1 Corinthians 7.17-24

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Read 1 Corinthians 7.17-24 incarnationally. What resonates most deeply with you? 

What’s the overall message of this text? What’s the primary implication for you? 

What does it look like for you to “remain” as you are, where you are? 

Read John 15.1-17. What is Jesus inviting His disciples to experience? 

How have you seen growth in your life by “remaining?” 

When have you sensed a missed opportunity by “leaving?” 

For the last several weeks we’ve considered “Seeing all of life through the Gospel.” Of the recent topics, which has been most challenging for you to see through the Gospel? 

How do you see yourself through the Gospel? 

In your own words, define contentment. 

Read Philippians 4.10-12. 

What is Paul’s “secret” of being content in any and every situation?

On Sunday, we reviewed a few questions from Sanctuary’s DMD material. Where did you find yourself when considering the following: 

Describe your contentment quotient in the following areas: 

Physical health—weight, fitness, body image 

Financial—salary, tithing, debt, material possessions

Relational—deep friendships, intimacy, authenticity, sex life with spouse

Spiritual—living in God’s love and grace; being conformed to His image

Read 1 Timothy 6.6-11. Using an example from your own life, describe “godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Reread 1 Corinthians 7.23. How are people in our neighborhood being enslaved? 

What is the role of Sanctuary in freeing people from this kind of slavery? 

How have you experienced freedom from the slavery of our culture? 

Craig Groeschel said, “Envy is resenting God’s goodness in other people’s lives and ignoring His goodness in your own.” How does this statement resonate with you? How does it challenge you? How does it encourage you? 

Read Colossians 1.15-22; Galatians 2.20; Ephesians 1.3-10; and Jude 1.24-25. In light of the Gospel, how does God see you? 

1 Corinthians 7:1-16

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Read 1 Corinthians 7 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in this text?
In your own words describe God’s design for marriage? What is His purpose for marriage?
Using Scripture how do you see God loving His Church as His Bride?
As it relates to your sexuality, what are the connections between 1 Corinthians 6, and 1 Corinthians 7?
The Corinthians wrote a letter to Paul, and 1 Corinthians 7 is a part of his specific response to their questions. If you had the opportunity to write to a mentor, or spiritual director/leader what question would you ask? What deeper issue does your question evoke?
If you are married how do you view the role of sex in your marriage?
If you are single how do you view the role of sex in your life?
Read 1 Corinthians 7.3-5 and answer the following questions:
What’s the primary implication of these verses?
What encourages you in these verses?
Where do you have the most difficulty here?
How are these verses more than just verses about sex?
Read Hebrews 13.4. In your own words describe the meaning of this truth? What practical ways do you live this verse out? Where have you experienced pain because of this truth not being lived out?
How and with whom are you currently praying about your sexuality?
Read 1 Corinthians 7.8-9. What’s the context of these two verses? How have you seen verse 9 be taken out of context? How do these verses celebrate the joy of sex in marriage?
Read 1 Corinthians 7.10-16. How important is it to you that Paul quotes Jesus? Where else in Paul’s letters does he quote Jesus? Why does Paul not quote Jesus more often?
What is God’s view of divorce and remarriage? How does God’s view differ from your own?
What does holiness mean to you? In your own words, describe holiness. How are you at once holy and becoming more holy?

1 Corinthians 6.1-11

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Read 1 Corinthians 6.1-11 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in this text?

What’s the primary point of the verses 1-7?

Paul asks the question, “Why not be cheated?” How would the Corinthian church receive this kind of truth?

Read Matthew 5.30-40 and 1 Peter 2.9-24. How do these two passages affirm the theme of this text?

Read John 13.34-35. What is the Gospel ethic we find in these words of Jesus?

The phrase, “See how they love each other,” was used in the message on Sunday. What would Sanctuary look like, and sound like, and feel like, and love like if outsiders looked at us and commented, “See how they love each other.”

How have you experienced the church in ways that are opposite to the phrase? How have you been hurt by the church? How do you find healing and holiness through the process of forgiveness and reconciliation?

In “The Great Opportunity,” we learn that 1 million church kids leave the church every year. If this continues, by 2050, 42 million kids who have been raised in church will leave the church. How do you respond to this report?

What is the central reason kids will leave our church and not return to church in their future?

Conversely, the report stated reasons kids will stay and grow in their faith. The report read, “There are three major factors: highly engaged parents who care for their own faith and the faith of their children; other adults actively supporting youth in their walk with God; and calling youth into mission. For parents and churches, it is very clear: ‘You get who you are.’”

What is the implication for you?

Read 1 Corinthians 6.7-11. What’s the primary message of these verses?

The second part of the message included a testimony from Matt Mantooth. How did you resonate with his story?

Matt’s story has some starts and stops, ups and downs. Look back on your story. Note some of the places where there were starts and stops, and ups and downs. What role did community play in meeting you, caring for you, and loving you?

Read verse 11 personally: “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Personalize this verse by writing your name in the blanks: “And that is what some of you were. But ___________ was washed, _____________ was sanctified, _______________ was justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

How do you engage the temptation to see yourself through your sin instead of through the Gospel? How can the people around you encourage you to view yourself just as verse 11 teaches?

1 Corinthians 5.6-13

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Read 1 Corinthians 5.1-13 incarnatinally. Where do you find yourself in the text?

How have these last two messages on 1 Corinthians 5 encouraged you? Where have you been most challenged?

How are you learning to see your sexuality through the Gospel? What is one way you are seeing your sexuality differently today than you did yesterday?

The Sermon on the Mount was referenced on Sunday. Spend a few moments reading Matthew 5.1-13. On Sunday, we read verses 3-4 and referenced the idea of “mourning” over sin. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to mourn over sin. Give examples of each.

How have you been comforted by mourning over sin?

Read 1 Corinthians 5.2, 5, 9 & 13. What is at the heart of Paul’s commands?

Describe a time in which you’ve lived into these verses? What was/is the outcome?

Paul uses the analogy of yeast that leavens dough (6-8). How have you seen seemingly small expressions of sin poison a whole batch of dough? More personally, how have you experienced small expressions of sin poison your whole being?

Paul is raising the level of the Gospel ethic. Two questions were asked in the message on Sunday. Reflect and respond to each.

Will the church live out the Gospel, with its ethical implications, or will it continue in its present ‘spirituality’ that tolerates such sin and thereby destroys God’s temple in Corinth?

Will we live out the Gospel, with its ethical implications or tolerate sin that will destroy God’s temple called Sanctuary?

What does it look like for you today to live out the ethical implications of the Gospel? What will you not do? How will you allow others to join you in living out the Gospel today?

Read and reflect on the following passages:
2 Thessalonians 3.6
2 Thessalonians 3.14-15
2 Timothy 3.5
Titus 3.10

How does Scripture reinforce Scripture? How does this reinforcement encourage you? If something is referenced more than once in Scripture, does that make it more important than something only referenced once?

How do you discern the importance of Scripture? When do you choose to build your life around a truth and when to dismiss Scripture? When was the last time you dismissed a passage of Scripture?

Read 1 Corinthians 5.11. Paul includes a list of other sins that are not to be tolerated in the church. Note each of those listed here. Is this list meant to be exhaustive or is it specific?

The list includes people who are unrepentant in the following:
Idol worshipper.

How have you been wounded by these sins? Which of these causes you the greatest temptation? How have you found forgiveness and been comforted from these sins?

Slander can be translated as “verbal abuse.” In your own words, define verbal abuse. How prevalent is this sin in and around your life? How do you deal with the effects of verbal abuse, including the sin of gossip?

Whose responsibility is it to “hand one over to Satan?” How are you growing in seeing yourself as responsible? Who is responsible for you? How have you entrusted yourself into the hands of another?

Read and reflect on 1 Corinthians 5.9-13 from the Message. What encourages you most about this text? What one way is God inviting you to receive His truth?

1 Corinthians 5.1-5

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Read 1 Corinthians 5 incarnationally. What is the primary implication for you as you read this text?

How do you currently view your sexuality through the Gospel?

Reflect and respond to the overview from our friends at the Bible Project:
“Remember first of all, Jesus died for your sins, including the ruin of broken relationships that’s caused by sexual misconduct. Sexual integrity is one of the main ways in that we respond to Jesus’ love and grace. Paul also reminds us that, just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so our bodies will be raised from the dead. Which means this: If your body is being redeemed by Jesus, now and in the future, then what you do with your body matters. It matters a lot. And it’s not yours to do whatever you want with. Paul is being super clear. Being a follower of Jesus involves no compromise when it comes to sexual integrity. ” – The Bible Project.

In your own words define the following phrases:
Sexual integrity –
Sexual immorality –
The flesh –

Read Romans 7.14-25. How does this passage resonate with you? Where do you find yourself currently as it relates to the struggle with the flesh? Who in your life is aware of this struggle?

Read 1 Corinthians 5.1-5. What are the two primary problems Paul addresses in these verses?

How would you encourage Sanctuary leaders to respond to sexual immorality in our church?

How would your encouragement to Sanctuary leaders align with the way you engage sexual immorality in your family, or with friends? How is it different?

What does Paul mean when he says, “hand this man over to Satan?” How does verse 4, and the end of verse 5 help make sense of this phrase?

What’s the implication of the following phrase, “Sometimes God has to let things die before there can be resurrection”? How have you seen this truth lived out in your life?

Read John 12.23-26. How have you tried other ways to live rather than living in Jesus’ Truth?

How tempted are you to be an enabler? What is at the core of your choice to enable?

On Sunday the question was asked, “Are you trying to please God, or play God, or do you simply trust God?” If your closest friend was asked to answer this question for you, how would they answer? How are you growing in your trust of God?

Zach Eswine wrote:
“Mark this down, won’t you? One of the first signs that we are approaching the borders of attempting omnipotence is this: We believe that another is choosing a course of action because he or she simply isn’t clear on what is right. Therefore, we believe that if we just work hard enough to explain what is right, then he or she will obviously and immediately do the right thing. No one was more plain, true, reasonable, and clear than Jesus, and they crucified him. Clarity matters a great deal. But clarity can’t always solve or fix the broken things.”

“You were never meant to repent because you can’t fix everything. You are meant to repent because you’ve tried. Even if we could be god for people and fix it all, the fact remains that Jesus often does not have the kind of fixing in mind that you and I want.” – Zach Eswine, The Imperfect Pastor

What part of these paragraphs resonate most deeply with you? What kind of “fixing” does Jesus have in mind for you, your family, and our Faith Family?

On Christmas Eve, we celebrated the Truth, “H.W.L.F.” He would love first. If God loves first, He would also love last. “H.W.L.L” How does knowing God’s love change the way you approach sexual immorality in your own life and in the lives of those you love the most?

Spend a few moments praying, inviting God to speak deeper truths to you regarding your sexuality integrity. Give Him praise for His prevailing love.

1 Corinthians 4:6-13 God is the Gospel

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Read 1 Corinthians 4.6-13, and Psalm 136. Where do you find yourself in the text? What speaks most deeply to you?

The first four chapters of Paul’s letter to Corinth talks so much about unity. How have you grown in unity with your brothers and sisters during these last months? Where and when do you still experience disunity?

When reading Scripture, how do you discern the writing? How do you know if it’s “black and white”, metaphor, poetry, or rhetoric and irony like here in 1 Corinthians 4?

What’s the biggest challenge in defending Scripture with the argument, “it says it right here in black and white?”

Have you ever aligned yourself with someone you thought had it all together and then realized that person didn’t? How are you growing in your ability to follow even broken people? How do you sense others beginning to follow you?

Paul is accusing the Corinthians of being prideful? Where do you see that kind of accusation in the text?

Where else in Scripture do you find warnings against pride?

How do you define entitlement? Where do you experience entitlement? What’s the root cause of entitlement?

Reflect and respond to this statement: “It’s impossible to be grateful for something to which you feel entitled.”

In your own words, define “humility.” In your own words, define “false humility.”

How does humility cultivate faithfulness?

How does the truth, “His love endures forever” encourage you? How does it give you rest?

The following three questions were asked in the message on Sunday. What were your responses then, and what are your responses today? Note the difference and similarities in your responses. Note why there has been a change in your responses.

  1. Where and when do you feel like you deserve something – from God, and others? (Good or bad)
  2. When was the last time you surrendered your entitlement or privilege?
  3. What might these two weeks look like, if you looked at each person, at each memory, at each hope through the cross?

Read and reflect on Psalm 136. Give Him praise!

1 Corinthians 3.18-23 Grace: The Hand that Shuts the Boasting Mouth

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Read 1 Corinthians 3.18-23 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in this text?

What is something that the world deems “foolish” about your everyday ordinary walk with God?

Have you ever wondered if living out His will and His way is actually foolish? If so, how do you embrace that tension?

Paul spends a good bit of time talking about disunity in the church at Corinth. Why is this such a big deal to him?

In the text, Paul quotes two Old Testament passages. How does inclusion add authority to his teaching? Many Christians in our day give little time and attention to the Old Testament. How does being grounded and rooted in the Old Testament help the New Testament come to greater life?

How do you deal with your own personal preferences in the church?

Reflect on the insight of Warren Weirsbe:
“Perhaps we cannot help but have our personal preferences when it comes to the way different men minister the Word. But we must not permit our personal preferences to become divisive prejudices. In fact, the preacher I may enjoy the least may be the one I need the most!”

How often do you personalize Scripture? How regularly do you see yourself text? What difference does it make for you when you see the Bible as God’s Love Letter written directly to your heart? We read Ephesians 1.3-10 on Sunday. Reread the text. Personalize the text and allow it to speak directly to you.

How do you view your adoption? Scripture teaches that you are adopted into the Family of God. What does this adoption mean to you?

Read James 1.27. Why does God spend so much time communicating His desire for His church to care for widows and orphans? Is God being specific or is this representative?

How might you take one step in caring for others? How might you take one step in allowing others to care for you?

1 Corinthians 3.16-17 God’s Dwelling

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When you think about various dwellings in your story, what comes to mind? What makes certain places especially significant in your story?

Have you ever found yourself intrigued by a celebrities’ home? What is the draw?

Read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. What do these verses tell us about God’s dwelling?

What encourages you about the connection between the Garden, Tabernacle, Temple, and Sanctuary?

How have you seen the words of Matthew 18:20 be true in your experience with the local church?

1 Corinthians 3:17 contains some harsh language for those who destroy God’s temple. Have you seen destruction come mostly from outside the church or inside the church?

How does the reminder that the local church is the dwelling place of God challenge you today? How is God inviting you to respond to this truth about his church?

How does Revelation 21:1-5 speak to you today regarding our eternal dwelling?

Spend some time praying that God would allow Sanctuary to continue to be a place powerfully indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3.10-15 What Church Will You Build For Your City

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Read 1 Corinthians 3.10-15 incarnationally. How is this text speaking to you?

What similarities do you notice between Corinth and Cobb County? 

Where are you experiencing awakening? Where do you long to experience awakening? Who is travailing in prayer with you to experience awakening? 

Why does Paul want the Corinthians to have a physical place for them all to gather? 

What’s the primary reason for you participating in the Sanctuary Faith Family? 

How has this Family helped grow you toward maturity in Christ? 

Read Ephesians 2.19-22. How do you sense Christ as the Chief cornerstone of your life?

Read Exodus 25.1-8. Why does God want the Israelites to build a physical church? Who was asked to give? How were they asked to give? How are you growing in your desire to invest financially in the work of the church? 

John Ortberg says, “The only worship that really matters is costly worship.” How do you resonate or push back from that statement? How is your worship “costly”?

Read Matthew 6.19-21. How are you living out these words of Jesus? Where’s your greatest struggle in fully storing up “treasures in heaven?” 

The people of Israel had to be told to “stop” bringing their gifts to the Temple. How does their response inspire you? 

How might God be leading you to respond to what God is doing in our church? What tension do you sense within your spirit? How might God use this as a dynamic of spiritual transformation in your life? 

1 Corinthians 3.1-9 Maturity Through Humility

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What is an area of your life where you work to see growth? A hobby, skill, gardening, working out, etc.? Why do you work to see growth in this area?

In 1 Corinthians 3:9, Paul refers to the Corinthian believers as infants in Christ. Why do you think there has been a lack of growth in these believers?

How would you describe the difference between “spiritual people” and “people of the flesh” that Paul speaks of?

We have been given a powerful force as we seek to grow in spiritual maturity (see 2 Corinthians chapter 2). How does Galatians 5:16 encourage you?

What is the sign of immaturity that Paul points to in 1 Corinthians 3:2-3? How do you see jealousy and strife surface in your life? What is God trying to do in you regarding these spaces?

Respond to this quote from John Piper: “So what is it about a person that makes them unable to digest solid food? It’s pride. Or to put it positively, the organ that properly digests solid food is humility. As long as a person is still largely influenced by a spirit of self-exaltation, he is not able to digest solid food. The throat of pride is too narrow and non-pliable to handle the solid food.”

1 Corinthians 3:4 sounds so petty when we read it today, but are there areas of your life where God would say that you are “being merely human?”

How is God inviting you to respond to him so that you can continue to grow in maturity?

Take some time to reflect on the power of the Spirit in you and thank God for what he has done, and continues to do in your life.

Listen to the song, Worlds Apart – Jars of Clay.