The Bible study on 1 Cor 6:1-11 looked at Paul’s advice to the Corinthians about lawsuits, looking at how he applied the spiritual wisdom he had previously taught about (1 Cor 1:18-1 Cor 2) to everyday situations. In these verses, Paul continues to teach about church discipline, relating this now not to believers’ sexual morality, but to their practice of going to court against each other over civil disputes, a practice he condemns, saying the problem was not so much the disputes but that the Corinthians were resolving these through the secular law courts rather than dealing with them within the church, using spiritual wisdom and godly teaching.

Paul is adamant that there must be a radical difference between the way Christians live and the way the world lives. We need to understand who we are in Christ (see Eph 1:18-23, Eph 4:23-24, Col 3:5-10), which involves following the example of Christ (Phil 2:1-11), putting other people’s needs before ours. He reminds the Corinthians that it is God’s people who will even judge angels, therefore exercising spiritual judgment over everyday disputes is well within their capability. The pivotal questions in 1 Cor 6:7 remind us that the old nature does not like to be wronged or cheated, but in putting our needs before other people’s, we show that the old nature has not been crucified with Christ (see Gal 2:20, Rom 6:1-6). Only when we surrender our need to be in control and to always be right can we hope to find spiritual solutions to practical problems. Paul is adamant that the solution to these disputes can be found within the church, but only as people realise their status in Christ (washed, sanctified and justified by God.)