Summary: A Scandal in the Church - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dealing with Disgrace (vs 1-5)
Explaining the Expulsion (vs 6-8)
Clarifying some Confusion (vs 9-13)
• Somebody sent this anecdote into Readers Digest:
• One afternoon in the hospital operating room where I am a nurse,
• I heard one of our nurse anaesthetists;
• Was trying to put a patient to sleep before an important operation.
• "Now I want you to breathe in and out," she intoned. "In and out, slowly in and out."
• The patient opened her eyes and yearningly said, "Is there any other way?"
• What is the primary purpose of hospitals?
• Put simply: to help sick people get better.
• Therefore, the most important measure of a hospital is not its beauty,
• It is not the friendliness of the staff, or its sophisticated equipment.
• The measure of a hospital is its ability to make hurting people better.
• If a hospital doesn’t do that, everything else is a waste of time.
• I don’t know anyone who goes to a hospital for fun and games;
• Or to admire the architecture.
• Or because they make a jolly good cup of tea!
• Everyone I know (maybe there is an exception here this morning);
• But everyone I know who goes to a hospital has only one question:
• “Can you fix what’s wrong?”
• The church of Jesus Christ is God’s spiritual hospital:
• Among the many things that take place here within these four walls;
• Our number one aim is to make spiritually sick people better!
• And then to keep those people spiritually healthy.
• i.e. Past: God offers forgiveness of sins, peace of mind, a new start.
• i.e. Present: help and strength to battle our addictions and bad habits.
• i.e. Assistance to deal with character traits that spoil our walk with Jesus & other people.
• In some ways leaving Church ought to be like leaving hospital;
• We want you to leave this place feeling better than when you came in!
• And spiritually fitter to battle the week ahead.
• Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) was a Christian evangelist and author;
• You can listen to many of his sermons online free of charge;
• But I warn you – he is an old fashioned ‘fire & brimstone’ preacher.
• He does not take prisoners and his messages speak into your very soul.
Now one of my favourite quotes of Ravenhill is this one:
“The greatest miracle that God can do today is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world and make him holy, then put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it.”
• What a great description of what God does in the life of a Christian!
• He saves us, he keeps us and he sanctifies us.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ this morning:
• Then you are someone who has allowed;
• Jesus Christ to radically ‘take’ hold of your life;
• And to wash away your unholiness, that is your sinfulness.
• In its place God has given his people the promised Holy Spirit;
• To indwell them and to change them.
• That is the number one reason we have the Holy Spirit in our lives;
• That we might be holy - there is a bit of a clue in his name!
God then places his people back in an unholy world;
• That is where we live and interact and socialise with other human beings;
• On a daily basis.
• Positionally in Christ we may be ‘citizens of heaven’;
• But in everyday reality we are dwellers on earth.
• So God places his people “..back into that unholy world and keeps them holy in it.”
• That’s why Jesus called us his followers;
• “The light of the world” and not the light of the Church!
• Because we are in the world but we are not of the world.
• TRANSITION: The Church of Corinth was a light in a city of darkness.
• Remember that at one time they too shared in that darkness!
• This letter written about seven years after the Church was planted (A.D. 57).
• The apostle Paul listed in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9-11;
• Some of their lifestyles before they met Christ,
• Some of you were ….’wicked, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers’.
• ’Sexual immoral, idolatrous, adulterous, homosexual’
• It is not a very pleasant list to have to read out publicly;
• But at one time these Christians were an ‘unholy people living in an unholy world’.
• But then they encountered the good news of Jesus Christ!
• They changed, which is why after that list of sins the apostle Paul writes a great line;