Gospel for a Messy Church – Part 3

Gospel for a Messy Church – Part 3

Gospel for a Messy Church – Part 3 You are not your own! I Corinthians 5:1-6:20 May 7th, 2017


I. TALKING through the TEXT. (5:1-6:20)
A. APPLYING Kingdom WISDOM. (2:6-16)
B. Kingdom LIFE is radically DIFFERENT. (5:1-13)
C. CALLED to a new way of RELATING. (6:1-11)
D. You are NOT your OWN. (6:12-20: 1:2)

I Cor. 5-6 covers a lot of ground. It’s an intimidating text to preach on, and one that would be easier to avoid. But we believe in the whole Bible, not just the parts that are easy to understand and live, but all of it. And so today we jump in with both feet, working our way through the text and then seeking to listen to what the Spirit is saying.

1. What are one or two things that you find difficult about this text? What does it challenge in your day to day life?
2. What role does grief play in our repentance from sin? (v.2) When does grief move on to shame or even hopelessness? How can we stop that from happening?
3. Paul challenges their legal issues, saying that they are resolving them just like those outside the church. In what ways does the church look different from the culture around it? Or in what ways does it not?

II. WAYS this text is MISUSED. (2 Pet. 2:1)
A. Focusing OUTWARD, neglecting what’s INWARD. (5:11; 6:9-11; Mt. 7:3-5)
B. ELEVATING self over OTHERS. (1:26-32; 4:7; 6:9-11; James 2:8-9)
C. TREATING sins DIFFERENTLY. (5:11; Mt 5:19; 23:23; Jn 19:11; James 2:10)

This text pushes me to a pastoral dilemma. It’s a text that is often used in ways that seem far from the way Jesus calls us to live. But it’s a necessary corrective for a culture that tends to see the individual as the fulcrum around which truth must pivot. So how do we listen carefully to the text? We start by first being honest about the ways this text is misused.

4. Is this text only focused on sexual sin? Are there any of the sins listed in 5:11 that you struggle with?
5. When have you seen “correction or rebuke” of another actually actually serve as a thin veneer over pride in a person’s life? Have you been guilty of that?
6. Are sexual sins worse than other sins? Does the text say that? In what ways are sins different? In what ways are they all the same?

A. Grace is HUGE and SIN is SERIOUS. (5:5; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 6:23)
B. Leaving “me” (INDIVIDUAL), living “we” (COMMUNAL). (5:2; 6:19-20; I Cor. 12:26-27)
C. LIVING out WHO WHOSE you are. (5:6-8; 6:11,19-20; Rom. 8:9-17)

After we define the wrong ways to use the text, we need to listen to what it is actually calling us to. This text radically pushes all our boundaries. It infringes upon our personal lives and pushes us so far as to remind us that we don’t even belong to ourselves. We are His, if we have surrendered to the Gospel. And that is right where we want to be, but it doesn’t always play out in the ways we think that it will.

7. Grace is important…God loves us as we are. But how do we hold carefully the danger of continued sin in spite of God’s overwhelming love and forgiveness?
8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you view your life individualistically or communally, with 1 being individualist and 10 being communal? Why is that?
9. What makes living as a community and seeing life that way difficult in our world today?
10.What does it mean that “you are not your own”? How is that message counter-cultural to the world around us? What is difficult about that truth? What is actually freeing about that truth?