1 Corinthians: Judging

I CORINTHIANS 5:12

Scripture verse: “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?”

 

Objectives:

  1. Students should memorize the verse and understand its meaning and context.
  2. Students should know a bit of the history of the book of I Corinthians.
  3. Students should have some concrete ideas about how they can talk to their friends about wrong behavior.

Background on the book:

            This letter was written by St. Paul to the struggling church at Corinth while he was staying in Ephesus for 2 ½ years during his third missionary journey around 55 AD. Paul had visited Corinth for about a year and a half during his second missionary journey and planned to visit again the following winter.  Corinth was one of the greatest trading centers of the world. It was located on a 4-mile-wide isthmus separating northern and southern Greece; because of the dangers of sailing around the tip of Greece, many ships were pulled out of the water at Corinth and hauled on rollers across the land bridge! Corinth was famous for its markets and luxuries, but also for drunkenness, pagan idols, and immorality. The young church there had serious problems dealing with these issues. Find Corinth on a map.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Scripture lesson: I Corinthians 5:9-6:3.  Now Corinth is facing a problem. In trying to be loving, they were allowing members of the body to live in sin rather than “hurt” them by judging their actions. Paul knew the importance of a godly life as a witness to the world. But how do we “lovingly” judge each other? Read Ephesians 4,15, 25, Proverbs 15:1.

 

  1. Review the background of the book. Trace the journey of Paul and the city of Corinth.

 

  1. Should we talk to our friends about wrong behavior? Under what circumstances? Make a list on the board of several potential situations and poll the class as to whether they would approve or disapprove of these actions if witnessed in a friend: shoplifting a small piece of jewelry, told an off-color joke about another person, lied to his parents about where he was, smoked cigarettes, cheated on a test, gossiped something told in confidence, failed to do his homework, took his parents’ car without asking, other situations suggested by the class? Were some easier to decide on than others? How should a teen respond when seeing a Christian friend in each of these situations? A non-Christian? What would be some possible ways to approach these situations? What do you risk by talking to your friend about his sin? Is it worth the risk? Should you go to his parents, priest? Under what circumstances? (e.g. taking car and not licensed to drive? What if he were killed? How would you feel then if you had/had not “tattled”?) Try role-playing some of these situations to see how they play out. Should Paul have just let the Corinthians go their merry way in love?

5.   Close with prayer.