Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So, if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame…To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you…
1 Corinthians 6: 3, 4, 5, 7 (ESV)
These verses speak powerfully of truths far above the words themselves. First, to the lofty position of authority we now occupy as Believers. As legal citizens of God’s kingdom, we have full access to all truth, the righteous wisdom inherent in the Holy Spirit and the authority to use them for the benefit of all. But, with this permission comes great responsibility requiring kingdom inspired understanding and discernment. Secondly, we are not to confuse, blend, or otherwise homogenize the truths and precepts foundational to God’s kingdom with the worlds tainted systems of justice. And lastly, we are not to ever relinquish our just authority as citizens of his kingdom to misguided often-prejudicial earthly systems of justice when not directed to do so by Christ Jesus.
And by taking our brother in Christ to task under the worlds perverse system of justice, we are making a mockery of God’s core virtues and spiritual values. Unlike the world, it is clear that God would rather bless than blame, for he treats us all justly and mercifully.
For it was Jesus who said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who mourn… Blessed are the meek… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… Blessed are the merciful… Blessed are the pure in heart… Blessed are the peacemakers… Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake …”
Matthew 5: 3-10 (ESV)
In spite of our faults, we all fit into this list of characterizations somewhere. And let us not forget that Jesus did not come from heaven to earth to condemn us, but to redeem us. With this in mind, let us not only show restraint but let’s infuse our own actions with grace and compassion. And as we are to judge angels, we should start practicing the virtues inherent in kingdom righteousness right here and now.
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ with a gracious and forgiving heart, and lead us to lovingly consider their needs, not their faults and failures. Give us wisdom and understanding and please, Oh Lord, the only court I ever want to enter is yours. Amen.
A F Fischer