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                                                        Be The Church week 11

                                                             1 Corinthians 8:1-13



Theme: When we look into the church of Corinth we see a lot of things we can learn from! They were a messy church, but they were a church alive! As we dive into this book we can learn a lot, whether it be from their spiritual failures or whether it be from their spiritual success. The one thing we learn is that God has called the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus! And it's when the church comes together in unity and lives on mission together that God moves in the most powerful of ways! Let’s be the church!



Major Points:

Christ sets us free from sin and shame, and sets us free from the curse of the law! Were not saved by works but we are saved to good works! True freedom is walking in what you were created for. You were created for a relationship with God and when your walk with God is healthy you will live out of a love for him and therefore it will shape how you love others! Every decision you make should be a gospel decision. Before you make decisions as the question does this love God and does this love, my neighbor?



1. An Honest Question


The Christian life is a life of questions! We should constantly see God on how to live in the present! What is right in this situation or that situation? How does life work? What would Jesus do in this situation? The Church in Corinth was a church that was on fire for God, and they were a church that asked good questions! They wanted to know how life was supposed to work as Christians. How does sex work? How does marriage work, in this passage they were wanting to know what to do with their freedoms (liberties) in Christ?


Context

Idol worship was very common in this culture! It was very common for people to sacrifice meat to idols. People would keep this meat and sell it in the supermarkets for a discount! Christians in the area would purchase this meat and use it to eat and fellowship with. Why some Christians were mature enough to know that there is only one true God and a piece of meat doesn’t defile them, there were other younger believers who use to participate in idol worship and this was a big stumbling block to them! They wrote Paul and asked him what they should do concerning meat sacrificed to idols. What do we do with our freedoms? What do we do with our Christian liberties?




Questions


Why are asking questions and seeking God’s will for how you live your life a good sign?


What are some questions you had (still have) when you first became a believer? 


What are some questions that you’ve seen others have after coming to the faith




2.. The Gospel Answer vs 9

Paul pointed them straight to the Gospel!


Knowledge puffs up, Love Builds up! Vs 1

Truth without love is useless! To be right the wrong way is to be wrong!

The mature believers at Corinth were right in the fact that they weren’t sinning. They were right in the fact that there is only one God! But they were not thinking about their younger brothers and sisters in the faith! They were putting the truth over loving their brothers and sisters.



Knowledge + Gospel Love = The right answer


Truth alone isn’t enough! Being right isn’t always right! And knowledge is important but what’s most important is knowing that God loves you and living out that love towards other people!



Remember the Gospel

Never forget how Jesus used his freedoms for you! He laid them down to set you free!

And we may be set free in Christ but we are a slave to Him now. We want to be to others what Christ was for us! A Servant! 



Make Gospel Decisions vs 9


Vs 9 Be careful, however, that, the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 


Paul says that we should be careful that the decisions we make do not make our brothers and sister stumble! We should be a stepping stone to Christ not a stumbling block from Christ.


Ask these questions before you make decisions.


Does it glorify God? -  If it doesn’t then am I willing to say I don’t want to do it?


Does it love my neighbor? -  Will this make my neighbor stumble?


Is it keeping in step with the spirit? - What is God convincing you of personally?


Am I willing to say no for the sake of the Gospel?



No matter what we do we should live our life every day in the light of loving God and loving others! Therefore be careful how you live that you don’t make others around you stumble!

No matter how strong you are in your faith, where you are strong it is very possible for others to be weak! Make Gospel Decisions!


Can you say with Paul in vs 13

If this causes a brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never do it again.

If what I drink, if what I post, if what I snap, if what I speak, if what I smoke, if what I _________ Causes my neighbor to stumble then I will say no to it for the sake of the gospel!


 

Questions

What are some things in your life right now that could potentially make a brother or sister stumble in their walk with God?


What are some things in your life right now that don’t bring God glory?


What is something specific that God has been convicting you of here lately?


Why are the decisions we make important to God and important to those around us?


How should the Gospel change the way you make social decisions?




3.. Applications for us

We live in a day in time where there are a bunch of hot-button topics!

There are a lot of people with a lot of questions when it comes to making social decisions in the Christian life. I want to go through a few of these questions.

Use this time to teach your people how to make Gospel decisions by answering the following questions!



What does the word say?

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how we feel or what we think. What matters is what the Bible teaches about this topic! If God’s word says it then that settles it! Does this glorify God or not? I


What does the culture say?

Where we live matters when it comes to this topic! What is natural and not a problem in one area of the world might not be the case where we live! What does our culture say about this topic? 


What is the Gospel Decision?

What is the best decision for you to make when it comes to this topic? What's the right way and what’s the wrong way? How does this topic Love God and Love others?


Q - How should a Christian view Alcohol? 

What does the Bible teach?

  • Ecclesiastes 9:7
  • Ephesians 5:18
  • Psalm 104:15
  • Galatians 5:21



What does the culture teach?

  • where we live drinking is equated with a lifestyle.
  • We don’t live in a culture of moderation
  • YOLO - you only live once so let's eat and drink and be merry!


What is the gospel decision?

- How should I treat alcohol through the lens of loving God and loving others?



Q-  Is it ok for Christians to enjoy secular entertainment?


What does the Bible teach?

  • Luke 6:45


What does the culture teach?

  • Do what you want when you want how you want.
  • Nobody gets to tell you what to do.


What is the gospel decision?

- Is what I'm watching or listing to glorify God?



Q- How should a Christian dress?


What does the Bible teach?

  • 1 Peter 3:3-4
  • Matt 5:28
  • Proverbs 5


What does the culture teach?

  • We live in a very seductive culture!
  • This is my body I will wear what I want to wear. 


What is the gospel decision?

- Does what I wear honor God and honor my spouse?



Q - What about Church and politics?


What does the Bible teach?

  • 1 Timothy 2:1-4
  • Genesis 1:27
  • Matthew 28:19-20
  • Philippians 3:20


What does the culture teach?

  • You are either a democrat or a republican.
  • Place all hopes and trust in a person or party
  • If they don’t agree with me then to hell with them


What is the gospel decision?

  • Pray for our leaders
  • Cast your vote
  • Make disciples
  • Don’t live in fear
  • Love your neighbor



Q- Is it ok for a Christian to smoke?


What does the Bible teach?

- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


What does the culture teach?

  • Live for the now and deal with consequences later!


What is the gospel decision?

  • Does this steward my body well?
  • Is this harmful to me?
  • Is this harmful to others?


Q - Is it ok for Christians to get tattoos?


What does the Bible teach?

  • 1 Corinthians  6:19-20


What does the culture teach?

- Live for the now and deal with consequences later.


What is the gospel decision?

  • Does this steward my body well?
  • Is this harmful to me?
  • Is this harmful to others?



Q - Is cussing a sin?


What does the Bible teach?

  • Luke 6:45
  • James 3:9-10


What does the culture teach?

  • We live in a culture where we have “freedom of speech.”
  • Gossiping is ok!
  • What I say doesn’t matter!


What is the gospel decision?

  • Is what I'm about to say pleasing to God?
  • Does this reflect Christ well?
  • Does this love my neighbor? 


Q - where do we draw the line on theological convictions?


What does the Bible teach?

  • psalm 119:103
  • John 17:20-23

- We should love God's word but that should also make us love one another.


What does the culture teach?

  • if you don’t agree with me your wrong and I'm right.
  • We cant disagree and still love one another.


What is the gospel decision?
- Don’t break fellowship over secondary issues.

  • Some things you can disagree on and still believe the Bible and still be saved.
  • Don’t love being right more than you love your brother and sister in Christ. 
  • Good theology should lead you to make disciples!




Closing question

How has the Gospel changed the way you make decisions?



Closing prayer

Pray that God would make our heart beat for the things His heart beats for.

Ask God to help us live lives that Bring him glory!