• Matt Beaney

#521 (10/1/22) THE ‘YEAST’ OF PERVERTED SEX



It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?’ (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)
‘Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?’ (1 Corinthians 5:6)

The Corinthians had become Christians out of a very sexually perverted culture. Corinth was renowned for its immorality. Like most seaports, Corinth became both prosperous and licentious – so much so that the Greeks had a word for leading a life of debauchery - ‘Korinthiazein’, that is, to live like a Corinthian. Dominating the city was the ‘Acrocorinth’, a hill of over 1,850 feet, on which stood a large temple to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. The thousand priestesses of the temple, who were sacred prostitutes, came down into the city when evening fell and plied their trade in the streets. ‘The cult was dedicated to the glorification of sex.’ There was the temple of Apollo in the city itself – Apollo, the god of music, song and poetry; also, the ideal of male beauty. Nude statues and friezes of Apollo in various poses of virility fired his male worshippers to physical displays of devotion with the god’s beautiful boys. Corinth was therefore a centre of homosexual practices.


It seems that some in the Corinthians church were teaching an ungodly freedom from sexual restraint and some were returning to their old way of life. A particularly serious issue he addresses is that of an ongoing sexual relationship between and man and his stepmother! He says that this kind of thing is not even tolerated among unbelievers! Sometimes the church can become more warped than the culture in which it is meant to be salt and light! Cults can become very perverted and dangerous places if sin is allowed to grow unchecked.


Recently, I was watching a documentary on the artist Andy Warhol. He is admired for his artwork and for breaking down the sexual constraints of 1960s America. However, watching these films, I was disturbed by the harm and confusion that was caused to anyone who indulged in the sex and drug-fuelled ‘freedoms’ that he espoused. A rejection of God’s time-tested wisdom will never lead to freedom and joy.


Paul likens sin (sexual sin in particular) to ‘yeast’ that spreads through a batch of dough. Ungodly models of sexual relationships are being promoted constantly around us. Nearly every film or show involves perverted sex. Let’s call it what it is! Today, let’s be reminded that God has a plan for sex: it’s only within heterosexual marriage. Are you and I allowing the yeast of sexual sin into our lives? Are we seeking sexual purity? Are you believing that this is God’s good plan? Our culture may see this view as hateful or oppressive in some way, but, for Christians, this is God’s good and loving plan. Anyone who obeys their heavenly Father by keeping to His plan will be blessed.


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

'Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.' (Romans 12:2)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Important - this Sunday, our service is both live in the building and on Zoom from 10:30. Please go to the website for the Zoom link.

 

2. Icebreaker

What has been the most memorable (in a good way!) thing that has happened over Christmas and New Year?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians. The Corinthians had become Christians out of a very sexually perverted culture. However, some of them were embracing the sin in their culture and going back to their old lives. Paul likens the spreading effects of sin in a church community to yeast spreading in dough - there is power in little things!

‘It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?’ (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)
‘Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?’ (1 Corinthians 5:6)

The 'yeast' of sin that spreads is much more than sexual immorality. He also adds these things,

'But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.' (1 Corinthians 5:11)

Sin, if we are not careful, will spread in our lives and the church. We are to all play our part in the health of the church. Here are some ways:

1. Know your Bible - know the things that are sin. Know your identity in Christ.

2. Have humility - Be quick to deal with sin in our own lives - small things can be very destructive!

3. Help each other - Let's build deep friendships so we can encourage and correct each other. Share and ask for the support of a friend when we want to change.

4. Expel the un-repentant - The elders of a church, on rare occasions, will have to put those who promote sin out of the church fellowship.


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) How can we build deeper relationships in our Community Group so as be able to encourage each other more effectively?

iii) SIV - Too often, we can be tempted to think that if we embrace worldly values and style, we will be more effective in our mission. Why would resisting the yeast of sexual sin and other sinful traits make us more effective in our witness?

iv) SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

v) SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

vi) SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.







70 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All