Sermon Title: Your Identity in Christ
Text: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
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Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)
There’s a tendency for us as Christians to hide the things we’re struggling with, especially the sins that are often considered to be particularly “bad.” In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul mentions many “bad” sins that these Christians had formerly practiced: sexual immorality, idolatry, homosexual practices, theft, drunkenness, etc. Many of these are considered taboo . . . more so than other sins.
We often handle these sorts of sins differently than other sins, so it becomes okay to struggle with gossip or materialism or covetousness, but not sexual immorality or drunkenness. We can talk about the former but not the latter. Why is that?
Additionally, the Bible often speaks of the benefits of sharing our struggles with our fellow Christians, but we are usually too guarded in doing so. We speak of “our struggles” only generically, leaving only a small part of us open to the people around us.
In this sermon Darrell helps us reflect on our motives in hiding our true selves and also to consider the many benefits that might come with being more open with our fellow spiritual travelers
How do I live out the implications of these passages? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)
- How do you define hypocrisy?
- What was it about the Pharisees that made Jesus call them hypocritical? (Looking at Matthew 23 might be helpful)
- Struggling with sin doesn’t mean you’re a hypocrite, right? So what is the difference between hypocrisy and the struggles with sin that we all experience?
- Do we claim to be without sin, or do we perhaps live in a way to give that impression? Why does the world have a view that we have that kind of attitude?
- Why are we uncomfortable sharing certain struggles with other Christians? What do we fear?
- What are some of the benefits of being more open about what we’re struggling with? Are there potential drawbacks to being too open? If so, what are they?
- Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous have used “share time” to promote healing. Is that practice based on biblical principles? What might the church learn from how this is used in support groups?
- All Christians struggle with sin, but where is the line between struggling and conceding?
- One traditional practice of Churches of Christ is to provide an opportunity at the end of each sermon for Christians to come to the front of the church and ask for prayers. What are the benefits of that practice? What are some potential drawbacks?
- How do we practice James 5:16? (“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”)