9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
Lawsuits Against Believers
6 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 5:9–6:11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Justice
As a Christian, sometimes I get things really backwards. I want things in my family to be better than everyone else. I don’t mean making more money or having more stuff than everyone else. I mean less problems. I mean, I don’t want my family to have to deal with cancer, or marriage problems, or addiction issues, or job loss. I don’t want my family to lose loved ones in car accidents or house fires. I don’t want my family to struggle with mental illnesses like depression or anxiety disorders. I want them to be free from all those things that other people go through.
When any of those things do creep into my house I want them out and fixed quickly and I expect the world to take care of that for me. Especially things like fights between family members. I want to call in the biggest referee I know to come and tell the person with whom I am fighting, just how wrong they are. That’s what I feel and what I want.
I’d probably fit in well in Corinth. They wanted to be free from trouble in their families as well, and when they had conflicts with each other - either in their own families or within the church, they wanted to call in the law. They wanted the city magistrates to straighten out the black sheep of their family. Sadly, this is not the way God intended them, or us to be.
God sets us as example families, as good representatives of what family is supposed to be like - not so we can escape all the problems of the world, but so we can show the world how to deal with those problems. God wants our families to be examples of how you handle marriage conflicts with grace and love for each other.
God wants us to show the world how a family handles job loss with the faith that God will provide and takes steps to transition to new work. God wants us to be examples of spiritual healing for those illnesses of body, mind, and spirit, even when the other kinds of healing do not come as quickly as we’d like. In short, God wants us to show the world how we, as a family, trust in God when everything gets out of our control.
We lean not on our own understanding, nor do we look for answers from people and places outside of God to fix our spiritually rooted needs, but in all our ways, we acknowledge Him, knowing He directs our path. (from Proverbs 3:5-6)
Reflection: Where do you go to or to whom do you turn when you want things to be made right? Where or to whom does your family turn? What ways do you model family seeking godly justice in your community?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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