• Matt Beaney

#470 (29/10/21) SO THAT YOUR FAITH MIGHT REST ON GOD



This week’s devotionals are from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

‘So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.’ (1 Corinthians 2:5)

Here, Paul expresses the reason that he is honest about his weaknesses and emphasises the clear teaching of the gospel in a plain fashion; he wants people to come to a genuine Spirit-empowered salvation. Leaders and churches will let you down and you will let them down also! Faith built on ‘human wisdom’ is like the game of Jenga: you will fall down when the thing that you built your faith on other than Jesus lets you down! Paul is very concerned that they don’t follow him because of a worldly and attractive message and presentation that costs us nothing to embrace.


In Romans, we read,

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

Do you see that one becomes a Christian by ‘hearing the message’? It’s the message and not the messenger that is to take precedence. He wants their faith to ‘rest’ on God’s power alone. We read of the power of God through the message of God in 1 Thessalonians,

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6).

Oftentimes our faith can rest on ‘human wisdom’. We believe and follow Jesus for the sorts of reasons someone might stick with their sports club or job. Does your faith rest on an encounter with God’s love and power or does it rest on inspirational messages, charismatic leaders, routine, pressure from others etc?

Does our faith rest on God’s power? Do you think of your salvation as the work of the Holy Spirit? Do you follow Jesus and are you devoted to your church family because God has changed your heart by the Spirit?


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

‘So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.’ (1 Corinthians 2:5)

Use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Let's be praying and actively preparing to invite friends to our carol service on 5th December. Please make sure this is in your diary

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?



3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group

Running up to our carol service on the 5th December we would like you to spend more time on the SIV (Serving, Invest and Invite) aspect of our time together. Therefore, there will only be fewer questions each week on the Sunday message so as to give plenty of time for praying and sharing about our mission.


On Sunday, we continued with our series in 1 Corinthians looking at 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

‘And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.’ (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

NO ELOQUENCE OR HUMAN WISDOM

Paul is continuing to combat the temptation among the Corinthian church of changing the message and presenting it in ways that make it more attractive to the world. We can be ashamed of the gospel message and think that we need to dress it up in order to help God out! Of course it’s not wrong - in fact it’s very important - to think carefully about how best to communicate with the people in our lives, but we do this in order to make the gospel message as clear as possible to our listeners.


I RESOLVE TO KNOW NOTHING

Paul ‘resolved to know nothing…except Jesus Christ and Him crucified’. We must not misunderstand this to mean that Paul was not interested in speaking about anything but the gospel - that would be weird! He is simply making the point that the simple gospel, simply presented should be our emphasis in personal counselling and witnessing as well as being the emphasis of the church’s teaching.


DEMONSTRATION OF POWER

In this context, this is about the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives. The transformed lives of the Corinthians was a demonstration that the gospel, through weak people, aided by the Spirit’s work, has power. This God-given message will attract the aid of the Spirit to transform people.


In response, we all need to put our faith in God and the work of the Spirit who can change lives through the simple gospel.


Discussion questions

1. What keeps you from sharing the gospel message?

2. How has the message of 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 changed your approach to personal evangelism?

3. How has God spoken to you from this text or Sunday’s message?

4. SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories or any plans in this regard?

5. SIV - Who are you planning to invite to the carol service on 5th December?

6. Prayer - Let's spend some time in prayer regarding this week's message and anything else that you would like to pray about.







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