Galatians 5:13 (NLT) – For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
The beauty of being God’s church is that we have the freedom to choose him, freedom to love, freedom to give, and freedom to live empowered lives here on earth. Unfortunately, we also have the freedom to not live in this way and return to our old ways and habits.
Let us pray that we would use our freedom to live lives of worship that honor God and reflect his goodness to this world that is hungry to know him.
Let us worship to the song “Yours (Glory and Praise)” (click here) by Elevation Worship.
1 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) – Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
“[T]he passage emphatically calls the church to claim its identity as a people with a distinct character and mission, a counter-cultural prophetic community. Within such a community, the members are called to take active responsibility for one another’s lives and spiritual wholeness. In 1 Corinthians 5, we encounter a vision of the church not as one voluntary association among many, but as the covenant people of God; to be inside this community is to find life, and to be outside is to be in the realm of death…The church must recover its lively sense of vocation as a people set apart for God’s service and living in a way that exemplifies fidelity and grace.” [Richard Hays, 1 Corinthians, Interpretation Commentary, p. 89.]
Let us pray and ask God to help us fully live out our identity as God’s covenant community as we share the love of God with our friends, family members, coworkers, and students on our campuses.
Let us worship to the song “Living with a Fire”(click here) by Jesus Culture.
1 John 3:18 (NLT) – Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Paul’s command to banish the sinful man from the community of believers could seem counterintuitive and unloving. But it was truly a display of love – for the man and for the church.
“[W]e can imagine the howls of anger at such a suggestion in today’s church (‘Unloving!’ ‘Intolerant!’ ‘Judgmental!’). Paul might well have answered: is the doctor unloving or judgmental when he or she tells you that you must have the operation right away? Do we want a doctor who ‘tolerated’ viruses, bacteria, cancer cells? And if we say that the moral issues Paul mentions…are not like diseases, are we so sure? Do these things build up community, or destroy it?” [NT Wright, 1 Corinthians, Paul for Everyone, p. 62.]
Let us pray for the Spirit’s empowering to live in biblical love, one that is marked by truth and action, and let us worship to the song “Love like Fire” (click here) by Hillsong.
Romans 10:15 (NIV) – As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
When Paul banished the sinful man in 1 Corinthians 5, he did so because he was driven by the hope of salvation for him. When Paul commanded the church to get rid of the old leaven, he had a vision of what the church was supposed to look like – a community of genuine believers that would reflect the goodness of God and carry his salvation to the reaches of the world.
Today, let us be refreshed in our calling to bring salvation everywhere we go. May we catch God’s heart afresh to be driven by salvation in everything we do.
Let us also worship to the song “Relentless” (click here) by Hillsong.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
This week’s message is a reminder that sin is pervasive in this world. But as God’s church, redeemed by Christ, we are made new. Out of this reality, we do not have to live in sin any longer. And by God’s grace and power, we can turn to him and live out our calling as his covenant community. Indeed, this is who we are!
As you take time to reflect and remember all that we received from God, pray and ask God to help us live as new creations. Let us also confess how much we need God and how much we desire to remain near to him.
Let us worship to the song “Lord I Need You” (click here) by Matt Maher.