04 Serious About What Matters – 1 Cor 5-61 Corinthians: Called to Be Saints
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In chapters 5 and 6, Paul by inspiration addresses several major issues in Corinth. These include the arrogant toleration of incestuous sexual immorality, brother-against-brother litigation in the public court, and the deadly eternal cost of continuing in sin. Then come these amazing words in 1 Co 6:11: “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” What a powerful message combining salvation (free forgiveness of sin) with transformation (radical renunciation of sin).
1 Cor 5-6 Serious About What Matters
Serious about SIN
Serious about SOLUTIONS
Serious about SALVATION
Serious about SANCTIFICATION
Serious about SEXUALITY
— Serious About Sin – 1 Cor 5
When we are serious about sin …
We rise above the world’s definition of morality. 5:1
We humbly mourn over evil and its effects. 5:2
We prove our love for the sinner. 5:3-5
We, as an assembled body, act as a whole. 5:3-5
We respect the Lord’s name and power. 5:3-5
We “hand [the sinner] over to Satan.” 5:3-5
When we are serious about sin …
We affirm the final judgment, heaven, and hell. 5:5
We keep sin from spreading. 5:6
We “celebrate” the “Passover feast.” 5:7-8
We distinguish “insiders” from “outsiders.” 5:9-13
We purge the evil. 5:13
We offer the way back home. 2 Cor 2:6-8
— Serious about Solutions – 6:1-8
Disputes and conflicts are quite biblical!
Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abram and Lot, Sarai and Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac – shall we go on?
The apostles, Pilate and Jesus, Paul and Barnabas …
In fact, throughout the Bible, with the exception of the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two chapters of Revelation, you find conflict!
So how do we resolve them? To whom do we turn?
1 Cor 6:1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?
To resolve conflicts with each other …
We first remember who we are. 6:2
We see the bigger picture. 6:3
We seek a wise mediator. 6:4-5
We refuse to shame the church. 6:6
We realize that to fight is to admit defeat. 6:7a
We prefer to suffer harm, not inflict it. 6:7b
We admit that we could be at fault. 6:8
We dare not be “not-right” before God. 6:9
We act as those transformed by grace. 6:9-11
— Serious about Salvation AND Sanctification – 6:9-11
“Don’t you know … unrighteous will not inherit …”
“Such were some of you.”
“But you were washed, sanctified, justified.”
- Washed: baptized (Acts 22:16; Tit 3:5)
- Sanctified: set apart to be saints
- Justified: declared right with God
Double trouble: sin’s guilt and power
Double cure: justification and sanctification
Context: that’s why we resolve unrighteous conflicts!
— Serious about Sexuality – 6:12-20
Slogan in Corinthian church: “All things are lawful!”
If certain acts are lawful, does that make them moral?
Are they beneficial?
Might they enslave me?
Do they please God?
Could they destroy my soul?
Slogan in Corinthian church: “Food — stomach!”
If the stomach is for food, is the body for immorality?
How does our culture justify returning to Corinth?
“It’s legal.” “It’s acceptable.”
“It’s my body. It’s my choice. I am entitled.”
“No one will be hurt. No one will know.”
“There will be no lasting consequences.”
“God made me this way.”
“God wants me to be happy.”
Greek philosophy: body as a prison, with no real value.
In that case, why not live for pleasure? Hedonism.
If the body has no ultimate value, why not?
Godly philosophy: body as a temple, holy for God.
He raised Jesus’ body and will raise ours.
Your bodies – yes, bodies – are members of Christ.
Sexual sin joins Christ’s members to a prostitute.
Joined to Christ in spirit – therefore, not with a prostitute in flesh.
Flee! Gen 39:7-12; 1 Tim 6:10-11; 2 Tim 2:20-22
He bought your body. Glorify Him with it!