Does any one of you, when he has a complaint (civil dispute) with another [believer], dare to go to law before unrighteous men (non-believers) instead of [placing the issue] before the saints (God’s people)?
Does any of you dare, when he has a matter of complaint against another [brother], to go to law before unrighteous men [men neither upright nor right with God, laying it before them] instead of before the saints (the people of God)?
When 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?
When you have ·something against [a legal dispute with; a grievance against] another Christian, how can you ·bring yourself [dare] to go before ·judges who are not right with God [or the pagan courts; L the unrighteous] instead of before ·God’s people [T the saints]?
1 He inveigheth against their contention in law matters, 6 wherewith they vexed one another under judges that were infidels, to the reproach of the Gospel, 9 and then sharply threateneth fornicators. Dare any of you, having business against another, be judged under the unjust, and not under the Saints?
When one of you has something against a brother in Christ, why do you go to the judges in the law courts? Those people are not right with God. So why do you let them decide who is right? You should be ashamed! Why do you not let God’s people decide who is right?
When any of you has a grievance against another, aren’t you ashamed to bring the matter to be settled before a pagan court instead of before the church? Don’t you know that Christians will one day judge the world? And if you are to judge the world do you consider yourselves incapable of settling such infinitely smaller matters? Don’t you also know that we shall judge the very angels themselves—how much more then matters of this world only! In any case, if you find you have to judge matters of this world, why choose as judges those who count for nothing in the church? I say this deliberately to rouse your sense of shame. Are you really unable to find among your number one man with enough sense to decide a dispute between one and another of you, or must one brother resort to law against another and that before those who have no faith in Christ! It is surely obvious that something must be seriously wrong in your church for you to be having lawsuits at all. Why not let yourself be wronged or cheated? For when you go to law against your brother you yourself do him wrong, for you cheat him of Christian love and forgiveness.
And how dare you take each other to court! When you think you have been wronged, does it make any sense to go before a court that knows nothing of God’s ways instead of a family of Christians? The day is coming when the world is going to stand before a jury made up of followers of Jesus. If someday you are going to rule on the world’s fate, wouldn’t it be a good idea to practice on some of these smaller cases? Why, we’re even going to judge angels! So why not these everyday affairs? As these disagreements and wrongs surface, why would you ever entrust them to the judgment of people you don’t trust in any other way?
Here’s another troubling issue. If you have a grievance against another follower of Jesus, do you have the audacity to bring that brother or sister into the civil courts rather than submitting yourselves to the authority of God’s people?
Dare any of you that hath a cause against another, be deemed at wicked men, and not at holy men? [Dare any of you, having a cause against another, be deemed at wicked men, and not at saints, or holy men?]
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