Going To Court

Q. Re: 1 Corinthians 6:6-7. Would you please help with these verses? My understanding of them is telling me that we should not take others to a court of law. That we should just take what is being dished out and leave the rest up to God.

A. That’s not exactly what Paul meant. You have to read 1 Cor. 6:1-8 to get a complete understanding of his instructions. First of all, the issue was disputes between believers, not the general public.

In essence Paul was saying that believers should use the wise counsel of other believers to help them settle disputes between them rather than relying on secular courts.

Earlier, Jesus said the same thing in Matt. 18:15-17. He said if we couldn’t settle a matter between us to ask a couple of brothers to help, and if that didn’t work to take it in front of the church.

When believers resort to the secular courts for resolution of an issue it’s like they’re admitting that even with the powers of discernment available to us there’s no one in the fellowship wise enough to settle a dispute between them, so they would rather take their chances with an unbeliever.

Paul said we should rather lose than let that happen (1 Cor. 6:7 ). A lawsuit is an adversarial process that right from the beginning violates the Lord’s commandment to love one another (John 15:12) and presents a poor witness to the unbelieving world no matter how it turns out.

He said instead of using the courts, the church should appoint ordinary believers as judges and we should agree to let them settle our disputes. After all we’ll be involved in judging the world, and even the angels. Shouldn’t we be able to judge things between ourselves?

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