Day 1: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Day 2: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Day 3: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
Day 4: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Day 5: 1 Corinthians 5 & 6 together
Questions to consider as you read each day's passage...
- How is the passage highlighting unhealthy ways of doing life in community?
- What are the “family commandments” that this community might be operating in? (Listen to this weeks sermon on family for more info)
- How would Paul prefer the church community to respond?
- What situations in my life, current or past, could the truths that Paul highlights be applied to?
- How can I continue to fight for health in the church body in light of these readings?
Well, these 2 chapters are definitely fun ones to write a blog on! I honestly could feel my cheeks getting warm as I read through these 2 chapters. I felt a bit embarrassed for the Corinthian church. And for the earful they get from Paul! Paul so desperately wants this community to be united as one. He wants them to be a healthy, well functioning family. But they are letting things get in the way. They are sweeping sin under the rug, preferring to ignore it instead of addressing it head on.
And Paul says twice that they are proud of this. PROUD! And do you want to know why I think that is? I wonder if the Corinthians thought they were being loving by not addressing these issues of a man sleeping with his stepmother, or people going around and sleeping with temple prostitutes. I wonder if they were proud of themselves because they thought, “We’re free in Christ and so everything is permissible (cf. verse 12). What a loving an accepting community we are by accepting this behavior!”
But Paul comes in to correct them. He says that they should not be proud – they should be mourning over this sexual misconduct, and that the guy who is sleeping with his father’s wife should be removed from their community for what he is doing. It is better to address this issue head on, and “hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord,” (v5) Paul says.
But the Corinthians seem to think this sin is a “small thing” a “little yeast.” Nothing that can’t be overlooked by Jesus, right? But Paul says that even a small bit of yeast works its way through the whole batch of dough (v6-7). Even this seemingly “small sin” will impact the entire church community. And so it isn’t just for this man’s sake that it needs to be addressed, it is for the sake of the purity and health of the entire community. If this were a person outside the church family, this would be handled completely differently. But he isn’t, he’s a brother. And so, because they are part of this new family of Jesus, they need to start adopting some new family habits. They need to address this issue with sincerity and truth (v8). And the truth, according to Paul, is that our lives, including our physical bodies, have been given over to Jesus. Yes there is freedom in Christ, but when we believed be also intertwined ourselves intimately with who God is (v17). Our souls are one with God in Spirit, and our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Which means that how we conduct ourselves, in body and in spirit, really matters. Sex matters. Relationships matter. How we do conflict matters.
Paul goes on to talk about conflict in this way as well. What’s ironic about this part of the letter is that in once instance, the Corinthian church is ignoring wrong doing, and in another they are airing out their dirty laundry for all the world to see. So once again Paul proposes a new way of doing things. You don’t need to take every single personal grievance to court and have it dealt with by a stranger, Paul says. In fact, that’s a really impersonal way to do conflict. Interpersonal problems are to be dealt with in a personal way: face to face, with one another, not through a lawyer or judge. Not because the judicial world can’t execute justice, but because it doesn’t do justice like God does justice. God's justice is also full of mercy, sacrifice, and turning the other cheek.
In both of the chapters, Paul is saying that the family of God is suposed to have a different set of “house rules” than those who are outside of the church. They are to have a different way of living, a different way of dealing with conflict, a different way, even, of having sex! God’s way.
This week at our Vaughan campus, Pastor Vijay preached on this spiritual family, the church. And he talked about how most of us have some unspoken (and unbiblical) “family commandments” that we may have brought with us into the family of God, from our family of origin. You can find a copy of them below.
As you consider the list below, think about your own family of origin. Which were the most "true" for your family? Are there any others that you would add to the list? How might that be impacting your relationships in your church family? Then, invite the Holy Spirit to help you resist these unbiblical family commandments, and help you form new ones that are in line with God’s heart for his family, the church.
10 Unbiblical Family Commandments
a. Money is the best source of security.
b. The more money you have, the more important you are.
c. Make lots of money to prove you “made” it.
a. Avoid conflict at all costs
b. Don’t get people mad at you
c. Loud, angry, constant fighting is normal
a. Sex is not to be spoken about openly
b. Men can be promiscuous, women must be chaste
c. Sexuality in marriage will come easily.
4. GRIEF AND LOSS
a. Sadness is a sign of weakness
b. You are not allowed to be depressed
c. Get over losses quickly and move on
5. EXPRESSING ANGER
a. Anger is dangerous and bad
b. Explode in anger to make a point
c. Sarcasm is an acceptable way to release anger
a. You owe your parents for all they’ve done for you
b. Don’t speak of your family’s “dirty laundry” in public
c. Duty to family and culture comes before everything
a. Don’t trust people. They will let you down.
b. Nobody will ever hurt me again
c. Don’t show vulnerability
8. ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIFFERENT CULTURES
a. Only be close friends with people who are like you
b. Do not marry a person of another race or culture
c. Certain cultures/ races are not as good as mine
a. Is getting into the “best schools”
b. Is making lots of money
c. Is getting married and having children
10. FEELING AND EMOTIONS
a. You are not allowed to have certain feelings.
b. Your feelings are not important
c. Reacting with your feelings without thinking is okay.
These are taken straight from Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Relationships Workbook (p.67)