Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bible Study - 1 Corinthians Part 6 - Practical Spirituality cont'd

This post brings us up to the Bible Study held on April 18 and the second part of Paul's discussion of practical spirituality in 1 Corinthians 5 & 6. Chapter 6 continues the discussion Paul began in the previous chapter. This balances out Paul's discussion of how to be truly spiritual in our everyday lives. While the main issue dealt with in chapter 5 had to do with sexuality, the specific issue Paul deals with in chapter 6 is law suits between members of the Corinthian church. This serves as a good reminder that Christian ethics and morality deals with a lot more than just sex (in spite of the impression you sometimes get from a number of Christian leaders).

As you read through the chapter consider the following questions:
  • Why do you think Paul is so upset by the lawsuits between Christians? How should this teaching affect how Christians make use of secular courts today? What are the potential costs of doing this?
  • What do you make of Paul's statement that it’s better to be wronged than to do wrong? Compare Paul’s teaching with what Jesus says in Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36. What might this have to say to the way we do things today?
  • How might this apply to other public institutions whose conduct doesn’t live up to Jesus’ teachings? Should Christians stay out of such places and develop their own alternative institutions or should they seek to transform the way they do things? 
  • Why do you think Paul is so concerned by what Christians do with their bodies and everyday lives (including mundane things like lawsuits)? Do our bodies matter, or is it only the soul that’s important?
Even as I ask the last question, I'm going to give you my answer. Paul's teaching and really the teaching of the whole Bible tell us that what we do with our bodies and do in our everyday lives does have spiritual significance. Christianity (like the faith of ancient Israel and contemporary Judaism) has a very earthy spirituality. God created the heavens and the earth and so what we do on earth, and do with our bodies matters. Body and soul form a single united person and cannot be separated. I would suggest that our spirituality shapes how we live, and how we live reveals what our spirituality actually is. What do you think?

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