Bible Study for Home Church – April 24, 2022
We would like to encourage you to take some time to read and look at the following scriptures and study points with your group during your time together.
Though we are intentionally meeting in separate homes, we are one in Christ; looking into His Word together, fellowshipping together, and lifting one another up in prayer. Feel free to incorporate some form of worship time, and consider taking communion together.
HOUSE CHURCH BIBLE STUDY
Read the following passages together, discussing among yourselves the teaching points either as you read the scripture, or following the reading of the scripture. These points are offered to assist in starting conversation amongst yourselves; use them however you choose to.
CONVERSATION STARTER STUDY POINTS
1 Corinthians 6 provides us with a clear biblical teaching on the issue of lawsuits among believers. Paul uses strong language to instruct the young Corinthian Church to look to Christian Leadership to resolve such matters, and to guard their witness to the world.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-7
It seems that Paul is speaking about Christians suing other Christians (vs. 1 and 6). A question to consider towards the end of the Bible Study is whether or not these principles are extended to Christians suing unbelievers?
Paul uses some of his strongest language to relay the importance of this teaching. In verse 1, he asks, “Do you dare…”, and in verse 5 he says, “I say this to shame you…” Paul was passionate about how important this was.
Question: Have we ever put much thought into what the Bible says about suing and lawsuits?
Paul says, do we dare take our lawsuits before the ungodly for judgement instead of before the Lord’s people? He reinforces his point by saying that believers will judge the world and the angels; are they not competent enough to judge trivial disputes amongst each other?
Question: Would you feel confident to bring a dispute to the Lord’s People, and believe that the ruling would be fairer and more appropriate than if you took it to the courts?
Question: And if not… why not? Do we believe secular authority and experience trumps Spirit-led wisdom? Do we feel that there is no one wise among us enough to judge a dispute?
Question: Why do you think Paul says, “I say this to shame you?”
In verse 6, Paul says, “a brother takes another to court – and this in front of believers!” This is informative to help us understand some of the reason Paul is addressing this so harshly. It is not just about not having faith to believe the Lord’s People can deal with a dispute better than a secular court; it also is about witness.
Our witness to the world needs to be guarded. To the point that verse 7 asks, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?”
Question: Do you feel convicted enough, that you would rather be wronged or cheated instead of potentially bringing a bad witness to the world?
There are various reasons one may feel a need to bring a lawsuit against a brother or sister in the Lord; Perhaps the main ones are to either receive something that is owed to you, or to in essence, punish someone for their actions or behaviours against you or others.
Both of these motivations must be weighed against scripture.
Read Matthew 18:21-35
Question: What does this passage tell us about us going after someone to get something that we believe is ‘owed’ to us?
Read Romans 12:17-21
Question: What does this passage tell us about wanting someone to be punished?
Question: In light of these scriptures, re-examine what Paul means by asking, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?”
Paul solidifies his argument in verse 8 by stating, “Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong.” We cannot forget that though others owe us, or have hurt us in some way, we ourselves owe a great debt to Christ, and have done much against Him. It is our sins that put Him on the cross.
Scripture is passionately clear that the Lord’s People are not to bring their disputes with one another before unbelievers to seek judgement. It reveals a lack of trust in the Holy Spirit to be able to provide wisdom to spiritual leaders, and it can muddy our witness to the world. It sends a mixed message that we can only trust God in certain circumstances.
Christianity cannot be influenced by society’s way of thinking. Our rights cannot be the motivation for our actions. All of our choices must be guided by the objectives of bringing glory to God, and fulfilling His will.
Lord, this is tough when someone has done us wrong. Our natural instinct is to strike back; make them pay. This is not how Your scriptures teach me to respond. Help me to remember the debt I owe to You, Lord. Let my actions and choices bring glory to You.
If disputes need intervention, let me have the faith to trust in You for answers and fair judgement. I choose to trust You in ALL circumstances.