QUESTION: Can you identify at least one person who’s life has significantly influenced and altered your own?
1. In this journey of faith, amidst it’s various teachings and emphases, the one thing that matters most is the message about Jesus. 1 Cor 1:17
QUESTION: What is the message about Jesus? Why is it more important than anything else?
A. The message of the cross has one of three effects. 1 Cor 1:18-25
It is dismissed as foolishness. 1 Cor 1:18a, 19-21
QUESTION: In what ways is the message about Jesus dismissed as foolishness?
- A key to entering into Christian maturity is in choosing to go “out of your mind.” What does this mean? What does this not mean?
- God’s ways are always so much beyond our own. 1 Cor 1:19-21
- “Wise” man = One who can accomplish it all on his own by his own knowledge without God.
Scholar = The scribe or teacher of the law caught up in every technicality and detail.
Philosopher/Debater = One who works to dispute everything by human reasoning.
QUESTION: What examples of each can we find today? Are any of these positions intrinsically wrong? What is the problem here?
- God is not saying that human reasoning is of no value, but that God is not confined by it.
- It is declared offensive. 1 Cor 1:22-23
QUESTION: In what ways might the Gospel be seen as “offensive,” or a “stumbling block?”
- The cross presents us with a choice.
- We become trapped when we let sinful desires influence us into wrong thinking and poor choices.
- It is received as the power and wisdom of God. 1 Cor 1:18b, 24-25
- Belief in, and obedience to, the message about Jesus is the open door for life change. 1 Cor 1:21
- As believers in the message of Jesus, we have full access to God’s power and wisdom. 1 Cor 1:24
QUESTION: What does it mean to be a believer?
B. God is glorified as His power and wisdom is revealed in us. 1 Cor 1:26-2:5
- God is not looking for people who have it all together, but for those who will recognize that they need Him. 1 Cor 1:26-27
- God sees His potential in us, no matter how lowly or unimportant we might think we are. 1 Cor 1:28-29
- There is no limit to what God can and will do in and through those who will simply turn and yield themselves to Him. 1 Cor 1:30-31
- God doesn’t work only through our talent and skill, but also (and even mostly) through our weakness and humility when we center ourselves in the cross of Christ. 1 Cor 2:1-3
QUESTION: How do we do this?
- When the message and person of Jesus is kept at the core of our life, the Holy Spirit’s power is released to undeniably touch the lives of the people around us. 1 Cor 2:4-5
QUESTION: What kind of images come to mind when you think of powerful, successful or influential people? How might those pictures differ from the way of Christ? Can we visualize God using us to impact the people around us, even more than the “powerful” people of this world? Why might this be a difficult concept for some of us? What can we do about that?