#MessyChurch Talk It Over Group Discussion Guide

The local church has had problems from her inception. The local church is about people from all different background trying to discover unity in Christ and enjoy an amazing fellowship with one another through the Spirit's power.

But, it is not automatic nor is it easy. In many ways it is very messy. Yet, God promises that His church will overcome and even the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. In the local church is the personification of the Lord Savior Jesus Christ. He will insure that the local church will flourish into eternity.

1. A Hard-Hitting Letter - I Corinthians 1:1-9
The Apostle Paul writes to the church at Corinth which is beset with problems and issues, but which loves Jesus.  It is a "real" church, with the good, the bad and the ugly; but it is part of the Church of Jesus Christ, and its people need to learn and grow into Christlikeness.

2. The Problem of Factions - I Corinthians 1:10-4:21
The Corinthian believers were divided; they formed factions. they needed instead to be united in mind and thought.

3. The Problem of Immorality - I Corinthians 5:1-6:20
The Corinthian believers had been saved out of a pagan, immoral culture.  They needed to break from their past and live knowing that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.

4. The Problem of Marriage - I Corinthians 7:1-40
Marriage relationships must be brought under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, including those where one is a believer and the other is not.

5. The Problem of Meat - I Corinthians 8:1-11:1
In Corinth, the believers faced the problem of what to do with meat that had been offered to idols. Should they eat it or not?  Believers today don't have the exact same problem, but there are other cultural things, customs, traditions and approaches, that present the same problem, including the effect that one's approach has on other believers.

6. The Problem of Worship - I Corinthians 11:2-34; 14:26-40
How should worship be handled when believers gather together? Propriety, consideration of others, humility and order should rule, as well as the centrality of Jesus.

7. The Problem of Spiritual Gifts - I Corinthians 12:1-14:25
God the Holy Spirit has given spiritual gifts to each believer.  Those gifts vary in combination, in effect and in service; but all are for the same purpose, namely to accomplish the work of the kingdom through the church. The key in the working of spiritual gifts is oneness - there are many "parts" in the church body, but they are all to work together under the Head, namely Jesus Christ.  And they are to be ruled by love.

8. The Problem of the Resurrection - I Corinthians 15:1-58
The Corinthian believers had misunderstandings about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its impact on believers.  Without the resurrection, faith is futile.  But Jesus did rise from the grave and is alive, and all who believe will be resurrected and obtain a new spiritual body and share in Jesus' victory over death.  This knowledge is not only cause for praise, it is the ground for standing firm in Christ on this earth and continuing to minister in His name.