Summary: This message deals with ten Cornithian connections that sound like fatherly advice from Paul to the church at Corinth, and to us as well.
“Dear Wakelee Church…Sincerely, Paul”
The Corinthian Connection Series
“Practical Helps for Difficult Times” ~ I Corinthians 6:12–11:34
Wakelee Church ~ June 20, 2004
(All verses are NJKV unless otherwise noted)
Today is Father’s Day. A day of cologne. A day of hugs. A day of neckties and long-distance phone calls. It’s a day for hallmark cards.
Father’s Day is that day when, unlike mother’s day when we lift up motherhood and give it praise, we often quote statistics about fatherless homes and workaholic trends in American society. A small boy once said, “Father’s Day is just like Mother’s Day only don’t have to spend as much on the gift!”
We often hear sermons about the role of a father and how to be a better father or the positive impact that we should be having on our families.
As a father myself, I’m not willing to go there this year.
This year, I want to look at a father and see what advice he gives to his children.
Now this is no ordinary father…in fact, he had no children of his own, that is in the physical sense. But he had thousands of children in the spiritual sense.
When he sat down to write a letter to his kids in Corinth, he did so with the full blessing and inspiration of his Heavenly Father, who had had a life-changing impact on his life.
Yes, of course, we’re talking about Paul.
Last week, we looked at good ideas gone bad. This week Paul, in these chapters, Paul dives right into the main problem that the people of Corinth were facing…namely prostitution and sexual sin.
A casual read at the surface level of these chapters will show this. But, this morning I’ve taken those connections out of the text and put them in a top ten list of sorts.
While I believe that Paul was talking mostly to the church at Corinth, they are particular verses that stand out as connections to our very existence today…they’re the universal truths that connect to our time and place.
Paul was the father of the Corinthian church…he birthed it, he nursed it, he cared and nurtured it.
And today, on this Father’s Day, I believe that we can see how Paul’s fatherly message to the troubled church at Corinth can be a message of value for us today.
A Father’s List of Ten Practical Helps in Difficult Times
Some facts to get us started…There is no doubt that the Corinthian church was struggling. There were struggling with the sin outside their doors as well as the sin that permeated their own souls. They were experiencing the consequences of all this sin, from within and without, but they couldn’t see it.
You can imagine the letter that was sent to Paul….
Paul you told us that everything was going to be good, but it’s not.
You told us that things would get easy, but they’ve only become harder.
Paul, how come this isn’t working????
Paul’s first response was to tell them to quick making excuses and rationalizations…
Read with my #1 on our your handout, will you?
1 – Don’t use pithy slogans/excuses to explain away your faults – look for ways to make yourself right. (6:12-20)
Key verse: “For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit,
which are God’s. (6:20)
Their slogan: All things are lawful for me….
Paul’s Response…Yes, but all things are not helpful…
Their slogan: Food for the stomach and the stomach for the food…(natural argument)
Paul’s response: Yes, but God will destroy both…the natural does not last a lifetime…
2 – Both marriage and singleness are gifts from God that come with responsibility. (7:1-17,25-40)
Key verse: “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk…”
At this very moment, you are called to be the best husband, the best wife, the best single person, widowed or divorced person, God has called you to be.
3 – Live as you are called. Don’t try to be something you’re not! (7:17-24)
Key verse: “Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.” (7:24)
It’s not about circumcision…thanks be to God!
It’s not about our physical freedom…Paul said, if you’re a slave be an awesome slave, if you have been
physically made free….then use it. (7:21).
We use what we have and who we are as God has given our particular situations to us.
“Keeping the commandments of God (Paul says) is what matters…” (6:19b)
4 – There is freedom in responsibility to each other! (8:1-13)
Key verse: “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours becomes a stumbling block to those who are weak.” (8:9)