A Visible Difference, 1 Corinthians 6, Pastor Steve

A Visible Difference? — 1 Corinthians 6 

Don’t you realize?

  1. Don’t you realizethat someday we believers will judge the world?  And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves. (v2)
  1.  God gave Christians the privilege to Judge the new world with Him, so why would God’s Leaders ask for a ‘secular’ judge?

(this idea of judging is found in Rev 2:26-27)

1 When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of  taking it to other believers!

  • Now, just how we will do this we are never told. We are not told whether we are all assigned a little throne to sit on, and have a certain number of people come to us, or whether we divide up according to the alphabet…okay maybe not.  But some how we will judge people…with Jesus.
  • This Matter should be taken up with other Believers…
  • God is Hoping for Christian’s to make a visible difference in the the world by judging their own matters in house.

If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church?

story: Just last week, I heard about a current issue of a Christian magazine and read a report concerning two Christian organizations that are both involved in smuggling Bibles. They are now suing each other before the courts for actions and damages.  As I read the article I could not help but wonder if they had spent any time reading the Bibles they smuggle, because here in this passage Paul is very clearly saying that kind of thing among believers is definitely wrong!

2. Don’t you realizethat we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. (v3)

  1. Is anyone in the Church Wise Enough?

 I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!

  • The church ought to provide wisdom and help in difficult disagreements or we will look foolish in “front of unbelievers”
  • If Christ was exalted above all angels (Eph 1:20-23), and we are in Him and are like Him, and if we are to reign with Him, it must be somehow that we share in His authority…then we ought to able to work out matters of disagreement today!
  • There are two references in the New Testament to the judgment of angels. We are reminded in 2 Peter that, “For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment.” 2 Peter 2:4
  • And in the little book of Jude we are also told about “…the angels that did not keep their own position but…have been kept by him in eternal chains…until the judgment of the great day,” (Jude 6).
  • Therefore it is the duty of all believers to learn how to judge, how to be wise — that is one of the major reasons we are here on earth.  To be wise and make Godly judgments.
  1. Can the Christians Live Right to the Watching World?

Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.

      2. It is far better to lose financially than spiritually

  • As far as the cause of Christ is concerned it has already been degraded in the eyes of the watching world.
  • No matter who wins the lawsuit, the gospel is still going to suffer.
  • If we are wronged or defrauded, we should be forgiving in the hopes that salvation and love will rule the day.

“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16

“What we should never forget is that, as believers, we are called to demonstrate a different life style before the world, one in which we are ready to surrender personal rights for the cause that we serve. “

  • You recall that incident in the Gospels (Luke 19:1-10) when Jesus came into Jericho and he saw Zacchaeus, the tax collector, up in a tree, Jesus called him down and went to his home for lunch and afterwards Zacchaeus came out and began to give away his money. He began to repay those from whom he had stolen, and repay them not only the amount he had stolen, but four times as much. Nobody has ever doubted that Zacchaeus was converted from that day on — it changed his whole life. His attitude changed so completely that his behavior began to alter almost immediately. This is what Paul is saying.

I must note, I do not think Paul means that Christians are never to go to law; sometimes that is impossible to avoid. If a lawsuit is brought against you, it may be necessary for you to defend it. In certain cases, at least, this may be the only way that justice can be brought out.

 

3. Don’t you realizethat those who do wrong (or ‘are unrighteous’) will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. (vv9-10)

I would want to ask to the Corinthians, if you act like this, then why do you  keep pretending you are saved?

  1. Characteristics of an Ungodly Society
  • Sexual Sin…fornicators who have unmarried sex
  • Worship Idols…following false religions and cults
  • Commit Adultery…married people indulging in sexual acts outside of marriage
  • Male Prostitutes/Homosexuality…exchanging and corrupting male-female sexual roles with same sex roles
  • Thieves/Greedy…desire what belongs to someone else
  • Drunkards…alcohol abuse and misuse
  • Abusive…wound with words of hate and cause misery
  • Cheat…steal through lies and false advertising

    2. Characteristics of a Godly Society

11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 

What happened to you?  They let bad ideas creep in!! Look at these 2 Paul wrote about…

12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.

You say,  “I am allowed to do anything” you Corinthians say… How many times have you heard the argument today that sex is like that? Sex organs were made for sex, therefore, it is natural and right to satisfy them, and, “When you feel the urge, it is OK to merge!” That is what they say, isn’t it? 

Well things are different for those in the Godly society…

  • Cleansed/Made Holy …God made us right with Him
  • Slave to Nothing…not bad things, not food, not sex, nothing!
  • Made for the Lord…The Lord cares about our bodies
  • Raised from the Dead…by God, ’just as He raised our Lord Jesus’

4. Don’t you realizethat your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! (or “may it never be”) (v15)

  • Corinth was a city given over to the worship of sex.  A thousand priestesses from the temple of Aphrodite that stood on the little hill behind the ancient city would come down into the streets at night and ply their trade. Sexual promiscuity, therefore, was accepted and highly regarded in that culture, as it is pretty much the same today here in California. Paul knew what was happening…
  1. We are believer’s in Jesus…we are of the Lord and part of the the Lord’s Own Body
  2. Now who would take the Lord’s body and connect it to a prostitute or harlot…May it never be!
  • God has a purpose for it in the life to come. That is why we are given physical sex. It is designed to teach us what we are like, who we are, what our role is.  It is for us to fill the planet and enjoy doing it!!

5. Don’t you realizethat if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. (vv16-17)

  1.  Adam and Eve learned this point from their Creator.

“This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” (Genesis 2:24)

  1. Sexual relations Involve a union: the man and woman become one flesh.  That’s the meaning of…the two are United into one!
  • Not only is prostitution sin, so is sex outside of marriage
  • Now many have had sexual sin, and have been forgiven, but know God always gives us laws and rules that make our lives honor Him and more enjoyable.

18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.

6. Don’t you realizethat your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (vv19-20)

2. Our bodies have an Owner , and we are not it. God is the one in charge…                                               He bought us with a high price, the sacrifice of His Son.

  • Therefore, based on all that God has done for us and all that he have taught us, and all that He has made of our lives, let’s honor God with our Bodies!

 “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Peter 1:18-19

Prayer

Lord, we thank you for these searching words. We confess to you how feeble has been our understanding of our own nature, our sexuality, and all about us, how easily we have succumbed to the lies and illusions of the world around us. Forgive us Lord, and help us in the light of revelation of truth to walk in different ways than we have ever walked before. Help us to present before the watching world a visible manifestation of the beauty of holiness and the joy of a life that walks in close communion with a God who dwells within. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.