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WRONG SEXUALITY “FLEE SEXUAL IMMORALITY ”. 21 August 2011. Flee Sexual Immorality, Part 1 (5:1-13) Discipline the immoral man for his repentance and the church’s purity. 1. The problem: The Corinthians tolerate an outrageous case of sexual immorality (5:1-2 )

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slide2

Flee Sexual Immorality, Part 1 (5:1-13)

Discipline the immoral man for his repentance and the church’s purity

slide3

1. The problem: The Corinthians tolerate an outrageous case of sexual immorality (5:1-2)

  • A case of incest with a stepmother
  • Forbidden in the OT (Lev 18:8) under pain of death (Lev 20:11)
  • Disgusting even to Gentile pagans
  • Yet the church was arrogant!
slide5

2. The church is to excommunicate the sinner to bring about his repentance (5:3-5)

  • When the whole church meets in the name and power of the Lord Jesus, they must “hand him over to Satan”
  • This is not a curse to bring death
  • It is casting him out of the assembly (see v2 & v13), back into Satan’s realm
  • I.e. it is excommunication, excluding him from the fellowship, treating him as an unbeliever, not even eating with him (v11)
slide6

Goal is:

    • “for the destruction of the flesh”
    • “so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord”
  • “Destruction of the flesh” means putting to death the sinful desires of the flesh
  • There is no salvation for those who persist in flagrant, unrepentant sin
  • Part of the reason for church discipline is to bring repentance & restoration
slide7

3. The church is to excommunicate the sinner to purge themselves of all impurity(5:6-8)

  • The church has also sinned by failing to pronounce judgment on the man
  • In the OT, the feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread could only be celebrated after getting rid of leaven (Exodus 12:15-20)
slide8

In the same way, the church must be cleansed of all “leaven” (impurity) to celebrate the Passover

  • Our Passover sacrifice is not a lamb but the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Our ‘Passover’ is the entire Christian life of honouring our redemption by Christ
  • Thus another reason for enforcing church discipline is to safeguard the church’s purity
slide9

4. The church has a responsibility to judge its own people(5:9-13)

  • The Corinthians thought it was too harsh that Paul forbade them to associate with sinners (including unbelievers)
  • Paul clarifies that this command applies only to those inside the church, not to those outside the church
  • It is not our role to judge those outside, God will judge them
  • Our role is to judge those inside the church who persist in unrepentant sin
slide10

Question:

How do we decide which sins are to be publicly exposed and deserve excommunication?

slide11

Question:

How do we judge the church without being judgmental?

slide12

Question:

What if we think that church discipline will backfire and drive the person away from God?

slide13

Question:

Why bother to exercise church discipline when the person can just join another church?

slide14

Judge One Another

(6:1-8)

Settle disputes between believers within the church

slide15

Christians need to judge one another, not just in the case of sins but also in the case of disputes

  • The Corinthians were dragging one another to the secular courts
slide16

Even the lowliest believer can judge internal disputes better than unrighteous outsiders!

  • Why?
  • Because we will one day judge the world, even angels!
  • When you drag one another to court, both sides lose
slide17

The godly would rather endure being wronged than to wrong a brother

  • Yet the Corinthians wrong & defraud one another!
    • They sue one another out of their greed for gain
    • Simply the act of taking one another before an unrighteous judge is already to wrong & defraud them
slide18

Question:

A fellow-Christian has broken a contract they made with you. Should you sue them in court?

slide19

Question:

What if you are not the initiator, but a fellow-Christian is taking you to court?

slide20

Live Righteous Lives (6:9-11)

Moral purity is necessary for entering the kingdom of God

slide21

The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God

  • Note the types of sins – not all sexual sins, but all just as serious
  • That is what they were like
  • But now they have been washed, sanctified & justified – they can no longer live like that
slide22

Flee Sexual Immorality, Part 2 (6:12-20)

Your bodies belong to Christ and are the Spirit’s temple

slide24

1. Christian freedom must be tempered by whether the action is beneficial (6:12a)

  • The Corinthians thought “As a Christian I am free & can do whatever I like”
  • Paul does not contradict the freedom of Christians but qualifies it
  • He shifts the focus from rights to responsibilities
  • The focus is on the well-being of others
slide25

2. Christian freedom must be tempered by whether the action will enslave us (6:12b)

  • Human beings are inevitably enslaved to their sins
  • We must choose which master to serve – our sinful lusts or God
  • True freedom is not freedom from all restraints (licence, which is slavery to sin)
  • Freedom is freedom to be what God made us to be (holy people), i.e. freedom from sin
slide26

2. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality but for the Lord (6:13-20)

(a) The Corinthians’ position: It doesn’t matter what we do with our body (v13a)

  • The Corinthians argument:
    • Just as food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food, so also sex is meant for the body and the body for sex
    • Both are just bodily functions with no lasting significance
    • God will one day destroy everything physical, so what we do with our bodies now is of no moral consequence
slide27

2. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality but for the Lord (6:13-20)

(b) Theological principle: The body is for the Lord (vv13b-14)

  • Everything we do with our body is for the Lord Jesus, & therefore, has moral significance
  • Moreover, the body will not finally be destroyed but resurrected by God’s power
  • Therefore we will worship & serve Christ forever in our bodies
slide28

2. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality but for the Lord (6:13-20)

(c) 1st supporting argument: Our bodies are Christ’s body parts and united to Christ (vv15-17)

  • Our bodies are “members” or “body parts” of Christ, & not to be made into a prostitute’s body parts (v15)
  • God designed sex to unite two bodies as one flesh (v16, quoting Gen 2:24)
  • We are meant to be united with Christ (spiritually) & not with a prostitute
slide29

2. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality but for the Lord (6:13-20)

(d) 2nd supporting argument: Sexual sins affect our bodies uniquely in a way other sins do not (v18)

  • Unlike all other sin, sexual sin is “against the body”
  • “Against the body” does not mean physical injury but a violation/pollution of the body due to the unique one-flesh union that sex brings
slide30

2. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality but for the Lord (6:13-20)

(e) 3rd supporting argument: Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit & belong to God (vv19-20a)

  • Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit
  • We do not belong to ourselves, but were bought by God at great cost
  • When we sin sexually, we not only sin against our own bodies, we also defile God’s holy temple
slide31

2. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality but for the Lord (6:13-20)

(e) Concluding command: Glorify God in your body (v20b)

  • Negative command: “Flee immorality!” (v18a)
  • Positive command: “Glorify God in your body!” (v20b)
  • The goal of Christian life is to bring glory to God (10:31)
slide32

Question:

How serious is the issue of sexual sin in churches today?

slide33

Question:

Can God forgive me if I have sinned sexually?

slide34

Summary of 1 Corinthians 5-6

Flee sexual immorality and judge sin in your midst, because you are God’s holy people

slide35

Flee Sexual Immorality, Part 1 (5:1-13)

Discipline the immoral man for his repentance & the church’s purity

II. Judge One Another (6:1-8)

Settle disputes between believers within the church

III. Live Righteous Lives (6:9-11)

Moral purity is necessary for entering the kingdom of God

  • Flee Sexual Immorality, Part 2 (6:12-20)

Your bodies belong to Christ & are the Spirit’s temple