Monday, July 28, 2014

On 8-3-14, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Consolation Granted Through Prayer or Comfort in Times of Trouble

Consolation Granted Through Prayer or Comfort in Times of Trouble
 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
International Sunday School Lesson
August 3, 2014
                                                                                 


Commentary
By
Jed Greenough

You need me, or at least you need someone like me, and I need you or someone like you.  We need each other as fellow Christians and that is what is most important about this that you are preparing for—Sunday School.
I know that name is a bit old fashioned and fallen out of favor but it doesn’t matter what you call the group that studies these same scriptures week after week.  We many can pray for each other and that is great but it is those who make up these individual groups that matter most in our churches today.
Within our worship services we can be taught well but we can have very little interaction and by that the Biblical fellowship of the Spirit known as Koinonia compared with the church as we read about last week in 1 Corinthians 14:13-26 which for most was called Seek the Good of Others.  But in our Sunday School groups we can take a time every week to learn of the joys, worries and hardships of our fellow members.
It is here as opposed to our worship services that we must now come together as they did then when these letters were written by Paul to the Corinthians, especially in our larger services.
Here “we can comfort those in any trouble” as Paul mentions in verse 4.  Here we can recognize that someone is missing, is anxious, is hurting, or is joyful.  Within the confines of this class people can be encouraged to share their needs for prayer and then on another day return the same.
I firmly believe that those of us who are left, who are in these groups who take these words to heart are themselves the remaining heart of the church.  Do you?
For Discussion:
1.      Read James 5:13-16.
2.      Make a list of scripture that comforts.
3.      Discuss when you have received comfort from prayer.
4.      Discuss God as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort”.
5.      Discuss how you have comforted others due to comfort you received yourself.
6.      Discuss patient endurance.
7.      Discuss how like Paul, Christians learn not to rely on themselves but on God as Paul mentions in verse 9.
8.      If you are not doing so discuss how your group will integrate more prayer for each other.
9.      Discuss how you might develop more Koinonia within your group.
Upcoming Lessons

August 10 A Community Forgives or Forgiveness and Restoration, 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11





Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

Sunday, July 20, 2014

On 7-27-14, 1 Corinthians 14:13-26 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Seek the Good of Others

Seek the Good of Others
 1 Corinthians 14:13-26
International Sunday School Lesson
July 27, 2014
                                                                                 


Commentary
By
Jed Greenough

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
Peace meaning order is how Paul was describing how God was and not disorder and not chaos and how we are to worship Him similarly.
This should have been apparent to any Jews who came to convert but for Gentiles who did not have this history it is clear even today that yes, God wants regulated worship!
I think for many today that statement might come as a shock but it is clear in our Bibles that we are to have this order so that the message is understood.  In our scripture for today and those not included elsewhere in this chapter, we see this with regard to the speaking in a language that others do not understand.
Verse 22 says that, “Tongues, then are a sign…”for unbelievers.  An unbeliever who hears their tongue (language), such as the best example in Acts 2:4-12, 41, comes to believe.  But this is in the context of an orderly delivery.  In today’s scripture Paul uses one of disorder, “So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” verse 23. 
Clearly the gift exists as we know (1 Corinthians 12:28) but not all are given the gift just as not all are given the gift to teach (1 Corinthians 12:28, 30).  But Paul is instructing us in, as today’s title says, to seek the good of others and worship in a beneficial an orderly fashion, “When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.  All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.  If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.  If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”  1 Corinthians 14:26a-28
These words are not included in today’s scripture but neither are the ones that follow but they all deal with the way we are to help one another, some to come to God, others to worship Him.
Some things show the nature of who God is in the Bible by an indirect route.  For example, we are not to lose ourselves in wine to the point of debauchery (Ephesians 5:18) but though we are not told it we know that this would extend by this inference to not doing the same with today’s illicit drugs.
But other things show the nature of God in a very direct manner such as we read in 1 Corinthians 14 today.  And like some may want to do just the opposite of the direction in Ephesians 5 and not like to hear otherwise some may not want to hear these instructions for how God wants  His worship.  If you ignore this, be prepared to be ignored!  1 Corinthians 14:38

For Discussion:
1.      If your church does not speak in tongues discuss how you treat those who do.
2.      If your church has no one who does discuss if this is a neglected gift of the Spirit no different than any other neglected gift of the Spirit.
3.      Discuss verse 15.
4.      Discuss the change in worship in today’s church worship service compared to that described in 1 Corinthians 14.
5.      Is the Sunday School class the closest thing today we have to that being described?
6.      If so, what can we do about coming even closer to that being described?
7.      Again, if so, what does that mean about our worship services?

Upcoming Lessons

August 3  Consolation Granted Through Prayer or Comfort in Times of Trouble, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
August 10 A Community Forgives or Forgiveness and Restoration, 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11
August 17 Treasure in Clay Pots or Treasure in Earthen Vessels, 2 Corinthians 4:2-15 or 2 Corinthians 4:1-15
August 24 An Appeal for Reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; 7:2-4 or 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; 7:1-4





Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved