Divisions in the church

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Small Group Material: 
Week Commencing: 
3 May 2009
Bible Base: 
1 Corinthians 3

Week 3   1 Corinthians 3 (following sermon on 3 May)
 
1)      Some of the church in Corinth prided themselves on being very ‘spiritual’. On what basis does Paul evaluate how ‘spiritual’ they really are? What does this tell us about how we should measure our growth in Christian maturity?
2)      Paul is referring back to the divisions he referred to in ch 1 vv 10-13. They seem to have been about following particular people and forming ‘parties’. In what ways is the church today (both locally and nationally) tempted to similar errors? How do we view other churches in the Valley, for example?
3)      How does Paul’s answer to this issue help us (a) when we are tempted to put Christian leaders on pedestals or (b) for those of us with any leadership position?
4)      When something said by a preacher or worship leader (or anyone else) speaks deeply to us, who is doing the speaking? Does this mean we should not encourage preachers or worship leaders? What are the good things (and the bad things) that can come from encouraging one another?
5)      How do these verses help us when we are tempted to be jealous of the Christian work others are doing?
6)      Suppose someone comes to our church and over time becomes a Christian after a particular sermon. What people besides the preacher might have played a part in this?
7)      Verses 11-13 are difficult. Try to put what they are saying into your own words. What is the work that survives?
8)      Look at verses 16-17. We usually think about being the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ as individuals. Is that the case here? What does this say about the seriousness of damaging the life of the church?
9)      Have a look forward to chapter 4 verses 1-5 – what does Paul say God will concentrate on when he judges our work for him? What might this have to say about how we evaluate each other’s work for the church and for God?