Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

Who Can Judge?

1 Corinthians 6:1-20 We continue to meditate on judging others. First we learned not to judge anything before the time. Yesterday we saw where Paul judged the sin of a fornicator in the body and exhorted the body at Corinth to break fellowship with him until he repented. Today's passage states an amazing fact about our ability to judge: "Do you not that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?" (v. 3).

In this portion of his letter to the Corinthians, Paul exhorts the church to settle disputes between themselves rather than taking them to a court of law. When we enter courts of law we are dealing with people who are not submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ. They often are not godly counselors. God has given gifts of wisdom and discernment to certain people in the body who can give godly counsel and help settle disputes within the church.

We are at fault when we go to law against a brother or sister in Christ. Even as I am writing this, I know of a Christian man who is suing his wife for divorce. As of yet, only depositions have been given, and the wife and I are praying this will not go to court. This should never be in the body of Christ. I am reminded of how Pastor Cho in Korea settles disputes between wives and husbands in his church. He requires the couple to go to Prayer Mountain and fast and pray there for three days. He shares that when a couple is willing to do this, the great counselor, the Holy Spirit, is able to bring peace and restoration in the marriage. Once a case gets into the court system, there is the possibility of great damage to the souls involved. No one wins if things are settled without godly counsel.

Paul in this passage also gives a list of sins that are committed by the unrighteous. He lists fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners—and he declares those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Then he quickly adds, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (v. 11).

We as believers were in the world and did worldly things, but now we are in the kingdom of God, and these unrighteous acts should not be a part of our lives any longer. Fornication, Paul states, is the only one of these sins that is a sin against your own body. Since we are the body of Christ, we should not join the members of our body that belong to Christ to someone other than our marriage partner. Jesus is able to cleanse any of the above sins if we come to Him in true repentance and ask for His forgiveness. This is the good news. Through Jesus Christ we can become unworldly and filled with the kingdom of God—peace, righteousness and joy in the Holy Spirit. There is no unforgivable sin except the rejection of Jesus Christ who forgives.

READ: Ezra 10:1-44; 1 Corinthians 6:1-20; Psalm 31:9-18; Proverbs 21:3

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