Grow Groups 5/8/24

May 8, 2024   /   JamestownFirstAssembly

Something to Talk About

May 5-11

Grow Groups Sermon Discussion Guide

ACCOUNTABLE FELLOWSHIP

1 Corinthians 4:6-21

 

INTRODUCTION:

For the past few months, we have been studying the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The theme has been living under Kingdom Authority. What has stood out to you the most thus far in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians?

Why do you suppose people struggle with living under authority?

Why do you suppose the Corinthians are struggling with Paul’s Authority?

Do you see any correlation in the Church today?

 

Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie writes, “We’re all accountable to living under authority. And the greater the authority we are given, the more we have to place ourselves unreservedly under Christ’s authority.” What is the point he is making? Do you agree with Dr. Ogilvie? Why or why not? How do we to put living under authority into practice in our lives?

Why do you think the church Leadership must live under Kingdom Authority and why must the church Membership live under Kingdom Authority, for the church Fellowship to reap the benefits of Christ Kingdom?

 

TEXT:

1 Corinthians 4:6-13 (NIV) Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.

 

What stands out to you in these verses?

 

 

FOUR THINGS TO DO UNDER KINGDOM AUTHORITY:

 

1. AVOID ARROGANCE.

1 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV) Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

Why do puffed up people produce problems; first for themselves and second for others?

Why is there no room for a puffed-up spirit or a superior attitude, or superstars in God’s kingdom?

 

1 Corinthians 4:6c (NIV) “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

Why does it mean “Do not go beyond what is written.”? What happens when we do?

How did the Corinthians become puffed up and prideful? As they tried to work leaders against each other how had it divided, disrupted, and distracted the membership and harmed the fellowship?

How does pride hurt the fellowship?

Why must we be careful of puff up people looking for a platform to exert some self-promoted authority over the church?

What are we to do with overly spiritual or hyper spiritual people who want to exercise control over people? What is their activity and how does their activity disrupt the fellowship and the work of the ministry?

 

1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV) For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

What is being said here?

How can we avoid become arrogant? What step must we take?

 

 

2. WELCOME A WARNING

1 Corinthians 4:14 14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children.

What does Paul want to warn them of?

How many of you parents have ever warned or instructed your children concerning a matter? How did that go?

 

1 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV) Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!

Do you think this is Paul’s attempt at sanctified sarcasm? What is the point He is trying to make?

 

Revelation 3:17 (NIV) You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

What did the Corinthians and the Laodicea Church have in common?

How did their arrogance over leadership spill over into every area of their lives?

 

1 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV) Already you have all you want! They were self-satisfied.

1 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV) Already you have become rich! They were self-sufficient.

1 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV) You have begun to reign—and that without us! They were self-seeking.

How does self-get in the way of developing sensitivity to the Lord?

 

1 Corinthians 4:9-10 (NIV) For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!

What is Paul’s point?

Is it true that A person like Paul who is sentenced to death doesn’t concern himself with trivial matters—they just don’t seem import anymore? What is Paul doing here in verses 9 and 10?

 

Luke 9:23 (NIV) Jesus said, whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

What did Jesus teach us here?

 

John 11:25 (NIV) I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…

What does Jesus mean here about our life?

 

Galatians 2:20 (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

What is the point here?

What was Paul’s warning about here?

 

 

3. EMULATE A GODLY EXAMPLE

Tell about a person who has been a Godly example to you? What where their characteristics that drew you to observe their way of life?

 

1 Corinthians 4:11-13 (NIV) 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.

How should we apply what is being said here?

 

1 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

What is he saying here to us? Imitate what?

Imitate me in my persecution, if needed!?!

Imitate me in my perseverance, which is needed!?!

Is Paul telling us that living under Kingdom Authority gives us everything needed to have a “Don’t Quit” attitude?

When in our life have you felt most like quitting?

 

2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Matthew 17:20 (NIIV) He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Romans 8:31 (NIV) What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV) But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:4 (NIIV) Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

Matthew 24:13 (NIV) The one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

How does living these verses out give us a “Don’t Quit” attitude?

 

 

4. RECEIVE CORRECTION

Are you a very correctable person? Why or why not?

 

1 Corinthians 4:14-21 14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?

What is Paul’s point as their spiritual father?

Paul exercises some discipline on his spiritual children. It’s kind of like the father saying: “Don’t make me come up there” or “Don’t make me stop this car.”

Let it be clearly known that the Lord disciples those he loves.

As parents discipline their children to help them learn to obey and do the right thing, so the Lord disciplines us as His children, and He may use a Father in the faith like Paul was to do it.

Have you ever been corrected by a father in the faith? If so how should we respond?

 

Hebrews 12:7-11 (NIV) Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

The truth is the Lord knows how to effectively discipline us as His children. Discipline from the Lord is always an act of His love toward us. How should discipline train us?

 

Psalm 32:3-4 (NIV) When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

Today we might say something is “eating us up inside” or that we feel “crushed by guilt.” But is this not God’s correction at work in our lives?

We are all correctable! Unless we are so full of pride that we won’t submit to God correction in our lives. How does a person stay correctable?

 

Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Have you ever been corrected by the Lord? Have you ever gone through something, and you just knew it was the Lord’s discipline? We always know when it is the Lord who is correcting us, don’t we?

Does God discipline us to train us in His ways? Paul is contending for the Corinthians who are out of line in the church and need to come back under God Kingdom Authority. How should we handle something of this same magnitude if it happened today?

 

1 Corinthians 4:21 (NIV) What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?

How was God using Paul to bring correction to the Church? How will God bring correction today?

 

 

CONCLUSION:

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV) This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

1 Peter 5:5-6 (NIV) All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Why is humility so important among us?

 

1 Corinthians 1:31 (NIV) “Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Why should we keep our boast only for the Lord?

 

PRAYER:

For each other and the Church… that we develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

 

 

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