BSF Acts: Week 18: Lecture

Lecture: Rough Outline

The church in Corinth was challenged with the same thing many christians struggle with today – sin and confusion.    When we rely on human knowledge and our own world view of things it is easy to become lost – to lose our way.  We are by nature sinful, prideful and our view of things is based on this perception.

When you are lost, what helps you find your way?  Well, a map would be ideal.  The great news is that when we are lost, confused and struggling with our sin – God has a given us a map – one based on a spiritual view which sees everything.

But – here is the really amazing thing – this isn’t an ordinary map.

This is a treasure map.  And on every treasure map there is a special mark that indicates the treasure.  The X… but on this map it is turned a little bit – it is a +… a cross.  The Cross!

Division 1: 1 Cor 1-4.  Spritual wisdom is from the Holy Spirit.

Everyone may know the story of the blind men describing the elephant.  One felt only the side and described it as flat and leathery.  One felt the tusk and described it as hard and slick.  One felt the tail and described it as snake like (and a bit smelly).

The point is that each only saw things from their own perspective and, as such, they totally missed the big picture – This is the same thing that happened in the church in Corinth.  They were so busy climbing up the wall that separated them from God – looking down and gloating over how much higher up the way they were than others – they totally missed that there was a door – a gate – that led through to the other side.

Are you asking God each day to show you the way?  Do you trust your own judgment or trust in God?  Are you asking God to open your eyes as well as your heart?

2nd Division:  1 Cor 5,6  My body is God’s temple

How would you describe yourself?  6′ tall, brown hair, green eyes.  weight?  age?

Now describe a treasure chest.  If you describe the box and not the gems and precious materials inside, aren’t you missing the most important part?

In the same way, what is most important about me and you?  The outside or what is inside?

When God sees us he sees us as a soul with a physical body.  when we look at it, we see a body with a soul.  Which is more correct?  God’s view – of course.

Start seeing yourself as a soul with a body, not a body with a soul

Division 3: 1 Cor 7

Either married or unmarried – either way is a blessing from God.

Did you and your friends all receive the same gifts at Christmas?  Of course not – you are all different and each received different gifts.  Does that mean one received a better gift than someone else?  No, different doesn’t mean better.

In the same way – marriage is a gift from God.  Is it the same gift for everyone?  Of course not, because we are all different.  Some receive the gift of marriage.  Some receive the gift of not being married and devoting more time to spreading the gospel.  Either way – both are gifts.

Do you thank God for the gifts that He has planned for your life?

Do you thank God that he chose the gift of marriage for your Mom and Dad so they could have you?

Do you ask God to bless the marriage of your Mom and Dad so they can enjoy the gifts God gives you?

BSF Acts: Week 18, Day 5: 1 Corinthians 7

Summary:

Paul discusses issues and concerns about marriage, celibacy, divorce and widows.

Questions:

13. Chapter 7 concerns God’s gifts of marriage and celibacy.

a.

Marriage is not required: it is OK to be single and there are some benefits to being single (more time to devote to kingdom work)

Marriage is one husband one wife, man and woman

The two become one, in all ways – and that is a good and God ordained thing (not immoral)

Time apart from each other (in any way) is by mutual consent and only for devotion to prayer and only for a short duration

Except for unfaithfulness, no divorce

b. Unspoken: choose spouse wisely and prayerfully

Do not divorce over issues of belief

If unbelieving spouse is willing to stay – then stay together

If unbelieving spouse decides to leave – let them leave

It is not up to the believing spouse to choose to leave the marriage

c. Marriage is sanctioned and sanctified by God, but not required.  Paul emphasizes that it is a significant commitment and, as such, it requires time and energy that can be devoted to mission work.  That does not mean that it is wrong, it also doesn’t mean that it is required of all.

14. There is nothing casual about marriage.  Take your time.  Be prayerful.  Enter it for the right reasons.  Plan and prepare for the marriage not just the wedding.  For those who are married – be joined together as a body in Christ – building on each others strengths and supporting each others weaknesses.

Conclusion:

My wife is far more than my best friend – although she is that.  She is an amazing woman of God.  Someone who accepts my support and comfort, while at the same time praying for me and supporting me.  I understand the blessing of raising a family together and understanding first hand what it means to be a Father and Husband – which gives me such a greater appreciation of my heavenly father and the bridegroom of the church.  I also recognize that by marrying me, my wife has made a significant commitment of time and energy to minister to me.  Could she have spent that time and energy reaching out to many other people? Would that have been a good thing in terms of spreading the gospel?  Of course to both – but that doesn’t mean that she should have done that instead.  God has given us to each other because that is His plan for our lives.

BSF Acts: Week 18, Day 4: 1 Corinthians 5–6

Summary:

Paul warns against the sins of the flesh – of identifying ourselves as physical beings with a spirit rather than spiritual beings in communion with God

Questions:

11. Write a brief summary:

a. Do not continue to commune with unrepentant sinners.  When believers try to represent sin as acceptable, do not associate with such people

b. Disputes between believers should be reconciled within the body of the church with intervention by a fellow believer

c. Our words, actions and deeds as believers are the judgment of both angels and other believers, whose mission it is to minister to us.  When we fall, our actions judge their work as less than worthy

d. Food is not prohibited, but when it becomes the focus and the pleasure it derides becomes the end-all, it becomes and idol like any other

e. chief among sins of a believer is sexual immorality.  It is the only sin that is committed by us against us dishonoring God.

12. Sin of the flesh is not  challenge to a spiritual being.  We are endwelled by the spirit of God, bought at a price.

Conclusion:

Perspective.  What is your self identity?  Your view of yourself?  If it is as a physical being, then temptation abounds for the flesh.  Immorality, impurity, glutony, idolatry, pride, deceit, theft.  And these are just the surface sins a physical being must fight.  But in God’s perspective, we are not a physical being – we became a spiritual being in one with our maker.  The physical structure is nothing more than the walls of the temple – the identity is what is within.  A new creation.

BSF Acts: Week 18, Day 3: 1 Corinthians 3–4

Summary:

 Paul provides the Corinthians with the equivalent of grabbing them by the shoulders, shaking hard and screaming – you are going the wrong way.  By holding on to their world view, they fail to see that what they see as growth is not leading them closer to what God desires for their lives.

Questions

6. Paul was hindered by the Corinthians ability to hear, comprehend and process the message

7. a. Milk relates to the basic teaching of salvation.  Solid food is a deeper understanding of the truth of the word and being filled with the spirit.

b. We know that man’s perspective is different than God’s.  When we look at things only through human eyes (only from the perspective of the world) there is only so much that we can see and understand.  If we think we are wise by way of the world, then we should become foolish so we can really understand. The were becoming self-righteous in their faith, rather than being servants.

Romans 8:7; sinful mind is hostile to God and does not submit

Romans 14:10–12: God is our judge, every knee will bow and give an account

2 Corinthians 5:10: Before the judgment seat we receive ourdue for our time on earth

Galatians 6:8–9: good work for our own pride and recognition leads to destruction

8. a. Jesus Christ

b. The person whose work survives receives the reward of God.  A believer who does not will enter heaven, but will be lack the joy of receiving God’s recognition

c. Time wasters keep coming up – the things that take up my time that do not yield kingdom value.  This is an area of struggle.

9. Servants of Christ

10. a. Those with true spiritual power, such as the Apostles, humble themselves in service to saving and teaching others.  Growing in faith is not something to lead to a prideful boast it is an awakening of the desire and need to better utilize the hours we have on this earth for God

b. His letter is one of correction and teaching.  Better from Paul on this earth than from God at the day of Judgment.

Conclusion:

Here is how I think of it.  From a standard world view we can look at God and faith and the Christian community from one perspective only – one angle – one view of the wall.  From that angle we can proceed on a path and believe that as we learn more and memorize more scripture, we climb that wall of sin that seperates us from God and rise higher than others just starting the climb.  But Paul is trying to help them/us learn that this is the wrong path.  The objective is not the climb, but to go through the gate that Jesus opened to the other side of the wall so we can see things the way God sees them.  When we do we understand that climbing over others isn’t rewarded, instead, helping show them the right path is.