1 Corinthians 6:1-8 addresses your question. It says, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 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? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.”

It dishonors the Lord when two of His children cannot settle their matters in a loving manner. When we take someone to court because we have suffered a wrong by a fellow believer, we are showing the world that we need the unjust, or unsaved, people to settle our dispute for us. How shameful for two Christians to stand before a judge and ask him to decide the matter for them. Surely the name of Christ is dishonored in this.

It could be that we do need help in solving a problem between two Christians. In that case we should go “before the saints”. We should ask a fellow believer to hear both sides and settle the matter in an honorable way. We are told in verse 4, that we should “set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church”. It doesn’t take a theologian or Bible scholar to help settle a dispute between two believers. All it takes is honesty and common sense. If a settlement can’t be reached, then we are told to suffer the loss. What is more important: our rights being upheld, or the honor of Christ being upheld? Can you imagine the Apostle Peter taking the Apostle Paul to court because of some problem between them? It would have been a ridicule to the Lord and to the church for something like this to happen.

Of course, if one brother sins against or cheats another brother, and refuses to do the right thing to correct the problem, the church may be called upon to administer discipline to the sinning brother. We read in Matthew 18:15-17, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” It is a sad thing when it becomes necessary for the local church to discipline a fellow believer. But, when proper Godly discipline is carried out, this can lead to the restoration of the sinning brother, and thus bring honor to Christ. (163.1)