Series: Living in Filth
It was supposed to be beautiful.
Invented by God himself, it was to shine light into darkness and hope into despair. Amid a culture of decadence, the church was to be pure and unified and blameless. Reality was much different. Moral filth, divisions, and confusion permeated every corner. The very people God set apart to change the culture were being changed by the culture. Instead of living in hope they were living in filth. Before they could change the culture, they needed to change the church. And before they could change the church, they needed to embrace a message they believed, but hadn’t fully understood.
Welcome to 1 Corinthians…
Discussion Guides & Message Wraps
Week 1: Blameless
Amid a culture of decadence, the church was to be pure and unified and blameless. Before they could change the culture, they needed to change the church.
Week 2: Unified
After refocusing the church on its calling, the first issue Paul tackles in the church in Corinth is the divisions that it has become known for. The church fractured over teachers, economic status, politics… you name it, they could fight over it. So Paul reminds them about a vital truth: Jesus followers stand together. And that starts with standing with Jesus and laying down our pride.
Week 3: Pure
Once Paul finishes tackling the needless divisions in the church at Corinth, he turns his attention to an area where the church should be taking action, but isn’t. Some things ARE worth fighting for, and the purity of the church is one of them. Paul’s instructions, read out loud at one of their worship gatherings, wouldn’t have been easy to hear – and they aren’t any easier to hear today. But the steps he directs the church to take aren’t severe because Paul was in a bad mood, they’re severe because of what’s at stake: the real souls of real human beings.
Week 4: Forgiving
We live in a culture that loves litigation. Watch daytime television for an hour and you’ll see commercials for multiple lawyers offering to sue multiple people for multiple causes just for you. It makes us roll our eyes a little. Do you know who could relate to that? The Apostle Paul. Word had reached his ears in the middle of the first century that the church in Corinth was dealing with lawsuits. But these weren’t lawsuits from outside, they were lawsuits from inside the church – between fellow believers. That’s the issue that he turns his attention to in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.
Week 5: Committed
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul turns his attention to marriage. He covers a wide range of situations and relationships. Some of what he says is surprising, but it all hinges around one central theme: commitment.
Week 6: Deferential
What happens when people in a church don’t see eye-to-eye on whether or not something is off-limits to Christians? That’s the next issue Paul tackles in 1 Corinthians. For Paul, this topic involves several issues and attitudes that are interrelated, and he spends a big chunk of this letter fleshing them out. The first one he develops is deference: humble submission and respect.
Week 7: Humble
In 1 Corinthians 8, 9, & 10, Paul devotes 1,200 words to answering a simple question: can Jesus Followers eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols? Twelve HUNDRED words – to answer a simple “yes” or “no” question. Seem a little excessive? Possibly. But Paul wasn’t just feeling exceptionally wordy, he saw in the Corinthians’ question an opportunity to refocus the church on the work of the gospel – and in the process he lays out for them the kind of attitude that has the potential to radically transform the culture of their church — and us.