Monday, June 12, 2006

The Church that shows God

We studied these chapters at the Relay conference last week. Maurice McCracken speaking. I suppose he might blog his scripts but here's some of my notes.

Session 1. 12v1-11 The Church that has the Holy Spirit; Spice up your life
Why study these chapters?
1. Why not! We can talk about "secondary issues"
2. Church matters! Now more than ever we must be committed to the local church.
3. Relay workers could be Corinthian, gifted and young people can easily assume superiority and be a real pain to the local church.

A. The Spirit acts on us to bring the Lordship of Christ (1-3)
This is the key mark of true spirituality. The Spirit is not at work if Jesus is not confessed as Lord. There is a challenge of selfishness and self-promotion vs. glorifying Jesus. Check: Is it my aim that people will confess hrist?

B. The Spirit acts in the church to bring variety (4-11)
The charismata are grace gifts. Service comes ahead of gifts. Gifts are for serving the common good. Serve not by saying "i can" or "i can't" but by trusting Jesus and serving where there is need.
The church has one creed, many gifts.

Session 2. 12v12-26. The Church that shows Jesus; I'm in the middle of a chain reaction
v12 - The church is Jesus... his body.
We're not all the same, and that's the point.
Those who act superior and claim not to know others have forgotten the gospel.
Some seem more important but all are needed.
God serve in the local church! How does the church model the gospel, how can I contribute to my church?

Session 3. 14v1-19 The Church that Works; love machine
Pursue love!
Build the church - v2-5.
Prophecy is better than tongues, because its intelligible.
Pro-tongues, but more pro-intelligibility. And no tongues in the gathering without interpretation. That includes "drivel in my own language" (DB)
The point of the gathering is to build one another up.
So, strive to excel in building up the church.
Building up happens through understanding.
Tongues & Prophecy were then discussed, considering the strengths and pitfalls of different positions.

Session 4. 14v20-40. The Church that shows God; God is a DJ
God is not a God of confusion but peace.
Grow up! In evangelism. "Being spiritual is being gospel" (DB).
Tongues make people say we're crazy, prophecy can bring conviction of sin.
"Our concern should not be maximum gifts used, but rather maximum sinners on their knees" (DA Carson)
Is my motivation to see people saved or to me wanting to benefit?
Church shows God by Order.
The trinity is revealed in the church.
The Spirit is shown by Jesus confessed as Lord.
Jesus is shown by caring for the body
The Father is shown by order in the church.
The Church is for showing what God is like; not for showing what I can do.

Session 5. ch13. The Church that looks like heaven; ooo heaven is a place on earth
There is church that is not like heaven - loveless. Useless.
Five gifts without one love is nothing.
"Love puts up with a lot from people!"
Why does love show heaven? v8 Love never ends.
"Gifts are an ongoing sign of our imperfection"
The church is like heaven (J Edwards), in heaven love is the only gift, and it renders all other gifts needless. The church shows God by showing love.

The Church is about modelling the gospel, so love other Christians
Love the church!

My blog-series on 1 Corinthians 12-14

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