I Corinthians 6:1-20
Silly things people in churches fight over:
Whether or not to build a children’s playground or to use the
land for a cemetery (I’m dying to know the resolution of this
A church argument and vote to decide if a clock in the worship
center should be removed (I think this one is a timely argument.).
A fight over which picture of Jesus to put in the foyer (I just
want to know who took the pictures.).
An argument on whether the church should allow deviled eggs at
the church meal (Only if it’s balanced with angel food cake for
Last week we talked about the importance of church discipline
even when it is difficult. The purpose is to bring a wayward
believer to repentance and restoration.
Today we are going to examine the 6th chapter of 1 Corinthians.
Here we are going to see 2 problems within the church.
I Corinthians 6:1-8
The first problem Paul has identified is the problem of believers
taking other believers to civil court.
3 Reasons for Believers not to take other Believers to Court
This is a problem for 3 reasons;
● It is a terrible witness to unbelievers
Believers fighting among each other in civil court tells the world
that church members are no different than everyone else. God
God tells believers to be holy just as He is holy. This type of
behavior will surely tarnish the reputation of the church.
● It is a failure to recognize their position in Christ
Paul mentions that believers will judge the world. This is
interesting because in chapter 5 he wrote that God will judge the
world and they should judge believers. He is not contradicting
himself because the truth is that believers are In Christ.
The Bible calls us joint heirs with Christ. Paul also wrote to
Timothy that if we endure we will also reign with Him.
Paul also writes that the saints will also judge the angels.
I’m not too sure about how this works, but one thing I know is that
if God trusts His believers to judge the world and angels, I’m sure
he trusts us enough to handle disputes that may arise between
● It is an improper attitude between believers
Paul calls it a defeat for the church to have lawsuits among
Remember how Jesus described forgiveness in His sermon on
the mount. Matthew 5:40-42 “And if anyone would sue you
and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if
anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the
one who would borrow from you.”
Paul then asks two rhetorical questions.
Why not rather suffer wrong?
Why not rather be defrauded?
The true reason was pride. The Corinthian believers were still
babes in Christ and hadn’t truly grasped the concept of loving
your neighbor as yourself.
In fact, quite the opposite, Paul calls them out saying they defraud
and wrong their own brothers.
It’s an improper attitude for believers to have towards one
In keeping with the context of this letter to Corinth, Paul has
already mentioned that the wisdom of the world is nothing
compared to the wisdom of God.
Judges in the secular court do not have God’s wisdom. They are
not guided by the Holy Spirit and will only use the Roman law
as their guide. This is why Paul argues for believers to avoid the
secular court to settle minor disputes between one another.
I Corinthians 6:9-11
The next problem Paul mentions is the problem of,
Sexual Immorality Within the Church.
Corinth was a place with loose morals or maybe even no morals.
Some of the members had been continuing the practice of visiting
the temple prostitutes.
Paul’s point is to remind the believers that those who continue in
a sinful lifestyle were not truly saved.
He goes on to list a handful of sins saying those who practice
these things continuously will not inherit the kingdom of God.
We all have our favorite sins we like to complain about.
And we also have our favorite sins we don’t like to talk about.
Paul makes no distinction, neither does God, for sin is sin. And
every sin separates us from God and must be punished.
Verse 11 is my favorite verse of this chapter.
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were
sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
and by the Spirit of our God.”
I love it because it is a vivid picture of our life before Christ and
the fact that because of Jesus we have been justified and
sanctified. His blood has washed us clean.
I love the doxology found at the end of Jude.
Jude 1:24 “Now to him who is able to keep you from
stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence
of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion,
and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Jesus is able to keep us from stumbling.
Jesus will present us blameless before God.
Let’s take a look at the final verses of the chapter
I Corinthians 6:12-20
Paul answers two popular sayings in these verses.
All things are lawful for me.
His response to this is yes, it may be legal for someone to do
something, but it may not be beneficial to them.
Paul says he will not be dominated by anything.
I used to drink coffee. 2 cups a day for years.
My cardiologist told me I should quit.
He said he was not addicted to anything.
I was like, well good for you.
But recently my routine changed and I stopped drinking coffee.
Mainly because I forgot about it. But the point is I was able to stop
and I don’t suffer from headaches or withdrawals.
I’ll have the occasional cup once in a while, but I’m not even
drinking one cup a week.
Paul was definitely not talking about coffee, but he was talking
about being ruled by the things of the world.
His point was for the Corinthian believers to’
Flee Sexual Immorality.
Paul’s rationale is the first book of the Bible.
God describes marriage and how a man will leave his father and
mother and become one with his wife.
Anything outside of that is sexual immorality.
Being with a prostitute may have been acceptable in the
Corinthian culture, but God does not allow it.
Paul reminds them that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.
They are not their own.
They have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Christ.
His final urging is to glorify God in their bodies.
What a perfect segway to our application.
Glorify God in our bodies.
Practically speaking we should make sure to avoid civil litigations
with believers. Be willing to let the church make a decision on the
dispute and accept it regardless of the outcome.
Another thing we can do to glorify God is to follow His example of
love and forgiveness. When someone wrongs us, we should be
quick to forgive rather than be quick to anger.