1 Corinthians – Problems and Solutions
第一コリント人への手紙-問題とその解決法
(First Sunday in Lent)

18 February, 2018

We continue our march through the Bible. One book a month over seven years and today we arrive at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Written by Paul in around 55AD, it was one of the earlier letters written by him.
[G-1] 私たちは聖書を通して私たちの行進を続けます。 1冊の本を月に7年間、今日、私たちはパウロのコリント人への最初の手紙に着きます。約55ADにパウロによって書かれた、それは彼によって書かれた以前の手紙の一つだった。

It’s worth noting the type of city that Corinth was at the time of Paul’s writing. It was a large Greek city, filled with various temples and shrines. For young Christianity, there was plenty of spiritual competition. But perhaps more than anything else, Corinth – like any large commercial city – was famous(infamous) for its immorality. In fact, they were so immoral that the city name became a verb in the Greek language, where ‘to Corinthianize’ came to mean ‘to practice sexual immorality’.
[G-2] パウロの書いた時にコリントがあった都市のタイプに注目することは価値があります。それは様々な寺院や神社でいっぱいの大きなギリシャの都市でした。若いキリスト教のために、多くの精神的な競争があった。しかし、おそらく何よりも、コリントスは – 大都市のように – その不道徳のために有名でした(悪名高い)。実際、彼らは都市の名前がギリシア語の動詞になったように不道徳なので、「コリント人に」は「性的不道徳を実践する」という意味になりました。

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians addresses a number of problems in the church, of which we will look briefly at seven:
[G-3] パウロのコリント人への最初の手紙は、教会のいくつかの問題に取り組んでいます。その7つを簡単に見てみましょう。

  1. divisions
    分裂
  2. immaturity
    未成熟
  3. sexual immorality
    不品行
  4. lawsuits
    訴え合い
  5. marital difficulties
    夫婦間の問題
  6. misuse of spiritual gifts
    御霊の賜物の悪用
  7. misuse of the Lord’s supper
    聖餐式の悪用

The problems addressed in this letter makes it a highly relevant letter for churches today because these problems persist!
[G-4] この手紙で取り上げられている問題は、今日の教会にとっては、これらの問題が残っているため、非常に関連性の高い手紙になっています!

These seven problems that Paul addressed all come under one of three issues:
[G-5] パウロが取り上げたこれらの7つの問題は、次の3つの問題のいずれかになります。

  1. unity
    一致
  2. purity
    純潔
  3. maturity
    成熟

And these three issues are big matters for any church, and are central to its health.
[G-6] これらの3つの問題は、どの教会にとっても非常に重要であり、その健康の中心です。

We don’t have time today to get into the details of all the problems of the Corinthian church or the solutions that Paul proposes, in any sort of comprehensive way. But I do want to provide a brief overview of both the problems and the solutions, so that if we ever find ourselves confronted with similar situations, we can at least know the basic principles to find resolution and recovery. And if you would like to know about how to deal with any of these more deeply, please let me know and I’ll address them at a later time.
[G-7] わたしたちは今日、コリント教会のすべての問題の詳細や、パウロが提案する解決策について、あらゆる種類の包括的な方法で詳細を知る時間がありません。しかし、問題と解決法の両方について簡単に概観したいので、同様の状況に直面した場合には、少なくとも解決と回復を見つけるための基本原則を知ることができます。また、これらのいずれかをより深く処理する方法について知りたい場合は、私に知らせてください。

Problem 1: Divisions in the church
問題1:教会内での分裂

Some in the Corinthian church liked Paul’s way of doing things, others thought Peter was the supreme authority, while for others Apollos was the head of the church and was to be followed as such. I don’t believe we have such issues in our church, but can you imagine how harmful it would be if we started breaking into little factions, with some people saying ‘You know Pastor Mike [image] is more qualified so we should listen to him, and others said that Pastor Andrew [image] is the senior pastor so he must be very wise and the one to follow, and then others say similar things about Pierre [image] or Esther [image] or Bradley [image].
私たちが小さな派閥に分裂していったらどんなに悪影響を及ぼすか想像してみてください。

Solution 1: What’s the solution to such disagreement?
解決策1:このような不一致に対する解決策は何ですか?

Focus on Jesus. Recognise that we were all baptised into Christ, and that He is the undivided head of the church, and that the servant leaders of the church are just that: servant leaders under Christ.
イエスに焦点を当てる

Problem 2: Immaturity
問題2:未成熟

Paul described the Corinthians as “mere infants in Christ” who were not ready for solid spiritual food because they were still worldly. You cannot be a mature Christian and worldly at the same time. If any Christian’s life is characterised by things like envy, gossip and materialism, then they’re still immature and need to grow up in you faith.
成熟したクリスチャンであると同時に世俗的であるということはありえません。

Solution 2: What’s the solution to immaturity?
[G-8] 解決策2:未熟さに対する解決策は何ですか?

The solution is surprisingly practical. We are to be very careful how we build our lives. Paul says we must understand that we all have the same foundation for our faith, which is the gospel of Christ. So we should then be careful how we build our lives on that foundation. If we build with spiritual riches – the fruit of the spirit – then when our lives are tested, we will have reward. But if we build with worldly pursuits and values, then we will still be saved by the grace of God “but only as one escaping through the flames”. (3:15) Let’s be careful – and this requires effort – to build our lives toward maturity in the faith.
自分の人生をどう築くかよく注意する

Problem 3: Sexual immorality
問題3:不品行

Sexual immorality appeared to be particularly perverse in the Corinthian church: “of a kind that does not occur even among pagans”. But sexual immorality of any kind is wrong, is harmful to the individual, is damaging to relationships present and future, is detrimental to the church, and is offensive to God. It’s also, sadly, common in many churches today.
どんな不品行でも不正であり、個人に悪影響を及ぼし、現在および将来の関係に害を与え、教会に害を及ぼし、神に反することです。

Solution 3:
解決策3:

There are two types of solutions the church could apply here.
The first is a liberal, worldly solution that says,
一つ目はリベラルでこの世的な解決法

  • “Did God really say that’s immoral?”
    それが不品行だと神は本当に言いましたか?
  • “Don’t worry. No-one’s going to judge you.”
    大丈夫、誰もあなたを非難したりしないから。
  • “It’s not such a big deal – everyone’s doing it”
    どうってことはない、誰もがしていることだから
  • “Times change”
    今は時代が違う
  • “It’s natural”
    自然なことだ
  • “It’s no-one else’s business”
    他人には関係のないこと
  • “Don’t worry, God understands” – Choose your favourite soundbite! None of these are God’s way!
    大丈夫、神は分かってくださる

The second solution is a Biblical solution which Paul presents in no uncertain terms – not for those who sin and then repent, but for those who live, unrepentant, in sinful relationships: put such people out of the church. Expel them. “Hand them over to Satan”(5:5)! Why? Firstly so that they will repent. As harsh as it sounds, this is a remedial solution. Also because sexual immorality is a cancer. If left unchecked, it will spread and it will kill a church. The solution to sexual immorality is not tolerance. It’s discipline.
二つ目の解決法は、そのような人たちを教会から出すこと不品行の解決法は寛容であることではなく、規律に従わせることです。

Problem 4: Lawsuits amongst believers.
問題4:信者の間での訴え合い

The Corinthians lived in a highly litigious society, not unlike the west today. Even believers were suing each other. What kind of witness was that? We’re not likely to be suing each other, but when disputes do come up, the principle is the same:

Solution 4: Settle matters within the church.
解決策4:教会内で問題を解決する

It’s better to be wronged than to publicly malign the name of God by having public spats. Use the elders of the church and the wisdom of the Spirit to settle disputes.
[G-9] パブリックスパッツをすることによって、公然と神の名を悪用するよりも、悪用される方が良いです。紛争を解決するために教会の長老と御霊の知恵を使用してください。

Problem 5: Marital Difficulties
問題5:夫婦間の問題

Paul presents a range of common marital difficulties from deciding whether to marry in the first place, to relations within an established marriage.

Solution 5:
解決策5:

I encourage all those who are married or are of marriageable age to carefully read 1 Corinthians 7 for Paul’s very concrete answers to the various marriage-related difficulties that can come up.
第一コリント7章にあるパウロの明確な答えを注意深く読む

Problem 6: Misuse of spiritual gifts
問題6:御霊の賜物の悪用

The Corinthian church struggled with an awkward combination of spiritual giftedness and spiritual immaturity. Their church abused the use of spiritual gifts and lacked any sense of godly order in their assemblies.
コリントの教会は霊的に賜ったことと霊的に未熟なことを混同していました。

Solution 6: There are three possible solutions here.
解決策6:ここには3つの解決策があります。

  1. The first is for a church to become a spiritual cemetery. To avoid any abuse of spiritual gifts, simply don’t allow them. Easy! But by doing that, you will have a church that is dead to the Holy Spirit.
    一つ目は霊的な墓地となる
  2. The second is to become an insane asylum. In fear of becoming one of those cemetery churches, throw off all inhibition and go “tongues-mad, babbling away en masse, chirping like birds and barking like dogs ‘in the Spirit’ (Cymbala). Then we become just like the Corinthian church that Paul was trying so hard to correct.
    二つ目は精神科病院となる
  3. The third solution is to seek and embrace the gifts of the Spirit, especially the gift of prophecy, and to use them in the church in a fitting and orderly manner, and always in love, without which the gifts are utterly useless. I don’t believe our church has found the right balance here yet. I believe we need to more passionately seek and embrace the gifts of the Spirit, and I’d like to encourage you to continue to seek, pray and talk about this with me.
    3つ目は御霊の賜物を求め受け入れること、その賜物を教会内でふさわしく秩序ある方法で、いつも愛をもって用いる

Problem 7: Misuse of the Lord’s Supper
問題7:聖餐式の悪用

Some in the Corinthian church were taking communion – the Lord’s supper – inappropriately, without properly recognising Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and so were falling sick as a result.
コリントの教会には、イエスを自分の主、救い主として認めず、聖餐式にあずかっている人たちがいました。

Solution 7: Proper self-examination and recognition of Jesus as Lord.
解決策7:正しく自己吟味し、イエスを主と認める

Through proper self-examination we will understand the magnitude of our sins, and our need to heartily turn from them, and be forgiven and delivered from them. Proper recognition of Jesus as Lord leads us to understand that He[Jesus] is the only one who can forgive us and deliver us from our sins.
私たちの罪の重大さを理解する。イエスだけが私たちを赦すことのできるお方だと理解する

This leads us to today. Today is the first Sunday in Lent. It’s the beginning of the Easter season during which we prepare our hearts to better understand the Easter sacrifice and miracle, and to receive the new life that it brings.
[G-10] これは私たちを今日に導きます。今日は貸し出しの最初の日曜日です。イースターの季節の始まりで、私たちはイースターの犠牲と奇跡をよりよく理解し、それがもたらす新しい人生を受け取るために心を準備します。

At this time, people often choose to forgo something that is important to them, as a reminder that God gave up something very important to Him at this time – His Son. You might want to think and pray about what you can give up (sacrifice) as a reminder of the sacrifice that God made to redeem you from your sin.
[G-11] この時期に人々はしばしば、自分にとって重要な何かを捨てることを選択します。これは、神がこの時で神に非常に重要な何かをあきらめたことを思い出させるものです。神があなたの罪からあなたを救うために捧げた犠牲を思い出させるために、あなたが捨てることを犠牲にすることを考え、祈ることができます。

We’re going to go into a time of personal prayer and reflection now to prepare our hearts for the Lord’s supper. I encourage you to search your heart – better still, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart – and to gently but firmly convict you of any as-yet unrepented sins in your life. The call to unity, purity and maturity is upon each of us, and it is a call that we must respond to with sincerity, with faith and with thanksgiving.
聖霊にあなたの心を探ってもらい、悔い改めていない罪を優しく、かつしっかりと示してくださるよう求めましょう。一致、純潔、成熟は私たち一人ひとりに求められていることです。それに私たちは誠意と信仰と感謝をもって応えなければいけません。

Prayer. Communion