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1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Connection

FCF:    Community is God’s lens to help us see and address the needs around us in a Gospel way.


Consumer Reports finding: McDonald’s Coffee Tastes better than Starbucks.

Consumer Reports' ``trained tasters'' visited two stores of each company, the magazine said.

·         McDonald's coffee was ``decent and moderately strong,''

·         Starbucks was ``strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water,'' the magazine said.

  • Dunkin' Donuts brew was ``weak, watery, and pricier than Starbucks. It was inoffensive, but it had no oomph.''
  • Burger King, meanwhile, served a beverage that ``looked like coffee but tasted more like hot water,'' the magazine said.

But Starbucks isn’t worried.

What does Starbucks sell?  It’s not coffee…it’s a community experience.

Employment card:       “Create Community, make a difference in someone’s day.”

Back side:       “When you work at Starbuck’s you make a difference in someone’s day by creating an environment where neighbors and friends can get together and connect while enjoying a great coffee experience.”

Result: $5B+ in profits

            Top 10 most trusted global brands

            Top 100 best place to work.

? Why is Community So Important?

1.  Alone in The Crowd (v.17-22)

George Gallup

  • Looking at America’s Growth
  • Move from Rural to Urban
  • Suburban sprawl
  • “Americans are among the loneliest people in the world.”

A.  We Are Always Around People

- Gym

- Traffic

- Stores

- Office

- Sitting with family watching TV and not a real word spoken

Being near people isn’t the same as connecting with people.

ILL – Seminary Breaks.

B.  I Don’t Like the Word “Community”

Community often means being in a crowd.

  • Sunday morning in the Lobby
  • Being in the same room with other people
  • Going to a small group, but not connecting with people in the group.

The Bible has a word κοινωνία kŏinōnia = Parntership / Participation

When two people connect … something is poured out of one and into the other that has power to heal the soul of its deepest wounds and restore it to health.  The one who receives experiences the joy of being healed.  The one who gives knows the even greater joy of being used to heal.  Something good is in the heart of each of God’s children that is more powerful than everything bad.  It’s there, waiting to be released, to work its magic.

… but it rarely happens.

That’s what we want.  To know others and to be known by them.

Instead, we often settle for pseudo relationships

M. Scott Peck The Different Drum

Pseudo-Community = a false sense of peace based on avoiding honesty and constantly sidestepping confrontation.

  • being polite and slightly embarrassed before differences emerge and chaos  begins.
  • unwilling or unable to acknowledge its differences
  • We paper over the problems between people because the next step feels terrible.
  • Value is on “getting along” … which holds us back from actually loving people.

2.  The Corinthians Were Alone in the Crowd

A.  They were in “community”

- Came to Church

- Attended Bible Studies

- They said that they loved Jesus

B. They Acted Like they were Alone

  • If one was hungry, he’d start eating and not wait for anyone else
  • Some got drunk while others had nothing to eat
  • Some feasted while others faced starvation and poverty

In the group, in community

But totally ignorant of the people they were in community with.

! 3.  How is the Heart Wired?

A.  False Idea = the Heart is a CUP

  • We have a long list of psyological needs
  • Biggest need is for love and significance
  • When these needs are not met, we are in a deficit, so we feel empty

In this idea, SIN = filling my needs with people & objects

                  FAITH – filling my needs with Jesus

The Corinthians must have had this model.

-          Lots of activity in this book

-          Sinful behavior: Sex, alcohol, in-fighting

-          Religious behavior: following certain teachers, speaking in tongues

-          All of it designed to fill their cups

§         Fill with pleasure

§         Fill with self

§         Fill with religion

B.  Beginning to Understand … Who is God and What are His “Needs”?

God, God’s kingdom and God’s activity are 100% about God.

-          God has no needs

-          He is completely fulfilled

-          The Father loves the Son

-          The Son is ecstatic about the Father

-          The Spirit is happy empowering their activity

God’s greatest pleasure is Himself.

If our heart is a CUP … we see the main goal of God’s work being to fill us up.

  • That’s not the goal of God’s work
  • God’s goal is to give himself Glory
  • “For from Him and through Him and to him are all things.  To Him be glory forever” (Rom 11:36)

But God’s holiness is not inward focused.

Throughout history God has revealed Himself as:

-          A raging fire

-          A servant

-          A Father

-          A Judge

-          A Master

-          A Potter

-          A Shepherd

-          The care of a mother

C.  Our hearts are Reflectors of God

ILL – Moon reflects the Sun

Moses’ face reflected God’s glory

We are built to reflect God’s holiness

Key question is NOT “how can God meet my psychological longings”

Key question of life is “how can I bring glory to God?”

D. This becomes the lens that we look at life through

No longer just about me

We begin to really see the people around us.


4.  The Goal of Connected Community = To Glorify God and to Care for Others

We talk about being an Acts 2 Church

Acts 2 only happened because of Acts 1

A.  How Will I See People In The Church?

They are reflectors of God’s glory and my to serve them.

B.  How Will I See People Outside the Church?


5.  The Role of Communion in Community

Co = Together

Comission = The mission we do with each other and with God’s power

Communion = the feast we do with each other and with God’s power

Three Aspects
A.  Remembrance

  • Jesus’ once for all work of salvation
  • Justification
  • Atonement

B.  Hope

  • Future return of Jesus
  • Renewal of heaven and eart
  • Final completion of the story from a Garden to a City
  • Real, unified community

C.  Communion = Today’s Filling

  • Latin for mutual participation

-          Koinonia

  • Together with God
  • Together with each other

D.  Sinning Against Communion

v.27 = Unworthy Manner

In context = relational sins


Football Team analogy?

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