Brothers and Sisters in the Faith. It may be one thing to forgive our enemies, but how can we forgive members of our own faith community who have hurt us? That is the question which we discuss this week.
Questions for Discussion:
- One body, many parts. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 and Romans 12:4, 5, Paul uses the metaphor of a body to illustrate the church. What are the implications of that kind of diversity for how we carry on the work of the church. Would it include, tasks, personalities, and theology?
- Unity to disunity, almost overnight. The first chapters of Acts tell of a remarkably united church, sharing meals, sharing resources, experiencing striking numerical growth.But within a matter of days, it seemed, they fell to quarreling. Acts 5 tells the tragic story of Ananias and Sapphira; Acts 7 tells about the quarreling over the distribution of goods.With reference to GodÕs true church, is such disunity typical, occasional, or rare?
- Divided over preachers. In 1 Corinthians, the church was divided over the question of who was the best preacher. If Paul expresses his frustration and anger in 1 Corinthians 1, what resolution to the problem does he suggest in 1 Corinthians 3, especially 3:6?
- Divided over traditions and customs. In Acts 15, the question of circumcision was dividing the church. How does the Jerusalem conference illustrate God’s way of resolving such divisiveness?
- From hierarchy to equality (Matt. 20:20-28). The Gospels describe how James and John came to Jesus with their mother to request the top places in Jesus’ new kingdom. What does Jesus’ answer tell us about the nature of the church and how we should relate to one another?
- Dealing with difficult people: Judas (Matt. 26:21-25). How does JesusÕ way of dealing with Judas model for us a way to deal with difficult people?