1 CORINTHIANS 6
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
The saints will judge the world when the dispensation of the fulness of times is introduced (Eph 1:10)
The flesh is so small. So wrapped up in little things. So concerned about passing trivialities!
The future rulers of the world! Those who lay claim to the exalted destiny of priests of God and kings of the earth. Those to whom will fall the administration of the lives of millions. What a sorry spectacle they all too often present! How out of keeping with their lofty aspirations! Custodians of priceless treasure bickering over pennies, each jealous of his fancied rights - each tenderly nursing his ruffled feelings.
Bro Growcott - Self examination
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
The verb here rendered judge is the same as is translated "go to law" in the preceding verse. The apostle, therefore, asks if they do not know that they will sit judicially, and dispense justice to the world, according to the divine law; and because this is their destiny, he positively forbids believers in the covenants of promise to submit themselves to the judgment of the unjust.
It is better, says he, for one to be defrauded than to submit to such a humiliation. Let the heirs of the world arbitrate their own affairs in the present state; for it is a strange thing if men, whose destiny it is to judge the world and angels, cannot settle things pertaining to this life.
Elpis Israel 2.2.
"Sound doctrine" is made up of more than one item of truth; and as the truth has come from God there is not a single item that we dare slight, or lightly pass over, when those items are presented for our consideration... Christ's object is "to bring into greater prominence some item of the truth," And why? That the capacity of each one of His people for determining the principle of justice, might be put to the proof.
It must be remembered that God has called His people to "His kingdom and glory"; and that they are now in training for the high offices of kingship and priesthood: and if they, at the present time, are unable to render a just decision upon doctrinal items, how can it be expected then that they will be able to render just judgment in their rule over the subjects in the kingdom of God?
... "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men shall be just ruling in the fear of God,"-2. Samuel xxiii. 3. This being the decree of God, we can see how essential it is that those who aspire to that exalted position, should have their faculties developed in that particular, "Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne."
Each one of God's people must determine for themselves the Scriptural truth of each doctrinal point, in order that the desired effect may be produced. If they should follow the judgment of this or that brother, simply because it issued from them, when they would be thrown upon their own resources, they would be like a ship at sea, without a rudder. In the history of Israel at one time, we find that they were put to a remarkable test of judgment. They were required to determine the right or wrong of a certain act that had to do with those who were obscure in Israel; nevertheless, it resulted in the slaughter of tens of thousands of the nation, and almost the extermination of the tribe of Benjamin. (Judges 20.)
After the Levite had sent the evidence of the folly that had been committed in Israel to each of the tribes, he said "Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel." "And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is done among you?" ". . But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel; but the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibrah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel," Judges xx. 14.
Is not the antitype of this to be found in Spiritual Israel? Have not many doctrinal questions been presented to the whole household of faith; and have they not given in their decision, and indicated it by fellowshipping or refusing to, the doctrine presented to them? Has it not resulted in the spiritual death of many on both sides? Do not we find a parallel in Achan with the goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver and wedge of gold; and false doctrine? And may not that doctrine exist among spiritual Israel unknown to but a few.
When false doctrine exists, has not this Scripture an application, viz.: "Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them; for they have also stolen and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff" (Joshua vii. 11.) The doctrines of Rome are Babylonish, and when mixed with the truth, the wrath of God abides upon those who are in any way knowingly connected with it.
Bro AD Strickler
The Christadelphian, July 1887
But what is to become of the evil angels in everlasting chains of darkness, and who shall be their judge? Jude says, they were committed "for the judgment of THE GREAT DAY." He alludes to this great day in his quotation of the prophecy of Enoch, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His Holy Ones (angels of His might, 2 Thess. 1:7) to execute judgment upon all, &c."
This coming of the Lord to judgment is termed by Paul "the Day of Christ" -- "A DAY in which He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ" -- during which the saints, with angels ministering to them, having lived again, will reign with Christ a thousand years on the earth (2 Thess. 2:2, Acts 17:31; Rev. 5:10; 20:4, 11-15).
This is the Great Day of judgment, a period of one thousand years, in which Christ and His saints will govern the nations righteously; judge the raised dead in His kingdom according to their works; and award to the rebel angels the recompense awaiting their transgression. "Know ye not," saith Paul, " that we (the saints) shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?" (1 Cor. 6:3). From these data, then, we conclude that these angels will be judged in the Day of Christ by Jesus and the saints.
Elpis Israel 1.2.
The idea that Christ has borne our punishment and paid our debts; and that his righteousness is placed to our credit, and that all we have to do is believe it, is demoralizing.
It nullifies that other most important element of the Truth, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, and that he only is righteous who doeth righteousness. It draws a veil over the truth that we have to "work out our salvation" by a "patient continuance in well- doing," and that he only that endureth to the end shall be saved. It undermines that most important testimony of the gospel that Christ is the judge of who is fit to be saved, and that he will impartially give to every man according to his works.
These blighting results are to be witnessed in all communities where the doctrine of a substitutionary sacrifice and an imputed righteousness holds sway. Where there is any robust righteousness of character exhibited, where any true holiness of life - it is where the purifying Truth is discerned, believed, and cherished in daily Bible reading and prayer.
The Truth is a beautiful and perfect whole. The sacrifice of Christ, at first a mystery to the natural mind, becomes lucid and glorious as a sunbeam of life and light. Enveloped in the clouds of false thoughts and theories, it is hidden as entirely from view as if it had never been preached.
God permit us admission among the noble and gladsome throng that will at last ascribe glory and blessing
"to him who was slain, and who hath washed them from their sins in his own blood, and hath redeemed them to God out of every kindred and tongue and people and language to reign with him for ever."
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed [baptised], but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Saved by the hope.
Their salvation then, from their past sins, and their continuance in a saved state, were conditional. Hear what Paul saith to them.
"But I now make known to you, brethren, the glad tidings which I myself announced to you; by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast a certain word (tini logo) I myself brought to you, unless indeed ye have believed it to no purpose," ch. 15:1, 2.
What was this certain word, or, tis logos? The things he recalls to their recollections in this chapter; and which he predicates on the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, as en protois, among the first things he delivered to them.
If they did not hold fast to this word, or hope, which made his annunciation glad tidings, he declares that they would go to perdition, although they had been washed, sanctified and justified as aforesaid.
Bro Thomas - The Christadelphian, Jan 1872
Thus, the spirit, which is put for the gospel of the kingdom and name, renewed these proffigates; the divine law and testimony attested by the spirit with signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts (Heb. 3-4), and believed with a full assurance of conviction that worked in them by love to will and to do -- caused them to be "washed by the name," to be "sanctified by the name," and to be "made righteous by the name of Jesus Christ."
I say by the name, for it is the same Greek particle, namely, "en ," which precedes the words "the spirit "' and is translated "by" in the common version, that goes before "the name." I have rendered them the same in both places; and upon the authority of the phrase "washed by the name," I have translated, ... be ye baptized by the name.
It must be clear to any man, unspoiled by a vain and deceitful philosophy, that to be washed by a name is impossible, unless the individual have faith in the name, and be subjected to the use of a fluid in some way. Now, when a man is "washed by the name of Jesus Christ" there are three witnesses to the fact, by whose testimony every thing is established. These are the spirit, the water, and the blood, and they all agree in one statement.
Jesus Christ was made manifest by water at His baptism (John 1:31); and by blood in His death; and by the spirit in His resurrection: therefore, the spirit who is the truth and the water, and the blood, or the truth concerning the Messiahship, sacrificial character, and resurrection of Jesus, are constituted the witnesses who bear testimony to a man's being the subject of "the righteousness of God" (Rom. 1:17; 3:21, 22, 25, 26) set forth in the gospel of His kingdom.
The testimony of these witnesses is termed "the witness of God," which every believer of the kingdom and name hath as "the witness in himself" (1 John 5:6-10) .
Water, then, is the medium in which the washing occurs. But, although water is so accessible in all parts of the world where the gospel has been preached, it is one of the most difficult things under heaven to use it so as to wash a man by the name of Jesus Christ. What! says one, is it difficult to get a man to be dipped in water as a religious action? No; it is very easy. Thousands in society go into the water on very slender grounds. But going into the water, and having certain words pronounced over the subject, is not washing by the name.
The difficulty lies, not in getting men to be dipped, but in first getting them to believe "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12); or "the exceeding great and precious promises," by the faith of which they can alone become the "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4). Without faith in these things there is no true washing, no sanctification, or purification, from moral defilement, and no constitution of righteousness by the name of Jesus, for the sons of men; for, says the Scripture, "without faith it is impossible to please God."
It was the renewing efficacy of the exceeding great and precious promises of God assuredly believed, that changed the gay and profligate Corinthians into "the sanctified by Christ Jesus, called saints;" of whom, it is testified, that "hearing, they believed and were baptized" (Acts 18:8).
Elpis Israel 1.4.
"Show me where it is specifically said to be wrong."
Some never rise above this level. It is not God's intention to bind us hand and foot with multitudinous commands on every conceivable matter. He gives us general principles and expects us to apply them intelligently. He indicates the direction in which His preferences lie and expects us to be eager to press in that direction without being forced reluctantly by specific command.
The frame of mind that hedges against giving any more than the absolute minimum commanded or hides behind the absence of a word-for-word injunction is useless to God. He wants the heart, and that freely given.
All things are lawful - but all things are not expedient. That is, profitable or conducive to the greatest good. There is a much freer and nobler purpose in life than just hugging the bottom limit of what is lawful. "All things are lawful," Paul repeats, "but I will not be brought under the power of any." Much is made today of freedom, but how few are free! Freedom from the arbitrary domination of other men is a very small part of real freedom. Freedom from our own inherent bondage is much more important. Paul said,
"Who shall deliver me from the bondage of this death?" (Rom. 7:24).
The clutch of this inner law of sin that makes a godly life a constant struggle?
Bro Growcott - Self examination
I will not be a helpless slave to anything, however small, that in any way interferes with my main objective. I will not enslave myself to a petty conception of my own dignity and "rights" when God calls me to the largeness of heart and breadth of perception comprehended in the Truth.
Paul says, as an example,
"If meat make my brother to offend, I will not eat meat while the world standeth" (1 Cor. 8:13).
The purpose of God is too great, and passing things are too small. The argument Paul uses is unanswerable. It should put to shame any contrary disposition. Christ gladly died for such a one-how far will your love go to avoid offending him or causing him to stumble?
All things are lawful, but it is our glorious and exalted privilege to forgo our "rights" for Christ's sake, and with Him to suffer patiently when the wisdom of God requires it as a necessary ingredient in the bringing of many sons to glory.
"Let no man seek his own, but every man another's welfare" (1 Cor. 10:24).
Bro Growcott - Let a man examine himself
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The phrases "his name," "his tabernacle," and "them that dwell in the heaven," are all synonymous with the phrase in the seventh verse, "the saints," of whom Christ is "the Head." The Deity dwells in them, and therefore they are his temple, habitation, or tabernacle; as Paul writes to the saints in Corinth,
"Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Deity, and they shall be my people" (2 Cor. 6:16).
They are the tabernacle
"built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, the foundation cornerstone being Jesus Christ himself: in whom all the building fitly framed together increaseth for a Holy Name in the Lord: in whom ye are builded together for an habitation of the Deity in Spirit" (Eph. 2:20-22).
But Christ and the Saints are not only the Name and Tabernacle of the Deity, but they are also, "those who dwell in the heaven." The phrase "in the heaven" is Apocalyptically equivalent to "in the heavenlies in Christ" -en tois epouraniois en Christo (Eph. 1:3).
Paul tells the saints in Ephesus, that he with them were "blessed with all spiritual blessings" in these heavenlies; in which they and Christ, though the latter is at the Right Hand of the Divine Majesty, and they in Ephesus and elsewhere, were regarded as sitting together (Eph. 1:20; 2:6).
17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
A community of such individuals as these constitutes the mystical body of Christ. By faith, its elements are "members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones." Hence, they are "bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh;" and, therefore, the beloved Eve of the last Adam, the Lord who is to come from heaven, and make her of the same spiritual nature as His own.
Thus, the ecclesia is figuratively taken out of the side of her Lord; for every member of it believes in the remission of sins through His shed blood; and they all believe in the real resurrection of His flesh and bones, for their justification unto life by a similar revival from the dead. "Your bodies are the members," or flesh and bones, "of Christ and he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor. 6:15-17). "I have espoused you to one husband," says Paul, "that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2).
It will be perceived, then, that the ecclesia as defined, is in the present state the espoused of Christ, but not actually married. She is in the formative state, being moulded under the hand of God. When she shall be completed, God will then present her to the Man from heaven, "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white" (Rev. 19:7-8). This is she of whom the poet sings,
"Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty: for He is thy Lord and worship thou Him. The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework; the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall be brought unto Thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought they shall enter into the King's palace" (Psalm 45:10-15).
The presentation of Eve to the first Adam was the signal of rejoicing to the Morning Stars; and we perceive that the manifestation of Messiah's Queen will be attended with the "Alleluia" of a great multitude, sounding like the roaring of many waters, and the echoes of mighty thunderings, saying, "let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to the Lord God omnipotent: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His betrothed hath made herself ready."
Elpis Israel 1.2.
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the holy spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
' Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are' (1 Cor 3:16,17).
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Do not waste a minute of God's time, not one cent of His money. You are totally "bought with a price," to be HIS faithful labourers. You were not selected from the perishing millions to indulge yourself in unfaithful stewardship, or to lounge lazily in the sun. Total devotion to the WORK of God is the only way to eternal joy.
Indolent, self-pleasing, and embezzling servants will be cast with shame into outer darkness. Have wisdom in this brief day of such glorious opportunity. The reward for faithful devotion in His service is beyond our highest conception: the punishment for slothfulness is dreadful to contemplate. Truly, no one can EARN the reward: it is a free gift -- but on CONDITIONS.
Only by total love, manifested in total devotion and service, can we obtain God's mercy and acceptance. Anything less is a mockery of His infinite goodness toward us. Why would any servant be so stupid as to expect a reward, and not rather severe punishment, for laziness and unfaithful self-indulgence and self-use of his lord's entrusted goods?
- Bro Growcott - Search Me O God