Monday, May 25, 2015

On 5-31-15, 1 Corinthians 13 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as The Greatest Gift is Love

The Greatest Gift is Love
1 Corinthians 13
May 31, 2015

Jed Greenough

Over the last several weeks we have spoke of edifying the church and building up others.  We have looked at helping others to utilize their spiritual gifts.  Remember when we looked at hospitality?  And of course we keep coming back to love which ties them all together.

Before considering today’s scripture of 1 Corinthians 13 I noticed that last week we jumped over it and took in that part of 1 Corinthians 14.  Did you notice that?

I don’t know that it really matters, but when I was considering that I noticed that the first verse of chapter 14 says, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”  And this is because according to verse 3, “the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”  

Prophecy in this case is not about visions or dreams such as we might think about with say Daniel or Revelation.  In this case it is referring to explaining scripture and we will get back to that.

I hope that all of us as we enter this final week of what I have considered a common theme have in some way changed towards each other.  That we have improved in the love department.  Without it, we read this week, that we are nothing!

If we teach Sunday lessons and hold a grudge against a brother we are nothing.

If we attend church weekly and studiously take sermon notes but resent the speaker, we are nothing.

If we are a passionate part of a Bible study but we know of a need in the church and do nothing we are nothing.

We can apply all these and the ones your conscience is talking to you about to 1 Corinthians 13.

Those are all within the church but the final one I would mention is without.  There are a lot of good people out there doing good works.  In many cases they do more than the churched in helping the needy and feeding the hungry. If they would entertain the question, and you ask them if they thought they were a good person and if this were enough to get them into heaven, odds are they would answer in the affirmative.

Explain to them that these fine acts are not enough.  Prophesy to them why they need Jesus as He best displayed love. 

People such as these can hear 1 Corinthians 13 explained to them and understand better than most how important love is.  I believe they could appreciate Christ’s love for us in a new way and have a light go on. 

Being told merely that no one is good enough for God might not get through.  But explaining God’s love and Christ’s love that “while we were still sinners Christ died for us” might be enough.  

I can’t think of a better act of love we could give to them.

For Discussion:

Discuss our recurring and now concluding theme from the last several weeks.
Discuss the many ways you have been exposed to today’s scripture such as weddings.
Discuss the words being nothing.
Discuss how you have improved in the love department over the course of the last several weeks.
Discuss this idea of people thinking that they are good enough to get into heaven.
Discuss these peoples acts.
Discuss this idea of keeping no record of wrongs from today’s verse 5.
Discuss verse 13.
Discuss how this scripture has changed for you as you have matured.

Upcoming Lessons

June 7 God Passes Judgment or Judgement on Israel and Judah Amos 2:4-8 

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

Sunday, May 17, 2015

On 5-24-15 Acts 2:1-7, 12; 1 Corinthians 14:13-19 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Gift of Languages

Gift of Languages
Acts 2:1-7, 12; 1 Corinthians 14:13-19
Jed Greenough

Is anyone confused by the gift of tongues? I think for a lot of us if you read today's scripture you might be. 

On one hand when you read today's scripture from Acts you see rather clearly that all these foreigners who spoke different languages could all understand. Though the ones speaking were from Galilee these foreigners again who spoke different languages understood. 

However when we move over to today's scripture from 1 Corinthians Paul is speaking for the need for an interpreter. See the confusion? Of course confusion is not what God is about. 

Clearly just as the gift of encouragement exists or the gift of healing, so too does the gift of languages. Confusion reigns when people deny the gift's existence and when the gift is used in a manner that causes confusion. 

Paul said in the not included verse 9 in the same chapter of 1 Corinthians 14, "So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air." And in today's verse 19, "But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words than ten thousand words in a tongue". And I would add that no one understands. 

Again, as it has been for many weeks now, it isn't about us it is about everyone else. We read, " that the church may be edified." Verse 5 and "...try to excel in those that build up the church." Verse 12. 

God's word and its order are always consistent and that's not confusing at all, is it? 

For Discussion: 

  1. Discuss if you are confused by the gifts of the Spirit
  2. Discuss how God would be incapable of being a part of confusion
  3. Discuss what the foreigners must have felt and the success of gaining converts that day
  4. Discuss your gifts that might not be commonly known such as healing
  5. Discuss our continuing theme

Upcoming Lessons 

May 31 The Greatest Gift is Love 1 Corinthians 13 

June 7 God Passes Judgment or Judgement on Israel and Judah Amos 2:4-8