Things That Are Not — 1 Corinthians 1, Part 4

Metric Micrometer

Tudor Barker | Flickr

In the world, people often measure how they’re doing compared to the people around them. And, often, they act that way in the church too. What’s wrong with that? And what can be done about it? Pastor Luke teaches from 1 Corinthians 1:16–31 in “Things That Are Not,” the concluding message in his series “1 Corinthians 1.”

Talk It Over

OPEN. 1. Who boards the lifeboats first on a sinking ship? Why?

OBSERVE. Read 1 Corinthians 1: 26–31.

2. Paul describes the Corinthian church (v. 26) in terms of three criteria: wisdom, power, and noble birth. What criteria do people like to measure themselves by today?

3. What do you think Paul meant by v. 28? How could you restate it in your own words?

4. Does God love “somebodies” more or less than “nobodies?”

5. According to v.30, Jesus became wisdom from God as well as righteousness (having a right standing with God), sanctification (the power to become more like Jesus), and redemption (deliverance from the power of Sin). In your experience, do Christians emphasize all four of these aspects of Jesus’ work to the same degree? Why or why not?

6. After the Pope and Billy Graham, how many living Christians can you name? (Ones you don’t know personally.) Are they engaged in in full-time ministry, business, government, film, music, or sports?

7. Who is the most prestigious person in the community where you live? Why do you think so?

APPLY. 8. From what you can tell, is society more or less class-conscious today than it was 80 or 100 years ago?

9. Think of a church you know. Do more “nobodies” or “somebodies” attend its services?

10. Is the culture of that church more stratified, or less, than the broader society’s? Are its criteria the same or different than society’s? Explain.