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Smyth and Helwys Uniform Series Lesson Outline for July 20, 2014

Overcoming Temptation              1 Corinthians 10: 12-22

Focal Outline:           1 Corinthians 10: 12-13                   Watch out!                                     1 Corinthians 10: 14-17                   Careful what you worship 1 Corinthians 10: 18-22                   Provoking God to Jealousy?

Summary Statements: (To help you get a handle on the lesson truths.)

1. Let’s all admit: struggles with temptation are not somebody else’s problem. We all have our vulnerabilities! 2. One way we could make life easier would be to avoid places or situations in which resisting is more difficult. 3. Not all tempting idols are as harmless or lifeless as a tiki on a shelf. Dangerous things can be hard to spot! 4. By focusing on our relationship with Christ and church, we can better resist temptations.   Questions for Thought: (To help you think of some questions to challenge with a “So What?”)   1. What would you say are some specific weak spots or vulnerabilities to sin in your life? 2. Why does avoiding tempting places or situations seem like too simplistic a strategy for avoiding sin? 3. What might be some of your trickiest blindspots to vulnerability, if you really got honest? 4. Church people are not perfect. Still, how could investing in church and Christ help us with avoiding sin?   Points to Ponder [NOTE: These suggestions are to help your class be more interactive and discussion oriented. Using 3-5 different ideas will enhance your preferred teaching style and involve class participants. Build excitement and intimacy in your learners!]   Weakness is something we are loath to admit. For Christians, temptation seems too great a weakness to own at times. Why is that? Let me at least share one thought. Then, you talk this over during your group time if you’d like. Here we go—I believe that we assume, falsely, that if we struggle with any sin or temptation then there must be something wrong with our faith! Some of us go to all lengths to be philosophical. Some even rationalize that God puts everything on our hearts. And, that God would never allow us to want something bad. But, there are other issues. Among those would be that our temptations are almost always…tempting…because they are something that appeals to us. That may sound obvious. But, just stop and consider your greatest weakness. Admitting that you like that object/action is a starting place for considering how you might grow stronger. Psychologists suggest that even things that we don’t rationally consider really do pay us off on some level. Else, we wouldn’t keep choosing those things! Well, we can psychologize all day. Paul makes a more spiritual appeal. Be careful. God will give you a way out. Be careful what you allow yourself to worship. We have to choose who will be our God. Last week, we heard Paul caution us to be careful to remember that there is only one God who will prove to be real. That chocolate bar will let us down. That status we chase is fleeting. The affair we lust after will turn on us. Only God is able to suffice for our worship. But, how can that be enough for you?   Introductory Thoughts (5-15 minutes – These are for discussion to introduce this week’s Lesson Ideas.) 1. If we all struggle with temptations toward things that wouldn’t be so healthy to do—then lead your group in sharing how they counter those weak moments and resist going down roads that would be less healthy.   2. If your particular class is mature and brave, then see if they will engage this: If you had to put your greatest temptation in a category, how would you describe that weakness? See where your group goes in discussing!   3. All idols and temptations are not as obvious to spot as a tiki on a shelf—harmless and lifeless. What are some things that come with culture—or your own life—that would threaten to pull you away from faith?   4. Take a look at “Beginning the Lesson” on p80 of your Uniform Teaching Guide. Get ready to state some issues and name some temptations with this one!   Studying & Discussing the Passage (20-25 minutes – See Brian Harbour’s Commentary for added insights and explanations.) 1.   Share an overview of the Lesson from “Locating the Text” (Teaching Guide ) and then examine the Focal Passage using a variety of teaching methods…   1 Corinthians 10: 12-13                   Watch out In 1 Cor 10, what is Paul speaking about in v1-11? Here in our text, how would you summarize Paul’s point in v12-13?   What does he affirm about God? Why does Paul seem to believe this is important for believers?                         1 Corinthians 10: 14-17                   Be careful what you worship So, in v14where does Paul believe we will be tested? (worship of ‘idols’) For Paul’s time, what might have been some of the idols? For us now? In v15-17, what case is Paul making? (connection to Christ, each other)   1 Corinthians 10: 18-22                   Provoking God to jealousy?

In v18-20, what issue of his day was Paul addressing? (Christians eating sacrificial foods) Why was this even an issue to Paul? Why does he advise as he does, according to v21-22? What application can we make of this to our faith today? What are some of the distractions or negative influences that Paul would warn about today?

2. On p88 (lrge. print) our lesson author says, “In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde wrote, ‘The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it…’” Read the rest of the paragraph. How do you react to Wilde’s idea about temptation? Why? How does this shed light on Paul’s teachings in today’s text?   3. How does Dt 7: 1-6 relate to this passage?   How about Ro 7: 14-20?   4. On p91 our lesson author says “For most of us, pagan idols seem like nothing more than the wooden figures that sit on my desk: harmless and lifeless.” Read further into the paragraph. See if some of the followup questions in that paragraph might lead your group to unpack how Paul would have us to apply this text.   5. In the Uniform Commentary, Brian Harbour gives us a convicting application in his lead-in! On p61-2, how might Paul document past issues with temptation from Hebrew history? On p62-3, what does Paul see as good news—and what does he warn about? On p63, what does Paul believe will lead Christians to right decisions?   Applying the Lesson (10-20 minutes – Choose one or two questions to encourage action plans for the coming week!) Discuss any of the questions… 1. a. Read Dt 7: 1-6 again this week. How is God calling you to be distinct from others around you? b. What does God want you to avoid? What does God want you to DO?   2. How can we resist the temptations and distractions that beckon us most? What does God offer us to help? Pray this week for strength and discipline in your priorities.   3. See “Applying the Lesson” on p84 in the Uniform Teaching Guide. How can we tell if our decisions are having a negative impact on our faith?   People go where they know they’ve been prepared for and are cared for!   Bo Prosser, series editor, is the Coordinator for Missional Congregations at CBF in Atlanta. Charles Qualls, session writer, is Associate Pastor at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta.   Copyright SS Helps 2014            All references to Smyth and Helwys literature are used by permission of the Publisher. All materials used are available through Smyth & Helwys Publishing,www.helwys.com, 800-747-3016.   Send Comments to:        Center for Christian Education ATTN: Gail Prosser e-mail – gail24@comcast.net 2511 Summeroak Dr. Tucker GA 30084 phone: (770)493-6648

 Uniform 07-20-14

Smyth and Helwys Uniform Series Lesson Outline for July 27, 2014

Seek the Good of Others             1 Corinthians 14: 13-26

Focal Outline:           1 Corinthians 14: 13-19                   Clarity and connection matter

                                    1 Corinthians 14: 20-21                   It’s okay to grow up

1 Corinthians 14: 22-26                   Signs of God

 

Summary Statements: (To help you get a handle on the lesson truths.)

1. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to communicate the good news clearly. We should too.

2. Trends come and go. We should evaluate them and see if they advance the kingdom or merely distract.

3. Childlikeness can give the gift of open and honest thinking. Childishness has no place in God’s kingdom.

4. The worship service is one event that brings together the faithful. They are looking to God for a word.

 

Questions for Thought: (To help you think of some questions to challenge with a “So What?”)  

1. What are some specific ways in which we can be sure our message is clear to others?

2. What filters are in place to help us evaluate trends vs. helpful, creative new ideas?

3. How can I explore with clarity my own maturity as a person and as a Believer?

4. When do you most clearly hear the Gospel in your worship services? What tends to distract you?

 

Points to Ponder

[NOTE: These suggestions are to help your class be more interactive and discussion oriented. Using 3-5 different ideas will enhance your preferred teaching style and involve class participants. Build excitement and intimacy in your learners!]

 

How closely in tune with your own motivations do you tend to stay? For many of us– probably not as close as we might like. We are fairly aware of what leads us toward some options or choices. But, with others we may not stop long enough to really consider why we may have acted as we did. We can do some of the right things for all the wrong reasons. If no one else knows, we know and our God does too. Integrity can be a powerful guiding force when the Holy Spirit is allowed to accompany us.

Paul was speaking here about an issue that few of us relate to directly. Oh, I know what speaking in tongues is all about. But, in my tradition this practice is not emphasized at all. If you are like me, you could be tempted to tune out and struggle with how to connect this text with your class lesson on Sunday. Well, don’t check out too quickly. Paul’s teaching is for us, too: Seek the good of others!

Paul is concerned that the “secret” language that has emerged within the church has become a barrier to God’s work with those outside or new to the church. We, too, can have what some call “secret handshakes” that prove to be unintentional barriers to others. When something we are doing hinders others from being pointed toward God, we ought to consider the value of what we are doing. Are there barriers to God’s work within your well-intentioned practice of faith? Within your church? Paul has a clear word for us!

 

Introductory Thoughts (5-15 minutes – These are for discussion to introduce this week’s Lesson Ideas.)

1. What one element of worship tends to point you toward God even more than others? Why is that? Discuss this within your group, not advocating but instead celebrating the diversity of ways we can find God.

 

2. What is one of the most creative, entertaining tv commercials you have seen? Lead the group to share ones that really catch them! Now—how many of them can tell what product their favorite commercial promotes?

 

3. “Let all things be done for building up,” says the apostle Paul (v26). What are some acts of worship, and Church life in general, that most need to be tested by this standard? Why?

 

4. Take a look at “Beginning the Lesson” on p87 of your Uniform Teaching Guide. Have you ever experienced something like “tongues” in a worship setting? What does Paul think about that?

 

 

Studying & Discussing the Passage (20-25 minutes – See Brian Harbour’s Commentary for added insights and explanations.)

1.   Share an overview of the Lesson from “Locating the Text” (Teaching Guide ) and then examine the Focal Passage using a variety of teaching methods…

 

1 Corinthians 14: 13-19                   Clarity and connection matter

A word like “therefore” should always send us backward. What is Paul responding to in v13ff? How do v14-17 state the issue Paul thinks the church has? In v18-19, what does Paul suggest is best for all? Why?

           

            1 Corinthians 14: 20-21                   It’s okay to grow up

In Paul’s case, what purpose do v20-21 serve? What is he doing here to advance the point he is making? What does thinking like an adult mean, as used by Paul here?

 

            1 Corinthians 14: 22-26                   Signs of God

What important distinction does Paul make in v22? How do v23-24 support this? There are some positive outcomes that Paul feels better about in v25-26. What would you say they are? On p99, in the middle paragraph, our lesson writer says, “If no one understands, the message of Christ is not passed on.” Is this a good summation of Paul’s central point? If so, why? If not, why?

2. On p95 (lrge. print) our lesson author says, “Written messages are filled with acronyms and symbols like ‘IMHO’ and ‘LOL’…These shortcuts are great when everyone understands them.” What are some symbols, shortcuts or lingos that you just don’t understand? What might a newcomer not “get” about your church?

 

3. How does Dt 28: 49 relate to this passage?   How about Is 28: 11-12?

 

4. On p97 our lesson author says “It is easy for individual believers and entire churches to follow a religious trend. Certain approaches to faith are marketed as the next best things…” How does your church intentionally evaluate new ideas or approaches? How do you? What from the scriptures should guide us?

 

5. In the Uniform Commentary, Brian Harbour goes right to the central issues on p66! What’s all the fuss at Corinth? Was this really that big a problem? What disturbs Paul the most, as indicated by 1 Cor 12 and 13 leading up to this? See p67 for 2 different experiences with God that Paul identifies. See “Amen” on p67!

 

Applying the Lesson (10-20 minutes – Choose one or two questions to encourage action plans for the coming week!)

Discuss any of the questions…

1. a. Paul reminded the Corinthians to make mature thinking to be a primary part of their spiritual lives.

b. How does God want you to grow in this way? Who might you help to find a way into the Church?

 

2. What is the purpose of gathering together as God’s people? Who is intended to be at such a gathering? Paul would say that the church should be orderly and open, then. Pray on what you can do to open the church to all.

 

3. See “Applying the Lesson” on p91 in the Uniform Teaching Guide. What is Paul’s central theme here? Let’s evaluate our worship practices by the standard that Paul sets!

People go where they know they’ve been prepared for and are cared for!

Uniform 07-27-14