Don’t go to the law courts to sort out trouble between Christians
1 There is something else I have to talk to you about. If one of you Christians has a problem with another Christian, why do you go to the court house to sort it out? That is not right. Those court house people are not God’s people. No. You have to get Christians to sort it out. Remember, we Christians are God’s special people
2 and one day God will get us Christians to be the judges of all the other people in the world. So, if you are going to be a judge of other people one day, why can’t you sort out your own little problems now?
3 You know, one day we Christians will even be judges of God’s angel messengers. So we have to know how to sort out our problems here on the earth.
4 Sometimes you don’t agree with each other about some little thing, and then you go to other people, and you get them to be your judges.
5 I talk like this so that you will feel shame. I reckon there has to be somebody there in your church that is wise enough to help you sort out these problems between yourselves.
6 But no, you don’t do it that way. Instead, one of you Christians goes to the court house people to argue against another Christian. You stand up in front of judges that don’t believe in Jesus Christ, and you get them to sort it out. That’s not the right way to settle your problems.
7 You see, when you go to the court house to argue about these things you are letting the bad spirits win. Look, if people do bad things to you, just let them do those things and don’t worry about it. That’s the better way. Even if they rob you, don’t worry.
8 But instead of that, you mob are doing those bad things yourselves. That is wrong. You even do bad things to other Christians, and you even rob other Christians.
9 Listen. You know what will happen to bad people, right? They will not be in God’s family. They will never get the good things that God will give to his people. Don’t let anyone trick you about this. I’ll tell you now about the sort of people that will not be in God’s family. People that sleep with somebody that’s not their wife or husband, as if they are married. Those people will not be in God’s family. Or 2 men that sleep together as if one of them is a woman, they will not be in God’s family. And people that respect other spirits more than they respect God,
10 and people that steal things, and greedy people that want a lot of money and things, they will not be in God’s family. And people that always get drunk, and people that yell at other people and swear at them, and people that trick other people to get their money, none of those people will be in God’s family.
11 And I know that some of you used to be bad people like that before. You did that sort of bad thing, but now you believe in Jesus Christ and let him be your boss. And God’s spirit came into you and washed you inside, and he made you God’s own special people, so that God says you are all right now.
Use your bodies to show everyone that God is really great
12 Some of you say, “I’m free from the Jewish law now, so I can do anything I want to.” Yes, but not everything will be good for you.
You see, I can say that too. I can say, “I’m free from the Jewish law, so I can do anything I want to.” But I don’t want to do bad things. And if I think about doing bad things, I will start doing bad things, and I will not be able to stop myself. But I don’t want that.
13 Some of you say, “God made our bellies for food, and he made food to fill our bellies.” So you think that you can do what you want with your bodies, and it doesn’t matter. You think you can sleep with somebody that is not your wife or husband, as if you are married to them. But you are wrong. Don’t forget that, in the end, God will finish up your bellies, and he will finish up the food too. You see, God made your bodies for you to live his way. You can’t sleep with anyone you want to. You have to use your bodies the way God wants you to use them.
14 You see, our bodies are important to God. Our leader, Jesus died, but then God made him alive again. And God will use his power to make our bodies alive again too.
15-16 Think about this. God says this in his book,
“The man and his wife will join with each other, and their bodies will be like one body.”
So, if a man pays a woman money to let him sleep with her, he joins his own body to her body and becomes like one body with her. And you know, your bodies are parts of Jesus Christ’s body. So don’t let part of Jesus’s body join up to the body of a bad woman. No way.
17 But, you know, if you join on to our leader, Jesus, you join your spirit to his spirit, and the 2 of you become like one spirit.
18 So never sleep with anyone that is not your own wife or husband and do what married people do together. Get away from that sort of bad thing. You see, other bad things that you do are outside of your own body. But if you sleep with a person you are not married to, you hurt your own body.
19 And you know, God gave you his spirit and he lives in you. Your body is the home of the Holy Spirit. You don’t belong to yourself any more, but you belong to God.
20 Remember this, God bought you. He paid a lot for you. So you have to use your body to live for him, to show everyone that God is really great and good.