born again, when we receive Jesus as our Saviour. We have eternal life, God's spirit lives in us and we have a relationship with God. Therefore, we must always resist the vulnerability that exists in these bodies of flesh in which we live. Jesus said, "The Spirit is willing, but the body is weak." However, if we truly believe that Jesus bore our sin in his body and that he was crucified for us then, when we receive him as our Saviour, we will no longer want to do the things that caused him to pay such an enormous price to rescue us.
Points to Consider:
- Do we resort to the world's ways of resolving disputes or are we prepared to seek to resolve things prayerfully and with humility before God?
- Reflect on the matter that you and I will be instruments in God’s judgement. What impact should that make upon how we live and how we treat others now?
- How could we improve our care for these bodies that God has given us?
- There is a direct link between our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being? Do we properly understand this?
- Consider again the terrible price that Jesus paid to rescue us from our sin. How should we respond?
God bless you!
Bible Study: 1 Corinthians 6
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