In A Class By Itself
Sermon Questions for Vision Sunday
- Who in your life has shown you the most love? Who in your life do you think easily loved you?
- Thinking about 1 Corinthians 13, have you ever heard a sermon on that passage NOT related to a wedding?
- Who has influenced you in following Christ? Describe how they treated you and why you think they have made such an impact on your walk.
- Who is your best example of love?
The One Thing We Can’t Live Without. (vv 1-3)
Read 1 Corinthians 12: 31, 13:1-3
- When Paul talks about the greater gifts, which ones is he referring to?
- How is love a “way?”
- Why is Paul using the analogy of a clanging cymbal to describe a person without love? What do the two have in common?
- After Paul spends considerable time discussing the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12), he seems to lessen the impact by saying all of those gifts add up to nothing. Why would he do that?
- Paul specifically calls out prophecy, faith, and knowledge as his examples of gifts which need love to be effective. Why these three? What is it about each one that would make it useless without love?
- Why does he say “I am nothing?” Why did he not say the gift or act or communication is nothing, why did he personalize it? What is he fighting against (or throwing off) by using love?
- Paul was unique in his “religious” experiences (see Acts 9:1-9). What experiences have increased your faith? How have these experiences helped others (or have they)? In other words, did your increase in faith translate into an impact on others?
- How could radical generosity be accomplished without love (Proverbs 21:4)? How would anyone else know the difference?
- Giftedness, accomplishments, and even status mean nothing without love. How have you found this true in your own life? Is there any exception to this?
- The world does not place a high value on loving others selflessly. Can you think of any examples where genuine, sacrificial love is treasured?
- What is the danger of using gifts without love?
- For the Christian, why is love essential? (see John 13:34-35). Can you be a Christian without love?
- What does Paul mean by “Surrender my body to the flames?” Do you think martyrdom (or the threat of it) strengthens or weakens a person’s faith? (see Rev 6:9)
The One Thing We’ll Never Outlive. (vv 8-13)
Read 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
- Verse 8 is the mirror to verse 2. If you are nothing without love, what can make you “great?”
- Why will these things pass away? Why are they no longer needed? (see verse 10)
- How does prophecy, knowledge, and tongues all relate to “childish” activities? In other words, what is childlike about our knowledge (or prophecy or tongues)?
- In what way does love never fail? Never cease?
- How can we pursue love? If love is the ultimate virtue, how can we love better?
- When did you first recognize the overwhelming love of Jesus? How can you more regularly remind yourself of His unfailing love?
- Why would love be preeminent (Compare 13:13 and 13:3)?
The Only Way We’ll Ever Live it Out
Read Mark 10:17-31
- Jesus exposes man’s love of money over loving Jesus. Throughout your life, has Jesus revealed anything you love more than Him? Is that something you still struggle with?
- How does the love of Jesus shame us? In other words, reflecting upon how He has been to you, how should you be treating others?
- In what specific ways (using examples) did Jesus live the way of love BEFORE the cross? In what ways is the cross the ultimate way of love?
- How has coming closer to Jesus allowed you to love others? (1 John 4:19). How has His deep affection for you changed the way you treat others?
- Can you think of a more abused phrase in the English language than, “I love you?” How can we make it meaningful again?
- Some understand the "perfection" in 1 Cor. 13:10 as the completed New Testament, thus eliminating the need for tongues or prophecy today. Others understand it as the perfection we will experience when Christ returns. In light of Paul's other comparisons (1 Cor. 13:11-12), which interpretation seems more likely? Explain. (From LifeGuide Bible Studies - LifeGuide Bible Studies – 1 Corinthians: The Challenges of Life Together.)
- How is love the perfect solution for the problems in the Corinth Church?
Key Words and Further Study
The Greek word agape was not in common use before Christians chose it to express the characteristically Christian virtue. More common were words that mean fondness among friends and relatives (philia), affection between parent and child (storge), or passion between lovers (eros). But agape was the word Greek-speaking Jews used to express the love between God and His covenant people. "In secular Greek it represented a love in which the mind analyzes and the will chooses the object to be loved. Thus it is not a term wholly given to emotion, but it involves the whole man, emotions, intellect, and will. [Agape] is a deliberate, free act that is the decision of the subject rather than the result of unbidden, overpowering emotion." Its greatest expression is the Father's love in giving up His Son for us, and the Son's love in giving up His own divine privileges, His purity from human sin, and His life (John 15:12-13; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:10). [from LifeChange Series.]
Some groups will want to spend time discussing speaking in tongues. I do not suggest this sense it is not on topic with the passage. However, it is a Biblical topic that should be discussed, so if you desire to dive into this, here is a short guide.
The crux of tongues is found in Acts 2 (label all pronouns to avoid confusion). What does the term “tongues” mean in this context? Who were the tongues for? Why did it happen? What is the definition of a sign? What was this sign for? Who spoke in tongues? What did this event signify/begin?
What were the signs of this event to validate it was from God?
Is it repeatable event? Who was present for this event? What was the purpose of the tongues?
Read Acts 10:39-48 and Acts 19:6. What was the purpose of these tongues? Are the tongues in Acts and the ones considered gifts different?
Read 1 Cor. 12:1-14:40 what are spiritual gifts and what are they used for? Are tongues indispensable? What is this perfection Paul speaks of? What happened since Christ?
“We’re Decking the Halls” here at the Chapel and could use your help on Wednesday, November 28 all day from 10:00 A.M until 10:00 PM. If you love setting up your Christmas tree, we have six of them needing to be set. Hanging garland, wreaths, ribbons and bows your thing? We have miles indoors and out. This is a great opportunity for guys & gals to start a family or small group tradition. Your help is needed. Sorry, no childcare provided. Contact Lauren at .
Angel Tree is in need of volunteers to deliver gifts to children whose parents are in the prison system. This is a great opportunity for Small Groups. For more information, contact Bernie & Isabelle Malda at 973-838-8076 or Mary Kate Stone at 973-303-5012.