Be The Church week 12
1 Corinthians Ch 11:16-33
important Announcements: THIS Sunday November 20th is THE LAST DAY to turn in Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.
In this passage, there is a lot of suffering going on with Paul. But let me take you where Paul is heading with this! He wants the Corinthians to understand this incredible truth, that he is going to teach in chapter 12. That God’s power is made perfect in weakness… not our prideful boast.
12:9-10. Pick A Few Questions from the following to discuss in Connect Group!
Major points in the passage.
1.. Be careful what you boast in vs 16-18
Paul says that it is foolish for the church to boast in spiritual matters the way the world boast. It is one thing to be proud of something but it is another thing to be a prideful person. The church was boasting in these super preachers and their skills instead of boasting in Christ. In response, Paul boasts about his weakness and God’s strength through him, not his own credentials. Worldly credentials don’t produce spiritual status!
- Is there anything in your life right now that you want to be seen for? (Anything you want to be glorified for?)
- Do you struggle with how others perceive you?
- Why is it important to remember that worldly credentials don’t give you spiritual status and growth in the kingdom of God isn't through your strength but through God’s strength in your weakness?
2.. When following Jesus Expect Adversity vs 23-33
By sharing his sufferings Paul knocks off the misconception that following Jesus means everything will be easy. The truth is Jesus rarely calls us to comfort. It’s not that following Jesus means he will lead you to comfort, it’s that no matter where He calls you He will be your comforter. We have many obstacles going against us. A broken world, a sinful flesh, & a crafty enemy. The truth is that Jesus invites us to count the cost. Counting the cost and living on mission may not be easy but the fruit of your labor will be worth it!
- The Goal of spiritual adversity is to disarm you from spiritual growth and kingdom advancement! How have you seen obstacles or adversity in your life recently?
- How have you seen spiritual fruit come from counting the cost in your own life? (How has the fruit been worth the labor)
3.. Learn from Paul how to love God’s Church 11:2, 11:28-29
Jesus’ heart for the church (that He died for) is that they would be unified and do life with one another. He wants the church to be one as He and the father are one. The truth is the cross didn’t just unite us with God, it unites us with one another! You can no more separate yourself from other believers than you can your muscle tissue from your own body. In these verses we see Paul's love for the church. The only thing that hurt Paul worse than his ship being wrecked was watching people's lives being wrecked. If they hurt, he hurt. If they were led into sin then his heart was troubled.
How does Paul's heart for the Corinthians in these verses challenge you on how you love and relate to God’s people that he’s put around you?
4.. Be Transparent and Share your Life vs 30-32
These super apostles didn’t seem to have any weaknesses. But the truth is no one has ever been born without having any weakness and sin in their life. However, Paul is honest and vulnerable with the Corinthians. He doesn’t just desire to preach the Gospel he desires to share his life with them as well. Our natural tendency is to cover up, but Gospel transparency is being honest and walking in the light! Fruit comes from being transparent and sharing your life with other believers.
- Why is it so hard to be transparent with others about sin and weaknesses in your life? Why is it so important that you are?
- Is there anything in your life right now that you are struggling with? Share with one another so that you can pray for one another!
5.. Be Encouraged and Trust in Jesus vs 31-33
God knows! At the end of the day, no one else may have believed Paul but God did. Paul says God knows! And God delivered Paul from Damascus, but before God delivered Paul from Damascus God had to deliver Paul from himself. At the end of the day either Paul met a risen savior on the road to Damascus or either he is one of the craziest people to ever walk planet earth. We can trust that God knows where we are and we can trust that our faith isn't in anything empty except for an EMPTY TOMB!
- Has there been a time when you felt like giving up spiritually? How has this passage encouraged you to rest in Christ and keep living on mission with perseverance and endurance?