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MY STANDING AND MY LIVING Let’s Get Ready To Rumble! Christians Against Christians I Corinthians 6:1-8 Introduction: Paul was disturbed for what was happening to the Corinthian church. There was sexual immorality and there were lawsuits involving members in the church filed in the secular court. These scandals in the church, was affecting her testimony in the city. The practice of filing lawsuit was actually a common practice among the Greeks and actually loved by them. And this is the concern of Paul. He had to explain to them that it should not apply in Christianity. Background: When we study the details of Athenian law we see what a major part the law courts played in the life of any Athenian citizen; and the situation in Corinth would not be so very different. If there was a dispute in Athens, the first attempt to settle it was by private arbitrator. In that event one arbitrator was chosen by each party, and a third was chosen by agreement between both parties to be an impartial judge. If that failed to settle the matter, there was a court known as The Forty. The Forty referred the matter to a public judge and the public arbitrators consisted of all Athenian citizens in their sixtieth year; and any man chosen as judge had to act whether he liked it or not under penalty of disfranchisement. If the matter was still not settled, it had to be referred to a jury court which consisted of 201 citizens for cases involving less than about 50 British pounds and 401 citizens for cases involving more than that figure. There were indeed cases when juries could be as large as anything from 1,000 to 6,000 citizens. Juries were composed of Athenian citizens over 30 years of age. They were actually paid 3 obols a day for acting as jurymen, 1 obol being worth about 1/2 pence. The citizens entitled to act as jurymen assembled in the mornings and were allocated by lot to the cases on trial. It is plain to see that in a Greek city every man was more or less a lawyer and spent a very great part of his time either deciding or listening to law cases. The Greeks were in fact famous, or notorious, for their love of going to law. (Barclay commentary) In doing this the church is sending a bad observation to the community:


I. For The Community It Shows: 1. Lack of knowledge

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don't you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves? 1 Cor 6:1-2 Don't you realize that we will judge angels? 1 Cor 6:3a

The Corinthian had failed to live up to its full Position in Christ in view of the fact that the Christians will one day appear before the judgment seat of Christ and will witness the judgement of the world and even of fallen angels. (Jude 1:14-15). Paul suggests that they ought to be able to settle their discrepancies here on earth. 2. Lack Of Ability

And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves? 1 Cor 6:2b Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 1 Cor 6:5 3. Lack Of Discernment And Propriety

If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 1 Cor 6:4-5 So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. 1 Cor 6:3b


4. Lack Of Trust

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! 1 Cor 6:1

But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers! 1 Cor 6:6 II. For The Church It Was: 1. Stupid act v.5-6 2. Humiliation v.6 3. Complete defeat v.7 4. Controlled by the flesh v.5, 8

For you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world? 1 Cor 3:3-4 5. Victory for Satan III. For The Believers It Suggests: 1. Learn to sacrifice

Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? I Corinthians 6:7 2. Stop cheating and doing wrong to fellow believers to avoid conflict

Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers. 1 Cor 6:8


IV. For Us We Should:

DEPEND ON THE ABILITY OF THE CHURCH TO SETTLE ISSUES IMPAIR NOT THE TESTIMONY OF THE CHURCH SHUN SATAN TO GAIN VICTORY IN THE CHURCH PONDER A WHILE BEFORE ACTING UNAWARE NOT OF WHAT SCRIPTURE TEACHES TAKE NOT DISPUTES TO THE CIVIL COURT ENDURE INJUSTICE SOMETIME FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHURCH SELECT THINGS FOR THE GOOD OF FELLOW BELIEVERS AND THE CHURCH Story: An amusing news story from Wales told of a feud in a church looking for a new pastor. It read: "Yesterday the two opposition groups both sent ministers to the pulpit. Both spoke simultaneously, each trying to shout above the other. Both called for hymns, and the congregation sang two -- each side trying to drown out the other. Then the groups began shouting at each other. Bibles were raised in anger. The Sunday morning service turned into a pandemonium. Through it all, the two preachers continued trying to oust shout each other with their sermons. "Eventually a deacon called a policeman. Two came in and began shouting for the congregation to be quiet. They advised the forty persons in the church to return home. The rivals filed out, still arguing. Last night one of the groups called a let's-be-friends' meeting. It broke up in argument." The item was headlined, "Hallelujah! Two Jacks in One pulpit." It could have been bannered, "Two Factions in One fellowship


MY STANDING AND MY LIVING - Christians Against Christians