When we come together
I. Several ISSUES around a central THEME. (11:1-14:40)
A. The CONTROVERSY around COVERINGS. (11:1-16)
B. FORGETTING whose TABLE this is. (11:17-34)
C. Spiritual GIFTS within the BODY. (12:1-31; 14:1-40)
As we have walked through 1 Corinthians we have taken huge chunks of text that centre on a specific theme. Today is no exception. Chapters 11-14 touch on a number of complicated and challenging issues. But they all rotate around things that happen when the church at Corinth gathers together.
1. Kid’s Question: What’s one thing that we do at church that seems confusing or weird to you?
2. What does the practice of communion mean to you personally?
3. What questions do you have around spiritual gifts?
II. The CENTRAL and more EXCELLENT way. (13:1-13)
A. Seeing this PASSAGE in the proper CONTEXT. (11:1-14:40)
B. Not what COMES, but WHERE it comes from. (13:1-3)
C. What LOVE looks LIKE. (13:4-7)
D. Love is CENTRAL because it LASTS. (13:8-13; 1 Jn 4:8)
1 Corinthians 13 is a very well known passage. It’s read at weddings, cross-stitched on pillows, and is all over Pinterest. That’s a good thing, because the message is very important and one that we need to hear over and over again. But the original context needs to be considered as well.
4. Is it reasonable to expect us to live out 1 Cor. 13:4-7 in our relationships with others? Why or why not?
5. Jeff defines love as “willing the good of another.” How might this look in those situations where you find it difficult to “love” people?
III. The DNA of Christ’s BODY. (12:27)
A. The MANY are connected as ONE. (12:12, 26-27; Rom. 12:4-5)
B. Every ONE is VITAL. (12:14-31)
C. The GOAL is to BUILD up. (14:3,5,12,26; Eph. 4:29)
D. MATURITY looks like LOVE. (12:31b; 1 Jn. 4:12)
All of these passages deal with how the body functions together. It describes what might be called the spiritual DNA of the body of Christ. What are the characteristics that are inherent to us living as the body of Christ in the world today?
6. What should be the evidence in our life (and in our church) if we truly live out the reality of our connection to each other and the importance of each individual within the body?
7. Read Eph. 4:29 over out loud, slowly, several times. What is God saying to you personally through this verse?
8. “Spiritual maturity looks like love.” Is it really that simple? Why or why not?