“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!” (Reference: 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 )
The historic Anabaptists believed that to die a martyr’s death was to be confirmed as a saint. Now I am not looking for a show of hands, but if you would be willing to die for your faith, that would make you a saint too, according to the historic Anabaptists. It is a pretty heady feeling to realize that one be the stuff of saints! And if a saint, then a judge of the world. But what might than mean?
I consulted with Albert Barnes, and his interpretation is that the saints will have an acute and accurate sense of what is right and wrong; for they have lived rightly their entire lives and so are qualified to know what is right, and know what is wrong and condemnable behavior. It is not that we (are who are saints) will pass judge but they will see, know, and approve of the correct that is passed by Christ or God.
Now the writer of 1 Corinthians did not make this statement to establish leaders or judges. What he was saying to the Corinthians is that if there is a dispute or need for a legal action amongst the believers, they should not take it to a secular where a non-believer would decide the matter. Instead they should use the wisdom they have amongst them as believers to decide that matter. Once seen in this context, the application that the historic Anabaptists made of this verse does not seem to ring true – a “judgment” made myself, an “apprentice saint” or a saint-in-training.
But it is true, beloved, that when there is a dispute amongst fellow believers the matter should and can be decided amongst them. One would ask though, why fellow believers would dispute one another? It is, I guess, human nature.
May you beloved have good and sound judgments on all matters, large and small, and may God be your first and only appeal to what is best to do. Selah!