July 31, 2023
Settling Disputes in the Church
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-6.
It is amazing how much our culture today mirrors the Greek and Roman societies of the ancient world. I am not only talking about sin and immorality but also about how quickly people take one another to court. In the Greco-Roman world of Paul’s day, lawsuits were so common that they were nearly a form of entertainment. So Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth to remind them that they are called to a higher standard.
Yes, they were saved; yes, they were born again, but they brought their former lives with them into the church. So, when there was a dispute, they dragged each other into the local court to be judged by pagans as they had always done. And that is why Paul took time to deal with this issue. Arguments with fellow believers must be handled in the church, not out in the world. There is nothing that weakens the testimony of believers more than their inability to resolve their own disputes Biblically, to resolve their differences with a humble spirit in the likeness of Jesus.
One day, after Christ returns, Christians will judge the world (see 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). So Paul reasons that we must also be empowered to judge ourselves in trivial things with wisdom in Christ. You see, like many believers today, the Corinthian Christians did not fully understand their position in Christ. But when we recognize how Christ has exalted us, we will begin to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
Prayer: Father, I know You have given me a new identity. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. Help me to live as one who has access to Your divine wisdom. May I seek Your face and judge humbly and rightly with my brothers and sisters in Christ in whatever disputes come up. Help us to love well, remembering that love covers a multitude of sins. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“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?” (1 Corinthians 6:1).
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