Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 1 Corinthians 6:2
Paul is showing the utterly absurd nature of the saints going before the ungodly for their judgments. His words confirm that their counsels are merely earthly and bear little weight. In contrast to them are the judgments of the saints. “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” The very people to whom the Corinthians were going to resolve petty matters between the believers are the same people who will be judged by the saints someday!
Paul is showing that the religious matters bear immensely higher weight than the earthly issues we find so important. It is to the “saints” that the religious decisions will be rendered. This verse, along with so many others in the New Testament, shows us that those termed “saints” are not decided upon by a council or a pope, but rather it is a term for “believers.” All who are saved by Christ are, by default, saints. And these saints will “judge the world.”
And so, to continue to help these saints think clearly, Paul continues with, “And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” The folly of those in Corinth is made clear! How can we hold to the promises of the future with all of its honor and power, and not reasonably consider it in our deliberations now? These niggling little matters (which seem so important at this time, but which actually have no true importance when considered against the backdrop of eternity) that arise between believers are minute compared to what we will someday decide.
So how can it be that we can’t even decide them now? Paul asks them to think! And it is all the more relevant to believers today. Those in Corinth didn’t have the New Testament epistles to rely on. All they had was whatever instructions they received and their faulty memories. Now, we have the whole counsel of God given to us and ready for reference, decision, and action. What an immensely valuable tool for guidance – and yet we still neglect it and we still fall into the same error today that those in Corinth fell into prior to the publication of the Bible.
Life application: What priority is Scripture in your life? Just how willing to rely on God’s instruction are you? Do you know more than He? Are your judgments more valuable than His? We know the answers, and so let us continue to learn and apply this precious gift to our every step.
Lord, what seems so important in this life actually has very little importance compared to what is coming. So how can we fight over the miniscule things that arise and pester us each day when the true life ahead promises us eternal rest and contentment? Help us to focus on the sure promises that You have given and in this we will be able to keep the little things of this life in proper perspective. You have it all taken care of; and because of Jesus our end is assured. In this, let us remain content! Amen.