05 | Love the Body

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Chapter 13 is both a beautiful celebration of love and a visceral gut-punch for the church. Paul writes this chapter as a rebuke to a church that is a mess: While the Corinthians were highly gifted, they lacked the kind of Spirit-wrought character that showed true evidence of conversion to Christ. Gifts, ministry, and service - when divorced from love - are of zero profit and do not evidence a true work of the Spirit. Paul is telling the church they must excel in character in a way that mirrors their strength of gifting or they are risk spiritual bankruptcy.

FOR REFLECTION:

1. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. What is your first impression of the passage? How have you typically heard or understood it?

2. What difference does it make to see the chapter as a challenge or rebuke to the Corinthians ways of relating?

3. Read the list of traits of love - what agape really is - ask the Spirit to bring clarity and conviction. What is the Spirit saying about your love?

4. What would you say your community and our Soma family is known for? Is this kind of character transformation happening among us?

5. Read 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, and be encouraged at what Jesus promises to do by his Spirit in his people. Pray our love would increase!

June 16, 2019 | Steve Hart


 

04 | Honor the Body

 

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

We are the body of Christ, unique and different, called to His mission, HIs purpose, and His presence and then irrigated by His Spirit.  We have been called and saved into this great body and we get to serve God’s great rescue mission and we get to be fueled by the powerful Holy Spirit.  Boy, that sounds like great news.

June 9, 2019 | Scott Cooley


 

03 | Gifts of Grace

 

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Over the next 5 weeks, we're digging into what exactly it means to be the body of Jesus, particularly in how the Spirit gifts and empowers us in ministry to one another and mission in the world. The primary evidence of the Spirit's work in our lives is a heart and life that declares 'Jesus is Lord,' and every true Christian is a Spirit-filled Christian. The Spirit equips each member of the body with gifts, as He determines is best, for the building up of the body in mission and ministry. Practically, this means the first step in the journey of understanding the Spirit and how he has gifted you is to begin engaging him directly, asking him to fill your heart and mind with the truth about Jesus and to equip you how he wills for the sake of the common good.

FOR REFLECTION:

1. Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. When you gather with the church on Sundays or in your community, what sort of expectations or hopes do you have? What are you anticipating may happen?

2. What does Paul say is the key mark of a Spirit-filled and Spiritually-gifted person (v.1-3)? Why might he be saying this? What is he correcting at Corinth?

3. Paul says the Spirit gives various gifts, the Lord calls us to various ministries, and God gives us various levels of strength and impact (v.4-6). In what ways is such a God-centered view of spiritual gifts helpful for us? 

4. As you read the list of gifts, which ones resonate with you (check the end of 1 Corinthians 12 or Romans 12 for other helpful lists). Take some time in your community to highlight one another and the gifts you see in each other.

5. In light of all Paul is saying here, what ought to be our expectation when we gather together? In what ways can you take responsibility for your own gifts and ministry to that end?

June 2, 2019 | Steve Hart


 

01 | Men, Women, & Ministry

 

1 Corinthians 11:12-16

Unfortunately, last Sunday’s sermon recording failed, so if you missed it… sorry!

But, a summary can be found here.

We looked at a difficult but important section (1 Corinthians 11:2-16) on the freedom and structure amongst men and women in the gathered church setting, arguing that the New Testament church is to be a Spirit-led community in which men and women both lead out according to their Spirit-given gifts and yet joyfully honor the unique roles given to men and women in marriage, family, and church.

May 19, 2019 | Steve Hart


 

02 | The Table

 

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Central to the gathering of the early church was the Love Feast or Lord's Supper, a time to eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of the work of Jesus in his life, death, and resurrection. The meal signifies the new covenant - God's new way of dealing with humanity through his Son - and it was meant to sustain a radically inclusive and just community, where all the world's ways of measuring worth and value were undermined and rejected by the scandal of grace. When we eat the bread and drink the wine, we proclaim Jesus as our one Savior and shape a culture of justice and mercy.

FOR REFLECTION:

1. Read 1 Corinthians 11.17-34, Paul’s challenging rebuke of the church’s practice of the Lord’s Supper. Notice he says, “It is not the Lord’s supper you eat,” highlighting just how far their practice is from Jesus’ intent. What are they doing wrong, according to v.17-22?

2. What does Paul highlight about the meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the night he was betrayed (v.23-26)? What are the intentions of this shared meal of bread and wine? What does it proclaim?

3. What instructions does Paul give regarding how we’re to personally engage the Lord’s Supper (v.27-32)? 

4. What instructions does Paul give regarding how we’re to engage the Lord’s Supper as a community (v.33-34)?

5. Partake of the Lord’s Supper when your community gathers this week, taking time to discuss either what Jesus has done or what we’re still longing for him to do. Allow time for confession, prayer, and/or words of encouragement to be spoken to one another.

May 26, 2019 | Steve Hart