Life is meant to be lived in community. Read these articles and take some time to really engage with others and see if this credo carries over to your life. Does your mission line up with Jesus’ mission?
The Liberating Power of The Gospel.
What are a few ways that Christians live that aren’t very “free” or “liberating?” Have you struggled with this at any point in your life?
How has the Gospel freed you from the power of sin in your life? Can you think of any examples?
How does our understanding of the Gospel affect the way we live? How could an improper understanding of the Gospel affect that negatively?
How has our culture around us misinterpreted true Christianity or the Gospel? How can we live in a way that shows the people around us the freedom that Christ has given us?
One of the hardest things about sin is that it often has earthly consequences. That may look like a broken relationship or legal trouble; sometimes the effects of sin are internal. How does knowing we are justified in God’s eyes affect the way we deal with the earthly consequences of sin?
Think about other religions or belief systems that people hold. What are their views of God? Of humanity? Of how God works in the world?
How does the truth of the Trinity set God apart from other belief systems?
The Trinity shows us there is value in believers being unified, yet we are diverse in our roles and giftings. How do you think God has gifted you to love and serve the Church? How has He gifted others that you know?
What do you think of when you hear the words “authority” and “submission”? How are those terms thought of in our culture?
How is the Trinity similar to, as well as different from, a marriage relationship?
How have you seen people outside the Church characterize the Bible? How do those descriptions live up or contradict with the what you know to be true of the Bible?
How do we know that the Bible is the Word of God, and not just filled with myths and fairy tales?
How is the Bible unique from any other book?
Jesus based His whole earthly mission on the grounds of Scripture being true; He often quoted the prophets in His teachings. How does Jesus’ assurance of the Bible’s accuracy encourage you?
As stated in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, how can we use the Word for “reproof, correction, and for training in righteousness?”
What are some ways that culture defines value and worth?
What does it mean to be created in the image of God? How does this reality change your view of yourself?
In what ways do you misplace the source of dignity, value, and worth?
What does it mean to be “hidden in Christ?”
Take some time as a group to pray together, confessing and repenting of the places where you misplace your source of dignity, value, and worth.
As people designed to worship, why do we tend to worship things and people rather than God?
Think about your life. What has God done for you that would compel a response of worship?
What things or people do you have the temptation to worship besides God?
How do you balance interest, preferences, and desires in this life with your worship of God?
Read Romans 12:1-2. What do you think it really means to offer your body as a living sacrifice?
Oftentimes people believe they are “good with God.” What are the most common ways people think this is true of them?
There are many Scriptures that illustrate the fact that God chose us and gave us faith to believe He has saved us. Is this an encouragement or discouragement to you?
Think about your life as a Christian and go back to the time when it started for you. When did you realize that God had saved you? How was your life different then than it is now? How has God grown you spiritually since He gave you faith to believe? Or what is the hardest thing for you to accept about faith in Christ?
The doctrine of Heaven and Hell is hotly debated. What does the Bible say about eternal life? What does Jesus say? How does our view on this doctrine change how we live?
When God saves us, we are free from the penalty of our sin and we have freedom in Christ. Who in your life do you hope God will save? Take some time to pray for these people by name.
Grace And Faith.
How did the truth of God’s love and justice being met through Jesus’ sacrifice first become a reality in your life?
How you would explain to someone exploring the person of Jesus what it means to trust or put faith in Him?
Why is it so vitally important to understand God’s forgiveness toward us in order to be able to extend forgiveness to someone who sins against us?
If someone objects to the truth that salvation is received through “Christ alone,” how would you respond?
How should the fact that our eternal destiny is secure in Jesus influence how we live our lives on a daily basis?
What sort of urgency should we have in telling others about Jesus if we know that at death an individual’s decision has been made?
Baptism And The Lord’s Supper.
A lot of people think doing religious activities is a way to earn God’s favor. Read John 6:28-29. What is the “work” that God requires for salvation?
Read John 14:21. We encourage people who become Christians to get baptized as a first step of obedience. How does obedience fit into faith that is all about God’s grace?
Some people are apprehensive about getting baptized. If you haven’t been baptized, what are some of the fears you wrestle with when you think about getting baptized? How do you think your Life Group or church might be able to help you step through those fears?
Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a Gospel reminder. How can we prevent the Lord’s Supper from becoming a ritual, and instead experience it as fresh reminder of what Jesus did for us in His death, burial, and resurrection?
Think about unity in your family, church, and your workplace. What creates unity with those around you? What creates disunity?
Too often, people think that unity and uniformity are the same thing. How are these different? How is this seen in the Church?
There are many passages about how believers are gifted in different ways to love and build up the church body. What roles do you think are important for the church body to thrive?
Recall a conversation where you and someone else disagreed about something. Why do people divide over certain issues? What does this reveal about their heart and what they believe? List certain beliefs/doctrines that believers should be willing to fight for.
Throughout the Scriptures, there were times when people were unified and it was not a good thing. In our time and culture today, when can unity be a bad thing? Where is this happening?
What the Church Is.
Describe your past experiences with the Church. What was church like for you growing up? What were your impressions? What effect has that had on your life to this point?
Of the four metaphors focused on in this chapter (the body of Christ, the people of God, the bride of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit), which metaphor for the Church is the greatest encouragement to you? How so?
Culturally, there are many who think negatively of the Church and what it stands for. Why do you think this is? How can we, as members of the body, strive to change this?
When thinking about a local church family to be a part of, what should be present? What is the responsibility of the local church?
How can you be praying for the universal and local Church?
What The Church Does.
Does your view of theology and what the mission of the Church is tend to drift into one of these categories: Moralism (get better) Fatalism (life sucks and then you die), or Triumphalism (you are the greatest!)? How is the true Gospel different than each of these three worldviews?
Do you view yourself as a missionary where you live? If so, how does this affect your everyday mindset and actions?
Are there opportunities to show the liberating power of the Gospel to those around you that you haven’t taken?
What does it mean for you to personally be “doctrinally conservative, but culturally fluid?” How is that different than “doctrinally fluid and culturally conservative? “
Is it harder for you to be doctrinally conservative or to be culturally fluid? Why?
How can we be encouraged by and have confidence in the Gospel knowing that Jesus conquered death?
What are some different beliefs about the afterlife that people today tend to hold?
What evidence exists that Jesus did, in fact, rise from the dead?
Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important to your life today? To the world?
Consider the hope we have for our own resurrection, because of Jesus’ resurrection. Take a moment to thank God for saving us through Jesus, and to pray for friends and family who are not yet saved.
Read John 14:1-3. What descriptions have you heard of “my Father’s house?”
Why are some Christians fascinated with trying to figure out the date of Christ’s return? Is it even possible to know when Jesus will come again?
Since Jesus is God, why didn’t He know when the return of Christ would take place?
In what ways does the return of Christ comfort you? In what ways does it warn you? Or scare you?
What does it mean that the second coming is imminent? How should that imminency affect our lives and actions?