Sunday School Notes 1-11-2015

Topic: Gluttony

Scripture: Philippians 3:17-21

Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.

What is Gluttony? (vv. 19)

  • Gluttony is a form of hedonism
    • It finds satisfaction in physical pleasures like food
  • Gluttony is literally worship of self, seeking pleasure only for self.
  • It finds fulfillment in food rather than in worship to God.
  • Our goal is to worship God above all else.
  • Food may help us to survive, but life is only found in Christ.

Enemies of the cross?

  • According to these verses, what does it mean to be an enemy of the cross?
    • It is to place something, like food, above God in our lives.
      • Our god must not be our stomach!
    • It is to find glory in our shame.
      • This simply means that we sometimes focus on earthly things rather than things of God.
    • To act this way is to work toward destruction. The only worthwhile life is a life in Christ and completely dedicated to Christ.
  • Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Philippi. What does he mean when he tells us to imitate him?
    • Paul worked to live such a Christ-centered life, that he was confident in others following his example.
      • We should live in love with Christ to such a degree that others should be confident in following us.
      • We should be able to find someone whose example we can follow confidently. (“…and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.”)
      • We are a community of believers and I am convinced that the Christian life can only be experienced rightly in community.

Christ will transform us!

  • What does it mean that we are of humble condition?
    • It means that we are mere people. We are not perfect or holy or sinless in and of ourselves.
  • What does it mean that we will be transformed to the likeness of Christ’s glorious body?
    • We are being made into something greater than we currently are. Christ is perfect in action and in thought and in knowledge and we are being made into His image.
      • If I glorify my own body instead of serving God in worship, then I reject God’s work in my life and therefore become complacent in my shame.
    • Lastly, we are each subject to God’s authority either willingly or unwillingly. Thus, the only glory worth pursuing is the glory we find in Him by being transformed by Him.

Questions for class discussion:

  1. How should we distinguish between enjoying food and being a glutton?
    1. Is food a gift from God? Why is this important for us to realize?
  2. In what areas of our lives do we struggle to find satisfaction? Why?
  3. In what ways does the sin of gluttony diminish us and our relationships?
    1. How do we know we’ve crossed the line from finding appropriate joy in God’s gift of food to abusing that gift?
  4. What are some ways that we can increase our delight in, and our love for God?
    1. How would we describe “Eating for God’s glory”?

Homework!

What are some things that you have found satisfaction in other than God? Would you describe these things as idols? Consider the following verse of scripture:

Don’t associate with those who drink too much wine

or with those who gorge themselves on meat.

For the drunkard and the glutton will become poor,

and grogginess will clothe them in rags (Proverbs 23:20-21 HCSB).

Think, journal or blog about what is meant by “…the drunkard and the glutton will become poor, and grogginess will clothe them in rags.”

  • What might it mean that drunkenness is talked about alongside gluttony?
    • Are these really the same type of sin?
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