Updated: Oct 18
The primary idea you need to keep revisiting during this Following Jesus Pathway is that we are following and being formed by Jesus. This pathway can be learned simply or in great depth. We trust that you as a leader know your people and the dynamics of your group well enough to adapt and impart this topic with grace and wisdom.
This guide is designed to help you and others follow and be formed by Jesus. Remember to keep it Jesus-Centered.
We pray that you will be Spirit-Led and Spirit- Empowered as you lead and learn together.
Give Hand Motion
Researchers have found that moving our bodies and adding actions to our learning significantly increases our ability to remember. Here is a hand action you can add to the command to remember it:
Step 1: Take both arms and make a circle
Step 2: Close the circle to emulate an embrace (hug action)
Brief Commentary and Context
Brief Commentary - 1 Corinthians 14:26-33
After 18 months in the bustling Roman city of Corinth, Paul was very acquainted with the cultural realities that existed. His time there was fruitful and many followed Jesus and formed the first churches in that city. Paul moved on to continue his apostolic work sharing the gospel and establishing churches in other regions, but soon he got reports of many significant issues plaguing the Corinthian church. He wrote his first letter to address these problems like division, sexual immorality, hyper-spirituality and false beliefs about the resurrection by helping them to return to the way of Jesus in every area of life. At the heart of his magnificent letter he brought them to the central reality of the gospel, and the high calling of the church, love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 is set in the discourse of chapters 11:17-14:40 about the gatherings of the church. Many people had been caught up in the powerful displays and gifts of the Holy Spirit, but missed love. Paul wanted them to experience all the gifts of the Spirit, but was concerned that they understood that both the motivation and aim of God’s power is always love.
The entire section from 1 Corinthians 11:17-14:40 forms one integrated address about the church’s gatherings and unfolds a collection of key topics like the Lord’s supper, gifts and ministries of the Spirit, unity, the function and contribution of the members of the body and as we’ve stated previously, love. The apostle then further instructed them in 1 Corinthians 14:26-33, in light of the goal of love, how they were to practically gather together as the church. Paul says, “when you come together.” The early church assumed they would regularly gather in the same way members of the physical body could not function without interconnectedness.
Paul taught them a way of gathering dependent upon and animated by the Holy Spirit. Jesus changed everything through his death and resurrection making a way for each person to be a home for God. Because the Spirit now filled each believer it was implied and taught that each member of the body would bring their contribution and gifting to each time they gathered. This dynamically changed the nature of God’s people gathering. It was in each person playing their part under the masterful orchestration of the Spirit that each gathering was created as a one of a kind masterpiece designed to build the body up into maturity. If someone wasn’t present for the gathering the grace of God uniquely in that person was also missing and it was felt.
The Corinthian believers were taught that when they came together (which was at minimum on the first day of the week, Sunday, around the Lord’s Supper) “each one” had a crucial part to play. Some people likely prepared to bring their contribution and others were ready with a spontaneous offering of their gifts. One offered a song or hymn of worship and the others would join, another a “lesson” taught from scripture or a current life situation, someone shared a prophetic revelation to build up and be weighed for discernment, prayers were shared, tongues with interpretation given.
The gathering was a living embodiment of Christ animated by the Spirit. The church was God’s living temple of everyday Spirit renewed people open to the world seeking truth, love, belonging and justice. The only way the church was able to function was through each person being ready and committed to share their contribution in partnership with the Holy Spirit. We see that it is crucial for the church to regularly gather and make way for participation when we gather. There is no other organization on the earth other than Jesus’ gathered church which God has promised to dwell in and through! Let us never stop gathering together!
Core Truths from the Topic:
Summary Scripture: Hebrews 10:24-25- “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Matthew 18:20- “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Colossians 3:16- “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
Acts 2:42-47- “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Have each person bring their own contribution and lead a gathering together out of their giftings.