One of the most painful and difficult things to do is remain Christ-like and steadfast in the face of ill treatment from those close to us. In 1 Corinthians 6, we enter into a section in the letter in which Paul is responding to a number of issues, including the subject of how we should handle mistreatment inflicted by one church member upon another? How should we respond to a brother or sister taking material advantage of us? Paul calls the church to a higher Christian ethic, an ethic of non-retaliation. Christians don’t return evil for evil. We endure. We entrust ourselves to God. We hope ultimately in Jesus and no human court. We embrace the meaning of the cross and have it become more precious to us through godly endurance of our suffering. And by enduring loss in a Christ-like manner, we truly win. We bear the Name of Jesus and we follow a crucified Savior who embraced and endured our penalty, a penalty HE did not deserve. He bore the wrath we deserved, the consequence of our sin. Jesus endured ridicule and constant mistreatment that He did not deserve yet He opened not his mouth but rather entrusted himself to the One who judges justly. Ought we not to act as He did? Scripture explicitly calls us to follow in his footsteps.
- How does Paul’s understanding of the church and its role in the world shape his response to this situation in Corinth?
- What is Paul most grieved by in this text?
- Are Christians commanded to never participate in lawsuits? How should a Christian consider whether or not to participate in a lawsuit? What factors should they take into consideration?
- Do you take your responsibility to represent the KOG and Christ to the world seriously? What evidence supports your answer?
- Are you willing to do so even when it comes at a personal cost?
- How does Paul’s understanding of our future role in Heaven shape his worldview and his conduct in this life?