Mar 20, 2015 Words of Grace – It’s Always a Heart Issue
When I first began to study the passage for this week’s sermons (1 Corinthians 6), I asked all the technical questions to present a clear message on this issue of lawsuits among Christians. When can a Christian go to court? What steps should be taken before going to court? These questions are important. The message of the Bible is true and right, and we should want to get it right.
But by mid-week another set of questions began to press in on my mind. Why do we get in situations like the one described in 1 Corinthians 6 in the first place? What’s going on — or not going on — in a Christian who has tasted the grace of God and seen that it is good and then proudly takes another believer to court over “trivial” matters? Questions like this get at the heart.
We often answer the technical questions of the Bible but never get to the heart. The more I read the words of Paul to the Corinthians, I begin to see and hear him pleading with these believers. He is pleading with them to humble themselves, admit when they are wrong, forgive those who have wronged them, seek to honor their commitments, live at peace with one another, and, above all, put on love. He is pleading with them to let the grace of God in Christ shape them at the core of their being — in the heart.
While it broke Paul’s heart to have to write to them about suing each other, he was not without hope. Christians belong to Christ, and Christ has given us another way. He has given us the way of love.
At the risk of sounding simplistic, let me encourage you to think about the conflict areas of your life. Ask yourself one basic question. “If I walk in the humility and love that the gospel breeds in my heart, how much of this conflict could be resolved?”
Then, go do it.
See you Sunday,