Date: July 3, 2022
The Point: Let your responsibility to others drive how you exercise your rights.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
Several communities around the country are opting for drone light shows instead of the traditional fireworks show for the 4th of July. Primarily citing concerns about wildfire risks and debris, some communities are hiring drone companies to put on elaborate light shows this year to celebrate America’s Independence.
On Independence Day, we celebrate the wonderful freedom and independence we have as Americans. And in a lot of places, this includes the freedom to light stuff on fire and send explosions into the air. But just because something is allowed, doesn’t mean it is always the best choice. In many places, properly handled fireworks pose little to no risk. But in other areas that are prone to wildfires, fireworks may not be the best choice.
Even better than the freedoms and rights we have as Americans, are the freedoms and rights we have as Christians. The Apostle Paul exhorted the Christians in Corinth to help others come to know these freedoms. Sometimes, setting aside your own freedoms or rights for the sake of others, can help them come to know Christ.
As we study a specific example that Paul presented to the Christians at Corinth, we will consider how this might apply to our freedoms and rights today.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. She enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor in Southern California. Back in Tennessee now, she loves being a mom and writer.
Get Into the Study [from Adult Leader Guide, p. 63 and KJV Adult Leader Guide, p. 62]
In advance, play a video clip illustrating how smart phones can help us. Then ask Question #1.
Live It Out
Use the following story to conclude this session.
According to AP News, inflation is currently at a 40-year high. Consumer goods cost 8.6% more than they did at this time last year, and the cost for everything from cars to houses to hotels to flights have increased dramatically. The question is—what caused the inflation? In truth, there are a lot of factors. With an influx of extra income from stimulus payments, people have been making big purchases at a rapid rate. Covid lockdowns have caused factory shutdowns across the world, creating an imbalance of supply and demand. The war in Ukraine has caused oil prices to spike. There are hundreds of different factors, some small, some large, that create an environment ripe for inflation, and as a result, individuals all over the world are suddenly paying more for their food, clothing, and rent. The economic ecosystem we live in has been disrupted—demonstrating just how fragile and interdependent our finances are to begin with.
As we tighten our budgets (and try not to fill up our gas tanks), let us remember that our lives are more closely linked with others than we’ll ever fully grasp—and that this goes far beyond financial implications. This actually has deep implications for our spiritual lives. Each day, we are faced with choices that may seem insignificant, but how we choose in those moments may have an impact on the spiritual health of others—in sometimes small, but sometimes, much greater ways than we could have imagined. Yes, we have the gift of walking in freedom, but the Apostle Paul reminds us in this passage that this freedom isn’t a pass to do whatever we want, whenever we want to do it. It is a privilege that comes with the responsibility of leading others towards the light of Christ.
- What are your favorite ways to recognize Independence Day?
- What do you most appreciate about being a citizen of your country?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve about our use of cellphones?
1 Corinthians 10:23-24
- How do we determine what is beneficial to others?
- How does our culture today communicate that “everything is permissible”?
- Why is the good of others our responsibility?
1 Corinthians 10:25-30
- Who do you know who’s consistently considerate toward others?
- How might legalism get in the way of doing what is best for others?
- What does this passage teach us about making choices for the good of others on a practical level?
1 Corinthians 10:31-35
- Why do believers’ actions affect unbelievers’ attitude toward Jesus?
- While keeping an others-first mentality, how do we ensure we are still seeking to please God over people?
- What are some factors in determining whether or not to act on our personal rights and freedoms?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Please God … by Pleasing People?
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
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Walter Rowell says
Many Christians have marks or self-inflected scars in their life. Some are not evident without personal knowledge as many are concealed deep within the memory. Recognition of just who I am always points me to my need for Jesus.
I do not have a tattoo but I have lots of other scars.
The Bible warns against tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 (Amplified) which says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
However, just because society approves of something does not make it right in the eyes of God. The Bible warns Christians who are considering getting one and tries to help overcome the consequences of those mistakes.
Having a tattoo will not keep anyone from serving God. Some godly people have tattoos and are serving God and their tattoos do not interfere with what God is doing through them. Anything Satan tries to use for evil, God can turn and use it for good There are many dedicated and sincere Christians that have tattoos. This is not meant to say they do not love the Lord. God not only can use them, but does use them. Tattooing, according to the Bible has witchcraft “Roots”
In addition to the above verse, Scripture also warns Christians not to disfigure their bodies in following verses: “ And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them”. 1 Kings 18:28
“Ye are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead”. Deuteronomy 14:1 Some people object to using Old Testament scripture as a reference to tattoos since the New Testament doesn’t speak of these things. However, in the New Testament, Christians are even called to a higher law. In the New Testament, Christians are told to glorify God in their bodies.
This would include not marring their bodies with tattoos, as the principles in the Bible clearly state it is wrong to defile the bodies. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. – James 2:10
Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. – Galatians 5:3-6
I don’t have any tattoos nor do I want any. However, when reading the verses before Leviticus 19:28 I would be guilty of trimming my sideburns and shaving my beard. I would also be guilty of ordering my steak medium rare.
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 6 in context. Paul is talking about sexual immorality. In verse 15 he says not to unite yourself with a prostitute. Verse 18 says, Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
robert tucker says
this was a great podcast. My study guide, Advanced bible study, credits Warren McWilliams as the writer. Who was with you and Chris on the podcast? Thanks for a great jog.
Lynn Pryor says
Nick Person was our guest on this podcast. He wrote the text that appears in the Personal Study Guides.
Donna Thomas says
I really appreciate your podcasts each week. I typically prepare my lesson on Saturday afternoons. Then on Sunday mornings I listen to your podcast as I am getting ready for church. I almost always find some nugget that enhances our discussion in class. Due to current events, today’s podcast is especially relevant to me personally as well as the Church. Nick very eloquently cut to the heart of the matter. Thank you all for your excellent work.
Lynn Pryor says
Thank you for the encouraging words, Donna!