Title: Shadows of the Cross within the Fellowship
Texts: 1 Cor. 12 -14
In a Nutshell: Throughout 1 & 2 Corinthians we see selfishness and selflessness contrasted. Now we see Paul in chapters 12-14 describing diverse gifts and abilities given to Christians by God and the purpose of those “gifts” for the Kingdom. Once again, we see God’s plan being for the good of all, but the Christians at Corinth turning them into self promotional and attention getting activities. Ultimately he points out how a selfish church can turn gifts meant for good into confusion & chaos.
Ice Breaker: Can you recall a recipe that went tragically wrong because only one ingredient was mistaken? How can something go so wrong?
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXTS:
- How might these verses be viewed as selfless? 1 Cor. 12:7,11,24,25,31; 13:3; 14:3,12,20,26,31
- How might these verses be viewed as selfish? 1 Cor. 12:14-17,21; 13:11; 14:36-38
- How and by Whom was the church (fellowship) designed? 1 Cor. 12:24-26
- For who’s good purpose was the church designed this way? 1 Cor. 12:4-7
- What key virtue makes this fellowship work effectively? 1 Cor. 13:4-7
- What can cause the demise of the church’s fellowship? 1 Cor. 14:36-40
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
- When was the last time you heard people discuss spiritual gifts without there being a disagreement?
- Why do differences tend to cause arguments? (Think about what Paul said in 1 Cor. 12:14-26)
- Which do you think is more important the activity specific efficiency of each of the spiritual gifts or the overall purpose of those gifts?
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CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
- What might we say is the “first words” and the “last word’s” on the topic of spiritual gifts in the church? 1 Cor. 12: 1-2; 14:40
CARE Sheet Resources:
- Ministry Magazine on “Tongues” in 1 Corinthians 14
- Ecstatic Utterance of 1 Cor. 14 – Hastings points out that “It is significant that the Pauline notices of ‘tongue-speech’ are concerned only with the Corinthian Church.” Mystical, ecstatic, even demonic utterances in supposed communication with the gods were not uncommon in Corinth. Ecstatic utterances had invaded the church from the pagan worship so prevalent in the city (1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 26, 27, including all the verses having unknown added by the translators). 1 Cor. 14:9 refers to the physical tongue of man; 1 Cor 14:23, plural with a plural pronoun, refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterances. Observe that chapter 14 contains a mixture of the word tongues: vv. 2, 4, 13, 19, 26 & 27, pagan ecstatic utterances; vv. 5, 6, 18 & 22, actual ethnic languages. (Encyclopaedia, III.371a; The Pulpit Commentary, XIX.397; The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, by Spiros Zodhiates, 1436, 1438.)
- Corinth at the Time of Paul’s Arrival
Title: “Shadows of the Cross over the Finale'”
Text: 1 Cor. 15& 2 Cor. 4,5”
Questions: What kind of earthly illustrations does Paul use in order to help us understand death? Do those illustrations have a sad or joyful connotation? When was the last time you attended a funeral that was not dominantly sad?
Parents with your children: Take some time to study up and talk to your children/grandchildren about death, Heaven and Hell. Here are some resources that might help: