Sermon Study Guide – St. Thomas’ Church, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

 

(Date: 15 Jan 2012)   “In-the-Body Christianity”              1 Cor 6:12-20, John 1:43-51

 

  1. Many of us have heard moving and amazing accounts of people who have had “out-of-the-body” experiences. Even St. Paul seems to have had one (or more). But, amazing and real as they may be, we are primarily called to live out our lives in our bodies, and our faith is exercised and experienced in our bodies as well. What do you think was the problem Paul was addressing in todays epistle/letter reading?

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Leader’s Guide:

Have members look up in a concordance (Biblegateways.com) the word “body”. Think about how a body works and why Paul, especially, uses that illustration to explain how the church works and how our Christian faith needs to be lived out.

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  1. In the gospel we read of Philip bringing his friend Nathanael into contact with Jesus. All he did was tell him about his impression of Jesus, and then didn’t give up on him when he tried to dismiss this ‘hick from Nazareth’. Epiphany is about “manifestation”: how Jesus is made known to the nations. Making God known is not a job for professional evangelists. God shares His life with His children, so that we will share it with others. Remember that Jesus’ plan and desire is that all His sheep will be part of His fold (see John’s gospel). How do we live like Philip today?

 

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Leader’s Guide:

Have your members consider some of the following questions: What stops you from simply telling others you know about your impressions (faith, understanding) of Jesus? What puts you off? Why is it so hard for us to persevere in being hopeful about the gospel message? Do you believe Jesus will have a conversation with those you introduce to Him (your Nathanael’s)? Why didn’t Philip give up on Nathanael? Why do we not endure as beacons between Sunday services? What extinguishes your brightness and joy in the gospel? What are you doing about it?

 

This is also the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. How can you express the unity in Christ that you already have with other believers who are not part of your own church or group?

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Daily Prayer for the Missionary Work of the Church Overseas (and outside of our own front door…)

 

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, You do not the death of sinners, but rather that they may turn to You and live: Deliver the nations of the world (and our city) from superstition and unbelief, and gather them all into Your holy Church, to the praise and glory of Your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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