SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- As we've read, the Corinthian Christians were pretty immature. They were taking each other to court over matters that could have been settled within the church. Not only that, Paul points out that the biblical response should actually be to forgive anyways (vs.7).
- Paul then gives a long list 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 used to live their lives in darkness, but were now transformed by their relationship with Jesus. As a result, they were "washed," "sanctified," and "justified"- meaning, their sins were taken away.
- Apparently, the Corinthians had slogans like, "Everything is permissible for me," and "food for the stomach and the stomach for food" (verses 12-13) and were using these popular phrases to justify bad behavior. Paul points out the flaws in their thinking and the ultimate effect of excess.
- Paul makes it clear in 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.
- We are to live not by the ways of this world, but by the will of God. Instead of living the way the everyone else does, we should want everyone else to see something different in us that draws them to God.
- The chapter ends with, "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.
- In what ways are you living like everyone else 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?