Small Group Bible Study

Life with the Spirit
 - Week 

The Spirit Builds

1 Corinthians 14:1-19
Discussion Guide
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Please take advantage of our 1st Corinthians 12-14 Tool Kit with additional resources for further learning.

Discussion Questions

Before discussing in Groups, DNAs, mentorship and other gospel conversations around First Corinthians, consider the three different sources of engaging questions described at the bottom of this page. This will help lead to inspiring conversation and discussion instead of simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers.

  • This text appears to primarily compare and contrast two gifts - tongues and prophecy. What are the main differences Paul highlights? What seems to be his argument and purpose? 
  • Paul mentions “edification” or “building up” several times in this text as a goal or priority. How does he specifically say that the church is built up? What can we deduce from this insight about the ideal gathering of the local church on a Sunday? What is ideal? 
  • There are two distinct “types” of tongues in this section from Paul. First, the miraculous gift of an unknown language that expresses revelation, knowledge, prophecy or teaching to the edification of the church (verse 6). Second, the miraculous gift of a prayer language that edifies the person and is the prayer language of a person’s spirit (verse 14). Paul seems to focus more on the first kind; what are his specific commands, applications and warnings? 
  • On the other hand, the Spirit gift of prophesy is explained and illustrated. What insight does Paul give about this gift in this text? What seems to be its purpose? How is it best expressed in a church gathering? 
  • Reread verse 5 and verse 19. Why does Paul say one gift is “greater”? What is his point in his personal wish/desire? What seems to be his ultimate burden in this comparison?

Discussion Format Suggestions

First, consider some simple, regular, thought-provoking opening questions to get the group discussions started. Try these on for fit: 

  • So, as we begin, where and How did you sense God’s Presence this week?
  • What is the state of the key relationships in your life right now? 
  • What were your biggest challenges? Biggest blessings? 
  • What are you most grateful for right now? 

Second, you can continue the discussion by honing in on the specific passage of First Corinthians that we’ve just studied on Sunday, or that you just read and studied together. You can engage some or all of the questions organized above for each of the passages. It’s always a good idea to read the particular passage again in the group discussion. 

Thirdly, please feel free to add your own questions as a result of your study and prayer through First Corinthians. You are the leader. Lead. Shepherd your people closer to Jesus.