• Matt Beaney

#473 (3/11/21) BY THE SPIRIT WE UNDERSTAND (1 COR. 2:11-12)




This week our devotions are based on 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.


‘For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.’ (1 Corinthians 2:11-12)

ONLY THE SPIRIT KNOWS THE THOUGHTS OF GOD

I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of being misunderstood. Maybe we’ve said something that’s been misconstrued or we’ve asked someone to do something but they’ve failed to do it because they didn’t listen carefully or presumed they knew what you wanted. Our thoughts and desires can be misunderstood because without communication, only we can know what’s in our minds. Paul uses this truth to show that, likewise, only the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God. We are to be humble and remember that everything we can know about God is by revelation. We are not to presume to know God and His will. We need to listen.


WE HAVE NOT, AND MUST NOT, RECEIVE THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD

Paul speaks of ‘the spirit of this world’. This is about thinking and doing that which is not based on listening to God: Any way of life, any way of salvation and any view of God that is not revealed by the Holy Spirit is to be carefully weighed in light of what God says in His word. We must be wary of presumption. We must be wary of being influenced by worldly values that are not from the Spirit.


WE HAVE RECEIVED THE SPIRIT WHO IS FROM GOD

God promises Christians that ‘we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.’ A Christian has the Holy Spirit - who knows God fully - living in them and guiding their thinking and motivations. The Holy Spirit speaks to us of what ‘God has freely given us’. That's right, God has given us the most amazing free gifts, and the Spirit wants to teach us about them! These include salvation, adoption, eternal life, future resurrection and glory… The Holy Spirit teaches us about these and other free gifts as we read His word and spend time listening to Him.


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.

‘For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.’ (1 Corinthians 2:11-12)

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.

  1. 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. Don't forget to come along and invite your friends to our Christmas Pudding making event on 20th November. Go to the website to book tickets.

  3. We have our next gift days on the 14th, 21st November. Let's be praying for How the Father wants us to get involved.



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.


Please read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.


I wonder how we might define wisdom and maturity? This text portrays wisdom as the message of 'Christ crucified' (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). The gospel is God's wisdom and power.

To be mature is to listen and receive God's wisdom in the gospel. To be mature is to build our lives on Jesus. To be mature is also to listen to God's voice in all of scripture.


In summary, we can define the mature: 'The mature are those who listen to God'.


Discussion questions

1. How does Paul define God's wisdom in the first 2 chapters of 1 Corinthians? (1:18, 1:21, 1:24-25, 1:30, 2:1-2)

2. Please read 1 Corinthians 2:9-14. What does this teach about who the Spirit is? What does it teach about his role in our understanding the gospel and the Bible more broadly?

2. How do you listen to God's voice in scripture each day, or how would you like to develop in this?

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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