1 Corinthians 6 (New International Version)
Lawsuits Among Believers
1 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters.
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. 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.
God’s great work for us in Jesus Christ is described in three terms.
You were washed: We are washed clean from sin by the mercy of God (Titus 3:5). We can have our sins washed way by calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). We are washed by the work of Jesus on the cross for us (Revelation 1:5) and by the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26).
You were sanctified: We are set apart, away from the world and unto God, by the work of Jesus on the cross (Hebrews 10:10), by God’s Word (John 17:19), by faith in Jesus (Acts 26:18), and by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:16).
You were justified: We are declared “just” before the court of God; not merely “not guilty,” but declared to be “just” before Him. We are justified by God’s grace through the work of Jesus on the cross (Romans 3:24), by faith and not by our own deeds (Romans 3:28).
The Corinthian mindset in modern day:
“Sex is a function of the body—a drive which man shares with animals, like eating, drinking, and sleeping. It is a physical demand that must be satisfied. If you don’t satisfy it, you will have all sorts of neurosis and repression cycosis. Sex is here to stay; let’s forget the prudery that makes us hide from it. Throw away those inhibitions, find a girl who is like-minded, and let yourself go.”
–Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Enterprises
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
Augustine was a Christian who had a lot of trouble with keeping sexually pure. For a long time, it kept him from really following God. He used to pray, “God, make me pure – but not just yet.” But there came a point where he really turned everything over to God. He stopped hanging around with his companions in sexual immorality, and stopped going to the neighborhood where he used to meet them. Then once he had to go there on business, and on the street he met an old flame. She was glad to see him, and started running to him with arms outstretched, saying, “Augustine! Where have you been for so long? We have missed you so!” Augustine did the only thing he could do: he started running the other way. She called out to him, “Augustine, why are you running? It’s only me!” He looked back, while still running, and said, “I’m running because I’m not me!” He was a different man because of Jesus, living a different way. If we have had our lives changed by Jesus, it will show in the desire to flee sexual immorality.
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Let us sing today to the Holy Spirit, who helps us honor God with our bodies, and our hearts, and our minds. “You Raise Me Up” by Selah.