Digging Deeper is a weekly Bible study usually available on Monday morning. We offer this unique spiritual formation tool to anyone who wants to receive it. Use Digging Deeper as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and for small group discussions. Weekly lessons are based on the current sermon series at The Chapel.
The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our March 24, 2019 message, And Such Were Some of You.
LISTEN TO THE SERMON
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SUMMARY of the sermon
Pastor James’ message continued our series, entitled, “The Right-Side-Up Gospel for an Upside-Down Church” from 1 Corinthians. James preached from 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 From his message, we see:
Our Scandalous Conflicts (1 Corinthians 6:1, 4-6)
The church in Corinth was not only replicating the Corinthian culture in its immorality. It was replicating their constant use of the “unrighteous” legal system. Paul is astonished that the believers are taking other believers before non-believers to settle relational disputes.
The non-believing judge has not even settled the most significant issue (their standing before God) how could they genuinely resolve the matters of this life?
Paul states that even the least competent believer is better able to settle the matters between believers (arbitration) than to non-believing judges (litigation).
The church has boasted of their wisdom. It seems ironic that they do not believe that they have the knowledge to settle these types of disputes.
Paul is not saying that the believers would receive an unfair hearing before an unrighteous judge, he is saying that the legal system is not the place to take church family matters.
There are times when certain matter may have to come before the legal system (i.e. a divorce where your spouse is seeking to end your marriage, where there are child protection issues, or where someone is suing you. This is not an exhaustive list, but merely examples.)
Our Glorious Destiny (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
In 1 Corinthians 5:10-13, Paul stated that in this life, we were not supposed to judge the outsider. Instead, we are to proclaim the gospel and demonstrate the gospel in how we relate to them.
However, at the end of the age, we will be involved, in some way, in the final judgment of non-believers (for a possible cross-reference see Daniel 7:22).
Paul then strengthens his argument by stating that at the end of the age, we will be involved in the judging of angels.
If that is to be our destiny, judging the world and judging angels, are we not competent to handle relational conflicts within the church?
Our Utter Failure (1 Corinthians 6:7-8)
Paul stated that to have lawsuits in the family is already a defeat, regardless of who wins in court. To reach the point of litigation demonstrates that there are issues of heart and life in the parties. And, in such cases, the gospel is being hindered.
Additionally, not only are we already defeated, but we are also defrauding one another. Often in a conflict, the personal demand for “rights” develops an entitlement mindset in the opponents. They do not realize how much this mindset hurts and damages others, their witness for Christ and even themselves.
Paul offers a radically counter-cultural solution, lower our expectation and lay down your rights.
The laying down of rights as Jesus spoke about in Matthew 5:39-42, gives the person the opportunity to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel. Peacemaking is more important than getting justice.
Our Worldly Past (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Paul believes that the selfish and worldly mindset that could lead to these disputes between believers is like the self-indulgent and self-centered mindset behind the list of sins in verse 9-10.
The listing here is not isolated acts of sin, but a manner or way of living that is chronically self-absorbed. Additionally, for one to profess faith in Christ, yet, habitually live in such a self-indulgent way, may be deceiving themselves about being truly saved.
Our Great Hope (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Some of the believers had committed these sins in the past before they were brought into the family of God through conversion. However, because of their union in Christ, they are radically changed.
They are washed which means they have been cleansed from the inside of their past guilt and shame through the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, which was symbolized outwardly in their baptism.
They have been sanctified, which means they have been made holy and set apart for God.
They have been justified, which means that they stand before the judgment bar of God not guilty and declared righteous.
Because of the gospel, the believer in Christ is forever forgiven and forever free.
We are to make a commitment to peacemaking and reconciliation in the church.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9).
We desire to build a “culture of peace” that reflects God’s peace and the power of the gospel of Christ in our lives. As we stand in the light of the cross, we realize that bitterness, unforgiveness, and broken relationships are not appropriate for the people whom God has reconciled to Himself through the sacrifice of His only Son (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:29-32; Colossians 3:12-14). Therefore, out of love for Christ and in reliance on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we are committed to resolving our differences according to biblical principles of peacemaking and reconciliation
Bringing It Home: (Reflect, request, respond)
Reflect: QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
Read 1 Corinthians 6:1 and 1 Corinthians 6:4-6. What is the issue that Paul is dealing with in these verses?
Read 1 Corinthians 6:2-3. What are Paul arguments for not going to court before the unrighteous judges?
Instead of being defeated or defrauding others, what does Paul say we should do to handle conflicts in a gospel-centered way found in 1 Corinthians 6:7-8? Are there other passages of Scripture that you can think of that is like the counsel Paul is giving to us?
In 1 Corinthians 6:11, Paul lists three blessings of salvation in Christ. Please list them. Remember each of these blessings was written in the aorist tense, meaning it is a completed and definitive action. What difference does that make?
Do you spend more time thinking of your sin versus thinking of your Savior? Do you spend more time focusing on your guilt rather than focusing on God’s amazing grace?
The Heidelberg Catechism has three sections: Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude. How does a greater appreciation of our guilt and God’s grace lead to a life of gratitude?
How can meditation on gospel help to shatter shame, guilt, condemnation, and the constant voice in your mind saying that you “not good enough?”
Paul argument is that an appreciation of who you are in Christ and how much we have been forgiven and freed by Him should lead us to want to make peace with others whom we are in conflict. Have you experienced that in your life?
request: PRAYer and praise
Ask God to help you to be more Cross-centered in your life
Confess and repent of any sins that are in your thoughts, words or actions that are connected to habitual sin patterns in your life.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you leave a life of habitual sin and bask in the forgiveness and freedom of cross of Christ.
Respond: applying what you have learned
How can you love God more through what you have learned? (read, study, meditate, memorize, share)
How can you love others more through what you have learned?
Additional RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
Suggested Scripture Study: Read Matthew 18:21-25, Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4:1-3; Ephesians 4:31-32; Ephesians 5:3-7; Colossians 3:12; Titus 3:5; James 4:1-12