13 December 2017

Love: The Greatest of All

Theme: The excellence of love

Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Paul challenged the Corinthians to value love above all gifts, abilities, and virtues.
Think: Consider love for God and others to be the motivation for my attitudes and actions.
Do: Demonstrate love in my attitudes and actions toward God and others.

Notes and questions:
B1 What is love?

The Son of Man has come 
to seek and to save that 
which was lost (Luke 19:10).
B2 Brief review on the Hebrew and Greek words for love
C1 Hebrew has
D1 אָהֵב  âhab  אָהַב 'âhêb which is, according to Strong’s Lexicon:
E1 Human love for another, includes family, and sexual
E2 Human appetite for objects such as food, drink, sleep, wisdom
E3 Human love for or to God
E4 Act of being a friend
F1 Lover (participle)
F2 Friend (participle)
E5 God's love toward man
F1 To individual men
F2 To people Israel
F3 To righteousness
E6 Examples
F1 Genesis 22:2 NKJV  Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.
F2 Psalms 45:7 NKJV  You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
F3 Isaiah 41:8 NKJV  But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend.
D2 אַהֲבָה 'ahăbâh This is love between humans and God’s love. Example: Deuteronomy 7:8 NKJV  But because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
D3 חָבַב châbab This is love is to cherish. Example: Deuteronomy 33:3 NKJV  Yes, He loves the people; All His saints are in Your hand; They sit down at Your feet; Everyone receives Your words.
D4 חָשַׁק châshaq This is love of one’s heart attached to another. Example: Deuteronomy 7:7 NKJV  The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples.
C2 There are 4 words in Greek
D1 ἀγαπάω agapaō which refers to love is a choice. It is the deepest love.
E1 John 3:16 NKJV  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
E2 Matthew 5:43-44 NRSV  You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  (44)  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
E3 2 Timothy 4:10 NRSV  For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
D2 φιλέω phileō which refers to brotherly love, that is, the love of friends. It is a personal attachment to something (Strong’s Lexicon) and affection. Thus, it is possible to love your spouse as agapaō and phileō.
E1 John 5:20 NRSV  The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.
E2 John 12:25 NRSV  Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
E3 1 Corinthians 16:22 NRSV  Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come!
D3 ἔρως érōs is sexual, passionate, physical love, even infatuation. This word is not in the Bible.
D4 στέργω stergo which is to cherish. It is used in the negative use 2 times in the New Testament (ἄστοργος
E1 Romans 1:31 NKJV  Undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful. Another translation: Romans 1:31 GW  Don't have any sense, don't keep promises, and don't show love to their own families or mercy to others.
E2 2 Timothy 3:3 NKJV  Unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good. Another translation: 2 Timothy 3:3 GW  And lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good.
B3 1 Corinthians 13,
C1 Why is love greater than any of the spiritual gifts or offices?
C2 Having the gift of languages is a wonderful gift that most would admire. Why is love greater?
C3 Having the gift of prophecy and understanding all mysteries about God is something most would definitely crave. Why is love greater?
C4 Who has the faith to move mountains? Why is love greater?
C5 Surely, giving all a person has to help the poor, would be considered a great act of loving selflessness. Why is love greater?
C6 The dedication and loyalty to God by being burned to death would reap rich rewards. Why is love greater?
D1 Daniel 3:28 GW  Nebuchadnezzar said, Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He sent his angel and saved his servants, who trusted him. They disobeyed the king and risked their lives so that they would not have to honor or worship any god except their own God.
D2 2 Corinthians 12:15 NKJV  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.
C7 Where does love originate: the body, the soul, or the spirit of a human? Maybe 2 of the 3 or maybe all 3; what do you think?
C8 What does the phrase profits me nothing mean?
C9 How does love make the difference?
C10 Love show itself by
D1 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NKJV Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.
D2 Positives:
E1 Why are these positive? What do they indicate?
E2 Suffers long (patient)
E3 Kind
E4 Rejoices in truth (happy with truth)
D3 Negatives:
E1 Why are these negative? What do they indicate?
E2 Not envy (jealous)
E3 Not parade itself (conceited, brag)
E4 Not puffed up (proud, arrogant)
E5 Not rude (ill-mannered, indecent)
E6 Not seek its own (selfish, self seeking, demand its own way)
E7 Not provoked (irritable, easily angered)
E8 Not thinking evil (no record of wrongs)
E9 Not rejoice in iniquity (unhappy with evil, not happy with injustice)
C11 1 Corinthians 13:8 NKJV  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
D1 Love never fails. The word for fails here is ἐκπίπτω ekpiptō and means fall out, etc. with the idea of being powerless and of flowers that have their withered flower pedals fall off (James 1:11 and 1 Peter 1:24) or shackles falling off the wrists (Acts 12:7).
D2 The word for fail(s) and vanish away for prophecies and knowledge is καταργέω katargeō which means become inoperative, ineffective, done away with, annulled, etc.
D3 So love never falls down, becomes powerless, and it never ends its presence and work.
D4 The other things become inactive.
C12 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 NKJV  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.  10  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
D1 The word perfect is the Greek word τέλειος teleios which means reached the goal, completed, perfect, etc. The idea is what was to be accomplished has been accomplished.
D2 Interpreters vary on the meaning. Some say it refers to the eternal age when Messiah reigns, some say it refers to when the Scriptures were completed, and some say it refers to when the church is completed (rapture). We do know that the miraculous faded by the time the Apostles were gone (~95 AD).
E1 Why didn’t Paul heal? Philippians 2:25-27 NRSV  Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus—my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister to my need;  26  for he has been longing for all of you, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.  27  He was indeed so ill that he nearly died. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. And Philippians 2:30 NKJV  Because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
E2 The in part will become inactive, too, just like prophecy and knowledge.
C13 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 NKJV  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
D1 How does our thinking change as we mature?
D2 What does face to face mean?
D3 How will it be, and when will we know as we are known?
C14 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
D1 What is temporary? See 1 Corinthians 13:8.
D2 What is permanent?
D3 Why is love the greatest?
D4 What is the difference between faith and love?
E1 Faith is believing God.
E2 Hope is the expectation of fulfillment of what he promised.
E3 I have faith that Jesus will return, and I hope it is today.
D5 How do we grow, become more mature, in faith, hope, and love?
B4 Next week:
C1 Good news of great joy!
C2 The Greatest Gift
C3 Scriptures: Luke 2:1-21

06 December 2017

Gifted to Serve

Theme: Spiritual Gifts

Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 12

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Paul instructed the Corinthians that the Spirit gives each believer spiritual gifts to be used for God’s glory and the building of His kingdom.
Think: I have the great privilege of using the spiritual gifts God has given me to help build His kingdom.
Do: Use my spiritual gifts to serve the Lord and His church.

Notes and questions:
B1 Introductory questions
C1 What is the difference between a natural talent (gift) and a spiritual one?
C2 If someone has a natural talent, can that be used by God as a spiritual gift?
C3 Have you thought about what spiritual gift God has given you?
B2 1 Corinthians 12:1-11,
C1 What are spiritual things? The word gifts is added by the translators. Since the topic is gifts (verse 4), it is reasonable to consider gifts is the noun for the adjective.
C2 The gift is not what is important. What is important is the giver, the servant, the servant’s faith, and the servant’s fruit.
D1 The giver is the Holy Spirit.
D2 The servant is the church, that is, believers. We serve God. The gift is to serve the church (believers). Our gift is not for our benefit, for it is for the church.
D3 Faith is very important to God. We must believe. We must use the gift. God expects us to be good stewards.
D4 The fruit is the using, and whatever results come from it.
C3 The gifts themselves are broad categories. Under teaching, for example, this could happen in many different settings, countries, and topics.
C4 Are the gifts something we deserve, something we earn, or God’s grace?
C5 1 Corinthians 12:2-3 shows a contrast between false gods (idols) and the Spirit of God. They have left those false things and now they are new. Before conversion, they may have been in a trance and said and done things under the influence of a demon. Now, they are new. They are no longer in passivity but actively serving God.
C5 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 is best understood by various translations. Consider:
D1 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 GW  There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them.  5  There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served.  6  There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person.
D2 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 GNB  There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them.  5  There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served.  6  There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service.
D3 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NLT There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
D4 Who is the giver? Whom do we serve? Who is the one who produces the results?
C6 1 Corinthians 12:7,
D1 For whom do we use these gifts?
D2 Who has these gifts?
D3 So, do you have a gift?
C7 1 Corinthians 12:8-10,
D1 Wisdom
E1 Acts 6:10 NKJV And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
E2 Acts 7:10 NKJV And delivered him (Joseph) out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
E3 Discuss wisdom
D2 Knowledge
E1 Ephesians 3:3-4 NKJV  How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,  4  by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).
E2 1 Corinthians 13:8 NKJV  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
E3 Discuss knowledge
D3 Faith
E1 Hebrews 11:11 NKJV  By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
E2 Hebrews 11:29 NKJV  By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
E3 Discuss faith
D4 Gifts of healing
E1 Acts 19:11-12 NKJV  Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,  12  so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
E2 Matthew 10:1 NKJV  And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
E3 Discuss gifts of healing
D5 Working of miracles
E1 Galatians 3:5 NKJV  Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
E2 Hebrews 2:4 NKJV  God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
E3 Discuss working of miracles
D6 Prophecy
E1 Acts 11:28 NKJV  Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
E2 Acts 21:10-11 NKJV  And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.  11  When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
E3 Ephesians 3:3-5 NKJV  How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,  4  by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),  5  which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets.
E4 1 Corinthians 12:29 NKJV  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
E5 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 GW  Now suppose you speak what God has revealed. When unbelievers or outsiders come in you will show them where they are wrong and convince them that they are sinners.  25  The secrets in their hearts will become known, and in this way they will quickly bow with their faces touching the ground, worship God, and confess that God is truly among you.
E6 Discuss prophecy
D7 Discerning of spirits
E1 1 John 4:1 NKJV  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
E2 1 Timothy 4:1 NKJV  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
E3 Discuss discerning of spirits
D8 Languages (tongues)
E1 Acts 2:4-6 GNB  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.  5  There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world.  6  When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages.
E2 1 Corinthians 14:22-23 GW  So the gift of speaking in other languages is a sign for unbelievers, not for believers. The gift of speaking what God had revealed is a sign for believers, not for unbelievers.  23  Suppose the whole congregation gathers in the same place and you speak in other languages. When outsiders or unbelievers come in, won't they say that you're out of your mind?
E3 Discuss (unknown) languages
C8 1 Corinthians 12:11 GNB  But it is one and the same Spirit who does all this; as he wishes, he gives a different gift to each person.
B3 1 Corinthians 12:12-31,
C1 1 Corinthians 12:12-13: Does God give these gifts based on a person’s status in society?
C2 1 Corinthians 12:14-27,
D1 Which is more important—the heart or the eye?
D2 Which is more important—the nose or the kidneys?
D3 Are all our body parts important?
D4 Are any not needed?
D5 If I smash my finger with a hammer, is that less pain than a migraine?
D6 Do all have importance?
D7 Do all Christians have importance?
D8 Someone with the gift of teaching may be world renown, while another may be known only to a few. Which one is more important to God?
D9 All of us have a gift from the Holy Spirit to serve the church (believers). Each of us is needed.
D10 You are important to the church.
C3 1 Corinthians 12:28-31,
D1 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 GNB  In the church God has put all in place: in the first place apostles, in the second place prophets, and in the third place teachers; then those who perform miracles, followed by those who are given the power to heal or to help others or to direct them or to speak in strange tongues.  29  They are not all apostles or prophets or teachers. Not everyone has the power to work miracles  30  or to heal diseases or to speak in strange tongues or to explain what is said.  31  Set your hearts, then, on the more important gifts. Best of all, however, is the following way.
D2 Who has more authority in the church?
D3 Who is more important to God?
B4 What happens to the church, if you do not use your gift?
B5 How can we glorify God this week?
B6 Next week:
C1 Love: The Greatest of All
C2 Theme: The excellence of love
C3 Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13