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Sermon Discussion Guide 1 Corinthians– Corinthians– In Christ in Corinth Wk 4 SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 INTRO Questions: Excursis: The Danger of Demonizing Certain Sins 1 Cor 5 identifies a sexual sin that was particularly egregious in the context of 1st Century Corinth. The mistake we can make is to conclude that sexual sins are thus the worst of all sins. Sexual sin is serious. Paul explains why in 1 Cor 6:1520. But we tend to unjustly stigmatize certain sins, especially the ones we don’t struggle with as much…or perhaps ones we secretly struggle with the most. Too often we read passages like 1 Cor 5 with a log in our eyes, pointing out the speck in our neighbor’s eye (Matt 7:3). Many great theologians through the ages agree that perhaps the most dangerous sin of all is pride. Consider St. Augustine’s explanation: “Pride is the commencement of all sin'6 because it was this which overthrew the devil, from whom arose the origin of sin; and afterwards, when his malice and envy pursued man, who was yet standing in his uprightness, it subverted him in the same way in which he himself fell. For the serpent, in fact, only sought for the door of pride whereby to enter when he said, 'Ye shall be as gods.'" Further Reading: http://www.cslewisinstitute. org/Pride_and_Humility_Sin glePage

What do you think about the church taking corporate responsibility over the personal, moral lives of its members? What do our feelings about this say about us? (Background/Transition): Tim explained that 1 Cor 5 marks a transition wherein Paul moves from diagnosing the general problem in the Corinthian church—a lack of love— to how this plays out in more specific problems. Paul questions if the Corinthian believers even know what it means to be a church, if they understand who they are in Christ. And Paul makes it clear that he doesn’t consider them discrete individuals, accountable only for their own actions. Rather he casts a vision of corporate responsibility, even culpability, because the church shares in one life in Christ. READ the text aloud. DISCUSS: Paul casts a vision for what life in the church should look like, which Tim explored from 3 angles: 1) The Threat: vv. 1-2, 5—The church is tolerating sin that even pagans deemed taboo. They tolerate it either in acquiescence to a powerful, high status figure or from moral laxity. Either way, they’re functionally rejecting their connectedness, in Christ, with one another and with this individual and his sin. They’re failing to take responsibility for him and failing to love him. Discuss how v. 5 is really a severe mercy. 2) The Foundation: v. 6-7—We’re united to Christ in a covenant to which God pledges faithfulness. The OT is the story of God’s faithful love for his covenant people though they’re often faith-less. Now, in Christ, we can and must be faithful to God, and this includes assuming responsibility for our siblings in Christ. Discuss what it means to love our new siblings well, why and how we must do this. 3) The Call: v. 8—Since we are, in Christ, part of God’s covenant family we are called not only to faithful worship of God and faithful sibling care, but we’re called to a new way of life. As Tim explained (alluding to N.T. Wright), all of life is a Passover celebration for those who are in Christ, so we must live like it—we must live in the freedom from sin and in the joy that is ours in Christ Jesus. Conclusion/Application: 1) How do vv. 9-10 indict Christian separatism and a legalistic witness to the world? 2) How do we apply v. 11? When should we truly stop associating with a fellow church member? Hint: When there’s proud persistence in sin in lieu of repentance. 3) Discuss vv. 12-13. Who and how are we to judge? 4) Are there any sins we tolerate in our church that the Austin culture doesn’t even tolerate?

1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 5-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you….5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 6

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-- 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler-- not even to eat with such a one. 12

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."