Preparing for the Sermon - 1 Cor. 12:27-31
Prepare your heart for the Sermon by looking through these suggestions that will assist you in making the most of our time together hearing God's Word.
You will find suggestions for thinking more critically through the passage, meditating more intently on the text, and prayerfully seeking wisdom to deepen your understanding of the passage to be preached this Sunday.
- Read 1 Cor 12:12-31. What is Paul’s argument in this section as a whole? What is the argument he is making in the section leading up to this one (vv. 14-26)? Since it’s been a couple of weeks since we were in 1 Corinthians, it may be helpful to listen to the last sermon from 1 Corinthians here.
- What does the “now” indicate at the beginning of this section? How are these verses related to the ones that come before them?
- Who is the “you” Paul is referring to? Who was this letter written to? What does Paul say that they are? How does this demonstrate the significance of the local church? What does Paul say regarding the individuals of this body of Christ? How does this tie in with the previous section?
- Who is the one credited with the various appointments in the body of Christ? What are all these offices or giftings? What shapes your understanding of each of these? What answers do each of the questions Paul asks in vv. 29-30 expect? How does this point to and correct the misunderstanding of the Corinthians?
- What are the “higher gifts” Paul speaks of? How do you know that’s what he’s referring to? How are you obeying this command from Scripture? What does Paul’s concluding sentence in this section tell us? Knowing what comes in chapter 13, how does this relate to everything Paul has taught in chapter 12?
- The Sermon Study equipping class notes are available online for anyone wanting to dig deeper. Please review this week's notes to help study this passage. Click here for the notes.
- What does it mean to be the body of Christ? How should it shape your understanding and actions toward the local church since it is the body of Christ? How should your thinking and living be adjusted in light of the truth that individuals are what make up the body of Christ?
- How should we think about people who are gifted in ways other than we are? Who is the one who assigns all gifts? What should be our response to the gifting we see in others (see also the last phrase in v. 25)?
- What do Paul’s questions point out that was also taught in the previous section? Why would uniformity in the body of Christ be a bad thing? Why is it something we shouldn’t expect?
- How can we earnestly desire the higher gifts? What does this look like in your life? Have you given much thought about how you can obey this command from God? What is the more excellent way Paul refers to at the end of this section? How do we seek after and live in it?