How to Treat Servants of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:1-13)

Theme: The church has a responsibility to care for pastors and care for each other.

Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 4:7

  • Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-13 together.
  • What does it mean to be a steward and servant of Christ?
  • Why does Paul emphasize or single out the pastoral function in addressing the issues in the church?
  • Paul says he doesn’t examine himself and isn’t examined by others. What does he mean by this? What is his standard for being examined?
  • What is the pastor’s role in regards to the church? What are his roles and responsibilities?
  • What is the church’s role in regards to the pastor? What is its roles and responsibilities?
  • How do you feel both of these are functioning in our church?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 again. Have you ever thought about pastors in this regard?
  • Read Hebrews 13:17-18 together. How do we balance obedience to those called by God versus church discipline?
  • Spend some time in prayer before dismissing.


Union with Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-23)

Theme: In order to be in right fellowship with God, we must be in right fellowship with each other.

Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 3:18

  • Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-23 together.
  • Why does Paul change analogies from farming to architecture?
  • What other foundations do we often see people trying to build churches on (in the Corinthian church they are drifting to build the church around individuals instead of around Christ)?
  • What foundations do you see in our church?
  • Why is it that anything not built on Christ will not stand?
  • Read Romans 14:10-19 together. What is the issue that proceeds these verses?
  • What stands out to you in the build up to verse 19? What is it that Paul is focusing on?
  • Ultimately, we are solely created for the glory of God. Why is it so easy for us to become distracted with things that aren’t important?
  • Spend some time in prayer before dismissing.

 



Speak Life (Nehemiah 2:17-20)

  • Read Nehemiah 2:17-20 together. 
  • Why does Nehemiah choose now to tell his countrymen what God has done and laid on his heart?
  • The people seem quick to agree to rebuild the wall. What is the source of their willingness now after all this time?
  • Do you think those around Nehemiah fully took into consideration what they were getting into?
  • Why did Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem scoff at Nehemiah? Think beyond just that they were their captors.
  • How do you react when you face opposition?
  • During the sermon it was mentioned that opposition comes from outside people and those closest to you. How do they affect you differently?
  • Nehemiah is very bold to those in opposition to him. How? Why?
  • What keeps you from being bold in how God has called you?
  • Discuss with each other what you feel your strengths are and how God has called you in our church.
  • Spend some time in prayer together before leaving.


The Ruins of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-16)

Nehemiah 2:1-16
 
Theme: Approach problems with prayer and God’s guidance.
Memory Verse: 1 Peter 5:8
 
  • Read Nehemiah 2:1-16 together. 
  • How does Nehemiah approach the conversation with the king?
  • What begins the conversation with the king?
  • What do you think about Nehemiah’s job? What is good or bad about it?
  • Read verses 9 and 10 again. Why are the governors of the provinces not happy to hear of Nehemiah’s arrival in Jerusalem?
  • Why did Nehemiah at first not tell anyone what God had laid on his heart? How does that principle apply to us today?
  • Why does Nehemiah go himself to inspect each section of the wall? He knows it is destroyed. Why does he need to see it for himself?
  • What can we learn about problems we face from how Nehemiah faced his challenge?
  • Why does Nehemiah embrace this enormous challenge instead of crumbling from it?
  • Spend some time in prayer together before dismissing.


The Worship of God (Isaiah 66:18-24)

Isaiah 66:18-24
 
Theme: God is triumphant and desires to reconcile us to Himself.
Memory Verse: John 14:3
 
  • Read Isaiah 66:18-24 together. How is Isaiah ending this vision he has had of God?
  • Read Isaiah 66:10-13. How does our discussion about the comfort of God enhance the meaning of this passage?
  • What does it mean that Christ intercedes on our behalf? Don’t just define what that means, but practically to us what does it mean?
  • The Lord desires to draw all nations unto Himself. What does this say about our support for international missions? Why not just focus our efforts locally?
  • Read John 14:2-3 together. Why does Jesus make this statement?
  • Read Revelation 22:12-21 together. What does this say to you? How does this affect your daily life today?
  • Spend some time in prayer together before dismissing.


Separation from God (Isaiah 59:1-8)

Isaiah 59:1-8

Theme: God is the only one forgives, the only one who guides, the only one who saves.
 
Memory Verse:
Isaiah 59:1-8
  • What do you do when you get in trouble?
  • Why does sin cause us to shift the blame as Adam and Eve did?
  • Why do we feel the need to hide wrong doings?
  • Confession begins with God. What do you think about that statement?
  • Why and how does confession begin with God?
  • What is important about confessing sin to each other?
  • God always provides a way for us to resist sin. However, we usually dont take full advantage of those around us. Why not help each other by holding each other accountable?
  • Spend some time in prayer together before dismissing.


The Mercy of God (Isaiah 49:7-13)

Theme: God never abandons us and understands how we feel.

  • Read Isaiah 49:1-13.
  • What task is the servant called for? (He is called to speak to the people from afar verse 1)
  • How did God equip the servant to accomplish this task? (verse 2 and 3)
  • What is the servant’s response to this difficult task? (verse 4 and 5)
  • How do you respond to the task God has given you?
  • How much time do you spend thinking and seeking God’s desire for you?
  • When we don’t spend time either doing what God has called us to do or seeking what God has called to do, what does that say about us?
  • Why does God desire a person that has a heart of a servant?
  • In dealing in ministry with people, how is the heart of a servant beneficial?
  • Spend some time in prayer with each other before dismissing.


The Foolishness of Idolatry (Isaiah 44:9-20)

Theme: It is foolish to place anything in priority over God.

  • Read Isaiah 44:9-20 together.
  • What is it that stands out in your observations about the blacksmith and the wood carver?
  • Why is this a good analogy of the things we place as a priority over God?
  • Read verse 18 again. How is it that one becomes as someone with their eyes closed and minds shut?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-15. Why does Paul write to them as infants? What is different in the way Paul interacts with them?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 3:16-23. What is the relationship Paul is drawing between those that are baby Christians, humility, and not being blinded with my own thoughts/wisdom?
  • Spend some time in prayer with each other before dismissing.


The Messiah (Isaiah 42:1-9)

Focal Passage: Isaiah 42:1-9
 
Theme: The attributes of God teach us about Him.
 
Discussion Questions:
 
  1. Read Isaiah 42:1-9 together.
  2. Do we often confuse the attributes of God and Satan?
  3. What are the consequences to us in our daily lives if we don’t accurately apply the attributes of God?
  4. How and why is God all powerful and all knowing?
  5. As we have discussed the last several weeks, God allows bad things to happen. If he know in advance what will happen and has the power to stop it, why not stop all bad things from happening?
  6. God is omniscient meaning he is everywhere. Do you believe this? How is it possible for God to be everywhere?
  7. We often think of the devil being omniscient as well. What are the implications of realizing Satan isn’t omniscient?
  8. God is faithful. Why is this important?
  9. How has God proven himself faithful in your life?
  10. Spend some time in prayer together before dismissing.


God Will Be Praised (Isaiah 33:10-13)

Isaiah 33:10-13

Theme: God will be praised no matter what.

Discussion Questions:
  • Read Isaiah 33:10-13 together.
  • Why didn’t God act until now?
  • What changed to make God act now?
  • Read Galatians 6:7-9 together.
  • Why does God seem to not act when wrongs are committed?
  • What is the purpose of suffering/sickness/pain?
  • Why doesn’t God remove all suffering/sickness/pain from the world?
  • Why doesn’t God remove these at least from the innocent (for instance, children)?
  • Why do we as people find it so hard to trust in God?
  • Spend some time in prayer with one another before you dismiss.