Opening Questions and Prayer
What are some ways you get distracted?
How do you get back on track from distractions?
What are some ways the world distracts you from the things of God?
Ask the Lord to guide your time together and to keep you on task when the distractions come.
Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-2
1 Corinthians 5:1-2 (All verses are NLT unless otherwise noted)
1 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.
Why were the people in Corinth proud of themselves?
How did they ignore sin in their church?
How had they gotten distracted from the things of the Lord?
Why is it important for people in the body of Christ to live holy lives?
Read 1 Corinthians 5:3-5
1 Corinthians 5:3-5
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.
What does Paul say should happen to this man who is blatantly sinning?
What seems harsh about Paul’s handling of this situation?
What is Paul’s end goal?
How do you respond when fellow followers of Jesus sin?
Why do we sometimes worry more about hurting feelings, instead of focusing on what will happen to that person if they continue in sin?
Read 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
1 Corinthians 5:6-8
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.
Why does Paul make the comparison between yeast and sin?
When is a time you or someone you know allowed a little sin in their life and it turned into something bigger?
How can you get rid of the “yeast” in your life?
Who can help you with this?
What is one specific sin you can let God handle in your life?
Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
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.”
Why does Paul differentiate between followers of Jesus and unbelievers?
Who are you more likely to judge for their sin, followers of Jesus or unbelievers?
What are some ways this would help people in the church who are living in disobedience?
If the body of Christ doesn’t deal with sin inside the body, what will happen?
Who is someone you need to talk to this week who is living in rebellion but claims to follow Jesus?
How can you talk to them in a way that is filled with grace?
What will you do if they don’t listen?
1 Corinthians 5:12
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.
Closing thoughts and prayer
These are not easy verses to hear, and they are even harder to live out. First, we don’t like it when people call us out for our sin. So then we don’t want to do that to others, because we don’t really want them to do that for us. But Paul’s teaching is all about how following correct church discipline for those who are believers is meant to help them not fall away even further.
Second, we tend to judge people outside of the church more than people inside the church. Paul tells us that the outsiders are not going to behave like Jesus. If the people inside of the church are behaving like those outside of the church, why would outsiders be attracted to Jesus? We have to get rid of the sin in our own life, and help others in the church do the same. We need accountability!
Pray that the Lord would show you the sin in your life that you are ignoring. Ask Him to send someone to help you deal with this in an appropriate manner. Next pray that God would give you boldness to deal with sin in an appropriate manner in other people’s lives. We have to speak the truth in love. Finally pray for your church leaders and the leaders of this country.