Reading Through The New Testament In 2016. Day 138. 1 Corinthians 6
After reading this chapter this morning I thought: those in the church are held to a higher standard.
Why is that?
Because the church has been passed the mantle to carry on the ministry of Jesus. We represent the work of God in the world, and Paul is reminding us of this in chapter 6.
What were the areas the church in Corinth were struggling to live out their call to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world?
They weren’t getting along, and they were struggling with sexual purity.
I’m just so grateful that this doesn’t describe the church in North America today :)
People at the church in Corinth were taking each other to court. That might be acceptable behavior for those outside of this calling, but for those inside? For those that have Christ in common? For those who are called to wash feet and become the least of these?
Paul says this: Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
Tough words if you’ve ever been wronged or cheated. Unsympathetic words?
Well, when Christ is our example — He died on a cross an innocent man. He didn’t demand justice for himself. Paul is calling us to follow his example. To give our cloaks when people ask, to walk extra miles and turn the other cheek.
Then Paul turns to those in the church that talk about their rights.
“I have a right to do anything” they would say.
I have a right to sex with whomever I want! In other words.
Sure, Paul says. If you choose, you can do whatever you want. But your “rights” are destroying you. Your “rights” for sex are becoming your master. There’s a better principle than just demanding your rights, it’s the principle of understanding that what you deserved you didn’t get, instead you were ransomed by Christ on the cross.
It’s hard to demand our rights when someone just died as our ransom from our own slavery. That’s not how someone acts.
Paul then speaks of sexual sins as a sin against your body, which makes this sin unique to others. Whats the big deal?
Because it is our bodies that carry out the work of Christ on earth. It’s our flesh and blood that show up at hospitals, soup kitchens, and it is our bodies that hold the hands of the dying and our bodies that become the temple of the Holy Spirit giving us the power to be like Christ.
In this light, we don’t want to treat our bodies lightly. It is the medium God uses to show his love to the world.
So, then, why would we take our bodies and unite them to others in casual, selfish sex? These bodies are meant to be united with Christ.
To close, we need to realize that we in the church are called to a higher standard. It may be our right to get justice in a court and to have sex with who we like — fine. But in demanding our rights we are missing the joy, peace, and power that comes with following Christ.
Where do you need to let your “rights” go?
Where do you need to humbly say “I’d rather follow Jesus then demand my rights” ?