A Beautiful Mess: Sovereign Over Us (1st Corinthians 1:4-9)

  • What do we know about the city of Corinth?
    • Roman city in Greek territory
    • Port city
    • Cosmopolitan (lots of cultures)
    • Lots of resources
  • How was the church at Corinth like the city?
    • Few Jews
    • Background of pagan idolatry
    • Lots of resources/economic diversity
  • What problems was the church dealing with?
  • Review 1 Cor 1:4-9
    • What pops out to you from the text? What key terms/concepts?
    • David tied these ideas together under the heading of God’s sovereignty.
    • What walls go up for you around the idea of God’s sovereignty?

Body

  1. God is Sovereign over us through His Grace
    • 1 Cor 1:4 – “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus…”
    • “There’s no explanation for the existence of the church in Corinth other than that God’s grace had been given to them.” D. Jackman

      It’s easier to apply this quote to Corinth than to us, because we know our history and the history of our church. But is there any other reason than God’s grace that Crossroads Church exists in Hinesville?

    • Is the distinction between common grace and saving grace Biblical?
      1. Matthew 5:45
      2. John 6:44
    • Which one is easier to see as a good thing? Why?
    • Does the word “Calvinist” throw up a wall for you? Why?
      1. If we are free to choose God, is He then free to choose us?
      2. What objections do you have to the idea that God chose us first?
      3. Does the idea that “saving grace is another way God exercises his sovereignty over you” make you uncomfortable?
    • How can God’s sovereignty in salvation be reassuring?
  2. God is Sovereign over us through His Gifting
    1. 1 Cor 1:5-7 – “5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
    2. David made the connection that they had all the gifts they needed because they had everything that was required for the mission.
    3. Do we believe this is true today? Of Crossroads? Do we have every gift that we need to accomplish the mission?
    4. 1 Cor 12:18 – “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.”
      Do you believe God put you here…specifically for the purpose of accomplishing the mission God gave to Crossroads?
    5. Discuss how you settled (are settling?) what local body to be a part of.
  3. God is Sovereign over us through His Growing of us
    1. 1 Cor 1:8 – “who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    2. Jude 24-25 – “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
    3. How can we be confident that the sanctification process we’re going through will be enough?
    4. Can a lack of spiritual growth be a sign that you aren’t a Christian?
    5. Can a “dry” time be a sign that you aren’t a Christian?
    6. What gets in the way of you trusting God to finish what he starts?
  4. God’s Sovereignty is for His Glory
    1. 1 Cor 1:9 – “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    2. Paul’s hook, “God is faithful” points his readers to God’s glory.
    3. Does talk about God’s concern for His glory throw up a wall for you? Why?
    4. Is there a difference between human glory and God’s glory, or are they the same?

Conclusion

We covered a lot of hard concepts – Submission, Sovereignty, Glory…

  • Which of these are a struggle?
  • Do these ideas reveal a tendency to put ourselves in God’s place?
  • Will you submit to the God Who is sovereign over you?

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