1 & 2 Corinthians
Testing the Saints
December 29, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: Scripture calls for self-examination “so see whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). How do you test your faith? How should you pray for someone you love who persists in sin while professing their salvation? Of the final five commands given by Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:11, pick the most needed and most difficult for you now. What does your obedience to these reveal? Why would anyone gladly become weak in order that others may grow strong?
December 22, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? What applications can be made to your own weakness and troubles? Considering your own limitations, how has God taught you to be content in weakness? In what sense is God's grace sufficient for you? How does grace change the way you view your limitations? What is God’s purpose when he answers “no” to your prayer?
December 15, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: What does it mean to “put on airs”? How do Christians unwittingly do this before unbelievers? After reading through the Apostle Paul’s list of troubles (2 Corinthians 11:23-28), list your own series of afflictions. What has God taught you that could only be learned through difficulty? Do you suffer from insomnia or anxiety? What can be learned from Paul’s experience about how a Christian should deal with the mind and emotions? Why does Paul refer to churches as a burden? Who is responsible to bear the burdens of the church today?
Fighting False Teachers
December 8, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
How does a Christian who is sincerely and purely devoted to Christ live? Give characteristics, spiritual disciplines, and life habits. Be specific. In what way are you susceptible to being deceived like Eve (see Genesis 3:1-7)? What terms does the Apostle Paul use for false teachers in 2 Corinthians 11? How do these descriptive titles help you identify false teaching today? Can deceived people discover their deception and change? How can Jesus (the light of the world) be distinguished from Satan (disguised as an angel of light)?
Defending the Gospel Ministry
November 24, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Think of a circumstance in which you have been unfairly and publicly criticized. How was the Apostle Paul being treated this way in Corinth? Was there a difference between the way Paul spoke and wrote? Are you more likely to share criticism face-to-face, online, or by email? Should your words and tone be the same in all circumstances? Does Paul use sarcasm in 2 Corinthians 10:1, 12? Is sarcasm appropriate either spoken or written? When you are criticized, what is your natural reaction: run or retaliate? How might the Lord change your response?
God Loves Cheerful Givers
November 17, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Why does Paul insist that Christians must give willingly, not as a tax or paying dues? What is the false prosperity Gospel? How does the sowing and reaping principle in 2 Corinthians 9:6 not lead to a prosperity Gospel? What will increase your joy in giving? 2 Corinthians 9 ends with a generous God (2 Corinthians 9:15). How does God’s giving inform your giving?
November 10, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: What offering does Paul challenge the church to give towards? What comparable gifts should churches give today? What motivates generous Christians in 2 Corinthians 8? Make a list and determine if these influences compel your giving. What does it mean to be generous? What principles guide your giving to church, to organizations, and to the needy? How can a person give generously in the right way, for the right motive, and with the right outcome?
November 3, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: What is the difference between godly grief and worldly grief? What does each type of grief produce? Have you every written a letter like the Apostle Paul’s severe letter (2 Corinthians 7:8-9, 12)? How can rebuke be communicated clearly? What role did Titus play between Paul and the Corinthians? What principles of sharing or withholding information can be learned from this story? How do you personally react to pain and sorrow? What spiritual disciplines help process the emotional upheaval provoked by grief?
Afflicted, But Overflowing with Joy
October 27, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: What hinders moral and spiritual purity? How can a Christian cultivate holiness in the fear of the Lord as 2 Corinthians 7:1 commands? What stood in the way between Paul and the Corinthian believers? How can you make room for someone in your heart? Who is the next person you need room to accept? Describe Paul’s friendship with Titus. How did Titus encourage Paul? How can you encourage someone else in a similar way? Who plays the role of Titus in your life?
Be Not Unequally Yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) | Michael Wilburn
What does the imagery of a yoke suggest? What human relationships should be governed by this “Do not be yoked” command? According to 2 Corinthians 6:16, what are the promises God makes to his people? How is God ever-present in your life? Since the Church is the “temple of the living God,” what behaviors set it apart? What are the two sides of biblical separation? What are Christians separated from and what are they separated unto?
The Day of Salvation
October 6, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: What is the danger of receiving the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1)? How can this danger be avoided? How should a Christian or Christian leader respond to opposition? How does the text address misrepresentations? Is it comforting to know that spiritual leaders like Paul experience conflict, stress, and sleepless nights? What spiritual disciplines will sustain you through emotional distress? What does it mean to “widen your hearts”? Can this be done alone or does it require the presence and involvement of a local church?
Persuaded by the Gospel
September 29, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: What does reconciliation mean? Why does the Bible describe salvation as reconciliation? Are you a new creation in Christ? What differences has it made between your life before and your life after salvation? How are you obedient to “persuade others” (2 Corinthians 5:11) and implore others "on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20)? If Christians are “ambassadors for Christ", who are you presently encouraging to become a believer?
Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
September 22, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: God gifts the Holy Spirit to his children. What does the Holy Spirit guarantee? How will understanding Christian death equip you to live a Christian life of faith? What does the Bible teach about a resurrected body (“a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" - 2 Corinthians 5:1)? What life challenges require good courage? How will you walk by faith through decision, change, or trail?
Jars of Clay
September 8, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: 1. Why is the body described as a ‘jar of clay’ in 2 Corinthians 4:7? How should a Christian care for their body? How are Christians taught to think about declining health? 2. What similarities exist between Christ and a Christian in 2 Corinthians 4:7-18? 3. Have you been afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, or struck down? Are you still alive? How has God sustained you as he did the Apostle Paul? 4. What eternal promises does Scripture give to suffering saints that make it seem light and momentary by comparison? Note specific promises.
Ministry of Mercy
August 25, 2019 • Michael Wilburn, Senior Pastor
Application Questions: Why is there a danger of losing heart in Christian work? How does God’s mercy keep Christians from discouragement? What does it mean to be spiritually blind (2 Corinthians 4:4)? Who blinds? What are results of spiritual blindness? What cures blindness? What are practical works a Christian can do to “serve for Jesus’ sake”? Where did God say, “Let light shine out of darkness”? Why is light a metaphor for the Gospel? How does the theme of light unite the whole Bible?