Friday 17 March 2017

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

“In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud – and believers at that.” (vv. 7-8)

1 Corinthians 6:1-11 Friday 17 March 2017

Psalm: Psalm 119:161-176


Paul was upset that the Corinthian church was failing to act asa community, and that its members were not taking responsibilityfor one another.

He suggested that some of the matters that they were taking tothe civil courts were trivial and they should be able to sort themout themselves. In verses 1 and 2 he uses Saint as a word for aChristian, for someone living a sanctified life.

The Christian inheritance meant that Christians could judgeangels (verse 3), and yet the behaviour of the Corinthians wasbelying this. Rather they were getting non-believers to makejudgements on believers in straightforward cases, and in doing somaking the church look ridiculous.

Paul suggests that it would be preferable to let themselves bewronged or defrauded (verse 7). Such a suggestion in our rightsculture today would seem to be a travesty of justice andcontroversial to us.

Paul made an impressive list of the type of wrongdoers who wouldnot inherit the kingdom of God (verses 9-10). And he notes thatsome of the Corinthians had been/were like this, but then they werewashed (baptized) and brought into the holiness of participation inChrist.

Strong meat from Paul.

It might seem that he was describing a hopelessly, idealisedcommunity which could only exist in the abstract. A prescriptionfor failure and discouragement from live human community. Orperhaps he can be seen to setting the bar high, because he saw somevery real challenges that threatened to abort the health of theCorinthian church.

The church seemed to have an inflated ego, and Paul was at painsto show that their collective egos were well and thriving; theirspiritual health, however, was not so great! And the collusion ofego massaging was producing great resistance to the life of theSpirit in their community.

To Ponder

  • Are there times where it is appropriate to let yourself bewronged and defrauded? And times where this is inappropriate. Whenand why? How do you deal with a sense of feeling weak?
  • In what ways does Christian faith give you wisdom-in-communityto deal with some of your ethical choices? And how has this workedin your experience?
  • When might there be a role for the Church in arbitrating incommunity disputes? Perhaps we might see this as part of the callto be peace-makers.
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