6:1dare go to law before the unrighteous. With this verse, Paul appears to change the topic from the evils of immorality to the problem of lawsuits among Christians. It is important, however, to notice the connection. In the first place, the topic of immorality has not been abandoned, but will recur in v. 9. Secondly, the failings of the Corinthians with regard to lawsuits are an expression of the problem already discussed in ch. 5, namely, a weak doctrine of the church. Just as Christians are not responsible to regulate the lives of non-Christians, so non-Christians have no power to discipline in the church. If the Corinthians understood the relation between the Israelite community and the Christian fellowship (5:12, 13 note), they would realize it was absurd for believers to go outside the church to solve their disputes. Who could imagine a pagan Gentile settling disputes among Israelites in the wilderness? This text does not comment on the legitimate role of civil authorities to judge matters that God has put under them. See “Christians and Civil Government” at Rom. 13:1.
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