1 Corinthians 6

This devotional is written by Sirine Hammami

1 Corinthians 6

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Lawsuits among believers

6 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court – and this in front of unbelievers!

7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Sexual immorality

12 ‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’– but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.’ The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.


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Paul now addresses two more issues that have arisen in the Corinthian church.

Lawsuits Among Believers
Firstly, an issue where believers are taking one another to court. It was common practice in Greek culture to take one another to court over nothing and everything. Paul calls out the Corinthians for doing the same over every minor issue. The issue for Paul, an apostle charged with proclaiming the gospel of reconciliation is that Christians were using the courts to enact revenge on other Christians who had wronged them. The church was losing it's witness. We are meant to be salt and light, living counter culturally. [This, of course, doesn’t mean Christians can never enter into litigation. Nor that the church should handle all wrong behaviour internally. Some crimes must be handled by the courts.]

Sexual Immorality
The second relates to the believer's conviction that they are free to do whatever they want. The Corinthian logic is that because we have been saved and set free from sin, no longer under the law - I can do as I please. Paul makes clear, however, that not everything is beneficial despite our freedom. Our bodies matter. We are not simply spiritual beings where what we do in the physical doesn’t matter. The physical matters greatly to God. God created everything. Jesus was incarnate on the earth as a physical man. When we take communion we remember through physical matter bread and wine , Jesus' body broken for us and His blood shared for all of us. We also believe that we meet Jesus through these elements by his Holy Spirit. It is both spiritual and physical and we shouldn't compartmentalise. Our physical bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, so we ought to cooperate with what Jesus has done for us and live as holy people, honouring God with the whole of our lives - including our bodies.

Let’s meditate on the wonder and privilege that God chooses to dwell in us by his Spirit.

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