• Matt Beaney

#522 (11/1/22) WHAT’S IN YOUR WAKE?



Recently I was running beside the River Thames and saw that the river was running so fast that it was creating a wake extending from the buoys that are in certain places in the river.

Another image of a ‘wake’ is that of a rowing boat - another common image on the river - and the wake that spreads out like a fan behind the boat. A wake starts very narrow but spreads out to affect the banks of the river. A wake is another illustration that could be used for yeast that Paul uses in this chapter.

‘Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?’ (1 Corinthians 5:6)

Like yeast, the 'wake' of our lives will spread out and affect others in the church. Anyone who will come to Jesus each day to be with Him in His word and prayer will influence their brother and sister for good.


Let’s also remember that the community that is outside the church will feel our wake. Our words and works will help them to come to Jesus or cause them to regard Him as useless. Paul says,

‘It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate…’ (1 Corinthians 5:1).

Too often the church, because she allows toxic sin - vile sexual sin on occasion - to spread, is mocked and hated. However, any church that is devoted to knowing Jesus and obeying His word will influence the community for good.


What’s in your wake? Are those closets to you being blessed by the love of God? Are those in your community seeing the fruit of the Spirit in your life? A good wake, like good yeast is the natural outcome of coming to Jesus as a lifestyle.


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.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light,and kings to the brightness of your dawn." (Isaiah 60:1-3)

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 - Some people are dangerous and destructive. 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.







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