When Stuff Goes Wrong with Believers

1 Corinthians 6:1-11

Posted by Dan Jarms on June 4, 2023
When Stuff Goes Wrong with Believers
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Get help settling disputes from wise people in the church. Don’t dare seek justice through unjust means. Use true wisdom available in Christ. Don’t bring shame on yourself and the church. Don’t suffer a big loss for the sake of a small win.

What every authentic Christian knows:

  • Past
  • Future

Main idea: Get help settling disputes from wise people in the church.

  1. Don’t dare seek justice through unjust means.
  2. Use true wisdom available in Christ.
  3. Don’t bring shame on yourself and the church.
  4. Don’t suffer a big loss for the sake of a small win.


Four principles for settling disputes

  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    Well, good morning faith Bible Church. Congrats to our grads, we're gonna see them in a little bit. And that that's that's a thrilling thing. So you might be here visiting for graduation weekend. We're glad that you're here family and friends. And we hope you're encouraged by your your graduate. If you're visiting, because you came as an invitation from the neighborhood, we're inviting our neighbors to come, we're really glad you're here. Don't leave without checking in at the information center. We'd love to get you connected to the various ministries we have at Faith Bible Church. Today, we're in First Corinthians chapter six. And it is about lawsuits among Christians. Yes, the Bible talks about this. So if you're just interested in Christianity, here's a really practical thing that we need to deal with this Christians and you can listen to in on it, and I would plead for you to hear the gospel, because that's what Paul bases his instructions on the rest of us, let's stand for the reading of God's Word. Let's all stand and we're going to be in First Corinthians six, one through one through eight. When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 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? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more than 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, can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother and that before unbelievers to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you? Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded, that you yourselves wrong and defraud even your own brothers. This is the word of the Lord. Our God, you are holy and just and righteous. And at the same time, quite obviously merciful and forgiving. As we think of the cross, and what Jesus has paid. We come to a passage like this knowing that you hold ultimate justice in your hands. And that Jesus has received ultimate justice on our behalf, help that shade and shape our understanding of this passage. And may we be a people who solve hard problems with righteous means not with worldly means that was sinful means, then may we grow better in resolving conflict over the daily matters of life, things that involve money and finance, space, time, property, all of those things are yours. You're the sovereign and your overall. And we know that in your word, there is wisdom. That's what Paul is going to tell us about. So help us think through how to do that. And I pray that as a result, we just be a greater testimony, greater testimony to the world. Father, I pray for those of us going out today for faith and five and inviting neighbors and I pray that you would have many divine appointments set up that we not only could meet neighbors, talk about the gospel, invite them to church that you would be awakening men and women from this neighborhood to come to you. We ask this in Christ's name, Amen. You may be seated. Well, we all know lots of things. And here's what I mean by we know things. When I say knowing I'm thinking of having the right information and knowing what to do with it. I mean, here's an example. Your your patio you notice that there is about a dozen wasps just buzzing around a corner of the patio, it's on the railing, but you can't quite see it. What's there. You know what's there. There's a wasp mist. And so you know what not to do and what to do, you don't push your Adirondack chair right up next to it and put a pillow back and relax like you know the you don't get near it or let your kids get near until you take out the nest. We know things. We know things. Here's another one, I'm not a great Whistler. So those of you who can whistle jump in

    We know what that means, right? Excellent. What does that mean? Ice Cream Truck, when you hear that glorious sound going through your neighborhood for two and a half hours, you know, when it gets close that you should have some cash in your pocket to be ready to meet him on the curb, you know things, you know things? What do what do authentic Christians know? What are some of the things that authentic Christians know? I think we'd say you know, lots of things. There's a couple that are really, really important. In first Corinthians up to this point, and every Christian knows them. Every authentic Christian knows them. Every Christian knows his past, that his past was sinful. And he knows that he is weak, she is weak. In order to achieve her own salvation or his own salvation, that judgment is coming, there will be a day of great accountability before God and that Jesus Christ, God himself has come to bear the sin debt that we owe to God. And by trusting in Him, we can have our debt cleared our sins paid, we know that we know the grace of the gospel in the past. The apostle Paul summarizes that in this very powerful way, in First Corinthians 118, for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. Because that cross is where the sin debt was paid in full. For every believer. We know our past, we know what Christ has done. Every Christian knows his future. Every Christian knows his future, because part of the glorious gospel message is that Christ died for our sins. And then on the third day he was raised and part of that raising is being seated at the right hand of the throne of God. And he is there we just read it in Hebrews, he is there until the day he is going to physically come back and take planet Earth. And when he does, His saints will reign with Him. That's the baseline truth of the gospel, we know our past, we know our future. There's restoration with God, and there's an eternal life with Him, and we will reign with Him. Those are glorious things. And I would I would bet and here's a kind of a scenario, you're in a really difficult conflict with somebody and it might involve your stuff. And you're really agitated. If I were to ask you are you? Are you a Christian? Yeah. Were you a sinner? Did Jesus save you? Yeah, I do that. I believe that. Do you know where you're going? Yeah, well, I'm gonna go to heaven, of course, I'm going to heaven. But for some reason, in the middle of really difficult conflicts, we can't or we have a hard time knowing how the past and the future relate to our present. This is the issue that's going on here in First Corinthians chapter six. There's some trouble with somebody's expectations about money or somebody's contract. And they're, they're not relating their past and their future, to the present realities that they have. Instead, the Corinthians here in this passage, are going to unrighteous and ungodly problem solvers, to fix them. The Christian problem, it's the human problem, and even dogs authentic Christians. We don't know how to connect God's grace in the past, to the issues of the President. We often don't know how to connect what we will have an eternity with the realities of today. Ironically, in the book of Hebrews, the Corinthians boasted in their wisdom, that's how we started there's four chapters of the Corinthians boasting in this wisdom but they were foolish and how they live before unbelievers and they were morons with how they lived with each other and it's a church that's convinced that these are in the know people. Were in the know Paul I'll ask this question 10 times in the book, do you not know? Me? What's it's like, come on, you guys are supposed to be so smart. Do you not know, six of the 10 are in chapter six. That's the chapter we start to the sixth of the 10s. Do you not know, he's saying I taught you. But your pride has blinded you. And you haven't connected the truth of Christ to your present situation. There's gonna be two and our passage today. Corinthian believers were taking fellow believers to Roman civil courts to decide trivial matters of life. Not only be foolish, but it's going to bring reproach on the testimony of Christ. Christians suing other Christians over trivial matters of this life. Bring a shame on the church. Here's the big idea as we jump in, well, first, let me give a kind of Paul's version of the big idea, which is don't or a stop, stop suing fellow believers, or for those not suing, don't sue fellow believers using the unrighteous values of the world. I'll show you how that's going to unfold in a little bit saying positively though, here's what I think we should have as a takeaway. Most of us are not in the middle of being sued by fellow believers, and most of us are not getting ready to sue a fellow believer, just in case you're thinking about it. I'm, we're saying this to say don't do it, just in case you're thinking about it. But there is a positive way to say this, that I think will apply to all of us, and get help settling disputes from wise people in the church. Just a simple, straightforward way to summarize this passage and help you in the direction when the stuff of earth becomes the point of a conflict. Get help settling disputes from wise people in the church? Here's why we could say that because some of you, singles have roommates. You have roommates? Do you share a fridge? Do you share the dishes? Do you share each other's earphones? Or earbuds? Gross? Do you share your stuff? Or are you living at home with siblings? You know, there's an older sibling that always has a cool toy that a younger sibling wants, and doesn't always ask for permission for or grabs it and then breaks it.

    Are you married sharing all the same stuff? Because if you're married, hopefully you're sharing all the same stuff. And there's like real life conflict over the stuff. Maybe you're sharing ministry space in a church building? Do you hire fellow Christians to do services in your home or at work? You know, we have electricians, I need to hire an electrician? Do you have contracts with fellow Christians? Are you named in a will with siblings that are believers? Do you share a fence line with a Christian neighbor? At some point, someone will do something to your stuff. It's inevitable. Or at some point, you will do something to somebody else's stuff. How do we take care of it? This is definitely don't do it this way. I just I don't do it this way. This is a terrible way to do it. But Paul has really helpful things in these rebukes when stuff goes wrong with believers. How do we think about it? How do we think about it? I use the word stuff. It's terrible English. The English major in me doesn't like to use the word stuff. It's slang But Paul's talking about trivial matters, but they could be worth 1000s of dollars. It's an interesting passage. So he gives us wisdom through for rebukes. And for instructions that he gives to Corinth. Let's walk through them. Hopefully this will set a pattern for you when you have to deal with real life issues that have to do with your space, your finance your property. Number one, don't dare seek justice by unjust means. Don't dare do it. It's it's a it's a real specific way to talk about not sinning in response to sin. So if somebody sins against you, there's a general principle in the Bible Trouble, because somebody sends it against you doesn't mean you get to sin back. Here's a specific of that. Look at verse one. And let me read it in the Greek word order, I'll read in English but in the Greek word order, because Paul wants to make a huge emphasis of that right out of the gate, says dairy. When one has a grievance against another to go to law before the unrighteous dairy, does he have the audacity to do this? Now you might be listening to this going, I didn't know the Bible even talked about this kind of stuff. Alright, so let's give you a little vital historical cultural backgrounds. And all the commentators historians agree with this. I'll just give you the summary of it. Corinth was a true Roman city, even those in Greece, part of the empire and Roman government had to system of courts. There were civil courts, they would settle all kinds of issues like contract disputes, and property and inheritance laws. All kinds of practical matters would be handled in civil courts. And then there were criminal courts. somebody commits a crime, robbery, theft, violence, murder. Paul's not talking about the violence threats, murder part, there's Romans 18 deals with Romans 18, there is no Romans 18, Romans 13. one through eight handles that God has given this the sword for a reason, like there's punishment from the government for a reason, they are ministers of God. So I just want to start right out, we're not talking about a criminal act against you being adjudicated by the church. There's already a government for that. I'll get to that some specifics in a bit. This is civil cases, land disputes, contract violations, inheritance, business disputes. And here's the other fact about the Roman courts, they're very expensive. Just like today, you want to do everything you can to not have to hire a lawyer to work something out. Because lawyers are very expensive. You want to do every thing you can. When I've had to work with a lawyer, the Lord is like, you know, I'm really expensive, you don't want to go to court. So, you know, we courts really expensive, and that was true. So the people who would sue each other were already likely very wealthy, because you just couldn't go to court without being wealthy. Or if somebody threatened to sue, who was very wealthy, he hired a craftsman to build something for him. And he wanted more, or he wanted something else, or he just decided to change his mind about the payment. The Craftsman couldn't do anything about it, because he couldn't pay for a lawyer. That sounds like today, sometimes. That's a real deal. So often, the wealthy and powerful would use that wealth and power to threaten a lawsuit to get somebody to give them what they wanted, or they would go out each other.

    So already there was this, to make it even worse. The Roman history, the historians, the philosopher's criminal courts tended to be fair, they were fair, generally, civil courts were always corrupt. The judge and the jury almost always expected some kind of kickback or some kind of favor for a favorable outcome. So we're already dealing with a generally corrupt system. And the apostle Paul, that just makes sense. Now, as you follow what he's saying, when one day one has a view has a grievance against another does he dare go to law before the unrighteous it was well known that Roman Civil Courts tended to be corrupt? You know, we have I know a number of godly lawyers. But you all know this. I don't know of any nurse jokes. Nobody tells nurse jokes, because nurses are awesome. People tell lawyer jokes, though, because lawyers are not always awesome. Right? Nothing has changed in 2000 years. So why are you doing this? Why are you going to court it's very expensive. And then the honor and shame culture the verdict is almost always good. Oh, we're going to the one who has more honor who can make the best favor or payoffs. What it would mean is this if you summarize it, the person who feels a bended, or the person who wants a different outcome is ready and willing to use unrighteous means to get what he wants. She's willing to use unrighteous means to win the case. He finishes the point does he dare go to law? This is verse one, before the unrighteous instead of the saints. So remember our past and future that we started with, we just sang about. He's, he calls the Corinthians saints, that means there are some save, there are some who are walking with the Lord, there are some who have been given this huge amount of biblical wisdom to handle just about any kind of earthly dispute. Are you not going to the saints who will bring God's values? Why aren't you doing that? Why are you instead choosing unrighteous worldly values to decide your case instead of holy, godly values? It speaks of the past in that when a person is genuinely saved when they when they become an authentic Christian, and they trust Christ as Lord and Savior, they become new creatures with new thinking, and they can understand God's word and apply it. And if they're young in the faith, without a lot of wisdom in it, there are wise people in the church to go to who have had much more experience and time. This speaks to the whole new man and new status. Fellow believers actually have the mind of Christ. They can handle a great deal of this world issues. So what are you going to allow to dictate God's holy values? were sinful values. Now I want to make one one thing clear. Again, I want to say it again, just for repetition, let it sink in. It doesn't mean that the church arbitrates criminal cases. Now if there's been a crime against you from a fellow believer, you might want to know how to go about it. Dealing with it from a wise believer who's had experience, you might get wisdom and how to deal with it. But it doesn't mean that we're going to bring the matter into the church and celebrate criminal celebrate, settle criminal cases. God Institute's governments and courts. So the church isn't given jurisdiction to exercise these kinds of punishments. So murder, violence, sexual abuse, physical abuse, rape, date, rape, neglect, robbery, embezzlement. I've ministered long enough. Yeah, yep. Every one of them. I know that every one of them has happened with professing Christians. That's law enforcement job might be the church's job to work out reconciliation of lives. And other things, but that's the government's job. That's what Romans eight, Romans 13 one through eight says. So I just want to say if your husband takes away your keys and your phone and isolates you as a way to punish you, girls, escape if you can and call the police, because that's unlawful detainment almost close to kidnapping, you need to call the police and get protection. If he punches a wall next to your head. That's the threat of violence called law enforcement. That's not something you need to go and call your counselor at church. You know, he punched the wall next to my head. He said he was sorry, like, I'm sorry, that's a that could be criminal. So we'll let the law deal with that. That's a minister, Minister of Justice. But let's say a tree falls on your property or falls from your property onto a shared fence line with another Christian and crushes one of their buildings and the insurance squabbles. And it doesn't cover all the damages. What do you do? Well, you try to work it out yourself first. If you can get something fair and equitable and if you can't, then you go to somebody who is wise in the church help you do that. And we know lots of people to point you to to help you settle something like that. You're backing out of the parking lot. You don't have a little video camera in your background thing. You know, you're just like a normal truck like me with you know, I gotta turn my head and your back into somebody and there's an insurance settlement that needs to take place. So sorry about that. Here's my insurance card we'll call and what happens if the insurance company's lawyers start haggling and fighting. Serious back in if that has to happen that way. But that's okay. That's beyond your control. So we're not talking about every time there is a case, we're not talking about corporations. What we're talking about is, is to people who are believers with a real damage issue need help settling it, they can settle it. They can go to the church to help them. They have the mind of Christ, they have holy values. So don't dare try to solve your problem with ungodly and unrighteous means. Number two, use true wisdom available in Christ. This is the positive way of saying that if you are in Christ, and in a church with wise believers, use them. Here's what it says in verse two, do you not know that the saints will judge the world? Whenever Paul says, Do you not know that's something that he taught them? And you're looking at me going? Actually, no, I didn't? Well, maybe we haven't given you enough of the gospel. To know that when you're saved and trusting Christ, He preserves you to the end, and then he comes for His own and all his own reign with him. There's plenty of understanding of this. For a Jewish background for what Paul would have taught as a Jew, to the Gentiles back in Daniel 722. It says that there's this prophecy about the future day of Messiah and His final reign on earth, it's his judgment was given for the saints of the Most High. And the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. And it simply means that if you're in Christ and he's won the victory at His return, you'll reign with Him and part of part of reining with him. Revelation 20, verse four and five, you're going to settle disputes. You're, you're going to, more importantly, weigh in on the eternal matters of Justice, the eternal matters of judgment, judgment. I don't know how that looks. I don't know if there's this giant amphitheater, and Jesus makes all the decisions and all the saints have these like sticks in they go, bump, bump, bump, bump here, here, you know, a man I don't know what it looks like. But you will have a role in the future, if you ever roll in the future, over eternal matters, over life and death and heaven and hell can't you solve a few earthly matters? Do you not know the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you? Are you incompetent, to try trivial cases? There's the future. We've got the past we've got the future.

    He doubles down verse three, do you not know that we're to judge angels? I mean, he even elevates it to angels. Angels are ministering spirits, according to Hebrews chapter one meaning they serve God's purposes for mankind. And there is a role in the whatever it is the Amen here here or weighing in on the fallen angels, who will be condemned to the lake of fire. But you know that you have you have significant decisions, you're going to weigh in on as one of God's people, how much more than matters pertaining to this life. Revelation 321 says that those who are in Christ will share the throne with Christ. Some part take part in his rule of justice. So he says so if you have such cases, why do you lay before them those who have no standing in the church? And that phrase, no, standing in the church is a very nice, almost whitewashed translation of it. It means despised not self righteously, aren't you superior? Because they all came from that world. But that sin and that way you used to live you're now ashamed of it was your under judgment in it, and now you live in God's righteous realm and righteous reign and you know that those are despicable acts and as despicable way to live. So why do you put your matters in front of those to decide? Those people who whose lives are despised in their sinfulness? Don't take your cases there. So for now, we evangelize the world. We don't idolize the world and we don't utilize the world to solve problems and in a sense, it's a shame on a church when a church Can't do it. Now, okay, I'm not going to, I'm not going to sue somebody over trivial matters. I got it, I won't do it. Well, let's ask a different question a different way. Let's say you're in youth group, you're in the college group, or you're at a school. And somebody who is a professing Christian does something that really hurts some of your stuff or hurts you? Do you go to a non Christian, to get advice? Do you post it on social media? To try to make it right, do you do take it in front of the trial of social media? That's the same kind of principle. Who are you trying to get to weigh in on solving this? Somebody with worldly standards, worldly values, or somebody with holy values? You can say the same thing about the workplace or any other thing. What underlies this great evil, greed? Revenge, and pride? Why would a person try to make this happen? Greed, revenge or pride? Why would you be willing to sin in order to get what you want greed, revenge, or pride doesn't mean there aren't real issues and that you ignore them. But Paul is laying out a course when you have a dispute over real life things. Number three, don't bring shame on yourself. And the church. Don't bring shame on yourself or the church. You were seeking to exemplify the character of Christ. You want to lift Christ high and all its glory. You don't want to bring shame on the name of Christ or the name of the church. In this case, Corinth already had this says this, I say this to your shame, because it's already happening. And remember a chapter four about the issue of some people love Apollo. Some people love Paul, some people love sci fi as he gets this sarcastic, ironic run in the at the end of chapter four. And then he says at the end, but I don't say this to shame you. Just to admonish you. What's he say here? I say this to shame you. This is shameful. This is you know, you're a little worldly here. Now you're simply ungodly. In this area, say this to your shame, it's an embarrassment. It's embarrassment to the church. So he says, can it be that there is none among you wise enough to settle the dispute between the brothers and what What irony the church that's in the know, and being able to assess the apostles ministry and public effectiveness? People who seem to have it all together, they don't, they can't handle common disputes. And in my experience, God has raised up plenty of Christians, Christian lawyers that are able and willing to help elders and pastors alone and faith Bible Church have enough connections. And I want to say another thing, I'm not saying that sometimes there aren't issues where you don't need legal help, you might need legal help. I'm not a property expert. I just know that I don't want to do it and handle a property dispute in an ungodly way. So you want to get wisdom in the church about how to do it in a godly way you might need to hire professionals to sort it out. But the commitment is to preserve the reputation of Christ and preserve the reputation of the church. Brian Sayers is nearly finished with another certification this time, it's on Christian conciliation, these kinds of issues, these kinds of issues so we have people certified so if you have a significant issue, talk to a small group leader talk to an elder talk to the counseling center people can help you here he says But brother goes against goes to law against brother and that before unbelievers since like that, this is this is terrible going to law, you're doing it. Here's what we have to think through what Christ has done in the past is to unite brothers. Not divide brothers through the blood of the cross. Christ has paid a sin debt and you're not connecting because you're acting like your enemies in the world when you're really brothers. And what are you really saying that in the end, if you want to follow through and use sinful means to solve a problem of sin, what you're really saying is, I have to have my money, I have to have respect, I have to have justice. I have to keep this person in their place. I need revenge. I mean, you're saying one of those things if you continue to carry on this kind of action, and that issue quite clearly becomes the thing you're really worshiping. Which leads us to the fourth don't suffer a big loss for the sake of a small win. So you win in court. So you win in court. But you lose, you've already lost. And the reputation of Christ and the reputation of the church, you've already lost. He says, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. So defeat to the reputation of God and the power of God of the gospel. Remember, disputes always boil down to two things damage was done, or expectations were not met, damage was done or expectations were not met. And if damage was done any Christian who is a responsible, loving and caring Christian if damage was done, and it was my fault, I'll do everything I can to make it right. That's what Christians do. But sometimes, I mean, I think of this situation, let's play it out. Three older siblings, oldest sibling gets a really cool new game. youngest sibling is going to you know, grab it, slobber on it, go bam, bam, bam, bam with it, you know, so parents do what they can to protect that. But let's say middle sibling, goes and grabs the game, can't really play it. Can't really handle it properly, and breaks it. One of our parents was was saying what they do in their house, and I think it's brilliant training. They always start with this bringing complaint from one sibling and guess Did you talk to your brother? Did you talk to your sister? Like, let's just start with those basic did you go to the person first? What did they say? What did they do? older sibling, your younger sibling has no money. So what does what does older sibling have to do? They have to absorb the loss. You have to absorb the loss. Now wait a second, that doesn't seem fair. This is where our grounding in the Gospel is so absolutely vital.

    Remember, forgiveness, I think of the two pictures that Jesus gives about forgiveness. One is in our in the Lord's Prayer. Forgive us our debts according the ESV as we forgive those who are as we forgive our debtors, and he's talking about sins. Did you know that as a creative person by God, he owns you and all the stuff and gives you stewardship? And due to remaining sin we either embezzle or misuse his property regularly. And what does God do when we miss us because of Christ, and what Christ has done in paying for our debts, he absorbs it. Christ already absorbed all of the debt. He took it, you owed it, but he took it. Mr. Christian basis for forgiveness. You might have real damage done to you and a godly Christian who has done that damage might not be able to pay it. There might not be anything that they can do. But because Christ has absorbed all for you. They ask for forgiveness. They do what they can for restitution, because that's what godly people do. You absorb it. Christ absorbed it. You absorb it. Somebody pays

    I think this this goes to the heart of what we're trying to get when damage is done. Do I need revenge? Do I need justice? I mean, you really may need you may really like your toy. You'd like to have it you'd like it to be fixed. I mean, maybe you can make your little brother, little sister do your chores for the next 10 years. But when you grow up, you try to make it as equitable as possible. But what if they can't pay?

    We absorb it Paul says here to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. It's already a defeat for you. You need to take on the self sacrificing lay down your cross live for your friend. He says this question Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? I mean, here's the two alternatives. I get justice in a sinful way. Or I wait for Jesus in the end to bring perfect justice. Those are your choices. I wait for Jesus or I trust Jesus for perfect justice. And I wait. Or I get sinful justice. He says, why not suffer wrong? Why not? Why not be defrauded? One day when Jesus returns, all accounts will be settled, namely yours. There's an interesting parable. Told after after this encounter, and look, this is Luke 1213. Through 15. Jesus is teaching someone in the crowd said to him, this is 1213 teacher tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. Here Jesus is being roped into an inheritance dispute, it's almost likely that it's a younger brother, who doesn't get the large share. So in a Jewish family, the lion's share of the inheritance is gonna go to the oldest to keep the property intact and whole from generation to generation kinda leaves the second brother with a lot less money. So he's like, That's unfair. Jesus told my brother to split the inheritance with me. Jesus answers fascinating. We're told here, go get it settled in the church. Jesus says this. Who made me a judge or arbiter over you? Like why are Why am I being dragged into these petty disputes? Because here's what you want to teach him. Take care and be on your guard against all covetousness. For one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Then he goes on to tell the story of the man who had such a huge harvest, he built big barns, he stored all his money and he sat back fat and happy. Having happy hour every day at noon, my soul dissatisfied and then he dies that night. And Jesus says wonderful. Jesus points out the real values of the world. This stuff is temporary all of it, whether it's millions of dollars, or hundreds of dollars or 10s of dollars. It's just the stuff of Earth. It's just temporary. What really matters is the life that you have to come. So where is your heart in the dispute? He is calling that guy out what for covetousness the inheritance went to your brother he had more of it than you. Are you jealous or covetous of him? Where's your heart? Are you not thankful for all that you have in God and what He has for you for eternity?

    So isn't it better to suffer wrong than to go to unrighteous people and use unrighteous means to get justice? He is not at all saying cover up the problem. He's not saying that. He's saying there's a proper way to deal with practical earthly disputes among Christians. First, he says but you yourselves wrong and defraud even your own brothers, we find out the real truth. They're using sinful means. Force influence. The powerful and the wealthy are trying to take advantage of the less power fool or the weak wronging and defrauding through a corrupt legal system. We know that exists all the time. People will file a case knowing that the company just might pay out instead of fighting it because it's just too expensive. It's the most litigious era in human history. Ours is the true motives show up in the end so how do we apply this? What if there is perceived loss of time materials property or money? Here's here's four principles First, go to the person. Wonder one. You know roommate, you borrowed my really nice expensive earphones. You broke them I mean, I'm not really happy about all your earwax anyway, you broke them, can you pay those, you need to fix them. Go to the person first if if you can't get it settled, then if it's between two believers go to a wiser older person, help us settle this. Both of you submit to wisdom. If you're at home, get help from your parents. Go to the person first. Commit to solving disputes in a righteous way. Don't use sinful means to solve practical problems. Use biblical wisdom. Finally, be willing to suffer loss from a brother rather than a victory. In a wicked world. It's better to suffer the loss. And we just sang the songs. And again, I want to get our basis of this knowing our past knowing our future, we just sang that song all sufficient merit What was that line, we we sang over and over and over. About all my debt paid in full paid in full paid in full, all your sin that is paid in full. This is where the resources come from, to absorb a loss. Because my debt is fully paid, and I'm going to be with the King forever. I think of the future. One of the lines in that new song they were saying, I don't know what you are doing, but I know what you've done. I can look back and I can trust what you've done for me. So I can look to the future and know that based on the past, you'll do what's right. Know your past know your future. To go back to unrighteous means to solve problems with fellow Christians are going to use our Adirondack illustration is like pushing the Adirondack chair right under the wasp nest. To try to solve it. All is going to do is get you stung over and over and over. thinking through what you have to look forward to and Christ's return will help you be prepared and hope when you hear the entertainer going through your neighborhood. Keep your money and I cannot I need to be prepared. Let's pray. Father, thank You for really, really helpful practical wisdom on how to solve problems, even earthly financial problems. And I pray that we would be a people that want to uphold the honor of Christ, that uphold and believe the gospel, Christ's name, Amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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