“First Corinthians (Living Love When We Disagree)”
A Small Group Bible Study for All Ages!
Begins the week of October 10, 2016!
THE CHURCH WIDE BIBLE STUDY is coming to a small group near you! The bible study by Melissa Spoelstra, “First Corinthians (Living Love When We Disagree)” focuses on the book of First Corinthians. This letter, written by Paul, illumines for us how we can work out our differences with humility and grace, showing the love of Christ, while we hold different positions on an issue. If you have a passion to grow in faith and want to join this 6-week study, please call or email the church (262)248-4211 and we will help you get connected with a small group. You can also sign up using the Member and Worship Card insert on Sunday mornings. The study is beginning the week of October 10th. Participant guides are available near the office, a donation of $10 is suggested.
Living love when we disagree sounds good on paper, but it isn’t easy. We’re different—we have different personalities, preferences, and perspectives. And we can struggle to get along, especially when we don’t see eye to eye. In the course of a day, we can find ourselves disagreeing or debating with family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers on social media about everything from food choices and parenting styles to politics and religion. Often we find ourselves divided—even as Christians. How can we work out our differences with humility and grace, always showing the love of Christ, while still remaining true to what we believe?
Paul urged the church in Corinth to “be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (1 Corinthians 1:10). The cultural backdrop of Corinth was even more overtly sinful than our culture today, yet Paul boldly encouraged the Corinthian Christians not to ridicule one another or outsiders but to work together to show the love of Christ. He essentially called them to live love – even when they disagreed. Chapter 13, known as the love chapter, wasn’t included to be a nice poem for weddings. Instead, it was written to urge Christians living in a pagan and diverse culture to approach one another with the love of Christ. God’s Word calls us to do the same.
Regrettably, we often exercise the opposite of that kind of love, choosing instead to keep a record of wrongs or make rude comments—whether in person or on social media. The truth is, we can never demonstrate this supernatural love and kindness with those who disagree with us apart from Jesus. Paul acknowledged this truth, mentioning the name of Jesus eight times in the first nine verses of his letter alone! He knew that we desperately need Christ at the center of our personal lives, including our interactions with others. Our unity comes only through Christ and His love.
In this six-week study we will explore Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians to learn how we as Christians are to deal with differences and divisions–whether in the workplace, neighborhood, school, home, social media community, or church. We’ll discover that the answer is living and sharing the radical love of Jesus Christ, and we’ll unpack what this means and how we can live it out day by day.
Here are some of the main questions this study will focus on. How can we:
- Deal with our differences in a loving way without compromising our convictions
- Achieve harmony while maintaining our diversity
- Consider the ways that the surrounding culture impacts our beliefs
- Agree to disagree on matters of preference and opinion
- Humbly listen to others with views different than our own
- Embrace ambiguity in some areas, acknowledging that our view is often partial and incomplete
- Demonstrate to all that love is the greatest thing, which never fails
Session 1: In Christ Alone (1 Corinthians 1-2)
Session 2: Marks of Maturity (1 Corinthians 3-5)
Session 3: Everybody’s Doing It (1 Corinthians 6-8)
Session 4: Together for the Gospel (1 Corinthians 9-11)
Session 5: Living Love (1 Corinthians 12-14)
Session 6: Real Life (1 Corinthians 15-16)
About the Author
Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God’s Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree, Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness, and Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible studies and the Mom’s Choice Award-winning Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids. Find her online at MelissaSpoelstra.com.