Small Group Studies

Topics for 12/04/18

Story of the Book - Ezra and Nehemiah

  • Ezra was probably the most important teacher in the Old Testament. His teaching is discussed in Ezra 7 and Nehemiah 8-9. How does his teaching compare to other Biblical teachers (style, content, setting, crowds), and what can we learn from his example for our own teaching?
  • Nehemiah was gifted in planning and oversight. What things did he do to make his people more likely to succeed? Also, what does the Bible say about planning for the future while also trusting in God (something at which Nehemiah excelled)?

Published on December 4, 2018 at 10:54 am |

Topics for 11/20/2018

On Sunday we covered the book of 2 Kings which tells us the story of the fall of the nation of Israel.  With rare bright spots, the kings of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms persisted in idolatry and covenant unfaithfulness.  The book concludes with both nations in exile suffering the consequences of their wickedness.

We looked more specifically at several other areas of instruction from 2 Kings.  For further study:

  1. The Destructive Nature of Sin - sin is not satisfied until it has all of you, and the deception that you can control sin's influence or mitigate its consequences is one of the enemy's greatest weapons.  We talked about the importance of targeting specific sins as opposed to generally "fighting sin".  What are some practices or principles from Scripture that you have found to be effective in your effort to combat sin in your life?
  2. Identity - the nation of Israel lost sight of who they were--God's special possession.  What is a passage of Scripture that you use to remind yourself of who you are in Christ?
  3. Hope - There is only a small glimmer of hope provided in this book.  What is a passage of scripture that gives you hope for the future?

Published on November 20, 2018 at 11:36 am |

Topics for 11/12/2018

On Sunday we talked about the major theme of the book of 1 Kings -- Spiritual Decline.  Through the line (eventually lines) of kings, we saw a pattern of disobedience, covenant unfaithfulness, and idolatry.  

  1. Chose another biblical character that exemplifies one or more of the principles concerning spiritual decline that we discussed on Sunday.
    • Spiritual decline can start in surprising places (Solomon)
    • Spiritual decline can have different appearances (Rehoboam & Jeroboam)
    • Spiritual decline is not linear (Asa)
    • Spiritual decline Is not a private matter (The Northern Kings)
    • God does not abandon those who forsake Him (The Prophets)
    • Spiritual Decline ends in either repentance or judgement
  2. What is your favorite story or character from the book of 1 Kings and what can we learn from them?

Published on November 13, 2018 at 1:12 am |

Filed under Story of the Book

Topics for 10/30/2018

Since it is likely that you will not have time to read the entirety of 1 Samuel before Tuesday, spend some time flipping through the book with these ideas in mind:

We spoke about the following major characters and their descriptions:

  • Samuel:  Hear,  Speak,  Obey  God’s  Word  
  • Saul:  Impressive  man  that  was  too  impressed  with  himself.  
  • David:  Unimpressive  man  that  was  impressed  with  God  
  • God:  The  King  we  really  need. 

Find a story from 1 Samuel that further illustrates these descriptions or adds to them.

In the same vein, from this list of minor characters and their descriptions, select a character and prepare to relay a story to the group about their character:

  • Hannah: the  "drunken"  prayer  warrior  that  God  heard.  
  • Eli: the  priest/judge  who  went  1  for  3  on  sons  
  • Hophni  and  Phineas: the  good-for-nothing  sons  of  Eli  
  • Abagail: the  shrewd  intelligent  woman  that  Nabal  didn’t  deserve  
  • Goliath: the  proud  warrior  that  God  defeated  
  • Abner: general  for  Saul  and  converted  general  for  David  
  • Jonathan: the  best  friend  and  bad-to-the-bone  warrior  
  • David’s  Men: a  loyal  (mostly)  band  of  warriors  that  follow  David 

Published on October 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm |

Topics for 10/23/18

We examined 3 doxologies on Sunday. These exclamations of praise to God for His goodness remind us of who God is and why we should worship Him:

Find other doxologies (typically at the very beginning or the very end of a book of the Bible). 

  • List 2-3 things we learn about God from these expressions of praise.
  • [Extra Credit] Compare your doxology to the one in Romans 16 and find parallels with the three ways that God strengthens us:
    • Through the gospel/preaching
    • Through the mystery revealed
    • Through the command of God   

Published on October 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm |

Topics for 10/09/18

Romans 15:22-33

  • On Sunday we talked about Paul's organizational excellence. Who else in Scripture exemplified spiritual greatness through operational excellence?
  • We talked about the intersection of material and spiritual matters. Do you agree that they are inter-related? If not, why? Provide Scripture for why or why not. 

Published on October 9, 2018 at 4:21 am |

Study Questions for 10/2/2018

Just a reminder that small group will be at Pastor Chris' house on Tuesday instead of at the church building.  Please reach out if you need directions.

For our study this week we will focus on two areas of emphasis from our message on Sunday.  Please read our text from Sunday and prepare for the following discussion points.

  1. Paul described his perception of the people in the church at Rome as those who are "full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another."  Let's take this opportunity to instruct each other.  Prepare a brief discussion (1 or 2 minutes) of something that God has been teaching you through our study in Romans or your own personal study that you can present to help instruct us.
  2. Paul gave us a synopsis of his ambition to preach the gospel in places where no one had heard and supported it with scripture.  What is your ambition? Where do you find support for this in Scripture?

Published on October 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm |

Topics for 9/25/18

We studied Romans 15:8-13 on Sunday.

1. A big part of Jesus' ministry was to show the truthfulness of God. Lists are fun...name the top 3 most truthful people (who aren't Jesus) or the top 3 least truthful people in the Bible.

2. We saw that the power of the Holy Spirit is what enables our hope. What else does the Bible have to say about the power of the Holy Spirit?  

Published on September 24, 2018 at 8:56 pm |

Topics for 09/18/2018

Please read our passage from Sunday and think about the following questions:

  1. Paul says that our unity as a body is part of our declaring the glory of God.  How do you define the glory of God?
  2. Paul gives us 3 reasons that the Scriptures were written (Instruction, Endurance/Encouragement, Hope).  What other purposes does the Bible say that it serves?  Or what other passages support these 3 purposes?

Published on September 18, 2018 at 12:06 pm |

Topics for 09/11/18

Please review Sunday's passage--Romans 14:13-23

1. Give an example of when you were the "weaker brother" and another believer changed their behavior to be kind to you/keep you from stumbling.

2. Verse 19 says to pursue what makes for "mutual upbuiding." What else does Scripture say about this, and what are our specific responsibilities to other believers?

3. Verse 22 says to keep the faith you have between you and God? Why? What are the implications of this command?

Published on September 11, 2018 at 1:55 pm |

topics for 08/28/18

Romans 13:11-14

 

One of the main motivations for believers to "suit up" is that time is running out...

 

Examine Jesus' teaching about our time being limited (focus on his parables).

Try to come up with 2-3 principles about how our lives should be different knowing that we do not have all the time in the world. 

Published on August 28, 2018 at 11:56 am |

Study Questions - 08/21/2018

Please read our passage from Sunday and prepare to discuss the following questions:

  1. The end of Romans 12 teaches us of our responsibility to love our enemies and treat them with kindness.  Given the direct command in our passage from Sunday to love everyone we come in contact with, is Romans 13:1-7 a departure from the theme of loving others or is it directly related?  If so, how is it related?
  2. How does "loving your neighbor as yourself" fulfill the law?  Consider the specific aspects mentioned in verse 9.
  3. Our passage portrays our obligation to love our neighbor as a debt that is never fully paid.  What is another passage of scripture that teaches us the extent to which we should love our neighbor?

Published on August 21, 2018 at 4:32 am |

Study Questions for 8/6/2018

Please read our passage from Sunday and be prepared to discuss the following ideas.

  1. We spent a good portion of our time talking about our need to empathize and connect emotionally with each other (to imagine life from someone else's perspective).  Can you relate a time when someone connected with you this way?  How did it help you?
  2. Choose one of these:
    • Find a biblical example of someone empathizing with another person and connecting with them.
    • Find a biblical passage that relates to the concept of our mutual connection as a church body (Similar to what we discussed on Sunday from 1 Corinthians 12:21-16)

Published on August 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm |

Topics for 07/31/18

Reflect on this passage and be prepared to discuss this topic. 

Romans 12:14-17

Jesus on the cross is the ultimate example of overcoming evil with good. Come up with another Biblical example of someone who could have retaliated but instead did what was honorable (v.17) and as far as it was up to them, lived in peace (v.18).

Published on July 30, 2018 at 1:17 am |

Topics for 07/17/2018

Romans 12:12 "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulationbe constant in prayer."

Sunday we discussed a three step process (based on the three phrases in the above verse) for handling life's difficult situations. Here are the takeaways:

  1. Take comfort in your options.
    • A positive attitude goes a long way.
    • True dead ends are fairly rare.
  2. Slow down and take stock of your situation.
    • Occasionally you have to make an instant decision, but that is generally the exception.
    • Often your “trial” is not as bad as it seemed…if it is, you still will be better served to understand more fully.
  3. Prayer is powerful.
    • It moves the heart of God.
    • It forces us to consider our problems in depth (meditation).
    • It aligns our minds and emotions with God’s Word.

Following are three scenarios. Think through one or more of these and write down your reponses--from initial reaction to (by God's grace, hopefully) your ultimate conclusion. Make it personal and specific to you.

  1. Your best friend at work pulls you aside and tells you he overheard a conversation between two execs. He says, "There is going to be a major round of layoffs...our whole department is going to get axed."

  2. You have been building a relationship with one of your neighbors for more than a year. You decide to take a chance and share the gospel. She rolls her eyes and says, "I was worried you might do this...I hated when my parents used to drag me to church." Now, every interaction is awkward, and you fear your friendship is ruined.

  3. You fall off a horse on the trailride your friend/sibling/spouse dragged you on. You significantly injure your back, and the rehab is going to be long and painful.

Published on July 17, 2018 at 2:26 am |

Study Questions for 7/10/2018

On Sunday we talked about our motivation and effort as Christians to accomplish the work that God has given us.  Our text warned us not to lag behind in our earnest effort, but to serve fervently because we are serving Christ.

  1. What are some reasons that would cause our zeal to be lazy (lag behind)?
  2. What do we do when we see what God has called us to do, but we feel emotionally distant from it?  How are we supposed to be fervent (boiling) in spirit when we just don't feel it?
  3. Why is our fear of man such a debilitating foe to serving God?

Published on July 10, 2018 at 4:54 am |

Study Questions for 6/26/2018

Our passage from Sunday encourages us not to think higher of ourselves than we should but to think with "sober judgement" and evaluate ourselves based on the gifting that God has given us. 

  1. From one of the passages on spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-7, 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, Ephesians 4:11-13) chose one gift or area of gifting that you believe applies to you, provide a brief explanation/definition, and give an example of how you are or can use that gift to benefit the body.
  2. Is our spiritual gifting permanent?  In other words, do we receive a specific gifting and it remains throughout our lives or is our gifting situational?
  3. How does the teaching about spiritual gifts from Romans 12 change how we view fellowship with the body of Christ?

Published on June 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm |

Topics for 06/19/2018

Romans 12:1-2

Probably every believer at one time or the other has asked the question "What does God want from me? What is God's will for my life?"

  • Romans 12:2 says that when our minds are renewed, we can discern God's will for our lives. What other insights about God's will can we gain from passages in Scripture. (Here are a few examples--feel free to use others.)

Matthew 7:21, Luke 22:42, John 4:34, Colossians 1:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Hebrews 13:20-21, 1 Peter 2:15

  • Can you give a current issue in our culture where you may be inclined to think/act in a given way which would be "conforming" to our culture, but where the truth of Scripture might transform your mind and cause you to think/act differently?  [please attempt to be apolitical]

Published on June 18, 2018 at 3:11 am |

Topics for 06/05/2018

In Romans 11:16-24 we saw lessons which were true for the believers in the early church and for believers today.

The lessons we learned from the olive tree metaphor are:

  1. God is always up to stuff. 
  2. What He is doing now is built on what He did before.
  3. Sometimes you are the focus.
  4. Only God is forever. 

Now, you take a Scriptural metaphor (bonus points if it is about trees) and see if you can extract the timeless truths with these caveats:

  1. Don't get lost in the story/illustration.
  2. Try to avoid seeing "every bush as a burning bush."

[Pro tip: The easiest ones are when Jesus gives a parable and then says "this is what I meant." If you are not sure what to do, that is a great place to start.]

Published on June 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm |

Small Group Questions for 5/29/2018

Pleae read our passage from Sunday and prepare to answer the following questions.

  1. Why did God harden Israel? Explain in your own words.
  2. Our passage teaches us that God in His grace always preserves a remnant of His people.  What does that teach us about the character of God?
  3. The passage teaches us that our relationship with God should serve to provoke Israel to jealousy.  How should that fact change the way we live?

Published on May 28, 2018 at 11:29 am |

Study Questions for 5/15/2018

For Small Group this week, please read our passage from Sunday and spend some time thinking about these questions:

  1. Paul uses no fewer than 7 Old Testament citations in our passage.  Choose one and examine the OT context.  How does an understanding of the context help us understand what Paul is teaching in our passage?
  2. Paul contrasts 2 "types" of righteousness (based on lawkeeping & based on faith in Christ).  Even though we have our righteousness in the work of Christ, our hearts are still prone to lean towards finding our value in our great lawkeeping.  What is one (or more) way that you struggle with thinking you have merited God's favor by keeping the rules?
  3. We spoke briefly about the "riches [Christ bestows] on all who call on him" in v. 12.  What is one example of the spiritual riches that are ours in Christ?
  4. BONUS: How does v. 13 contribute to our understanding of the diety of Christ? Hint, if you want one.

Published on May 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm |

Topics for 05/08

Romans 10:1-4

[Research project] Verse 2 says that the Jews have zeal for God, but they lack knowledge.

Pick a group (religious or philosophical) with which people in our church may interact. Be prepared to tell the group:

  1. Something your group is known for/zealous about. 
  2. How this belief differs from what we believe Scripture teaches. 
  3. How we should lovingly disagree with a member of that group--specifically the Scriptural arguments.

Published on May 7, 2018 at 6:12 pm |

Topics for 04/24/18

Passage: Romans 9:14-23

  • It has been said that the "it" in--So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God--could refer to our salvation, God's predestination of believers, or God's mercy in general. What do you think "it" refers to, and why?
  • We read a poetic summation of the doctrine of election in general and this passage in particular...can you write four lines of original poetry about any facet of our passage?
  • We read in 2 Corinthians 4 about Christians being jars of clay. Expand on that thought through the use of another similar passage.

Published on April 24, 2018 at 12:24 am |

Study Questions for 4/17/2018

Please read our text from Sunday and be prepared to answer these questions:

  1. What are some possible explanations for Paul's "great sorrow and extreme anguish" for his people, Israel?
  2.  We cannot fully understand the purposes of God in election.  However, the Bible does give us some ideas as to God's purposes in election.  Describe one of these and support it from Scripture.
  3. How does the doctrine of election change the way you give the gospel?
  4. BONUS: Which part of our passage is part of a christological controversy?  Why is it controversial?

Published on April 16, 2018 at 4:13 am |

Study Questions for 4/3/2018

Our service on Sunday was themed around "The Sacrifice of the Messiah" and "I Have Seen The Lord!"

Jesus' resurrection does not stand alone as an event apart from his life and death. His mission to redeem us was fulfilled by his life, death, and resurrection all working together. Even coming to earth and becoming a human was, in itself, a sacrifice for Jesus, not to mention his work on the cross.

  • How does the knowledge that Jesus experienced humanity and its struggles provide inspiration and encouragement for your daily life? (Narrative examples from Jesus' life would be good discussion points here.)

The people who saw Jesus after his resurrection were profoundly impacted by the experience.

  • Which is your favorite post-resurrection encounter, and why?
  • We sang that "the same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in us." How does the power of Jesus resurrection enable you to live for Christ?

Published on April 2, 2018 at 7:07 pm |

Study Questions for 3/27/2018

Please read our passage from Sunday and be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. Paul teaches us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for believers because of our weakness.  How does this fact change the way that you pray?
  2. Choose a Bible Character whose life demonstrates the promise of "all things work together for good".  Describe their actual or likely response to their circumstances and how God was using them to accomplish his purposes.
  3. Describe a time in your life where you had to claim the promise of God's working all things for his good purpose of our Christlikeness.

Published on March 27, 2018 at 1:31 am |

Study Questions for 3/13/2018

Please read our passage from Sunday and be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. If someone asked you the question: "How can you know that you are a child of God?", how would you answer?
  2. Paul says that our new position as "children of God" has made us heirs of God (and joint heirs with Jesus Christ).  Being an heir implies an inheritance that is now ours.  What is our inheritance as children of God? Support your answer from Scripture.
  3. Describe a time in your life when the Spirit has communicated with your spirit to confirm your place as a member of God's family.

Published on March 13, 2018 at 2:48 am |

Topics for 03/06/18

Romans 8:1-11

We cannot live with two worldviews. On Sunday we studied the different mindsets of living for the flesh or living by the Spirit. 

  1. Think of a Biblical character who tried to straddle the fence and be prepared to discuss the effects on his/her life.
  2. Verse 9 says "Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him." Where else is this truth taught?
  3. Verse 11 says "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." Pastor Drew said that he thinks that when He gives life to our mortal bodies, it means spiritual strength for living in the here and now. Do you agree? Could it mean that when you die, God will raise your body as He raised Jesus? If so, why?

Published on March 6, 2018 at 1:41 am |

Topics for 02/20

Text: Romans 7:7-12

  1. Since we should not react sinfully to our circumstances, but should trust that God places us in a place for a reason, does that mean that...
    • we should always be in "turn the other cheek" mode?
    • activism is taboo for believers?
  2. We sang some extra (original but rarely sung) verses of Come Thou Fount on Sunday. Was there a particular phrase or thought in that song which was a particular blessing to you? Why?

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
  Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
  Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
  Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
  Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
  Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
  Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
  Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
  Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
  Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
  Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
  I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
  Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
  Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
  Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
  Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
  I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
  How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
  Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
  Me to realms of endless day.

Published on February 19, 2018 at 6:37 pm |

Discussion topics for 02/06/2018

We will discuss and further study the passage from Sunday:

 

Romans 6:20-23

 

1) Summarize in 50 words or fewer the discussion of how v.23 is typically presented vs how it should be presented.   (Hint-if you were not able to be there on Sunday, listen to the first 4 minutes of the sermon.)

2) Living for sin is its own reward. What are some specific things with which modern Christians consistently struggle and which are their own reward (no value to God's kingdom). 

3) V. 20 says that when we were slaves to sin, we were free from righteousness. Now, we are no longer slaves to sin, so there is an expectation of righteousness. What other verse/passage/story also teaches this?

Published on February 6, 2018 at 11:54 am |

Study Questions for Tuesday, January 30, 2018

For our small group study, please read Romans 6:12-19 and consider the following questions:

  1. Our text deals tangentially with the concept of mortifying (killing, putting to death) sin in our lives.  Find a passage on the process of putting sin to death.  Compare and contrast it to our text to help us understand how this is accomplished.
  2. We spoke about the existence of 2 realms (Under Law/Grace) as well as two masters (Slaves of Sin/Righteousness).  We also discussed that we are all citizens in one of these realms and serve one of these masters.  What is a deceptive tactic used by Satan against those "Under Law" and "Slaves of Sin"? And why is it so effective?
  3. What does Paul mean by "the standard of teaching to which you were committed" (6:17)?  How are we now obedient to it?
  4. What does the phrase "For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness..." (6:19) teach us about the nature of sin and its impact on those under its influence?

Published on January 29, 2018 at 12:45 pm |

Study Questions for Tuesday, January 16

For our small group study, please read Romans 6:1-5 and consider the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to be united with Christ?
  2. How does the reality that you have "died to sin" change the way you view your pursuit of sanctification?
  3. In your own words describe your new identity in Christ as compared with your old identity in Adam.
  4. Colossians 2:11-15 is a parellel passage to our text from Sunday.  Compare and contrast them.

Published on January 15, 2018 at 6:40 pm |

Topics for 01/09

Please read the passage and prepare to discuss the topics.

Romans 5:17-21

  • Verse 17 says that because of Adam's sin "death reigned through that one man." Give other Scriptural examples or statements about this teaching.
  • Verse 20 says that grace abounds in the presence of sin. Think of 2-3 ways this has been true in your personal history.
  • Think of a song which celebrates grace reigning through Jesus' righteousness. 

Published on January 7, 2018 at 10:19 pm |

Carols, Thanks, and Prayer 12/26/2017

Before we put the Christmas carols away for another year (although… no guarantees we won’t sing one or two in July!), we wanted to give you one last chance to sing your favorite again (or to sing it for the first time if Pastor Joe never put it on the docket). Also, we wanted to give you an opportunity to get rid of those last 6 stubborn cookies in order to start off your New Year’s resolutions right.

Come join us for a time of thanks, of looking forward to God’s care for us in 2018, and in rejoicing one more time in the Incarnation of our Savior.

Feel free to bring a goodie or two to share if you have it laying around. Don’t feel the need to feed everyone or buy/make anything new. Leftovers only! J Now is your golden opportunity to get rid of that fruitcake (several of your pastors actually really like it…)! We look forward to seeing you!

Published on December 26, 2017 at 3:38 pm |

Study Questions for 12/19/2017

Please read the passage from Sunday (Romans 5:12-14) and be prepared to discuss the following topics and questions:

  1. In your own words, define the concept of Inherited Sin (Original Sin).
  2. How does the doctrine of Inherited Sin change the way that you look at the world around you?
  3. Our passage identifies Adam as a type of Christ.  In what ways is Adam a type of Christ?
  4. Select another Bible Character or Story that is a type of Christ and/or His work in salvation and describe the typology of the story or character.

Published on December 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm |

Study Questions for 12/3/2017

Read our passage from Sunday and be prepared to discuss the following questions:

  1. How does the admonition in verse 5 to "rejoice in trouble" relate to verses 1 & 2?
  2. Verse 5 states that God's love is poured out in our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Bible talks about several roles that the Holy Spirit plays in the life of a believer.  Choose one of these roles and select one or more passages of Scripture to support it.
  3. A large focus of thie passige is on the role "hope" plays in the life of a believer.  The biblical view of hope is a "confident assurance" in God's plan, but this is not what most people mean by the term "hope".  Find an example of a non-biblical perspective of hope (movie, book, real life) and compare that view to our passage on Sunday.

Published on December 4, 2017 at 1:38 am |

study questions for 11/28

Please be prepared to discuss these topics.

 

Romans 5:1-2

 

  • Verse 2 speaks of "the gracein which we stand." This speaks to future eternal security as well as current blessing. What are some of the current blessings of this grace?
  • We rejoice as we confidently look forward to the revealed glory of God. Which Biblical passages describe this glory of God in more detail?

Published on November 27, 2017 at 1:22 am |

Questions for 11/7/2017

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Romans 4:1-12

 

  • Let's come up with Biblical illustrations of people who tried to work for God's favor--people who did things their own way rather than believe and obey. They did not "walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had."
  • Read verses 11-12 and give a summary in your own words of Abraham's fatherhood of those with the Law and without.


 


Published on November 6, 2017 at 12:45 pm |

Study Questions for 10/17/2017

Take a moment to reread our text from Sunday and spend some time answering the following questions.
  1. Paul compiled several Old Testament quotations to demonstrate that the idea of universal sinfulness was not a new concept.  Choose one of the source passages listed below, study the context, and write a summary of how the passage contributes to Paul’s point (all of mankind is guilty before God) and why he might have chosen it.
  2. Paul is making the point that every human being is completely lost in their sinfulness.  The problem is not merely that people commit sin, but that they are enslaved to it.  Choose at least one other Scripture passages that supports this idea of our enslavement to sin.
  3. We have reached the end of a foundational section of the book of Romans.  Paul has been arguing extensively concerning the sinful depravity of the human condition.  Write a brief summary of this section (Romans 1:18-3:20) to help you crystalize the truth found here.  Focus on brevity.  Try to limit yourself to no more than 100 words.

Published on October 16, 2017 at 4:12 am |

Filed under Small Group, Romans, Sin

Study questions for 10/10

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Romans 3:1-8

 

1. We used the illustration of Joseph's brothers to demonstrate that just because something ends well, that doesnt

 mean there will be no consequences. What other examples can you think of?

2. In verse 2 Paul says that it is an advantage to be a believer from a young age because you have access to God's Word. What other advantages are there? 

Published on October 9, 2017 at 1:02 am |

Study questions for 09/26

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topic.

Romans 2:17-24

 

1) Red Letter Project

This passage strongly warns against hypocrisy and the tells of the damage it causes to God's Kingdom. Jesus Himself often taught about this topic. Be prepared to talk about a passage where Jesus directly talks about hypocrisy.

2) Boil down Jesus' teaching in your passage to a 12 word statement.

 


Published on September 25, 2017 at 9:43 pm |

Study Questions for 9/21/2017

Please read Romans 2:12-16 and consider the following questions:
  • We discussed two options for the identification of the "doers of the law" in v.13: 
    • The Hypothetical Doer of the Law - the person who is able perfectly to keep the entire law and thus obtain justification by lawkeeping.  Because of our fallen nature and sinful heart, this standard is impossible to achieve.
    • The Imperfect Doer of the Law - the person who demonstrates their new life in Christ by loving the law of God and striving to honor God with how they live.  Such lawkeeping is inherently imperfect and must rely on God's grace and forgiveness.

Part of the struggle with determining Paul's meaning in this passage is that both definitions are supported by other passages in the Bible.  Find a supporting passage for both the Hypothetical Doer and the Imperfect Doer and be prepared to share any thoughts about which interpretation should be preferred.

  • We talked at some length about the reality that God has created each human soul with an innate understanding of right and wrong imprinted upon it (His moral law; think The Ten Commandments).  What are some of the implications this has on how we interact with other people?

Published on September 18, 2017 at 11:39 am |

Filed under Romans, Small Group

Study Questions - 9/5

We spent a good bit of our time on Sunday discussing the topic of moralism.  Moralism is the belief that the gospel can be reduced to changing our behavior for the better.  Here is a helpful article by Al Mohler on the subject.  We will consider the following questions in relation to the topic of moralism:

  • What are some areas of our lives that are particularly susceptible to moralism?
  • How is it that moralism creeps into these areas?
  • How does a correct view of the gospel change our approach to these areas?

Published on September 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm |

Filed under Romans

study questions for 08/29/17

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Romans 1:28-31

From this list of behaviors which are the natural outflow of not acknowledging God, choose one and be prepared to share the following:  1) What else does the Bible say about it? 2) Is there a story where you can see this behavior and the consequences of it? How should we treat an unbeliever exhibiting this behavior, and how should we treat a professing believer who does the same?

Published on August 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm |

study questions for 08/15/17

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics. 

Romans 1:16-17

 

1. The gospel is the power of God to all believers... "to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Is this 

a) of historical description of how the gospel spread

b) the plan for how it was supposed to go

c) if (b) is correct, is that still true for today?

2. Name a Bible story which depicts the righteousness of God being revealed from faith for faith.


Published on August 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm |

Study Questions for 8/8/2017

Please read Romans 1:8-15 and answer the following questions for our study.

  1. We talked on Sunday about the importance of mutual encouragement between believers.  
    • What is another passage that discusses our need for mutual encouragement?  
    • List some of the various forms this encouragement can take.
    • Why is it so hard for us to engage in these types of relationships?
  2. Why did God prevent Paul from going to Rome?
  3. In verses 14-15, Paul lays out his obligation to share the gospel with others.  What are some reasons that we do not feel the same sense of obligation?

Published on August 7, 2017 at 5:05 pm |

Study Questions for 7/25/2017

The Christian Community at Rome was made up of a mix of Jews and Gentiles.  

  1. List a few potential problems that this ethnic divide would bring to a church family.  
  2. Briefly describe a current situation that would present a similar problem.  
  3. List several relevant passages that give us instruction on how to deal with divisions in the church.
  4. How will a better understanding of the gospel message (the theme of Romans) help the church at Rome heal its divisions.

Published on July 25, 2017 at 12:19 am |

Study Questions for 07/18/2017

Please be prepared to discuss the following topics.

Ruth 4 was focused on the topic of redemption--who would redeem Naomi and Ruth?

  • Which Old Testament book most focuses on God as the Redeemer of His people?
  • We studied Titus 2:11-14 Sunday. Draw parallels between OT passages of God as the Redeemer and what we see about Jesus as a Redeemer in this passage.

Published on July 17, 2017 at 2:16 pm |

Study Questions for 06/27/2017

  1. We discussed Naomi's reaction to the famine, and the deaths of her husband and 2 sons.  In no uncertain terms, Naomi accused God of dealing with her in an unkind way.  Find another Bible character that came to the same point of spiritual crisis that Naomi did.  Describe their situation and how they dealt with it.
  2. We briefly examined the lyrics of William Cowper's hymn God Moves In A Mysterious Way.  Find another hymn or poem that deals with the idea of God's sovereign control over the course of our lives.
  3. We discussed Boaz as both a type of Christ and the Kinsman Redeemer.  We looked at 1 Peter 1:18-20 and how Jesus is described as redeeming us with his blood.  The concept of redeeming (buying back) something for money makes sense.  But how is it possible that Jesus could buy us with his blood?

Published on June 26, 2017 at 2:57 am |

Study Questions for 6/13/2017

  1. The Israelites created memorials for themselves to remind themselves of the work that God had done on their behalf (altars, stones, etc.).  What are some ways that we can make memorials for ourselves?
  2. The most difficult issue in the book of Joshua is God's command to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan.  How can we justify God's actions in destroying Israel's enemies?

Published on June 13, 2017 at 9:53 am |

Topics for 06/06/17

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Philippians 4:14-23

 

-The word "yet" comes between verses 13 and 14. Based on the message Sunday and your personal understanding of these verses, write 2-3 sentences about the importance of relying on your own God-given abilities and also accepting the help of others.

-v.17 mentions that the generosity of the Philipian church will be credited to their account. Where else in Scripture do we see the concept of reward for kindness/good works?

Published on June 4, 2017 at 4:02 pm |

Topics for 05/23

1. Think of a Bible story where a character could have avoided calamity if he/she had utilized the flowchart below.

2. (WARNING! You may be required to live out James 5:16) What is an area where you do not consistently live out the chart? How do you struggle? How can we pray for you? 

 

 

Right Click and Save As for full resolution image

 

Published on May 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm |

Study Topics for 5/16

Please read the passage, do the project, and be prepared to discuss your answers.

Philippians 4:3-7

Your Joy Is Rooted in Your Knowledge of God

  • Choose 2-3 facts about God (stories, characteristics, truths) and demonstrate them from Scripture.  Then briefly sketch out how this knowledge of God allows you to trust Him more and bring you greater joy.

Don't Be Anxious

  • Give a biblical example of someone who chose prayer over worry.

Published on May 16, 2017 at 12:43 am |

Topics for 5/2

Please read the passage, do the project, and be prepared to discuss your answers.

Philippians 3:17-21

Follow the Right Example

  • Choose one biblical and one living individual who is a right example for you in your walk with Jesus.  Briefly explain why they are a positive example.

Heavenly Citizens

  • Choose one passage that demonstrates what kingdom citizens look like.  Explain how living that passage will show that you are "made for another world."
  • Write a brief paragraph about what you think heaven will be like.  Try to stick to the biblical data as much as possible, but feel free to take some freedom to imagine.

Published on April 30, 2017 at 8:28 pm |

Topic for 04/25/17

Please read the passage, do the project, and be prepared to discuss your answer.

Philippians 3:12-16     Hebrews 12:1-2

Think of a Biblical character with a fatal flaw in his/her character. Think about what would have had to happen for them to set it aside and strain towards the goal of Godliness.

1. What was the flaw?

2. How could they have set it aside?

3. Briefly explain how their life/history may have been different if they had overcome it.

Published on April 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm |

topics for 04/11

Philippians 3:8-9

 

  1. Paul's life was radically altered when Jesus confronted him, and thereafter he considered his former life and accomplishments to be rubbish. What other Bible characters (Old or New Testaments) had "Come to Jesus" moments?
  2. Our relationship with God is based on the work of Jesus. We have been given His righteousness. How would we react if our salvation were based on our own works? (2 examples from Scripture and 2 from your imagination).
  3. We talked about the fact that our relationship with God is accomplished through faith, and that even our faith is a gift from God. Is this concept expressed anywhere else than Ephesians 2?  

Published on April 9, 2017 at 3:45 pm |

Topics for 4/4

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Philippians 3:1-7

  • Paul warned the Philippians about those who would add to the gospel additional requirements for salvation.  Can you think of some modern parallels?  Both within evangelical christianity and without.

  • Why do you think this warning was so important to Paul?

  • Why is it so difficult for us to stop putting confidence in the value of our personal righteousness?

  • What are the benefits of a life that counts all personal righteousness as loss compared to what we have in Christ?

Published on April 4, 2017 at 11:57 am |

Filed under Small Group, Philippians

Topics for 3/21

Please read the passages and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Philippians 2:19-24

  • Paul wrote this passage as a summation of Timothy's commitment to the gospel and value to Paul’s ministry.  Chose another Bible character and write a similar summary.

  • Paul describes his relationship with TImothy as a Father-Son bond in the gospel.  Find another such relationship in the Bible and write how their relationship served to further their ministry.

  • Paul writes how Timothy was genuinely concerned for the well being of other believers.  Find another passage in Scripture that talks about this kind of selfless attitude.

Published on March 20, 2017 at 1:32 am |

Topics for 03/14

Please read "Can Christianity Be Saved" by Ted Dekker. (It is a promotion for a new book--about a 4 minute read)

 

Now, read our passage from Sunday--Philippians 2:14-18.

 

-Be prepared to discuss this first in light of the second. 

-Philosophically, how do the two differ, and how are they similar?

-Do you think Dekker is on to something good?

Published on March 11, 2017 at 8:01 pm |

Topics for 02/28

Please read the passages and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Philippians 2:5-11

  • Find a hymn or poem that speaks to the mystery and glory of the incarnation.  Prepare to share that with the group.
  • Why was it important for Jesus to be fully God and fully man?
  • Find a passage that speaks to our surrendering our own rights for the needs of others.

Published on February 26, 2017 at 10:34 am |

Topics for 02/21

Please read the passages and be prepared to discuss the topics.

 

Philippians 2:3-4

  • Paul assumes that we will look out for ourselves--where else in Scripture do we see this teaching? (OT stories, parables, other epistles, etc.)

 

Colossians 2:16-18

 

  • How can others "disqualify"us?
  • What is the substance in Christ of which ritual is a shadow?

Published on February 21, 2017 at 1:58 am |

Philippians 1:27-30

Please meditate on the passage and be ready to discuss one or more of the topics.

Philippians 1:27-30

 

  • Verse 27 talks about "with one mind striving side by side" in relation to our Gospel opportunities. 
  1. What sort of modern situations require "Christian teamwork?"
  2. Why is it important that we not be a "lone wolf" believer? {Scriptural support encouraged}
  3. What other passages come to mind concerning teamwork in the Christian realm?

Published on February 6, 2017 at 8:54 pm |

Christ Is Everything - Philippians 1:18-26

 

Questions for discussion:
  1. Paul says that he does not want to be "at all ashamed" at his efforts to magnify Christ.  He wants to finish well.  Find another passage where Paul (or another author) expresses these same sentiments.
  2. We spoke at length on Sunday about the Christian worldview on death and how our perspective on death should differ greatly from an unbelieving perspective.  Find a passage that forms part of our worldview of death and find a secular source (song, movie, article, etc.) that demonstrates an alternative perspective.
  3. We discussed on Sunday that the way in which we magnify Christ will change through different seasons of our lives.  List a few concrete examples of how you have sought to glorify Christ differently as your phase of life has changed.
  4. Share any other ways the Holy Spirit has used our passage on Sunday to instruct you.

 

Published on January 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm |

Paul's Prayer for the Philippians

Questions for discussion:
  1. Restate Paul's prayer for the Philippian church in your own words as if you were framing the prayer for a member of your church.
  2. Find another example in the Bible of one believer praying for another and briefly summarize the prayer.
  3. We talked about making choices that direct us towards what is "excellent" instead of just what is "good" or "acceptable."  Provide a few examples of how this works.
  4. We also talked about the pivotal truth that our spiritual progress is the result of God's gracious working in us ("the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ").  Find another passage of Scripture that speaks to our reliance on God for spiritual growth.

Published on January 16, 2017 at 9:11 pm |

Filed under Philippians, Small Group, Prayer

The Gospel is at Work in Us

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

Philippians 1:3-7

  1. We concluded that "partnership in the gospel" refers to the ongoing work God is doing in all our lives. Where else in Scripture is the gospel presented in this way?
  2. During his time on earth as a man, whom did Jesus "hold in His heart?"
  3. What is the defense and confirmation of the gospel? Where do we see concrete examples of this in Scripture? 

Published on January 9, 2017 at 1:18 am |

Implications of the Incarnation

Please be prepared to discuss atleast one of these topics.

  1. The Book of Matthew (ch.1)  has the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. If Jesus was born of a virgin (so Joseph wasn't technically his father) why does this matter? When else in Scripture does an "adopted" child receive rights?
  2. Does Jesus have normal responsibilities in Heaven (if so, what?)? Who was taking care of these things while Jesus was on earth as a man?
  3. Philippians 2:7 says that Jesus emptied Himself to become a man. Of what did He empty Himself? How was Jesus limited as a man?

Published on December 26, 2016 at 11:31 am |

Christmas Fellowship

We're going to have an informal Christmas party this Tuesday in place of our normal small group meeting. This time of year, it seems like we all have too many treats laying around. Whether it's the triflavor popcorn tin, the Swiss Colony or Hickory Hams mail order gift, the cookies your neighbor sent over, or even a fruit cake, bring them to the church, and we'll enjoy a Christmas Smorgasbord together.


We'll be at the church and will start at 6:30 pm. That's a little earlier than we normally start since we realize kids need to get to bed for school. We'll plan to have some tables setup to play games, and we'll throw a movie on the screens for the kids or kids at heart. Come! Enjoy some treats and some time together.

Published on December 19, 2016 at 7:14 pm |

Topics for 12/6

Please read the passage and be prepare to discuss the topics.

2 Peter 3:14-18

  • While we wait for Jesus to return like a thief in the night, we are to lead spotless lives. Which songs remind us of this concept?
  • What important theological truth can we deduce from verse 16?
  • What connection is there between grace and knowledge
  • [Bonus Question] Besides v.17 where else do we see the phrase "carried away"?

Published on December 5, 2016 at 10:37 pm |

Topics for 11/29

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

2 Peter 3:9-13

  • If God is perfectly powerful, and He wants all men to reach repentance, why don't they?
  • "Thief in the night"--What other metaphors and illustrations has God given for His sudden coming?
  • Why is righteousness the defining characteristic of God's new Creation? 

Published on November 28, 2016 at 6:52 pm |

Topics for 11/15

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

2 Peter 3:4-8

  1. Verse 4 describes a negative attitude based on "nothing ever changes." How does this manifest in modern teaching?
  2. Write a paragraph between 80 and 100 words to describe how the truth  of verse 8 sheds light on verses 5-7.
  3.  The first phrase of verse 5 is reminiscent of what other Scriptures?

Published on November 14, 2016 at 5:29 pm |

Topics for 11/08

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics. 

2 Peter 3:1-4

 

1. Name one or more specific predictions from prophets in the Old Testament concerning "end times."

2. What is the connection between scoffing and following one's own desires (support Biblically)?

3. Rewrite verse 4 to reflect modern thinking and attitudes.

 

 


Published on November 8, 2016 at 12:40 am |

Topics for 10/25

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics. 

2 Peter 2:20-22

1. What did Jesus say that would make you think your life might be changed by His power, but you would not be eternally saved?

2. Peter says it is better never to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turn back.

        a. Where else do we see this concept taught?

        b. What else are we taught in Scripture that "It would have been better if they..." 

Published on October 25, 2016 at 3:39 am |

Topics for 10/18

Please read the passage and be prepared to participate in a group project.

2 Peter2:4-19

Published on October 17, 2016 at 11:21 pm |

Topics for 10/4

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

2 Peter 2:1-3

  1. Church History Homework--Peter (correctly) predicted that false teachers would rise up and teach destructive heresies. Find a false teacher/ heresy in church history. Be prepared to explain to the group what was taught, and why it was dangerous.
  2. Peter says that false teachers may even "deny the Master who bought them." Are false teachers possibly actually true believers?
  3. What is the motivation of false teachers?
  4. "Their condemnation from long ago is not idle." Give corroborating Scriptures for this truth.

Published on October 2, 2016 at 12:16 am |

Topics for 9/27

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

2 Peter 1:20-21

  • Last week we discussed ways in which God has communicated directly--How is Scripture different? How reliable is Scripture (form this passage or others).
  • What does the passage mean when it says writers were "carried along."
  • The Holy Spirit is reponsible for Biblical Inspiration. What else has he been responsible directly?

Published on September 27, 2016 at 3:09 am |

Topics for 9/13

Please read the passage and be ready for a night of lists.

2 Peter 1:13-19 

 

[General Bible Knowledge Question] Peter is (spiritually speaking) putting his affairs in order. How many other "heroes of the faith" have similar moments?

[Beware Sneaky Lies Question] Peter says that he and his associates did not follow cleverly devised myths--what are some cleverly devised myths in Scripture?

[God Communicates Directly] Peter recalls hearing God directly on the Mount of Transfiguration. How many instances can you recall of God communicating directly (not through a human or animal intermediary?

Bring a list of your answers to the three catergories. We will scratch off duplicate answers Scattergories style and see how many unique answers you have.

Published on September 13, 2016 at 12:54 am |

Topics for 09/06

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.
  1. Verse 9 says that those who do not build Christian characteristics are blind--they have forgotten they were  previously forgiven from sins. What does this look like? What are the consequences of having a short spiritual  memory?
  2. Explain the phrase "confirm your calling and election."
  3. Is there a difference in the greeting certain believers get in heaven? Are some people more celebrated upon their arrival?

Published on September 5, 2016 at 10:17 pm |

Topics for 8/23

Please read the passage and complete the project.

 

2 Peter 1:5-8

 

Write a paragraph which explains how the different traits fit together--why are they in the order they are? Also, how do these traits protect you from being unfruitful and ineffective as a Christian?

Published on August 23, 2016 at 1:21 am |

Topics for 08/16

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

2 Peter 1:3-4 

  1. Verse 4 starts with "by which"--does this refer to the divine power or the knowledge of God? What does God use to grant promises?
  2. How do we partake of the divine nature? What does this look like?
  3. Corruption through sinful desire began in Eden. Where else in Scripture do we see this pattern clearly laid out?

Published on August 15, 2016 at 12:30 am |

Topics for 08-02-16

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

2 Peter 1:1-3

 

  • Why would Peter say (v.1) "those who have obtained faith of equal standing"?
  • Provide Scriptural corroboration to explain the phrase (v.2) "may grace and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God."
  • "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness."
    • This does mean...
    •  This does not mean...

Published on August 1, 2016 at 5:10 pm |

Topics for 07/26


Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

 

1 Peter 5:10-13

 

  1. Verse 10 says that after a time of suffering, God will restore us. In describing God it says He "who has called us to His eternal glory." In the spiritual space-time continuum, what does this phrase imply?
  2. Why does Peter refer to Silvanus as faithful "as I regard him."
  3. Who is "she who at Babylon," and why doesn't Peter name her?


Published on July 26, 2016 at 1:37 pm |

Topics for 07/12/2016

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 5:8-9

  1. Read Genesis 4:3-7.  What light does this passage shed on our reading for the evening.
  2. In the Screwtape Letters (by C.S. Lewis) a veteran demon gives advice to a young demon about how to thwart Christians. At one point the veteran demon says, "Be not deceived, Wormwood, our cause is never more in jeopardy than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe in which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."
    • Give a Biblical example of obedience like this.
    • Why is the phrase "firm in your faith" (v.9) so crucial to this truth?
  3. Why does Paul explain that believers world-wide are suffering?

Published on July 12, 2016 at 12:31 am |

Topics for 07/05

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 5:5-7

 

  1. "Elders"--is this older people in the church or leaders of the church?
  2. Why is the "clothing" metaphor used?
  3. Of which of Jesus' teachings does verse 6 remind you?
  4. Verse 7 is connected to verse 6. Logically, how does it fit into this discussion of humility?
  5. How do we "cast all our anxieties" on God while still maintaining responsibility for them? 

Published on July 5, 2016 at 2:46 pm |

Topics for 6/21

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

 

1 Peter 5:1-4

 

This passage is written primarily to leaders of the church...

  1. Write a list of reasonable expectations for leaders of the church.
  2. What type of behavior(s) would be red flags from leaders of the church?

 

Though these verses are directed to church leaders...

  1. What other applications could be made?
  2. List other verses which directly support your application.

Published on June 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm |

Topics for 06/14

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

 

1 Peter 4:15-19

 

  1. What is a "meddler," and why does it make this list? (v.15)
  2. List examples of those who glorified God by suffering as believers.
  3. What does it mean/what are the implications of judgment starting at the house of God? (v.17)
  4. How does v.19 guide our day-to-day decision-making?

 


Published on June 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm |

Topics for 05/31

Please read the passage and be prepared to to discuss the topics. 

1 Peter 4:12-14

 1. There is a dependent clause in verse 13--[so] "that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed."
a. What is this rejoicing and being glad dependent upon?
b. Why did you answer that way (pro tip--support your answer with other Scripture)?
2. Why does the Spirit of God's glory rest upon us when we are insulted for His sake?


Published on May 31, 2016 at 1:38 am |

Small group cancelled 05/24

Small group tonight (05/24/2016) cancelled due to illness. Please pray for each other, and we’ll look forward to seeing you on Sunday. 

Published on May 24, 2016 at 7:40 pm |

topics for 05/10/2016

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

 1 Peter 4:8-11

 

  1. What is taken for granted in verse 8.
  2. Based on other Scriptures, is there any reward for hospitality with a bad attitude? (v.9)
  3. Complete this sentence: If I use my gifts for myself, I _________. (v.10-11)

Published on May 9, 2016 at 11:34 pm |

Topics for 05-03

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 4:3-7

  1. Why are unbelievers surprised when we do not join in debauchery?
  2. Why was the gospel preached to those who are dead? Was this before they were dead, or now even though they are dead?
  3. How does being self-controlled and serious minded benefit your prayer life?

Published on May 2, 2016 at 12:31 am |

Topics for 4-19

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 4:1-2

 

  1. "Since Christ...arm yourselves with the same way of thinking" reminds you of what passage? 
  2. Why does suffering lead to the cessation of sin?
  3. What link is there between arming your mind and living for the will of God? 


Published on April 19, 2016 at 3:04 am |

Topics for 04/12

Please read the passage and be ready to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 3:18-22

 

  1. What did Jesus declare (v.19) and to whom? 
  2. How does baptism relate to Noah's family and resurrection (v.20-21)?
  3. Does v.21 make a compelling case for baptismal regeneration/can a believer be confident in his/her salvation having never been baptized? 

Published on April 12, 2016 at 9:16 am |

Small Group Cancelled 03/29

 

Published on March 29, 2016 at 8:32 am |

Topics for 3/22

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 3:13-17

  1. If there were a 3 point outline of this passage, what would be the three main points?
  2. Name one concrete thing you have done in the past month to help you be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you for a reason for your faith?
  3. Is there a place for arguing for truth on the internet? Can that be done with gentleness and respect?

Published on March 22, 2016 at 2:24 am |

Topics for 3/8

Please read the topics and be ready to discuss these topics.

1 Peter 3:10-12

  1. Is this quote from Psalm 34 stating that our good actions in this life have a sort of "Christian Karma" effect?
  2. What is the difference beetween between the two verbal offenses listed in verse 10?
  3. Name a verse which gives us a working strategy for "pursuing peace."
  4. Name a Bible story which exemplifies God activiely being "against those who do evil?" 

Published on March 7, 2016 at 5:34 pm |

Topics for 03/01

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 3:8-9

 

  1.  What do the 5 character traits in v.8 have in common?
  2. What Biblical examples are there of repaying evil for evil...what was the fallout?
  3. We are supposed to bless others, so that we will receive a blessing. How does this look practically?

 

Published on March 1, 2016 at 10:18 am |

Topics for 02/16

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 3:7

 

  1. Explain what it is that husbands are supposed to understand (v.7).
  2. What does Peter mean by "weaker vessel?"
  3. How/why might a believing man's prayers be hindered based on his relationship with his wife.

Published on February 16, 2016 at 3:35 am |

Topics for 02/09

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 3:1-4

  1. Through how much of a modern contextual filter should we view this passage?
  2. What inferences can we draw from this passage about the relationship between words and actions?
  3. Is it wrong to invest in personal attractiveness?

Published on January 25, 2016 at 5:20 am |

Topics for 01/19

Please read the passage and be ready to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 2:21-25

  1. What psychological value does this passage have for a suffering believer?
  2. Why is the phrase "him who judges justly" so important?
  3. How are we healed by Jesus' wounds?

Published on January 19, 2016 at 4:17 am |

Topics for 01/05

Please consider the passage and be prepared to discuss these topics.


1 Peter 2:18-20

 

  • Name a Bible story which demonstrates this passage.
  • What practical benefits are there to being respectful to a difficult boss?
  • Summarize this passage with a haiku.

Published on January 3, 2016 at 6:18 pm |

Topics for 12/22

Please consider these topics and be prepared to share with the group.

1) What is your favorite "Christmas passage" (we are prepared to be pretty generous) and why in 45 seconds.

2) The popular song "Mary Did You Know?" asks several questions. How much do you think Mary knew about Jesus (Biblical proof preferred)?

3) Write a six line poem about one of the following.

a. The sovereingty of God in arranging the events of Jesus' birth.

b. The humor of the strange cast of characters who visited baby Jesus.

c. The spiritual impact of Jesus' birth. 

Published on December 22, 2015 at 4:56 am |

Topics for 12/08

1 Peter 2:13-17

 

  • Are the various government institutions in 13-14 analogous to federal, state, and local government? Why, or why not?
  • What is the ignorance of foolish men?
  • Discuss our status as "free bondservants of God." 

 

Published on December 8, 2015 at 8:55 am |

Topics for 12-01

1 Peter 2:11-12

  1. How can your flesh wage war against your soul?

            a. Of which other passage does this remind you?

            b. How does the fact that we dont belong here (sojourners, aliens, exiles) play into this struggle?

       2. [Research project] What is the "day of visitation"?

 

Published on November 29, 2015 at 6:55 pm |

Topics for 11-17

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 2:7-10

  1. Of what does the "honor" in v.7 consist?
  2. Draw a connection between v.8 and Isaiah 55.
  3. Take one of the things Peter calls believers (phraes from v.9) and find that concept in another Scripture passage.

Published on November 17, 2015 at 11:38 am |

Topics for 11/03

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

 

1 Peter 2:4-6

 

  • What is meant by "a living stone?"
  • Why is Jesus called a living stone but believers are described as LIKE living stones?
  • How are modern believers a royal priesthood?
  • If we do not believe in the precious, chosen cornestone, we will be put to shame--discuss.

 

 


Published on November 2, 2015 at 9:04 pm |

Topics for 10/27

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss the topics.

1 Peter 2:1-3

 

1) What do the 5 sins in v.1 have in common?

2) Why is the analogy of a newborn so poignant/important?

3) Write a sentence using the phrase "grow up into salvation" with the same meaning or context which Peter does.

4) Draw a conclusion about the relationship of verse 3 to verses 1-2.

Published on October 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm |

Topics for 10/06

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one of the topics.

1 Peter 1:22-25

 

  1. [Scenario] An acquaintance has a religious background in a works-based system. She says to you, "The Bible says that our souls have been purified through our obedience to the truth." You, of course, respond...
  2. How does this passage address "church family" interactions?
  3. Why is our own mortality encouraging?

 


Published on October 6, 2015 at 6:19 am |

Topics for 9/22

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one of the topics.

1 Peter 1:20-21

  1. Why does Peter specifically make the point that Jesus was foreknown before the world was made? [research project--find another reference to Jesus' miniustry being planned before Creation]
  2. How did God give glory to Jesus?
  3. Why did God's raising of Jesus from the dead and giving Him glory place believers' faith and hope in God?

Published on September 22, 2015 at 5:54 am |

topics for 09/15

Please read the the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one topic.

1 Peter 1:17-19

 

  1. Why does Peter use the Father/children metaphor in in verses 14 and 17?
  2. What are the futile ways Peter's readers inherited from their ancestors?
  3.  What futile ways have we inherited from our ancestors?      
  4.  If we were ransomed {1. redeem, set free, deliver (LU 24.21); 2. passive be redeemed, be set free 1P 1.18)}, who owned/possessed/controlled us before? 

Published on September 15, 2015 at 1:39 pm |

topics for 09/01

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one topic.

1 Peter 1:13-16

 

  • Discuss the relationship between preparing your mind for action and being sober-minded.
  • Name another passage that touches on the concept of being conformed to the passions of your former ignorance.
  • Share with the group a practical way in which you are trying to set yourself apart--how are you being holy?

Published on September 1, 2015 at 5:22 am |

Topics for 08/25

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at east one of the topics.

1 Peter 1:8-12

 

1. How can joy be filled with glory?

2. What examples are there of prophets seeking an answer as opposed to just receiving a message?

a. Was seeking an answer normally blessed by God with an answer?

3. Can you name an example where a prophet seemed to know that he was part of something bigger--that his essage was for future believers?

4. What can we extrapolate from the fact that angels are curious about our salvation?

Published on August 25, 2015 at 11:34 am |

Topics for 08/11

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one topic.

1 Peter 1:5-7

 

  • Discuss the relationship between the fact that we are "saved" now, but that our salvation is "ready to be revealed in the last time."
  • We rejoice despite present trials. Verse 6 says "In this you rejoice..." Are we rejoicing because of our salvation, because our salvation will be revealed at a later time, or for some other reason? What is the "this."
  • Why is it that our tested (and proven to be genuine) faith will bring praise. glory, and honor specifically at the revelation of Jesus Christ?

Published on August 11, 2015 at 5:31 am |

topics for 08/04

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one of the topics.

1 Peter 1:3-4

 

  • Discuss "living hope" both as a concept (what does that mean?) and a purpose.
  • How is Jesus' resurrection the agency of our regeneration (being born again)?
  • Explain one or more of the characteristics of our spiritual inheritance.  

Published on August 3, 2015 at 9:58 pm |

Topics for 07/14

Please read through the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one of the topics.

Passage 1 Peter 1:1-2

1) What other Scripture passage comes to mind when you think of the term "elect exiles?" 

2) What inferences can we safely make from the fact that this letter was written to the churches of several regions?

3)  Based on the purpose chain "according to the foreknowledge...with his blood" write a one sentence personal mission statement which could be used as a decision making rubric for your spiritual life. (i.e. "Because I believe in the sovereingty of God I will attempt to..."  or "Making obedience to Jesus the primary focus of my life I will seek to be sanctified...")

 

 

 

Published on July 14, 2015 at 4:36 am |

06/30: 1 Peter Study Intro

This week we will begin our study of the book of 1 Peter with a look at Peter, the man, the audience to whom he wrote this letter, and the overarching theme of the book.

Please read at least the first chapter of the book, and be prepared to ask any questions you may have about the man or the book.

Published on June 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm |

Topics for 06/23

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one topic.

2 Samuel 24

  • Discuss the relationship between David's actions and God's punishment of Israel.
  • Why did Joab (and later David) think the census was evil?
  • For modern believers what are the implications of David's interaction with Araunah? 

Published on June 23, 2015 at 11:17 am |

Topics for 06/09

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one topic.

2 Samuel 23

 

  •  What are the implications of David's statement about the value of godly leadership?
  • Evaluate David's response to the water retrieved from the well of Bethlehem.
  • Are there any implications for the church from David having companies of "mighty men?"

Published on June 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm |

Topics for 05/19

Please read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one of the topics.

 

2 Samuel 21

 

  • Did the Gibeonites have any right to claim grievance?
  • What can be learned from what happened to Saul's descendants?
  • Is there a matter of righteousness at stake in this chapter?
  • What lesson can be learned about peer confrontation from this chapter?

Published on May 19, 2015 at 3:01 pm |

Topics for 5/5

Please read the passage and be ready to address one or more of these topics.

  • Is David attempting to retain plausible deniability in v.6?
  • Why might Amasa have delayed beyond the set time David had given him?
  • How might Joab's previous relationship with Amasa have affected this story?
  • Is Joab being sarcastic in 20-21?

Published on May 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm |

Topics for 04/28

Carefully read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one of the topics.


2 Samuel 19:9-43

  • Discuss David's possible motivations for forgiving those who had turned on him.
  • Following Barzillai's lead, what leeway do Christians have to request special treatment for others? Are there cautions to be taken?
  • Did David contribute to the ongoing rivalry between Judah and Israel? Should he have tried to heal that-if so, how?

Published on April 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm |

Topics for 04/14

Carefully read the passage and be prepared to discuss at least one of the topics.

 

2 Samuel 18-19:8

 

  • What lessons for ministry can be learned from David's example in the first four verses?
  • Was Joab right to kill Absalom?
  • Why did Joab try to prevent Ahimaaz from taking news to David?
  • What analog might there be in our world for David's mourning after victory?

Published on April 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm |

Topics for 04/07/15

Read through the passage and be prepared to discuss one or more of the following topics.

2 Samuel 17

  • Was Ahithophel supernaturally wise?
  • - Is wisdom more of a gift or a skill?
  • Why was Ahithophel so devastated? What can we learn from that?

Published on April 7, 2015 at 12:29 pm |

Topics for 03/24

Read through the passage and be prepared to discuss one or more of the topics.

2 Samuel 16

 

  • Evaluate David's Mephibosheth/Ziba decision.
  • What can be learned from the various reactions to Shimei?
  • With Hushai as the case study, discuss the parameters of truth in conflict. 
  • Was Ahithophel supernaturally wise?

Published on March 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm |

Topics for 3/17

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.


2 Samuel 15

  • What are several characteristics that describe Absalom's time spent "at the gate?"
  • Psalm 3 was written during David's flight from Absalom. What does it tell us about David's state of mind during the rebellion?
  • What significance is there in David's decision to send the ark back to Jerusalem?
  • There are many reasons for David's mourning. Name a few.

Published on March 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm |

Topics for 3/3

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.


2 Samuel 14

  • What is the theme of chapter 14?
  • Is it possible to be righteously manipulative (in this case Joab)?
  • Which character trait best describes David in this chapter--wise, humble, weak, childish, ____?
  • What is "true but not the point"in this chapter?

Published on March 3, 2015 at 12:46 pm |

topics for 2/24

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 13

  • What, if any, blame goes to David for what happened to Tamar?
  • What, if any, blame goes to David for what happened to Amnon?
  • Discuss generational sins/consequences. (How are David's children affected by his sins?)
  • Does Absalom remind you of Joab? If so, what lesson is there to be learned from that?

Published on February 24, 2015 at 10:17 am |

Topics for 2/17

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.


2 Samuel 12

  • Why did God have Nathan tell a story?
  • What lesson can be learned from David's response to the news about his baby?
  • Discuss unforseen consequences.

Published on February 17, 2015 at 9:25 am |

topics for 2/3

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 11

  • What is the main point of chapter 11?
  • Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."
  • David is clearly guilty of murder and adultery--is he also guilty of rape?
  • What can we glean about consequences from this chapter?

Published on February 3, 2015 at 11:07 am |

topics for 1/20

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 10

What is the main point of chapter 10?

Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."

What lessons about trust can be learned from chapter 10?

What admirable traits do we see in Joab in chapter 10?

Published on January 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm |

Topics for 1/13

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 9

What is the main point of chapter 9?

Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."

What can we infer about Jonathan's parenting?

What lessons can be learned about generational gratefulness from chapter 9?

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.
2 Samuel 7
What is the main point of chapter 7?
Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."
What can we learn from Nathan's initial blessing on David's plan followed by a reversal?
What lessons can be learned about God's sovereignty from chapter 7?Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.
2 Samuel 7
What is the main point of chapter 7?
Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."
What can we learn from Nathan's initial blessing on David's plan followed by a reversal?
What lessons can be learned about God's sovereignty from chapter 7?

Published on January 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm |

topic for 12/30

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

 2 Samuel 8

  • Why were David's sons allowed to be priests?
  • Explain the situation with the Moabites being measured with lines.
  • In all these military victories was David doing what God wanted, or was God blessing what David wanted?

 

Why were David's sons allowed to be priests?
Explain the situation with the Moabites being measured with lines.
In all these military victories was David doing what God wanted, or was God blessing what David wanted?
 

Published on December 29, 2014 at 6:14 pm |

topics for 12/9

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 7

  • What is the main point of chapter 7?
  • Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."
  • What can we learn from Nathan's initial blessing on David's plan followed by a reversal?
  • What lessons can be learned about God's sovereignty from chapter 7?

Published on December 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm |

Topics for 12/2

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 6

-What is the main point of chapter 6?

-Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."

-If God sees on the heart (not as man sees), didn't He know Uzzah's motive? Why kill him?

-Michal remained childless because...?

Published on November 18, 2014 at 11:06 am |

Topics for 11/11

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.
-What is the main point of chapter 5?
-Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."
-Name a timeless truth from Scripture which we see demonstrated in these passages.
-Why is David's loyalty to the house of Saul in chapter 4 still justified?
-How is God's hand seen specifically in chapter 5?

Published on November 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm |

Topics for 10/28/14

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 3

 

  • What is the main point of the chapter?
  • Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."
  • Name a timeless truth from Scripture which we see demonstrated in this passage.
  • Were Joab and Abishai justified in their killing of Abner based on Numbers 35:16-19?

Published on October 28, 2014 at 10:44 am |

Topics for 10/21/14

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.

2 Samuel 2

 

  • What is the main point of the chapter?
  • Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point."
  • Name a timeless truth from Scripture which we see demonstrated in this passage.
  • Who was "right," Joab or Abner?
  • Is "living to fight another day" a Biblical concept? 

 

Published on October 19, 2014 at 2:10 am |

Topics for 10/07/14

 

Please read through the passage once per day. Choose one of these topics and be prepared to discuss.
  • What is the main point of the chapter?
  • Describe at least one thing which is “true, but not the point.”
  • Name a timeless truth from Scripture which we see demonstrated in this passage.
  • What specific lesson can be learned from David’s loyalty?

Published on September 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm |

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