February 17 & 24 1 Corinthians 6:1-20
This is all actually starting to make sense…and tie together. Think about how we’ve gotten to this point in the letter to the Corinthians thus far.
Paul laid the groundwork upon which all of his reasoning will be based for the rest of the letter - to cover all of the issues this church has. This is not a disjointed mash-up of topics. He laid a solid foundation so that we would apply God’s wisdom as we are coming to know it - to everything the Corinthians were dealing with. Which is essentially how we should continue to address each and every issue that comes along today since there is nothing new under the sun and the truth of God’s word doesn’t change.
Paul is reminding us on no uncertain terms that this wisdom will not, I repeat, will not look like what the world would prop up as wisdom. It looks different and everyone who attempts to apply it to everyday life will look different from the status quo. You will look different, not because you’re trying to stand out but because you’re trying to be holy. When we stop even trying to be holy, we will blend into culture just like everyone else. And we have the very Spirit of God in us to help us with the will-to and the wisdom-to.
God’s wisdom flows first from how we see it demonstrated on the cross yes, but it is never meant to be left on the cross. It is meant to permeate everything we do as well! This wisdom was not just to be a “God-thing” for Jesus on the cross, but for His followers to apply as they take up their cross and follow Him in His wisdom.
So, rather than this being seen as a list of unrelated problems Paul is pointing out to some church two thousand years ago, we must see it as a practical how-to guide for how followers of Jesus are to apply God’s wisdom to everyday life. Paul implores us to see all of life through the unique lens of the wisdom of the cross – God’s wisdom.
Consequently, what might seem to be an obvious behavior to avoid on the pages of Scripture will likely not merge well with one of the trending streams of our culture. Our culture is made to flow in and out of trends, to change constantly. That’s what cultures do. Some will call this progressive. Others will see how that makes it susceptible to human error since we all have sinful natures. When we being to assume any desire we have must be entertained, we are no longer progressing, we are regressing. Falling as it were into sinful patterns of behavior that have been the same as long as mankind has walked the earth.
This is why we need a Savior – to steer us our of the ruts we so easily want to push forward in, and to give us the wisdom, courage and power to overcome these natural inclinations we have to remain independent from the God who created us.
Identify how each issue addressed by Paul runs against the grain of some aspect of our culture today – and the Corinthian culture of his day.
And identify how when we try and stick to the roots of our faith, we are accused in our culture of being extreme or radical. When in reality, we’re not the ones moving to extremes, we’re trying not to move, to stay at the center of our faith by maintaining God’s unchanging standards at the center of our faith All the while everything around is ever changing (1 Corinthians 7:19).
We are never to stand out because of some ritual we keep, but because of a command we keep, in relationship with our GOD.