• Matt Beaney

#626 (20/6/22) GIFTS ARE PASSING


‘Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.’ (1 Corinthians 13:8)

Let’s remember what Paul is doing in this chapter: He’s correcting the church at Corinth. They are misusing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is reminding them that love is the be the motivation and goal of the gifts.


‘love never fails’ - Love is eternal; we will love one another and God eternally; however, the gifts are temporary and only for this passing age.


He uses the example of 3 word-gifts: prophecy, tongues, knowledge; These are representative of all the gifts; these are very important but, like all the gifts, are passing away.


He says this because we are all prone to promoting what we do over why we do it. In our service for God, we can easily become those who serve because it’s expected of us, gives us kudos, because we feel guilty, it's our habit… We all need to fight to keep love as or motivation and aim. We see an example of this in 1 Thessalonians:

‘We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)

What we do is very important, but, as we saw earlier, without love we are nothing and gain nothing! (13:1-3).


RESPONSE

Do you value the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Do you understand that they are very important for this era? How are you serving God in your life? Do you need to reboot your attitude so as to reset love as your motivation and aim?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

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

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

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


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at 13:8-13. The title of this message was 'LIVE NOW IN LIGHT OF THEN'.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.


Let’s remember what Paul is doing in this chapter: He’s correcting the church at Corinth. They are misusing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is reminding them that love is the be the motivation and goal of the gifts.


He begins by reminding them that ‘love never fails’ - Love is eternal; we will love one another and God eternally; however, the gifts are temporary and only for this passing age. Through these verses, we see this back and forth comparison between 'now' and 'then'; In this age - 'now' - we have gifts; these help us to 'know in part'. However, in the future age - 'then' - we won't need the gifts because we will see God and know God fully.

Paul uses the two illustrations of a child growing into maturity, and the incomplete nature of a reflected image in order to teach and contrast between now and then.


LIVE NOW IN LIGHT OF THEN

All of the glorious things that we will have at 'completeness' (when Christ comes) we can experience, in measure, now. We are to live now in light of then. For example:

i. 'Then', people will face judgement for sin; 'now', we are to receive Christ and be ambassadors for Christ.

ii. 'Then', we will be perfected in holiness; 'now' we are to seek and encourage sanctification.

iii. 'Then', we will be assured of our identity as loved and adopted; 'now' we are to seek to know our identity; we are to use our gifts to encourage others to know their identity.

iv. 'Then', all sickness and sorrow will pass; 'now' we can pray for the sick and bind up the brokenhearted.

v. 'Then', we will 'know fully'; 'now', we can know and enjoy God. We can use our gifts to help others to know and enjoy God.


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) Although the gifts are passing away, what does this text teach us about what the gifts are for?

iii) When will the gifts pass away?

iv) What does this text teach us about that future age?

v) What does it mean to 'live now in light of then'?

SIV - What effect will 'living now in light of then' have on our witness?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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