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! Don’t you realize that 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?
1 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NLT)
In 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 Paul was writing to the church in Corinth because he was shocked to hear that they were taking each other to court to be judged by a secular judge instead of taking the matter to the believers. He expressed his disapproval of the matter by asking them ‘how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to the believers?’ Some people may disagree with Paul’s outburst of shame to the church of Corinth, but Paul saw this as an embarrassment to the body of Christ. He wanted them to know that as Christians we represent Christ and we are members of one body. As members, we should show love to each other because filing a lawsuit against another believer contradicted Christian teaching and behavior.
Filing a lawsuit against another believer means going to a public court to be judged by unbelievers. As stated prior, this contradicts Christian teaching and behavior. In verse 2, it tells us that we (the body of Christ) will be judging the world. We should emulate Christ in every aspect of our lives, even when a brother offends us. Instead of taking the matter to the world for them to judge us, we should take the matter to a Pastor for them to judge over it. Going in front of the secular court to get justice over a fellow believer, shows the world that we cannot resolve simple matters by ourselves and it also shows the lack of love amongst the believers. This is also a poor witness to the body of Christ and will disenchant unbelievers to follow Christ. Bringing disputes of the believers into the public eye damages the reputation and witness of the church.
In conclusion, we should seek godly counsel from those God has ordain to rule over us and not seek counsel from the world. The church has the good news, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The world lacks this benefit because it does not know Christ. The gospel is supposed to reconcile believers in fellowship with one another in Christ. If we run to the world to solve our problems, then the world will think that the gospel is in-effective. As people of God we know that the gospel is effective. So before any of us as believers file a lawsuit against another brother or sister in Christ, seek God’s guidance and go to your set leadership.
Missionary Judith A. Gilzene Moodie
Pratt, Jr. Richard L. Holman New Testament Commentary 1& 2 Corinthians.