Unresolved Disputes In The Church

The Problem Of Unresolved Disputes

1 Corinthians 6

In the days of the Apostle Paul, we know that in Greek culture we find that they were a quarrelsome people and actually enjoyed taking their problems to the law for settlement.

In our last few lessons we have seen that it is not the job of the Church to judge this lost world, that is the job of God!

If we are not to judge the lost world then why would we even think that the lost should judge any matter of concern to the Church?

How can any preacher teach the superiority of a life in Jesus Christ, if Christians then feel that they must call on the world to settle their disputes for them?

We must be clear, this church was already a divided Church.

They were divided over God’s messengers.

They were divided over immorality.

They were divided because of envy.

And they were divided over trivial matters that had no real meaning to either party!

This church was so full of “Babes in Christ” that their confusion was the main cause of their division!

We must also be very clear, these Scriptures do not mean that Christians are never to defend themselves under the laws of government!

It is always necessary to call in the law and the police to vindicate and to protect us from crime and criminals!

The Apostle Paul is teaching us about things that are private, personal, and of individual interest, to those of the “Body of Christ” and not about crime or criminals.

Personal matters between two Christians should be settled according to the Word of God!

When we face the Lord Jesus at the “Judgment seat of Christ” we will not be judged over trivial matters in our past history unless these things affect the work of the Church!

Allowing a carnal world to judge matters that are private between two Christians will certainly affect the work of the Church!

It is hard to imagine a church with so many problems, who was so careless about serious sins, and who were also so quick to go outside the church in civil court to settle trivial disputes.

We can see they were certainly “Babes in Christ” who lacked in “faith” but also knowledge of the Word of God, even after God had sent two of His best messengers to this Church.

Let’s Begin:

*****1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

The Apostle Paul uses that word “dare” to imply that to do such a thing was in defiance of the Word of God and even challenging the truth of the Scriptures!

What had God said?

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Those that are “unjust” are all those that do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior!

It is rare that a Christian receives justice from those that are “unjust” because they would first be judging the facts of a salvation, that they know nothing about!

The truth is, that we can be justified only by our Supreme Judge, who is the only Fountain of Justice and we should know that we should not expect justice from an unjustified judge!

Paul was very clear in his opinion that it was better to bear injustice and even be wronged, rather than go before a heathen tribunal!

If two people could not come to some reasonable conclusion themselves, then they should take the matter before the saints of God and allow them to decide and end this thing before it went any further.

But even before these things, the first place to go is before the Lord in prayer!

And Paul proceeded to give his reasons according to the Word of God.

*****1Co 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?

These same “Babes in Christ” who refused to judge incest within the House of God would turn around and sue each other over things that were so trivial they could have easily have been settled just by taking the matter to the Lord and then the Lord’s people!

Will the saints of God judge the world? There are many Scriptures that make this statement true and it should be accepted as the truth!

Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Dan 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, “and judgment was given to the saints of the most High”; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

What are the facts?

1) Christians should be able to settle any dispute that comes between them!

2) Christians should never insist on having things their way even if they are right!

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

How often are we to forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

These things are not always easy to do but this is the truth of the Word of God!

But when one brother goes to the law with another brother it cannot preserve the peace and understanding of the Word of God!

It shows the bonds of love are broken between the saints of God and these things ruin the testimony of the Church!

Solomon who had experienced in such things wrote that such things would cause harm in the relationship of these saints!

Pro 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

It is true that the saints of God will sit with the Lord on His throne, which designates the world under the absolute control of the Lord and will judge the world and Christians should not “dare” to do anything that goes against the Word of God and certainly not over trivial matters that have no real consequence other than showing the world just how carnal a Church can be that is not led by the Word of God!

America is now known as the land of the lawsuit and the Church members must not get caught up in such things!

*****1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

There is a reason that there will not only be a New Earth but also a New Heaven.

Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:

It is a fact that even the angels are not perfect and not one, even the highest angelic excellence, falls infinitely short of our Perfect God!

We may not understand this verse exactly except to accept it as the truth.

The saints of God will be made into perfection and have the mind of Christ on that day when we meet Him in the air and we will then understand all things!

1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, “when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

In truth, the things in this life, beyond salvation and the work that the Lord has given us to do, are much to trivial to waste much our time on for they yield nothing but trouble!

1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

The rewards of this world come to those who obey the Word of God and certainly the rewards of the world to come!

*****1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

Notice that no one was to judge things relating to the life or death of a fellow brother or sister in Christ, these things would be judged in the Legal System.

It was trivial disputes, things that pertain to this life, that continued to divide this Church!

In the Church no one has more authority than any other but it is a fact that Christians come from all walks of life.

Paul is saying to set them to judge who were farmers or ordinary workers rather than those who were educated in higher learning or who had businesses in that day.

Paul was saying let those who had “common sense” rather than “business sense” be the judge of these trivial things that was affecting the church in an evil way!

It would be a rare thing that those who were the poor of those days were ever caught up in law suits!

As an example, when the Apostles chose the first Deacons, the main requirement was that they be full of the Holy Ghost.

Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Things that affect the Church are best decided by those who cherish the Church and Love the Lord and are full of the Holy Ghost!

*****1Co 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?

The Greek word for shame is “entrope”.

In science “entropy” is a measure of disorder and confusion!

These that had set themselves above their own brothers and sisters in Christ had forgotten true wisdom.

True wisdom comes from a fear of the Lord!

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

These Corinthians were so confused in their “Doctrine” they went against their own beliefs!

True wisdom is in the “Body of Christ” and not out in this “Lost World”!

It was also a shame to them that they had gloried in their own wisdom and boasted of their own abilities, but still felt that the heathen world could best settle their most insignificant matters.

What does God say of these things?

Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Until all earthly wisdom is removed from the the Body of Christ, there will continue to be envy and strife in the Church!

What is the result of earthly wisdom?

*****1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

What is the truth of such people?

1Jn 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

This is why Paul spoke to the shame of these brothers in Christ!

They simply had to grow out of all these things before the Church of Corinth was destroyed.

The work and the outreach of this Church was already tarnished!

What was the truth?

*****1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

These things are even more important today that in Paul’s day!

It is said that the Christian is his own worst enemy!

Our military has a saying that no man be left behind.

But the modern day church leaves it’s own wounded warriors on the battlefield to die!

Christians certainly do have arguments and disagreements with each other but by following the Word of God, all disputes can be settled but the truth of the Scripture says, that those that suffer in the name of the Lord are following in the footsteps of Jesus.

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Even when we are right, it is sometimes best to lose an argument or a settlement than to lose a brother in Christ!

To defraud is “deception” and it is Satan who is the Deceiver!

To defraud is unrighteousness!

*****1Co 6:9 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, 1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The unrighteous are simply those that do wrong!

There are many today that think that Church membership is their ticket into Heaven but that is simply not true!

What is the truth? Faith without works is dead!

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Christianity is not in outward service!

Christianity is living a spiritual life led by the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is in these things:

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Note: Before we move on from this passage we should take note of that word “effeminate”.

As the gay movement and the sins of homosexuality, have made their way into the Church, we can see that those “effeminate”, those men who submit themselves to be used sexually as women are also mentioned along with fornicators those who operate outside the bonds of marriage between “one man and one woman” along with all these other things.

Upon salvation all these things are to cease and the fruit of the Spirit should rule in all our lives!

*****1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

There is not one of us that did not fit into at least one of these categories before salvation!

We cannot be perfect after accepting the Lord Jesus as our Savior while we still live in these wicked bodies but we are to do our best to try!

Any man or woman, no matter how wicked can be saved and “transformed” through “faith” in Jesus Christ!

The object of the death of Jesus Christ was so that we are washed in His blood.

Christ has cleansed His Church!

We are not washed by the water of Baptism, we are washed by the Word of God on which we base our “faith”!

When we find the Lord, we will find the real purpose and the true meaning of life!

***To be “sanctified” is to be set apart for God’s use. God will not use us to continue in our sin!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

To be sanctified is to become a saint of God!

1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

***To be “justified” is to be declared righteous!

The only way to be justified in the eyes of God is by “faith” in Jesus Christ!

All believers are made right with God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is credited to our account by “faith”!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

These things can only happen by the mercy of God!

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When we are no longer deceived by the foolishness of this world, we will not do the things that this world does!

Just because the world approves of some sinful thing, we are still to follow the Word of God in all things!

*****1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

I believe the thought of this passage to be this.

Unless some practice is specifically revealed in the Scriptures to be right or wrong, each believer should use the context of all scripture as his guide and formulate his own convictions about it.

We should be guided by these two things:

1) This thing must never be allowed to be our master!

Among these things would be drugs, alcoholic drinks, smoking, gambling and any other behavior that could become addictive!

Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

2) We must abstain from anything which threatens out testimony as servants of the Lord, but also anything that could become a stumbling block in any other Christian’s life!

1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord redeemed us and we now belong to our Redeemer!

*****1Co 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Food was made to be nourishment for the body and it is therefore indifferent.

The body was not created for fornication. Fornication is a sin against the body.

What ever evil things in one body passes to the other body such as Aids, and many other Venereal diseases.
Fornication is therefore not indifferent as is food!

The body was made for the Lord and the Lord for the body!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

If it is reasonable to give our bodies over to the Lord’s use, then it is unreasonable to not do so!!!!!!

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

If the Lord has the power to save us and He does, then He certainly has the power to keep us saved and use us under His own power!

*****1Co 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

The power that raised the body of Jesus Christ from the grave is surely strong enough to raise our bodies from the bondage of corruption and place us in a position of the first resurrection or even the Rapture of the Church!

Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

We are the members of Christ because the Church is the “Body of Christ”!

We are the branches, He is the Vine!

We are the lively stones, he is the Foundation and the Corner Stone!

We are the ship, He is the Captain of the ship!

If we are Christians, Christ Jesus regards our bodies as having a vital connection with Him!

The Lord had a human body when He walked upon this earth and that human body that was raised to Heaven is the model into which our bodies will be changed!

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

God forbids us to allow our bodies to be used as a harlot!

A harlot is one who will prostitute her body for hire!

A Christian prostitute is one who forsakes the true God, and Our Lord and prostitutes their body for Satan!

Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

*****1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Most of the world we live in does not want to see this verse but the pure truth is a marriage is to be between one man and one woman!

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be “one flesh”.

This is to be an unbroken unity between one man and one woman throughout their remaining days!

The Lord Jesus reinforced this Scripture:

Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

No intercourse between the sexes is free from sin, except under the sanction of marriage and that according to the standard of one man and one woman as the Scriptures state!

Fornication, Adultery, and all manner of Homosexual activity is sin pure and simple!

Just as this is true, so is the relationship of Christ to the Christian believer!

*****1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

There must be a bond, similar to the marriage bond, between Jesus Christ and His Church but not only that but between Christ Jesus and the soul of the believer!

Spiritual life depends on that bond with Christ!

Jesus Christ must live in the heart of the believer!

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

When God looks over the portals of Heaven and He does not see His Son in each and every believer then we are not saved from His wrath!

We must realize that we are in training for that future life to come or other words, why do we pray that “God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”!

God’s will is, that we live as we are ready for Heaven and watching and patiently waiting to get there!

We must not just avoid sin but we must flee from sin!

To flee is to run away from sin as rapidly as we possibly can!

*****1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

In a battle with sin there can be no victory, so there must be absolute flight!

Sexual sin will leave their remains in your body and to flee from those sins is of even a greater need for they will destroy the body!

It may seem that drugs, alcohol, gluttony and even suicide would fall in this same category but they are still sin that is outside the body. Though they injure the body whereas the source of sexual sin comes from the uncleanness of the heart.

It is the uncleanness of the heart that defiles the body!

Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Once saved we are endowed with the Holy Spirit and therefore a Temple of God!

*****1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

As Christians, our bodies belong to God and not to ourselves!

Our bodies are the members of Christ and for His use!

We absolutely have no right to unite our bodies with some other body in any sexual relation outside the bondage of a Biblical Marriage!

This is sin against our own bodies which could easily result in one of many sexually transmitted diseases not to mention many psychological disorders!

The payment for our bodies was the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ!

When we clearly understand these facts, it provides us with the knowledge to discern between right and wrong and what’s good and and what’s evil and will control our behavior.

Only then can we glorify God in our bodies and our “Born Again” spirit!

The Heavens declare the Glory of God!

The Angelic host glorifies God!

As the redeemed of the Lord, we are also to glorify God!

Our glorifying must begin with our praise!

Psa 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.


Let’s Pray!