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Lawsuits between Believers
1Furthermore, how dare you take a fellow believer to court! It is wrong to drag him before the unrighteous to settle a legal dispute. Isn’t it better to take him before God’s holy believers to settle the matter? 2Don’t you realize that we, the holy ones, will judge the universe? If the unbelieving world is under your jurisdiction, you should be fully competent to settle these trivial lawsuits among yourselves. 3For surely you know that we will one day judge angels, let alone these everyday matters. 4Don’t you realize that you are bringing your issues before civil judges appointed by people who have no standing within the church? 5What a shame that there is not one within the church who has the spirit of wisdom who could arbitrate these disputes and reconcile the offended parties! 6It’s not right for a believer to sue a fellow believer—and especially to bring it before the unbelievers.
7Don’t you realize that when you drag another believer into court you’re providing the evidence that you are already defeated? Wouldn’t it be better to accept the fact that someone is trying to cheat and take advantage of you, and simply choose the high road? At times it is better to just accept injustice and even to let someone take advantage of you, rather than to expose our conflicts publicly before unbelievers. 8But instead you keep cheating and doing wrong to your brothers and sisters, and then request that unbelievers render their judgment!
Christian Morality and the Kingdom Realm of God
9Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, 10fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm. 11It’s true that some of you once lived in those lifestyles, but now you have been purified from sin, made holy, and given a perfect standing before God—all because of the power of the name of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, and through our union with the Spirit of our God.
12It’s true that our freedom allows us to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that everything we do is good for us. I’m free to do as I choose, but I choose to never be enslaved to anything. 13Some have said, “I eat to live and I live to eat!” But God will do away with it all. The body was not created for illicit sex, but to serve and worship our Lord Jesus, who can fill the body with himself.
14Now the God who raised up our Lord from the grave will awaken and raise us up through his mighty power!
The Body of Christ
15Don’t you know that your bodies belong to Christ as his body parts? Should one presume to take the members of Christ’s body and make them into members of a harlot? Absolutely not! 16Aren’t you aware of the fact that when anyone sleeps with a prostitute he becomes a part of her, and she becomes a part of him? For it has been declared:
The two become a single body.
17But the one who joins himself to the Lord is mingled into one spirit with him. 18This is why you must keep running away from sexual immorality. For every other sin a person commits is external to the body, but immorality involves sinning against your own body.
19Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. 20You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!
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Judging Problems Between Believers
1When one of you has something against someone else in your group, why do you go to the judges in the law courts? The way they think and live is wrong. So why do you let them decide who is right? Why don’t you let God’s holy people decide who is right? 2Don’t you know that God’s people will judge the world? So if you will judge the world, then surely you can judge small arguments like this. 3You know that in the future we will judge angels. So surely we can judge life’s ordinary problems. 4So if you have such matters to be judged, why do you take them to those who are not part of the church? They mean nothing to you. 5I say this to shame you. Surely there is someone in your group wise enough to judge a complaint between two believers. 6But now one believer goes to court against another, and you let people who are not believers judge their case!
7The lawsuits that you have against each other show that you are already defeated. It would be better for you to let someone wrong you. It would be better to let someone cheat you. 8But you are the ones doing wrong and cheating. And you do this to your own brothers and sisters in Christ!
9-10Surely you know that people who do wrong will not get to enjoy God’s kingdom. Don’t be fooled. These are the people who will not get to enjoy his kingdom: those who sin sexually, those who worship idols, those who commit adultery, men who let other men use them for sex or who have sex with other men, those who steal, those who are greedy, those who drink too much, those who abuse others with insults, and those who cheat. 11In the past some of you were like that. But you were washed clean, you were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Use Your Bodies for God’s Glory
12“I am allowed to do anything,” you say. My answer to this is that not all things are good. Even if it is true that “I am allowed to do anything,” I will not let anything control me like a slave. 13Someone else says, “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” Yes, and God will destroy them both. But the body is not for sexual sin. The body is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14And God will raise our bodies from death with the same power he used to raise the Lord Jesus. 15Surely you know that your bodies are parts of Christ himself. So I must never take what is part of Christ and join it to a prostitute! 16The Scriptures say, “The two people will become one.”#Quote from Gen. 2:24. So you should know that anyone who is joined with a prostitute becomes one with her in body. 17But anyone who is joined with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18So run away from sexual sin. It involves the body in a way that no other sin does. So if you commit sexual sin, you are sinning against your own body. 19You should know that your body is a temple#6:19 temple God’s house—the place where God’s people worship him. Here, it means that believers are the spiritual temple where God lives. for the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves. 20God paid a very high price to make you his. So honor God with your body.