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1 Corinthians 2:1-16 Study Guide


2 Corinthians 2:1-16

Opening: Start the group by have one member of the group summarize in their own words the concept of Believe/Value/Do.

Note: Remember, Terry has talked about this concept in several ways… Beliefs/Values/Actions; Head/Heart/Hands, but they all convey the same idea.

Question: Now, have a couple members briefly share what God has done this past week to impact what they believe. How has the truth been more fully embedded in their minds? What has God done, and what have they done to move their hearts in love toward him and others?

Transition: This week, we’ll be looking at 1 Corinthians 2. In chapter 2, Paul argued that he had not presented the Gospel according to the world’s wisdom. Instead of employing logic and rhetoric, he focused his attention on the central message of Christ’s death. Paul continued his discussion of God’s wisdom. He reminded the Corinthians that true wisdom comes not from the sinful world but from Christ and his Spirit alone.

Objective: Our objective for today is to look at what Paul had to say about true wisdom and how we can know the truth, love truth, do the truth.

Discussion 1: Read verses 1-5.

  • What does Paul say is the central truth of his life?
  • Why do you think he did not place his confidence in his own power of persuasion or wisdom?
  • What does the passage tell us about where Paul’s hope was placed?
  • What does all this mean for us personally?

Discussion 2: Read verses 6-9.

  • What do we learn about true wisdom?
  • Can we know true wisdom on our own, or does it have to be revealed?

Answer: Paul is saying that by placing your faith in Christ, you have a mature, grown-up wisdom. Humans on their own cannot find real wisdom…no matter how far out into space we go or how far into speculative wisdom we delve. God alone has revealed to us–specifically to those who “love” him and who are in covenant relationship with him–what is real, true, and valuable. It is God alone who grants insight to those who love him.

Discussion 3: Read verses 10-13. Terry said there are three ways to know something: Reason it out, experience it, and revelation.

  • How does revelation differ from the first two ways?
  • How is God’s truth revealed?
  • If people without the Spirit do not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, how can they be saved? Does not the Gospel come from the Spirit of God?
  • What can you do to put the truth in your mind, love the truth with your heart, and do the truth with your life?

Discussion 4: Read verses 14-16.

  • What does this passage say about the spiritual life and where it comes from?
  • What does it say about the “natural person?”
  • Do you have the mind of Christ? How do you know? How does this affect the way you think?

Answer: Spiritual life comes from the Holy Spirit who enters upon faith in the Gospel of Jesus. “Natural man” is not saying “bad person” but just the absence of real spiritual discernment…no real spiritual life in them.

Application: Beliefs/Values/Behavior

  1. Belief: Know that ultimate truth is knowable.

We can know truth accurately (we can trust the truth we know to direct our lives in the right direction), and adequately (we can know enough truth to be and do what God wants us to be and do. We will not lack for enough truth.)

  1. Value: Have a heart that says “yes” to what is clear to you now.

When we live with a ready “yes” to what God wants (a heart orientation), we are positioned to better understand what God wants.

  1. Behavior: Do what you know, and you will know more.

John 14:21: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Want to see God at work in and around you…know truth, love truth, do truth.

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