Summary: A sermon about putting away the sin that retard our lives and growth.
Time to Grow Up"
It is so easy to get lost in this life.
What did the Prophet Isaiah say in Isaiah Chapter 53?
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to [our] own way..."
This is, essentially, what had been happening at the Church in Corinth--this is what prompted Paul to write the 1st Letter to the Corinthians.
Not only had folks within the church begun to break up and divide into "rival groups" causing division, but some folks were going off the deep-end with what Paul calls "a type of sexual immorality that isn't even heard of among the Gentiles--a man is having sex with his father's wife!"
They have become extremely worldly in their thinking and acting, and so Paul reminds them that "This world's wisdom is foolishness to God."
Some people were bringing lawsuits against other members of the church, others weren't sharing their food at community meals.
And when it came to "spiritual gifts" they were all trying to be number 1.
"My gifts are most important and prove that I am a better Christian than you!"
"I can speak in tongues; you can't!!!"
"My faith is stronger than your faith!"
"I'm smarter than you! I can speak more eloquently."
They were acting like a bunch of spoiled children!!!
But, you know, we've all seen adults act this way, have we not?
Perhaps we have even acted this way at times.
Again, it is so easy to get lost.
So Paul writes this letter to Corinth.
He knows that God has not given up on this Church--no matter how immature and crazy they are acting.
He knows God has not stopped loving them and never will--no matter what.
And that's how it works for all of us.
He also wants them to know that this is no way to live.
He's trying to remind them "why" they became "Christ-followers" in the first place--and He is allowing God to use Him to try and steer them back to their "first love."
He is trying to get them to "grow up" in Christ!!!
In Chapter 3 Paul tells them that when he first came to them he "couldn't talk to [them] like spiritual people but like unspiritual people, like babies in Christ."
He says, "I gave you milk to drink instead of solid food, because you weren't up to it yet.
Now you are still not up to it..."
Have you ever felt this way about your own journey--your own walk with Christ?
Perhaps you started out really gung-ho.
You were on fire for Jesus.
You didn't even think it was possible for you to sin again.
You were so in love with God and other people that you couldn't even imagine acting like a unspiritual worldly person again.
You couldn't even imagine...
...and then, and then...
...perhaps you got tripped up on something...
...maybe you gave in to some old temptation.
Perhaps you had a bad day at work and decided to do something you used to do; act in a way you hadn't acted for a while--just this once.
And before you knew it, you were drifting away from God...
...your love was growing cold...
...your heart was hardening...
...and then the intense and pure love you once had for God and other people started to become perverted, twisted-up, forgotten--lost!!!
And suddenly you found that you were lost.
And you are acting like an infant again!!!
And so you begin to fight with others.
The old insecurities, anxieties and fears come roaring back.
And you are miserable.
And in the state of being "lost" you might not think anyone cares about you.
You might be so busy competing with others, trying to prove yourself, trying impress others that you forget all about Jesus--or what Jesus is really about.
But Jesus hasn't forgotten you.
Jesus will never leave you; Jesus will never forsake you.
As a matter of fact, when we are lost--Jesus goes searching for us--like a shepherd going after a lost sheep.
And when Jesus finds us, He joyfully puts us on His shoulders and takes us home.
Jesus never gives up on us.
And Jesus has not given up on the Church in Corinth.
So, Paul writes this amazing letter to these lost sheep who are acting like a bunch of children--miserable, unhappy grown-up children.
They have forgotten what it means to follow Jesus.
They have forgotten that it's all about LOVE.
It's not about who is the smartest.
It's not about who has the most impressive credentials or who has been given the greatest gifts.
It's not about competing with others.
It's not about "who can pray most eloquently," or who can give the most "entertaining sermon."
It's not about "me, me, me," "I, I, I," or "mine, mine, mine."