You Must Be Joking!

[Originally posted by pastorbarney on 18 November 2015]

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.