Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23 - 1 Corinthians 6

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Corinthians 6. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The Corinthian Christians didn't know their place in the world. They were bringing each other to court over matters that could have been settled within the church. But, as Christians, they should have considered themselves above that.
  • The Corinthian Christians also weren't worried about how they came across to the world. They didn't care if their actions made those outside the church look down on them. They should have been trying to represent Jesus in a more positive way.
  • Paul gives a list (verses 9-10) of people who will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But Paul then says "that is what some of you were." The idea is that these people had come into relationship with Jesus, and had been transformed by Him. And, even more importantly, through their acceptance of Jesus they were "washed," "sanctified," and "justified." The idea is that their sins have been taken away because of Jesus.
  • Apparently the Corinthians had slogans like, "I have the right to do anything," and "food for the stomach and the stomach for food" (verses 12-13) and were using these popular phrases to justify their bad behavior. Paul points out the flaws in their thinking and the ultimate effect of their excesses.
  • Paul makes it clear (verses 15-20) that sex is more than just a physical act. There is a profound and spiritual uniting that happens in the act of sex. When we have sex recklessly or selfishly we are violating the sacredness of sex, and of our own bodies. Therefore, God gives us sexual boundaries for our protection and to help us live the best lives possible.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We are to live not by the ways of this world, but by the will of God. Instead of living the way the world does, we should be concerned that the world sees something different in us that draws them to God. 
  • The chapter ends "You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." In our culture we're taught that we are free to do whatever we want. The truth is that Jesus paid the price of His life to "buy" us. We now belong to Him. So we live for Him and according to His will. The cool thing is that He knows and wants what's best for us.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • In what ways are you living like everyone lives instead of the way God wants you to live? What impression might it be creating for people who don't know Jesus? How should you change, and what might the impact be?
  • In what ways are you honoring God with your body? In what ways are you not honoring God with your body? What might be some of the consequences of not honoring God with your body - now, and long-term?