by Frans Bakker
Why do ye not rather take wrong? —1 Corinthians 6:7
1 Corinthians 6:1–8
These words of God deal with the daily life of a child of God. They refer to the Christian’s walk. The way he walks and talks reveals what lives within him. The walk and talk of the children of God in the church of Corinth were not good, and Paul addresses this problem. There were those who fought for their rights. If they were offended, they went to the municipal judge to be vindicated. Their rights were important to them, regardless the cost.
Perhaps they were in the right. It could very well be possible that someone had wronged them regarding their possessions or name. But it is not in agreement to God’s will, to drag one another before the public judge and to publicize at the same time the sins of their neighbor. That is not how matters should take place in the Christian church.
Man often fights for personal justice. He will fight instead of surrendering his troubles into the hands of Him who will judge justly. Man would rather seek justice here on earth instead of laying the whole matter before the face of God. Rather than surrender the injustice to the Lord, he runs to all kinds of judges to vindicate himself. He knows exactly how to present his case before the judge so that the other gets the blame. Is that a dignified conduct? How awful it is to fight for your own honor.
Man’s self-vindication originates from his pride. That is the poison he has carried along with him since his rebellion in Paradise. At the same time that is his utter poverty, for he who has no God above him, stands alone and has to contend for himself.
Also God’s child has to observe in himself that without grace, he is just like the world. At times he is even worse. There are, as well, times that meek individuals would rather bear injustice than cause a commotion.
Paul asks, “Why do ye not rather take wrong?” “Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” Why do you want to promote yourself? Why don’t you wait for God’s time? Why don’t you surrender the matter to God? When will man cease to vindicate himself? He will only do that when he stands guilty before God. That is when God comes to vindicate Himself. Then man is convicted that he wrongs God with his self-centeredness. He is then summoned to appear before the bar of the heavenly Judge and is unable to give one answer to a thousand questions. When this is reality for you, you do not run so quickly to the local judge. Then your own guilt becomes worse than that of your neighbor.
When you are truly exposed to your guilt before God, you would rather suffer injustice in daily life than violate God’s will. The miracle is that Christ descended for such people. If there was ever one who suffered injustice, it was Christ. Could He not have vindicated Himself when He was unjustly condemned to death? But He chose to suffer injustice. That brought Him into the pains of hell. He suffered this injustice so that His people would be vindicated before the heavenly Judge and their eternal salvation would be secured. “Why do ye not rather take wrong?” This lesson is only learned in the school of Christ, who said, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29).
From The Everlasting Word by Frans Bakker, compiled and translated by Gerald R. Procee. Reformation Heritage Books and Free Reformed Publications, 2007. Used by permission. For further information, click here.