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Set Apart: 1 Corinthians - April 30th, 2017

April 30, 2017 Preacher: Howard Thomas Series: Set Apart

Topic: Intimacy

True Intimacy and Community, How Sin Destroys It.

- So this sermon is about sex, just so you know.

- As a kid sex was pretty easy to understand from watching tv and the internet. OR misunderstood, actually.

- When I became a Christian my understanding of sexuality grew to basically you can’t do those things anymore until you were married,

- or at least definitely no “home base.” Until married.

- Though I did not always follow this basic rule through my teens and twenties because I am a sinner, I still slaved in a cycle of trial and error.

- The more I saw sex as an expression of something deeper the more I was able to be healthy sexually.

- Godly Intimacy with other and God is that “deeper”

- In this journey of understanding holy sexual purity I saw that Sexuality is more complicated than I thought and far more of a blessing than what our world has turned it into.

Corinthian Church Background

- The Corinthian church was very much like the American church today.

- It was the capital city of the Roman Empire and was situated between two bodies of water forcing virtually all trade in the Mediteranian sea to come through Corinth. This made Corinth very prosperous.

- The city was never taken until the invention of gun power.

- Sexual prostitutes used as worship due to worship of a sex goddess, idol worship all centered around a person self managing their own world their own way, a large amount of different cultures diverging because it was a port city.

- The Corinthian Church was struggling with a societal view of sexuality that was far different from God’s intent

- Paul was writing to help them navigate as Christians what it mean to be set apart in how we lived sexually and in a community.

• 1Corinthians 5-7 cover a range of relationally centered topics such as sexual sin, diffusing arguments, marriage, and handling unrelenting and unrepentative sin by individuals in a community.

• The key context of these chapters is community; how our personal lives directly affect the health of a community.

• We are meant to be in healthy community. Sexual and Neighborly (or both) Relations is a pillar where a community can become healthy or decay.

• God is very hardline on issues of relations disrupting the health of a family or oikos. Sex is one of those dimensions because it can be so disruptive as well as rewarding.

• Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-15

I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother.2 You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.

3 Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.

6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough?7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.

9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.

12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

• Paul, like Moses with the Son's Of Korah, like Peter with Anias and Saphira, looks to remove unrepentant sin from the community. The community is the primary.

Do You See Yourself As A Part Of A Family Oikos? Or Do You See Your Life and Choices As Just About You?

• God's focus with sin isn't focused on me but on my relationships and how my sin affects them and my relationship with Him ultimately.

• Sex and Intimacy is a mystery. Good intimacy can bring healing to a couple as well as a community, bad intimacy will bring disruption.

• Read/Display 1Corinthians 6:18

Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.

The Fall disrupted perfect intimacy.

Both Adam and Eve were intimate perfectly, unknowingly. Yet sin made Adam and Eve see themselves through a new and defiled understanding, so they desired clothes.

• Read Genesis 3:6-9

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

While In The Act Of Sinning Or Afterwards Do You Ever Feel God Say "Where Are You?"

Though We Hide From God, Or “Personal” Sins Have Relational Consequences With God And Those Around Us.

Wealth, pursuing independence, and, Poverty do not Hide Sexual Sins Destructiveness

Rylo crying last christmas

NPR Hook Up Culture: New Form Of Prostitution In Colleges

Testimony of a friend (Victor and Deana Arias) observing that client parents chasing financial stability results in neglecting their kids and spouses, causing loneliness, depression, and suicide in their children.

• Sin separates and destroys. This is more visible in areas where wealth can't mask or hide the affects. But the affects of broken community are there regardless of noticed or unnoticed.

• We ruined intimacy yet Jesus is there fighting to reclaim again, right from the beginning.

• Read Genesis 3:14-15

Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,

In Christ We Can Now Conquer Sin's Attack On True Intimacy In Our Relationships and Oikos By calling on and Living Like Jesus

Testimonies And Stories: Figuring How To Validate My Feelings For My Girlfriend Alyssa before We Married was not easy.

• Alyssa and I did not have sex before we were married.

• But there was a time where I felt that I was not honoring her in our purity.

• God convicted me of that and It confused me because well, we didn’t have sex so what was the big deal?

• Yet It bugged me and I eventually apologized to her and asked for her forgiveness.

• I can tell that a deeper joy and respect for me entered her heart after that.

• I had a deeper respect for her after that also.

• Alyssa was helpful for us both in helping me see that we can build intimacy without sex and that real intimacy takes time to grow and is for the right time to be expressed sexually.

How We Showed Love Without Sex

• We substituted sex with intimacy by serving each other intentionally.

• We listened to each other and validated each other’s life passions and hobbies.

• The result was a more convincing, real, and fulfilling relationship in all dimensions of our marriage, without sex.

• I learned even more that sex is a spiritual experience and a mystery that we will never full understand but that one that we have been given to steward well and thereby fully enjoy.

How We Evangelized With Our Weird Set Apart Sexual Identity

• we lived separately before marriage and in conversations with friends God would provide opportunities for us to share that with friends along with our faith as reason for doing so.

• This was always received with curiosity, intrigue, and respect.

• Two times when going on vacation pre-marriage we got separate rooms.

• This was a witness to the hotel staffs when we explained to them how we wanted separate rooms.

• We've noticed over and over that our pre-marriage life blessed us both and our married life.

• We noticed when married that our married life drew people to us that saw something different.

Being A False Witness

• Tough Verses To Accept, Yet God's loving Truth

• Read Display 1Corinthians 6:9-10

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

If we say The Holy Spirit lives in us as Christians then we are called to a higher standard. We are God’s children and are reflecting what He looks like to each other and the Outside World

- IF someone walked around saying they were you yet were reflecting you in a false or even demeaning way would you not take offense? How much more if This is what we do with God’s Character?

-Truth is we are all speak against God’s Character in one way or another.

• Bad news is there is no forgiveness for that if we continue in it willingly.

• Read Display Matthew 12:32-33

Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come. “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.

Good news is there is forgiveness if hate the sins we do and receive Jesus.

• Read Display 1 John 1:8-10

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

• Read Display 1Corinthians 6:11

Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

• When we fail we need to acknowledge that our sin is wrong, embrace Jesus's forgiveness and walk in His example

The Poser/Hipster Culture – All Display, Little Authenticity

Story Of Kenneth Wearing Collar in Denver Public, getting positive responses, until he communicated to locals it was real.

We Can’t Wear The Jersey And Not Want To Play In The Game.

- I wasn’t really that good in football though I played in highschool in college.

- In college it became harder to be a Christian while being on the football team.

- After two years I eventually decided to quit.

- I wrestled with if I had made the right choice, I still do.

Read/Display 1 Corinthians 7:23-24

God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.

- When Paul says to remain as you are he is saying that when you change your character you should remain in the place God has you to be a witness as a changed person.

- The Sex culture was too much for me when on the team, and I decided to leave.

In The Tension Between Living A Changed Life And Staying In A Worldly Situation What Would You Have Done?

For The Sake Of My Then Young Faith I Left In Order To Keep My Faith IN Jesus’s Way Of Loving.

Jesus never had sex yet he is the perfect lover, how?

• Love is not merely sex.

• Love and intimacy is best displayed in how Jesus in how He lived and loved.

• Jesus knows what the human heart wants: Sacrificial, patient, and selfless love.

Read/Display John 15:13-14

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

Ways to Emulate Christ

• If you are kindling love before it's right time, you can stop and reclaim the joy of sacrifice, hope, and anticipation again until it is the right time. OR if you cannot wait then just get married, it bares the right witness of God to outsiders we need to know Jesus.

• Read/Display 1 Corinthians 7:9

But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.

• If you are married yet are not displaying Sacrificial love to your spouse and children like Christ then put on Christ in your marriage and family, it will bless the spouse and add faith to the entire family.

• Read/Display 1 Corinthians 7:14,16

For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy….Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?

• Invite friends and neighbors to see your different life as single, dating, or married and welcome their curiosity and questions with Christ’s life as a response in how you live.

Living The Way God Calls Sexually And In Our Families/Oikos is A Calling, Sacrifice, and Blessing. It Pleases God.

Read Display Romans 12:1-2a.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world…

Let's reclaim intimacy by accepting Jesus as our supreme example in loving sacrificially. Let Us Reclaim Intimacy as Holy and more meaningful again, and The World Will See And Be Drawn To The Kingdom Of God In Us.

Jesus said others will see the light in you if you love not like this world and they will be drawn to it.

• Read Display John 13:34-35

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Ask God To Change Your Heart

IF You Don’t Desire God’s Way of Love and Intimacy. Then Pray For God To Change Your Heart. NO Good can come from us apart from God, all Good comes from the Father so ask Him to move you to change. And Remember that Jesus Loves you in you struggle and has offered you forgiveness in whatever situation you are in, as he calls you to follow him.

Let's Be Weird. Let's Be Set Apart.