First Corinthians 6 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 13, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

  1. 6.1–4 | Brethren Suing Brethren

    1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?
    1. Note what Paul called the people of the world: the unrighteous. 
      1. This is important to remember for what he will say shortly. 
      2. Who or what were the people of the Corinthian Church? 
    2. Note also that this is the third time Paul expresses shock at their behavior. 
      1. What were the first two times? 
      2. Do we have to be instructed in every matter to keep us from engaging in questionable behavior? 
      3. No, we should have gained a degree of understanding and discernment once we have turned from the world to Christ. 
      4. With that change of heart we should know of some things that are unacceptable and others that are. 
    3. If the saints will judge the world, does it make sense to ask the world to judge saints? 
      1. Which is a greater thing to judge: 
        1. The world? 
        2. Small matters among us? 
      2. If we can judge the world, why can we not judge small matters among us? 
    4. What or who else shall we judge? 
      1. If we can judge matters of another realm, can we not judge matters in this life? 
      2. How can we ask those to judge us who are the least esteemed by the church? 
  2. 6.5–6 | Shameful

    5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!
    1. Why was it that not even one wise man could be found among them? 
      1. Perhaps they did not even look. 
      2. Paul may not be arguing that none existed, but he shamed them for not even considering their brethren. 
    2. He shamed them for two things in verse 6: 
      1. Brother going to law against brother 
      2. Going before unbelievers 
    3. They were not thinking. 
      1. They had not put things in perspective. 
      2. They had forgotten who they were and from what they had come. 
      3. Nor did they consider how this looked to the world. 
      4. They showed that the things of this world still held them captive. 
  3. 6.7–8 | A Failure

    7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!
    1. Why was going to law against one another showing their utter failure? 
    2. What teaching of Jesus should have led them to accept the wrong and to let themselves be cheated? 
      1. Matthew 5.38–42 
      2. Should not the suffering of Jesus have taught them the same truth? 
  4. 6.9–11 | The Unrighteous Will Not Even Inherit the Kingdom

    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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.
    1. Here Paul showed why the world was not qualified to judge matters among the saints. 
    2. What did he reveal about the unrighteous? 
      1. They will not inherit the kingdom of God. 
      2. Look at the kinds of lives they live. 
      3. What does that tell you about their thinking? 
    3. What had the Corinthian Christians done with that former way of life? 
      1. They had been washed from it, and they had been sanctified and justified. 
      2. Everything about them had changed. 
        1. Their thinking had changed. 
        2. What they valued had changed. 
        3. The point of life had changed. 
      3. Why then have people whose thinking does not jive with Scripture judge among Christians? 
  5. 6.12–14 | What Is Lawful May Not Always Be Advisable

    12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
    1. Most people see a change of subject here, but I want to show you that Paul was still addressing the problem of them asking unbelievers to judge among them. 
      1. Note how Paul wrote when he began a new subject: 
        1. 1.10 
        2. 5.1 
        3. 6.1 
        4. 7.1 
        5. 8.1 
        6. 10.1 
        7. 11.2 
        8. 12.1 
        9. 15.1 
        10. 16.1 
        11. 16.5 
      2. That sort of language does not appear at 6.12. 
      3. Can you see how the rest of chapter 6 continues his treatment of how they relate to unbelievers? 
    2. It may be lawful to sue a brother who has cheated you, but Paul argues that it is not helpful. 
      1. What would it not be helping? 
      2. What is that should be our primary concerns? 
    3. Usually a lawsuit is about money and material things, and they often show that someone has been brought under the power of money and materialism. 
    4. Paul used the human body to illustrate the problem. 
      1. Yes, we need food, but food should not run our lives. 
      2. Yes, God created us as sexual beings, but that does not endorse sexual immorality. 
        1. The body is for what? 
        2. What is the Lord for? 
          1. Therefore, even as God raised up the Lord, God shall raise up our bodies. 
          2. Therefore, do not turn your bodies over to food or sexual immorality. 
      3. See your money and material possessions the same way. 
        1. Do not make a god out of them. 
        2. Otherwise, you will do things like suing a brother when you think he has wronged you. 
  6. 6.15–17 | Do Not Join with the World

    15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
    1. According to this text, what happens when we cease using our bodies for the Lord and use them for something like sexual immorality? 
      1. What happens then when we become covetous or extortioners like the world? 
      2. What happens when we use the world to judge our brother? 
    2. We can see these things with sexual immorality. 
      1. We need to see the same thing with our things. 
      2. If we come under the power of money and material things, we joined ourselves to those things. 
    3. However, to whom are we supposed to be joined? 
      1. When we are joined to the Lord, what are we with Him? 
      2. We should not do anything to jeopardize that union with Him. 
  7. VII.6.18–20 | Do Not Sin Against Your Body

    18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
    1. Because of what Paul had argued, he now tells us to flee sexual immorality. 
    2. What did Paul mean that every sin is outside the body, but that sexual immorality is a sin against one’s own body? 
      1. We know that other sins can keep us from the kingdom of God (vv. 9–10). 
      2. We know that we use our bodies for other sins. 
      3. There is something different about joining oneself a harlot. 
      4. Compare with what Jesus said in Matthew 12.31–32. 
    3. Who inhabits our bodies? 
      1. Fornication violates the Holy Spirit’s temple. 
      2. Do we belong to ourselves? 
        1. Why do we no longer belong to ourselves? 
        2. What should we do with our bodies? 
    4. Does this shed any light on the problem that the Corinthians were having with one another, as Paul introduced at the beginning of this chapter?