Litigation is usually protracted, expensive, emotionally draining and combative. Any lawyer worth their salt who has a client thinking about embarking on court proceedings will forewarn them of these disadvantages.
Going back a couple of thousand years, apparently it was common for society’s elites to sue each other to try and establish social and political superiority. Evidently judges and juries back then were regularly bribed by participants in a case.
Clearly, the Christian community of Corinth ought not be behaving in the same way as the world around them. Rather than bickering in court, they should be a model of harmony and unity (even though we know from earlier chapters that they were far from this).
Fortunately, for all the difficulties of litigation in modern times, our courts bear little resemblance to those of ancient Corinth. Therefore, I suspect if Paul was writing to GWAC he wouldn’t prohibit us suing each other. However, even contemplating the idea of fellow members of GWAC pursuing litigation against each other is distasteful, unseemly, and likely to bring dishonour to Jesus’ name. How much better does Paul’s suggestion of wise counsel within the community as an alternative? The unity of the church is of central importance.
After having stern words with the Corinthian Christians in vv1-8 of this chapter, as well as in earlier chapters, Paul reminds them that they’ve been washed clean, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit (v11). Thankfully we, like the church in Corinth have also been washed clean by the blood of Jesus.