These are my answers to the questions found in the study guide for the Superpower series. Join me – share your answers in the comments so I can consider them as I develop the sermons over the next five weeks.
I love you. Thank you for a new day of life – may it all be for your glory today – may I use your Spirit-given powers for your kingdom, to advance the gospel. This is your day!
What do we all share according to verse 13?
Baptism in the one Spirit
How does Paul use rhetorical questions to explain the importance of diversity within the body in verses 15–18?
He makes as if parts of the body could speak, raising ludicrous images to make the point that each part is important.
Who has designed the body? (v. 18)
In your experience, why does unity make diversity genuinely meaningful and constructive? How could diversity without unity be destructive?
Diversity without unity is like a team of supposed superstars all trying to hog the ball and shoot all the shots. Without working together diversity becomes division, confusion and chaos. Soon the body breaks apart or fights itself. When there is unity, a team of even mediocre players can come together and win games. When all the parts work together there’s something beautiful happening – watching a world class athlete use all their bodily parts to win a race.
Based on our study of 1 Cor. 12:13, why would the idea of a “Spirit baptism” after conversion (in which a believer is empowered for ministry) undermine Paul’s argument?
Spirit baptism after conversion would imply that those who are baptized in the Spirit are somehow more spiritual than others who have not. And that difference undermines Paul’s main point that we are all baptized in one Spirit and so are unified as equally important (equally Spirit-empowered) members of Christ’s one body. He is arguing against comparison, against pride, against the idea that some are more spiritual than others.
Look again at 1 Corinthians 12:15–17. How do these verses help us find contentment in our roles in the body of Christ?
When I realize that God has placed me in the body just as he desires, then I can be at peace with who I am. Recognizing that God designed my part and placed me in this body at Christ Fellowship helps me be content, delivering me from comparison with others, leading to insecurity, jealousy or pride.
What about you? Comment with your own answers or thoughts.