You Must Be Joking!

Readings for today are Jeremiah 45-46 and 1 Cor. 6:1-11.

Today I will reflect on 1 Cor 6. For a range of reasons over the last few weeks I have looking at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church. It is strong and full of wisdom and grace. However, there are a number of maters that he needs to address due to the divisions and poor choices the people have been making.

In that mater before us in the first 11 verses of chapter 6, there is yet again another mater that needs to be addressed. Disputes among fellow believers. Yes, it is to be accepted that in the family of believers there will be times when members at loggerheads with each other. What stands out is that no matter what approach is taken to resolve the matter, DO NOT DO IT THE WAY YOU ARE CURRENTLY DOING IT.

The shock for Paul is that there were Christians who were taking matters before the courts and having non Christian judges adjudicate . So Paul speaks plainly. It is wrong (6:6-7). A church family should be able to resolve disputes with grace and without resorting to such action. Another problem is the attitude that I will stand up for my rights, which can quickly deteriorate into injustice and pain. The outcome is that we can often seek more compensation than that which we are actually entitled to.

Al of this involves fellow brothers and sisters. No wonder Paul is troubled. We too should also be troubled. At the heart of all of this is that the whole process demonstrates a very worldly attitude. In every matter we need to apply great spiritual discernment. Imagine that there will come a day when we will need to use such discernment and we can’t even arbitrate on any number of simple maters (6:5).

Yes we live in a fallen world which is expressed in vs. 9-10, but we are also one in Christ, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus. Paul expects better.

Acts 22:16 expresses a clean break from the past and shows that we are baptised in Christ. What comes with that is a fresh start. Let us all never forget that and act accordingly.

Ian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “You Must Be Joking!

  1. Thank you Ian. The Corinthian church was a very immature church – but a church non the less. Paul makes a point of reminding them as to what some of them were before coming to faith in Christ. Sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, any kind of homosexual, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive, swindlers. But he also reminds them that because they have been washed in the Blood of Christ they have been made new. Disputes between believers is nothing new. And its so painful. I remember I had said something that was out of place and hurt another sister. God had me looking for her for 2 1/2 years. I knew that I had to seek her forgiveness but He kept us from crossing paths I never saw her, didn’t know her name. Then one Sunday morning there she was right in my face. I knew that this was my moment to seek forgiveness from her. She was very gracious and I was relieved that after so long I could finally put this behind me.

    The list that Paul offers up might seem a little out of place for us ( maybe not for me) so how about these……………..
    gossip, jealousy, selfishness, laziness, pride, little white lies, ungodliness, unthankfulness, anger, envy, self consciousness, fear of man……………We too need to bring these “respectable sins” under the Blood of Jesus

    Jerry Bridges has written a great book titles Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins we Tolerate. Worth a read!!!

    I’m still waiting for a copy of our churches Conflict Resolution…………………..an important document for any church who wants its members to know how to handle conflict according to Biblical principles. Conflict is a normal part of relationships this side of Heaven but how we deal with conflict is what makes a healthy, mature church.

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