1 Corinthians 6:1-10

1 Corinthians 6:1
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
The factions and greed in the church at Corinth had led to many lawsuits which found its way into the courts of the unjust. Whenever you have a load of Christians walking in the flesh, each one must have their own pride satisfied. If their pride cannot be satisfied, then they will be vindictive and take the matter to court, each believing they are correct. Paul is chiding them that the unjust or unsaved Judges do not have the spiritual understanding to adjudicate spiritual matters. Paul is saying to them, if you do have grievances, and there are legitimate grievances, then these should be mediated by Christians and not by the unsaved. This is something the Elders in churches should do, they should be willing to hear any grievances between two parties. These parties should also sign an agreement that the decision of the Elders would be final. Unfortunately, in most church situations the leadership is also involved in the factious fighting. There is a limit as to what the Elders can hear. They cannot judge criminal matters where there is a breaking of the civil laws, but they can sure get involved way before any criminal actions take place.
1 Corinthians 6:2
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Paul wanted them to know that they will have a part in the judgment of the unsaved of this world with Christ on the last day. Since this great privilege will be given to the saints in the future, shouldn’t they be qualified enough to judge petty matters? We do not know as to what extent the believers are going to partake in Judgment Day, but here we are told that the true believers are going to have a part. It may be that we will witness against those we witnessed to on earth and mocked us for our ministries. In contrast to the monumental task of the judgment of the wicked, how much less significant are the petty problems which we can judge or make decisions on in this present world. Christ made the believer worthy to be able to handle judgments. (Rev 3:4 KJV) Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
1 Corinthians 6:3
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
If the believer is going to be entrusted with some type of rule in the judgment, shouldn’t we be able to judge or make decisions on the things of this life? Here Paul states that we are going to be part of the judgment of the angels. He is, no doubt speaking about the fallen angels which followed Satan in the rebellion. Satan was already cast into the lake of fire before this final judgment takes place, so here will be the judgment of his followers. (Rev 20:10 KJV) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Paul again reveals to these Corinthians that they will also partake in the judgment of the angels, so in this life, is there anything more significant or greater than being in God’s courtroom? Paul is trying to get these Corinthian Christians to understand that their calling is much higher in this life than anything else, and their focus should be beyond the inconsequential situations in this world. Verses 2 and 3 negate the idea that Christians are not to judge. We are to make judgments every day as a regular part of the Christian life.
1 Corinthians 6:4
If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
Least esteemed - made of no account - (Remember the off scouring in 1 Cor 4:13)
Normally who are the ones who are least esteemed in most churches? The ones who are the strongest Bible believers in the churches are normally the ones who are neglected by the others and usually the first to go in a liberal purge. Those who hold no major position in a church would be the best to judge spiritual matters because:
1. They have nothing to gain.
2. The Holy Spirit dwells in them too.
3. They may be more apt to use the Bible than worldly wisdom.
4. They are probably less connected to any power structure, in or outside the church.
5. They will probably view any problem as a spiritual problem and approach it from that angle.
6. They can be unbiased because of their lowly position. Leadership may favor one side who is more
     influential in power or finances.
1 Corinthians 6:5
I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
Shame - Humiliation
Judge - make decision
Is there not at least one man in your group sufficient in the knowledge of the Scriptures to adjudicate these trifles? Paul is speaking to their shame or humiliation. He asks isn’t there at least one wise man in the whole church? Not even one that can make a decision between two brethren? Remember in the opening chapters of this book how Paul was chiding them for being babes. Here we see how deep that immaturity was established in the congregation. Was there no inkling of maturity in anyone? I believe we are seeing the results of following men instead of Christ. Maturity in the Christian Faith will never happen if a person follows the teachings of men instead of growing in the Scriptures, which cause us to grow in the Lord. Since this church was divided among followers of different preachers, there was no growth.
1 Corinthians 6:6
But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
Wherever the pride of man is exalted, the desecration of the church takes root. Anytime there is an unruly spirit in a church or a believer, it negatively affects the witness of the entire church to unbelievers.
1 Corinthians 6:7
(A) Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. (B) Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
A. Fault = failure or a defeat
Anytime two Christians cannot reach an understanding and then goes out shouting it from the roof tops to the unsaved world, there is a serious failure. Look at the following verses which give insight into this.
Proverbs 11:2 (shame) = reproach or dishonor - actual meaning “disgrace”
(Prov 11:2 KJV) When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Proverbs 13:10 (contention) = strife
(Prov 13:10 KJV) Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Proverbs 17:19 = He who loves strife loves sinning
(Prov 17:19 KJV) He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
1 John 3:10 - Results
(1 John 3:10 KJV) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
The difference between the child of God and the child of the world should be our attitude when wronged. Now this does not mean that if a person commits a crime against you which violates the civil laws that they are not culpable to the state. God gives civil government to protect the innocent and prosecute the offenders. If someone takes a shot at you, it is not revenge to call the Police. If you have been teaching a Sunday School class for ten years and the church boss says you can’t teach any more because he is placing his buddy in that position and you try to sabotage his class, then you are guilty of the spirit of revenge.
B. The principle here is for the preservation of your witness, it is better to suffer a loss. Worldly things will be relinquished anyway and will not continue into eternity. So what are you really losing? Look at some biblical principles:
(Lev 19:18 KJV) Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
(Prov 20:22 KJV) Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
(Prov 24:29 KJV) Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
(Rom 12:17 KJV) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
(1 Pet 3:9 KJV) Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
These five verses all have one common thread running through them. It is that the Christians should not take revenge for any purpose. If a Christian was wronged by another one, whether intentionally or not, God will deal with both parties to make sure the one who committed the offense is brought back into obedience and to make sure the one who was offended will not harbor a vengeful spirit. Revenge is a very sinful and deadly attitude. It can lead to actual murder. Revenge killings are a part of history. The Bible is teaching us that no Christian should ever have a spirit or desire to take revenge. Have you ever been cut off on the highway by an inconsiderate driver? Did you say to yourself that you would like to cut them off? That is the spirit of revenge and this is what Paul wants to make sure does not pervade the church at Corinth. It is also a warning for us too. We live in the day of the revengeful spirit. Just look at how overloaded the courts are with law suits.
1 Corinthians 6:8
Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Paul pointed out to them directly that they were doing evil to their own brethren. They were committing evil in the presence of the world. Paul likened their behavior to those of the unbelieving world. Christians are to put off the old man with its sinful behavior and put on the new man. We need to see Christians as blood bought brethren. (2 Cor 5:16 KJV) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, {10} Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
In these two verses Paul lays out a litany of sins which are committed by the world. He has done this to show them that their actions are mimicking the unsaved. These are not all the sins that man is capable of but it is a good representation of the mainstream sins of society. He is saying that those unsaved who commit sins will not inherit the Kingdom of God. He is speaking of the unsaved and the Corinthian Christians were acting just like them. He is also telling them this to make sure they check whether they are in the faith or not. Anyone who claims to be saved and still commits this list of sins is probably still unsaved. This is why he is warning them not to be misled. Just because someone joins a church, does not mean they are saved.
Deceived = Misled
Fornicators - One who practices illicit sex or an immoral person
Idolaters - Those who still practice the idolatry of religion or who places something between them and Christ believing the thing has more value
Adulterers - Sleeping with the spouses of those they are not married to
Effeminate - Soft - (Metaphoric for partner of a homosexual)
Nor abusers of themselves with mankind - Sodomites (male)
Thieves - Those who steal from one another
Covetous - One who desires more or greedy
Drunkard - Drinking was always in accord with an idolatrous feast.
Revilers - An abusive person or slanderer
Extortioners - Robber or swindler who preys on another