• Matt Beaney

#528 (2/2/22) OUR BODIES ARE MEMBERS OF CHRIST



You may not be married, but I’m sure that we can all understand that when someone commits adultery against their spouse, there is very little that is as painful. Marriage is a unity that reflects the greater unity that a Christian has with Jesus.

'Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.' (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)

This is amazing - ‘your bodies are members of Christ Himself’! This is our fundamental identity. Paul challenges them, ‘do you not know…’ - do we know that we are united with Jesus by the Spirit? Some at Corinth are failing to understand that to unite oneself with someone in sexual immorality is to unite the members of Christ in this act! This is spiritual adultery. We -the church - are the bride of Christ and will we betray Him in such a way?


In response, do we know that we are members of Christ Himself? Do we understand that we are ‘united with the Lord and one with Him in spirit’? All of our longings for loving intimacy point to the truest and eternal unity that we are to pursue with Jesus.


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

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

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.' (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)

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.

 

2. Icebreaker

Have you ever done something that you didn't want to do and yet found it to be rewarding?

 

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. This church has been infected by false teachers who are teaching that sexual sin is okay. Love for God and others requires that we pursue godly sexual relationships.


i) THE CORINTHIAN ATTITUDE

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.' (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)

Some were teaching that they are free to do whatever they liked sexually. Paul is correcting their attitude to sexual freedom. Freedom is using our body as the Lord intended.


ii) MEMBERS OF CHRIST

'By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.' (1 Corinthians 6:14-17)

Paul reminds them that their bodies are important to God. God will raise them and renew them. They are also united to Jesus by the Spirit and so it is anathema to unite our bodies with the Lord and with a prostitute or anyone else in sexual sin.


iii) FLEE SEXUAL IMMORALITY

'Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.' (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

To sin sexually is to sin against our bodies in a most severe fashion. To sin sexually is also to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit. To sin sexually is to forget that we have been chosen and purchased by the blood of Christ. In response to these truths, we must 'flee from sexual immorality'. Seek to live pure lives for the glory of God.


Discussion questions

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

ii) How does Paul seek to motivate this church toward sexual purity?

iii) What are the various ways that one can seek to 'flee from sexual immorality'?


iii) SIV - Why does the pursuit of sexual purity help to glorify Jesus in our community?

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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