Interacting with the Sermon
Synopsis of the Sermon
Due to the fact that each campus had a different pastor teaching, please summarize yourself the relevant sermon points.
In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
Getting the Conversation Started
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
- What are one or two things from this weekend’s sermon that really stood out to you?
- Do you have a hidden talent? If you were to perform in a talent show, what would be your act?
- Describe a time when you worked as a team member to accomplish a goal. What was your role in the team?
Context: The city of Corinth was known in the ancient world for its economic prosperity, tourism, pride, and promiscuous culture. Theologian Gordon Fee aptly describes Corinth as all “at once the New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas of the ancient world.” The Corinthian church struggled similarly to how some American churches today struggle- social stratification, individualism, and divisiveness. Paul recognizes the shortcomings of the Corinthian church and plainly reminds the believers of a higher purpose for which they are joined into community. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul speaks specifically to the manner by which believers were pursuing spiritual gifting and encouraged them to seek gifting within the proper context of community for which it fits into a greater purpose.
Read 1 Corinthians 12 (text is long, so please read personal Bible)
- (v. 1-5) Paul describes a unique relationship between spiritual gifts and the Spirit of God. Describe the unique relationship by looking at these verses.
- (v. 4-5) Paul emphasizes how different giftings are submitted under the same “God at work” who manifests Himself in us for the “common good.” What is the common purpose for which God gives His Holy Spirit to each believer?
- (v. 7-11) Paul reminds the Corinthians that God distributes each gifting “just as he determines”-meaning that it is God who chooses how to gift individuals. What are the spiritual gifts Paul names?
- The Vineyard believes the Holy Spirit is alive and active and that God still distributes spiritual gifts today. As we consider the list of spiritual gifts and how God has chosen to gift each one of us personally, how might God distinguish calling based on one’s spiritual gifts? How else may God choose to distinguish calling on our lives?
- Just like the Corinthians, believers today struggle with properly exercising spiritual gifts (and therefore calling) for the greater purposes of God. What hang-ups about spiritual gifts and calling does God want the modern church to overcome in order for his greater purposes to be fulfilled?
- (v. 12-14) Paul destroys social stratification, individualism, and divisiveness by stating that “whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free…we were all given the one Spirit to drink” a radical concept of the ancient world. What are the social barriers of the church, Westerville, and the City of Columbus that keep Christians from working together for the greater purpose of Christ?
- (v. 15-26) Paul uses the analogy of the human body when describing the collaboration of spiritual gifts within the communal body of believers. What two warnings does he give to the people: when they consider their own spiritual gifts? When they consider the spiritual gifts of others?
- Have you ever looked at another person’s spiritual gifts (or your own spiritual gifts) and considered them inferior to another gift? How might this effect your view of this person’s calling? How might this be dangerous to the body of Christ or worse how might this hinder the progress of the gospel?
- On the contrary, like the Corinthians, there is a danger of overemphasizing spiritual gifting by overlooking the main principle intended to guide gifting: Love. Paul later states that extravagant love must come alongside gifting and calling and must be at the core from which we do everything. In what ways can we as believers pursue our individual calling without quenching the extravagant love of Jesus? What must we do to fuel the flame of Holy Spirit in our hearts?
Below you’ll see some options for ministry time with your group. We always encourage you to reserve time in your group to pray for one another and wait on the Holy Spirit.
- Sit and wait on the presence of God. Are there any spiritual gifts that you desire and have a sense that the Lord would like to develop in you?
- Do you feel you have discovered God’s calling on your life? Ask the Lord how He might want to reveal/refine the calling He has on your life.
- Do you feel challenged by the idea of some spiritual gifts/people groups being inferior to others in the Body of Christ? Ask the Lord what He would like to reveal to you about your current perception.