Epiphany: Week One
Daily Scripture Reading:
Monday, January 11: 1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Before Paul begins to address areas of concern within the Corinthian church, he lays a firm foundation of grace. He reminds the members of the Corinthian church that they are "saints" in Christ Jesus (vs 1), that he is grateful for them and the gifts God has given, and that God will faithfully sustain them until Christ returns. Paul then turns his attention to the relational divisions that exist within the Corinthian church. He clearly and strongly calls the church to stop their quarreling and live out the unity they have in Christ.
1. Consider each of those grace reminders as if they are addressed to you (because if you are a follower of Jesus - they are!). What is significant about these reminders? Which of them stands out to you today? Why might that be?
2. How have you experienced division within the church? Why do you think this is such a big deal? Are you experiencing relational division currently? What might God want you to do about this?
Tuesday, January 12: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
As will become even clearer in this letter, Paul is concerned that the Corinthians have a mindset that is more like the surrounding culture than the Kingdom of God. So Paul lays the framework for a different worldview that he wants the Corinthians to adopt. This worldview has the cross of Jesus as the focal point. The cross seems weak and foolish to those who live by the worldview of worldly strength and wisdom, but is the greatest power in the universe for those who believe.
1. What is considered to be "wisdom" and "strength" in our culture?
2. How is the cross seen as foolish in our culture?
3. How has Jesus changed what you consider to be "wisdom" and "strength"?
Wednesday, January 13: 1 Corinthians 2
When Paul came to Corinth, he spoke simply about Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross so that the Corinthians wouldn't put their trust in a flash preacher or a persuasive sermon but rather in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. A person who doesn't have the Spirit of God within them can still be impressed by a fancy message, but only a "spiritual" person can truly comprehend the Good News of Jesus. In describing this difference, Paul is calling the Corinthians to see themselves differently - as spiritual people, filled with the wisdom and power of God.
1. According to this passage of Scripture, what does it mean to be a "spiritual person?"
2. How does a spiritual person live differently than a non-spiritual person?
3. What role does the Holy Spirit play in your day- to-day life?
Thursday, January 14: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
At this point, Paul pointedly tells the Corinthians that they are functioning as unspiritual people. Their jealousy and division reveal that they are still living by the worldview of their culture, not by the love of Christ and the wisdom of the Spirit.
1. According to this passage, how can we tell if we are maturing, spiritual Christians?
2. How do you gauge spiritual life in yourself and others?
3. What might God need to address in your growth toward spiritual maturity?
Friday, January 15: 1 Corinthians 3:10-23
Paul reminds the Corinthians that together, they are the Temple of God, indwelt by the Spirit of God. Their jealousy and bickering was destroying the Dwelling of God in Corinth. He warns them of 2 things: 1. Not to be deceived by worldly wisdom that causes us to seek our own interests about overs. 2. Not to boast in people rather than Christ.
1. How has worldly thinking deceived you into jealousy or bickering?
2. How does vs 21-23 remove the motivation for boasting?