Over the last 3 months, we have been working our way through 1 Corinthians in our series The Living Gospel. When we opened this series of messages we said Paul is going to treat the gospel like a pair of lenses that Christians are to put on and see the world through. He’s going to say everyone sees the world through a certain point of view, through certain lenses. And if you recall Paul opened with the idea that our default point of view, our default lenses, are defective. We see the world through a point of view that has been corrupted by sin. Our lenses are defective. So what happens? We make decision after decision that seems logical and good based on what we see in front of us. But in reality, those decisions turn out to be harmful to us. This is what sin does all the time to us.
This whole letter is arena after arena of Paul saying take OFF these faulty lenses that lead us down disappointing and unfulfilling searches and instead put on gospel lenses. Look at every area of your life through the lens of the gospel. And then, Paul says, you will finally experience the soul-satisfying life you were created for.
So, what we’ve been doing in this series is following Paul through this letter as he shows us how the gospel becomes our lens for the different areas of life.
- We looked at pride and how our pride creates a comparison game between us and other people. Our pride creates the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality and our satisfaction in life is based on how we compare to others. And that is exhausting. But when we put on the gospel lenses we see the gospel gives us the greatest wealth we could ever ask for: Son or Daughter of God. The gospel frees us from the comparison rat race. (Listen to Part 1, Part 2)
- We talked about how true wisdom is found not within ourselves but within God’s word. And even though it’s counter-intuitive to surrender our instincts to something outside ourselves we actually find real joy in letting God’s word direct our steps. (Listen to Part 3)
- The Gospel changes the way we look at leadership, and it changes the way leaders lead. The gospel says we are all sinners, even leaders, and so we must lead with a great deal of humility. Went right back to pride. (Listen to Part 4)
- In chapter 4 we went down to our deep life purpose in asking the question what are you giving your life to? And the gospel made the claim that there is no half-way Christian life. There is all-in or not in. And where many get hung up is making religion a piece of their lives. The gospel doesn’t work as a “sometimes” lens. Only as your permanent lens. (Listen to Part 5)
- The gospel shapes our conflict with one another. If we are looking at others through the gospel, we can handle being offended. We can humbly & graciously offer to one another the grace that has been extended to us. Christians become the best in the world at conflict resolution because we understand how undeserving of grace we really are yet we get it. (Listen to Part 6)
- And two weeks ago we saw the gospel recreate our vision of sex. Our default lenses tell us it’s no big deal, but we all know that isn’t true. The gospel says it’s powerful and very good. So treat it well and it will be a great blessing to your life. Treat it poorly and it will wreak havoc short & long term on you. (Listen to Part 7)