Seeking Counsel {1 Corinthians 6}

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By Becky Bramlett Austin

Paul opens this chapter with a thought provoking question for the church of Corinth. “When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?” (v 1). Paul is obviously concerned about how this church represents Christ to the unbelieving world.  In this Greek city, judges often sat in public places to hear cases and disputes. Paul was appalled that the church did not choose to settle disputes among believers but instead, were putting their grievances against each other on display. 

There are varying opinions today about if Christians should sue others or take disputes against others to court. I think that such important steps should be taken only with careful consideration and prayer to discern God's will. I do, however wish to comment about how wonderful it has been for me personally to seek the assistance of pastors and counselors in the church. 13 years ago my husband and I were separated, living in different towns and divorce papers were sitting in the lawyers office. We had tried counseling a few times with secular counselors and I truly think it just made our circumstances more difficult to resolve.   Our pastor referred us to a Christian counselor and that made all the difference. We were able to refocus our marriage on Christ and just this year celebrated 25 years of marriage. God used that crisis in our lives to glorify Christ. Christian counseling has been invaluable to me on several other occasions as well.

It makes sense that the body of Christ should be equipped to help believers with conflicts, and relationship challenges. Paul asks a 2nd question. 

“Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!” (v3) Wow!  A glimpse into our future roles as we reign with Christ!  Very exciting I think. But even today, Christ through the Word and the Spirit imparts wisdom to us and he teaches us about doing life with each other.  If our focus is to glorify Christ, then our behavior toward each other is of great importance. 

This also is true in our intimate relationships with others. In this age of "casual sex" and immoral lifestyles on display all around us, we have to be careful just as in the days of immoral Corinth. Paul reminds us that our intimate relationships are meant to glorify and honor God. There is no such thing in God's eyes as "casual sex".  We are meant to be a temple. 

‭‭“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (v19-20)

Paul reminds us of how special we are in God's eyes.  How He takes our sinful condition and transforms us:
“..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." (v11)
WASHED: Isaiah 1:18

"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.

SANCTIFIED: Colossians 1:21-22
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--
JUSTIFIED: 2 Cor 5:21
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (KJV)
We represent God to a lost world.  The lifestyle choices we make tell the world about Christ.  How we deal with our differences and disputes also tell the world about Christ.  The world is self- seeking and focused on " my rights". As His body, the church should be well equipped to offer help and counseling. Even when faced with difficulties and injustices,  our focus should be "serving Christ, serving each other".

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