Sorry I’m late in getting out the answers to last week’s Bible study for the Encourager’s Devotional Series. I started a new job this week and it threw my schedule off. But thank the Lord for the employment.
Read 1 Corinthians 12 and answer the following questions:
According to verses 4-6, what three differences should be allowed in the church?
different gifts, different ministries/services, different activities/workings
From verses 7-10 and 28-30, list some of the different gifts and functions which might be distributed throughout the church (Note: There are other lists elsewhere with additional gifts. We will look at those later in the study.):
wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation, apostles, prophets, teachers, helpers, adminstrators
What other kinds of differences are mentioned in verse 13?
- Jew and Greek (for our cultural setting, we could expand that to “different ethnicities”)
- slave and free (for our cultural setting, we could say different social circles, different economic circumstances, etc.)
Who decides which members are bestowed various gifts and where each member “fits” among us? (vv. 11, 18) Holy Spirit, God
What familiar image of the church is used in this chapter? The body of Christ
Romans 12:4, which also speaks of the body of Christ, says the members of the body do not all have the same function.
What different gifts are listed in Romans 12:6-8?
prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation (same Greek word for “encourage”), giving, leading, mercy
Additional thoughts: Notice that verse 8 lists encouraging as a special gift that is given only to some people. Does this mean that only those with the gift of encouragement should strive to be encouragers? To think on this question, consider that serving, giving of finances or material things, and showing mercy are also listed as special gifts. Yet, when Paul is taking up a special offering to help one particular group of Christians (2 Corinthians 8–9), he speaks to the need for all church members to give generously. In 2 Corinthians 9:5-7 he even addresses the fact that some of us might have to overcome our reluctance in this area and not give grudgingly. (In other words, we may not have that gift, so it might not come as easily to us.) We could find similar passages to show that we are all expected to be merciful, to serve, and to encourage one another. So, if we are all supposed to encourage one another, how do you think it might be different for someone who has the gift of encouragement?
In 1 Timothy 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul tells Timothy not to neglect the gift that is in him. Even more than that, he tells him to “fan the flame” of his gift. We all should make the development of our gifts an intentional focus of our lives.
These texts may bring up the question of whether or not the gifts are only given by “the laying on of hands” from a minister/church leader. The simple answer to that question is that the New Testament does not show this as a pattern. Paul is simply describing here how it happened with Timothy.
1 Corinthians 8 and 10:23-33 present an issue which some Christians thought was a sin while others did not. What is the disputable issue?
eating meat which had been used in idol worship
What was Paul’s conclusion on the matter in 8:8 and 10:31? Continue reading