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Lesson 9: Reformation: The Outgrowth of Revival *

Introduction: Two weeks ago we learned that we need to have unity with God by having the Holy Spirit live in our minds. This allows us to live a Spirit-led life. Last week we learned about spiritual discernment, judging whether the spirit speaking to us is God or demonic. If we have these two things down, that we invite God's Spirit every morning to live in us, what is next? We need to do something, right? What is it that we need to do? That is our topic this week. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and find out!

  1. Temple

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. What should the Holy Spirit living in us cause us to do? (Pay attention to our temple.)

      1. What do you think that means?

    2. Context is always important. Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, the verses that immediately proceed the reference to our temple. A temple is a building, what kind of building is discussed here? (A spiritual building.)

      1. What does this suggest about the meaning of the "temple?" (That Paul is speaking of our spiritual being - the life of our mind.)

    3. Read Matthew 15:10-12. How does this fit into the idea of preserving our temple? (We are not talking about what we eat.)

    4. Read Matthew 15:16-20. If our temple is not a reference to diet and health, what does this teach us about keeping our temple in good order? (We need to have right thoughts.)

      1. Let's stop a minute here. I thought the Holy Spirit produced right thoughts. How can we say that having right thoughts produces a proper place for the Holy Spirit to live? (We choose whether or not to live a life in accord with the Holy Spirit.)

    5. What do these verses teach us about reformation? (An important aspect of reformation is having a suitable place for the Holy Spirit to dwell.)

  2. Secret Things

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 4:1. Why are God's things "secret?" I thought He wanted everyone to know about the gospel?

    2. Let's go back and read some verses we skipped. Read 1 Corinthians 3:18-20 and 1 Corinthians 1:18. What does the world think about the Christian approach to life? What does God think about the world's approach to life?(They are kingdoms on a collision course. The world thinks the gospel is foolishness and God tells us that the wisdom of the world is foolishness.)

      1. In light of this, what do you think God means by the "secret" things of God? (They are secret because only the followers of God really want to know them.)

    3. Now that we have worked through the "secret," let's go back and continue with 1 Corinthians 4:2-4. What does it mean to be proven "faithful" with the "secret things" of God? (This is the reformation part of things. If we have this link with God: we understand through the power of the Holy Spirit God's view of things. That knowledge causes a change in us - which starts with cleaning up our temple.)

    4. Read 1 Corinthians 4:6-7. What part of the proper building of our temple is "don't go beyond what is written" in judging others? (We sometimes take and give credit for things that God gave us: wisdom, good-looks, and good parents. We need to have God's view in evaluating everyone. Deuteronomy 4:2 tells us that we should not add or subtract from God's rules. Going "beyond what is written" also means that we should not condemn others based on our rules and not congratulate them based on our rules either.)

    5. What do these verses teach us about reformation? (We need to use the correct standard, God's standard, to judge whether reformation (and proper temple building) is taking place.)

  3. Dealing With Sin

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 5:1. Obvious sin occurs in the church, what should you do as part of reformation?

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 5:2. Why would these people be proud of sin? (Is it possible that they took pride in not being judgmental?)

      1. Is the right response to sin to kick obvious sinners out of church?

      2. Notice the "filled with grief" part. What does that suggest? (We are sad about the situation, and not anxious to be judges.)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 5:4-5. Who should lead in church discipline issues? (The Holy Spirit.)

      1. What is the goal for this sinner? To be handed over to Satan?

      2. How will Satan destroy the sinner's sinful nature? (Satan does not fight against Satan. Rather, the idea is that the man will come to his senses when he is not longer "approved" by the church.)

      3. Do we all need a "wake-up call" from time to time when it comes to sin?

    4. Read 1 Corinthians 5:6. To what "boasting" is Paul referring? ( 1 Corinthians 5:1-2, the people are "proud" about the sexual immorality in the church.)

      1. Aside from giving God a bad name, what is the problem with this pride? (It influences others. It represents bad temple-building.)

    5. Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-10. We just considered a difficult situation in which church members were asked to be "judgmental." How do these verses clarify the nature of our judgment? (We are not called upon to judge the world. Rather, we are only called to make judgment on those who claim to be Christians.)

    6. Every church has people who are involved in sexual sins. Should we toss out every one of them? (Look again at the context in which Paul writes. This church takes pride in sexual sin. Paul's instruction is about the church and not the world. The concern is about the influence of the sin. Before we start tossing people out of church, we need to consider the impact on the church. People who are involved in sin, but have one foot outside the church, and who have no influence over the members, don't seem to fit the "boot them out" advice very well.)

    7. Read 1 Corinthians 6:18. Are sexual sins in a special category? (Apparently.)

    8. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Have we have come back to the "temple" issue? Are sexual sins especially important because they are an attack on the body in which the Holy Spirit is supposed to dwell?

    9. Read 1 Corinthians 6:15-17. How does this help us to understand the special nature of sexual sins? (Having sex with someone forms a special bond that goes beyond the sin. God tells us to form that special bond with our spouse and with Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.)

    10. Consider these verses and what they say about reformation. Is reformation about rooting out sexual sins? (No. God is concerned about bringing disrepute upon His church. He is concerned about our temple-building influence on others. He is concerned about us breaking our bond with Him and our spouse by forming bonds through sin.)

  4. Temple Building

    1. Read Romans 8:1-3. What does Jesus have to do with reformation? (Jesus fulfilled the obligations of the law by dying in my place.)

      1. What does it mean that Jesus "condemned sin in sinful man?" (He showed us the true nature of sin. Sin kills God. Sin is the enemy of God so it should be our enemy as well.)

    2. Read Romans 8:4. Jesus is the One who allows the "righteous requirements of the law" to "be fully met in us." That sounds like reformation! How does that happen? (It happens to those who live in accord with the Spirit and not their sinful nature.)

      1. Is this a works requirement? We have to live a certain way to be saved?

    1. Read Romans 8:5-9. We started out talking about how important our temple was because it is where the Holy Spirit dwells. What do you think is the key to reformation? (Setting our mind on what the Holy Spirit desires. This is proper temple-building. This is the key to reformation, making a daily choice to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into truth and help us to live in such a way that we give glory to God.)

    2. Friend, will you ask the Holy Spirit to dwell in you? Will start down the road to reformation by asking the Holy Spirit to build your temple to give you unity with God and a sensitivity to God's will for you?

  1. Next week: Reformation: The Willingness to Grow and Change.
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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