Just added to our teaching section on 1 Corinthians:
Robert Burns:’ A Man’s a Man For A That’
“A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a that,
But an honest man’s above his might.
Good faith, he mustn’t fault that!
For all that and a that,
Their dignities and a that.
The pith of sense and pride of worth
Are higher rank than a that.”
Righteousness and justice are well recognised and valued attributes, but why is personal righteousness important?
The God given answer to this question diverges significantly from the simple and pragmatic thinking of of the poet.
For people and societies fairness and justice is important mainly because of our:
Relationships with one another
If I am going to buy a pound of mince , I want to know that when I part with my money I do actually get a pound of mince and that I don’t get diddled and sold 3/4 pound of mince. If I buy medicines from the chemist I need to know that if the box says it contains penicillin, it does actually contain penicillin and not just talcum powder. If I immunise my children with vaccine to protect them from measles, I need to have confidence that this is what I have in fact been sold, this is what the laboratory has put in the vial; it is indeed measles vaccine. If I have the misfortune to end up in court I want to have confidence that my case will be dealt with fairly. All of these expectations depend upon the righteousness or moral integrity of others.This also is a concern in scripture of course: Lev 19:35-37; Deut 25:13-16; Prov 16:11; Prov 20:10; Prov 20:23; Micah 6:11.
In essence this is a concern of the first 8 verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 6, however 1 Corinthians chapter 6 goes beyond that to:
1. Relationship with one Another (6:1-8)
2. Citizenship in the Kingdom (6:9-11)
3. Fellowship with God (6:12-20)