This week we continued in our series through 1 Corinthians, learning about Christ’s heart for His church. Like a groom towards a bride, Jesus pursues us with fondness, love, and affection. As Christ’s church, we have been called out of darkness and into His light and His family. Chris shared how the love of Jesus toward the church is a giving, restoring, cleansing, healing, sanctifying, and transforming love. As His children, we respond to this love by building His church and His kingdom on Earth.
• Ekklesia is “a called-out assembly or congregation.”
Acts 11:26 (ESV)
26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
1 Corinthians 15:9 (ESV)
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
• Jesus loves His church so much that He calls her His bride.
Ephesians 5:25–27 (ESV)
…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
The Purposes of the Church
- Ministry to God: Worship [Col. 3:16]
- Ministry to Believers: Nurture [Eph. 4:11-13]
- Ministry to the World: Evangelism and Mercy [Matt. 28:18-20, Luke 6:35-36]
Various Activities of Worship
1 Corinthians 14:26 (ESV)
26 What then, brothers (fellow believers)? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
Acts 5:12 (ESV)
12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico.
Acts 5:42 (ESV)
42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.
God Cares About Order
1 Corinthians 14:27-28 (ESV)
27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.
“Prayer or praise spoken in syllables not understood by the speaker.” Dr. Wayne Grudem
1 Corinthians 14:29-32 (ESV)
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.
“Telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.” Dr. Wayne Grudem
1 Corinthians 14:33–35 (ESV)
33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
1 Corinthians 11:5 (ESV)
5 but every wife who prays or prophesies…
1 Timothy 2:12 (ESV)
12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
Some of the first proclaimers of the message of Jesus…
• Elizabeth and Mary for the good news of Christ’s pending arrival (e.g., Luke 1:39-56).
• Anna for the good news of Christ’s coming redemption of Jerusalem (e.g., Luke 2:25-38).
• the Samaritan woman at the well for the good news of his status as Messiah (e.g., John 4:1-42).
• Mary and others for the good news of his resurrection (e.g., John 20:16-17; Matthew 28:9-10).
• The Apostle Luke says female prophets preached about the good news of Jesus (Acts 3:24).
Women in Ministry…
• Spiritual Giftings – Rom 12: 3-8, 1 Cor 12:4-11, Eph 4:11-13
• Women Teaching Men – Acts 18:26
• Women Evangelists – Phil 4:3
• Women Prophesying – 1 Cor 11:5
Be Eager to Prophesy, and Don’t Forbid Tongues
1 Corinthians 14:36–40 (ESV)
36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order.
- Jesus Christ calls the church His bride. What imagery does this relational picture elicit?
- What are the purposes of the church? What do you make of the different levels of ministry and their order?
- Pastor Chris shared how “God cares about order” and spoke against a spirit of rebellion. Is there any rebellion in your heart towards the Lord or His ways?
- Chris brought clarity to Paul’s instruction to women speaking in the Corinthian church (see 1 Corinthians 14:33-35). Has this portion of Scripture ever been difficult for you to understand or come to terms with? Share your thoughts on Chris’s explanation of this portion of Scripture.
- What did Chris share about the “essence and function” of gifts for men and women in both City Central and the church in general?
- Are you trying to operate in your gifts without the Fruit of the Spirit? Take this to the Lord this week, asking Him to grow His fruit of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in you as you seek to use the gifts He’s given you.
- Has the word in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 been a stumbling block for you in your walk with the Lord? Get prayer from your discipler this week and share your experience.