"Planning the Good Life (Pt. 3)"
TEXTS: 1 Corinthians 3-6
1. Paul had to defend the legitimacy of his leadership to the Christians at Corinth. Why? The Lord chooses unimpressive leaders so that His power is on display through them. Most likely, Paul seemed rather unimpressive to the Corinthian Christians and they had trouble accepting him as the Lord’s chosen leader. We can face a similar struggle in the 21st Century American Church due to our independent natures and the rise of “DIY” Christianity. It’s tempting to dismiss those whom the Lord has chosen to lead His people, but biblical faith calls us to honor our spiritual leaders. We should examine our hearts to see if we have a worldly attitude towards the spiritual leaders God has chosen to keep watch over our souls.
2. If certain sins are tolerated and brought to church, they will affect the whole body of believers. This should cause us to live holy lives for the sake of others. As a follower of Jesus who belongs to the family of God, our lives and decisions impact one another. Paul gives us a list of such sins in 1 Corinthians. They are: (1) sexual immorality, (2) greed, (3) idolatry, (4) revelry, (5) drunkenness, and (6) being a swindler.
3. We should not be surprised when unbelievers act sinfully. When we try to constantly correct the unregenerate world, it ultimately results in a waste of our time. More importantly, our behavior towards those who do not know Jesus can harden their hearts and make it more difficult for them to come to saving faith. Rather than being concerned about the sins of the world, believers should examine if those sins are in their own lives and in the Church.
4. Brothers and sisters in Christ should settle their grievances among themselves. When the family of God goes to the world to settle their disputes the Christian faith looks fragile, weak, and powerless.
5. If we are overly focused on the temporary, we will get upset about trivial things.
6. Christians should not be the ones who are publicly arguing and causing strife. And smartphones have created a space where this temptation is real and constant. Tragically, many believers give in to this temptation and think they are simply being a good witness and standing up for the truth. But arguing and causing strife with the public watching has the opposite effect--it provides a bad witness.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How should believers rightly respond to the sins of unbelievers and to the sins of the world?
2. Why do you think the Lord allows our personal sins to impact the whole family of God? What truths should this communicate to us and cause us to regularly ponder?
3. How can/should a follower of Jesus handle their smartphones concerning the public eye? What should we ask ourselves and examine before we post or put something out for public consumption?
4. What are some examples of the temporary things that should not take too much of our focus (Truth 5)?
5. What does it look like to have a worldly attitude towards your spiritual leaders?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- That we realize our lives and decisions impact others
- Being a good witness of Jesus in the public eye