Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, respond to the following, “When did you first begin to comprehend death? When do you feel most alive?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50.
- What question is Paul addressing in verse 35? What similar questions do you have or have you heard about the resurrection of the dead?
- How might Paul’s agricultural analogy of a seed “dying” help us understand how to envision how resurrection happens? [There is a transformational process that can be likened to re-creation or even a new creation.]
- The words “soul” and “spirit” can bring up a host of images and feelings. “Soul,” at least the way Paul understood it, would have been more of a force that animates us in the earthly sense; whereas, “spirit” is the image of God or spark within us. The soul was in contrast to the spirit. Spiritual disciplines, through God’s Spirit, enable us to learn to live more empowered by God’s grace than by our own selfish desires.
- How does Paul’s analogy of the first man, Adam, and the last Adam (Christ) help us understand resurrection from the dead? [The first shows our natural state and our default. The second shows not only what is to come, but what God is working within us currently.]
- How does Paul’s argument in verse 48 point out what God is working in us now? [Christians, those trusting in Christ’s resurrection, are in the process of being fit for heaven. Heaven, in a sense, is being worked in us.]
- How does Paul’s promise in verse 49 give you hope?
- (R) How might Paul’s emphasis on the importance of resurrection give us a vision for what is and what is to come?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of hope, we give you thanks that you are constantly at work in the world remaking us in your image. Help us to find true life in the new life you are working in and through us. Give us the eyes of faith to see where you are already working resurrection within us and within the world. Amen.