Gospel for a Messy Church – Part 6 When we come together… I Corinthians 11:1-34 June 4th, 2017
I. What we can SAY for SURE. (v. 2-16)
A. GENDER is IMPORTANT to God. (v.7-12; Gen 1:27)
B. Men and women PRAY and PROPHESY. (v.4-5)
C. There are a lot of CULTURAL DYNAMICS in play. (v.2-16)
The first 16 verses of I Corinthians chapter 11 are among the most disputed verses in the Bible. Some see them as merely cultural teaching directed to the specific context that Paul is writing to in Corinth. Others see it as a transcultural order linked back to creation that should still be in practice today. Still others form some kind of hybrid of the two. For today… all I want is to look at is what we can say for sure that we see in these
1. What is your reaction as you read the first half of I Cor. 11? How would you express what you believe the text is saying there?
2. Do passages like this discourage you as you seek to interpret Scripture? Why or why not?
II. A MEAL full of MEANING. (v.17-34)
A. The AGAPE and the EUCHARIST. (v.17-24,33; Jude 12)
B. A REMINDER of the PAST. (v. 23-25)
C. A PROCLAMATION of the FUTURE. (v.26)
D. A SHAPER of the PRESENT. (v.17-22, 27-34)
The last half of the chapter has a few less pitfalls than the first, and is especially relevant as we share communion together today. Paul is addressing the path that the Corinthian church has stumbled down and goes so far as to say what they are currently doing can’t even be called the Lord’s Supper. They have totally missed the boat and he is not going to let it continue any further. The meaning of this meal is of vital importance for all people and for all time.
3. In what ways is the way we do communion today different from the way the early church did it? What might we be missing in our own celebration of the Lord’s Table?
4. What other rituals should we do on a regular basis to help keep our minds clear about the truth of the gospel and God’s coming Kingdom?
5. What are ways that believers can proclaim the coming Kingdom of Jesus in ways that compliment our words of proclamation? Think about specifics that you could do.
6. How seriously do you personally take v. 28-29 when you come to communion? What could help you to improve in that area?
III. Good EATING HABITS… (v.20; Jn 6:53-56)
A. REFLECT on your LIFE. (v.27-28; Jn 6:35)
B. RECOGNIZE the BODY of Christ. (v.29; I Cor. 12:27)
C. Allow your PRESENT to be SHAPED. (v.33-34; Jn 6:66-69)
We often talk of the commands of Jesus and forget the one that says, “Do this in remembrance of me.” When we come to the Lord’s Table we are doing it because we are commanded to do it. We are also invited. We are welcomed, no matter our past, our failures, or our brokenness. This is the place where our deepest hunger is met.
7. On a scale of 1-10, how often do you reflect on your own life, both the day to day living, and the decisions you make and their impact on your spiritual life?
8. What does it mean for you personally to recognize the body of Christ as it sits with you in the pews from week to week? As you live outside the walls of the gathered church?
9. What area of your present life is God calling you to surrender to His “shaping” processes? How are you going to respond?