Browsing articles in "All Posts"
In John 10:11, Jesus states that he is the good shepherd because he lays down his life for the sheep. Compare this with the words of God to the religious “shepherds” of Israel in Ezekiel 34.
Reread I Corinthians 1:26-29. Why does God choose the things the world considers foolish? (See verse 27). What does this mean? How does this shame the wise? How significant is verse 29? What does it teach us about God and his ways? What does it teach us about fallen humanity and our ways? What are some examples of this “boasting” in our world?
Reread James 1:9-11. How should this advice effect the church and our relaitonships with others in the congregation? How important is this advice for those who are wealthy according to the standards of this world? How important is this advice for the poor?
Discuss the contrasts between the shepherds in the fields and the angelic host who announced the birth of Christ. What are some lessons to be learned about the heart of God in this event?
Bethleham was a place associated with many Biblcal events. Discuss the following events and how you think they related to God’s choice of Bethlehem as the birth place of his son . . .
The death of Rachel and the birth of Ben Oni (Son of My Sorrow) or Bejamin (Son of My Right Hand – Jacob’s name for the son born to Rachel)
The choice of young David as King of Israel in I Samuel 16.
Augustus Caesar issued the decree that fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2. What does this tell us about the sovereignty of God in the history of our world and in our own lives?
Take some time and talk about Advent in general. What does this tradition mean to you? What are some ways we can celebrate advent and keep our focus on the birht of Christ during this time of year?
Share with members of your group times when the light of Christ has seen you through times of darkness.
- The prophecy candle speaks of expectation and hope. Discuss the importance of these two things in our lives in general.
- Read Romans 5:3-5 and discuss the progression of growth and maturity that takes place through suffering. Answer the following – How does endurance in trials build character in our lives? How do you define character? How does character give birth to hope? Does this imply that godly character produces hope while a lack of godly character leads to despair? Discuss.
- How does the first coming of Christ lead us to think more about his second coming?
- What are some ways we prepare for the Christmas season and celebrate its true meaning?
- Read and discuss Psalm 27:14. Why is waiting so hard? What lessons does waiting teach us?
1. What are some things that you are thankful for? What are some things that you are not thankful for, but have learned to be thankful in?
2. Ash heaps or trials are a part of God’s will for our lives. While God does not delight in our suffering, it clearly accomplishes his purposes. What do you believe were some of the purposes of God in Job’s suffering? What are some of the purposes of God in the suffering we experience?
3. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says we “live by faith and not by sight”. How important was this for Job? How important is this in our lives, especially when we suffer?
4. Read James 1:2-4 and discuss the purpose of trials. What kinds of trials does this passage tell us to expect? What does the testing of our faith produce? What happens if we do not endure during the testing?
1. Read Hosea 6:6. Describe the ways in which the religious leaders differed from Jesus regarding “sacrifice” and “mercy”. Does this verse mean that sacrifice is not important? How can we maintain both sacrifice and mercy in our lives and churches?
2. Read Mark 2:27 – How should this truth guide us in ministry both in our churches and individual lives? Discuss some benefits that come to those who observe the Sabbath? Side question – Why did God rest on the seventh day? (Gen. 2:1-3)
3. Read 2 Cor. 3:1-6. Discuss the contrasts between “ink and Spirit”, “tablets of stone” versus “tablets of human hearts”, and “the letter kills” versus “the Spirit gives life.” What difference do these two kinds of approach to ministry make in providing churches where healing and encouragement take place instead of burn out and discouragement.
4. Discuss this statement – Restoration of hearts and lives matters more than religious observance and right doctrine. Also discuss – How important is religious observance and right doctrine?
- Was Paul’s message:
- of his own invention
- adapted from the Mystery Religions
- given to him by God
- Give reasons for your answer to Qu.1. (Consider also: Galatians 1:13-24: )
- Can you find four descriptions for the Judaizers from Phil.3?Give a reason why Paul uses each particular description of the Judaizers?
- Was Paul a fitting candidate to refute the Judaizers? Why?
- What was so different about the message that Jesus and Paul preached
- Jeremiah 31:31-34 gives an important prophecy of the New Covenant:“…they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” How does this prophecy relate to Christian water baptism?
- How does Colossians 2:11-12 relate to the Judaizers in Philippians 3:1-11?
- People do not add circumcision or other Old Testament ritual to the Gospel today in our churches. What are the modern counterparts to this in our lives today? That is to say, what do people, including Christians, trust in to give them meaning and purpose for living?
- In the following verses, what advice does Paul give Christians regarding our lives in this world?
- How have you let these exhortations of Paul guide your life so far? How could you follow this advice of Paul more closely in the future
We Value Diversity: Relationships
1. Read Matthew 22:37-40. Discuss Jesus quotations from the Old Testament as well as his statement that “all the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”
2. Discuss the teaching that the Trinity underscores the importance of relationships among those of us created in the image of God.
3. How does marriage reflect the intimacy that God desires to have with us as his creation?
4. Share some experiences with relationships you have had both in and out of church. See if you can connect to Pastor Dan’s statement that “the best part of church is relationships, and the hardest part of church is relationships.”
5. What are some ways we can connect “face to face” with others? Discuss the differences between virtual relationships and face to fact relationships.
We Value Diversity
1. Take the time to discuss the benefits and blessings of belonging to a diverse international church. What are some things we learn about the gospel, relationships, tolerance, respect of other cultures, even respect of differences in theology . . .
2. The story of the tower of Babel underscores what Pastor Dan referred to as “The Power of One”. Genesis 11:6 – “nothing will be impossible for them” is God’s assessment of the unity of those in rebellion and their potential through unity. How important is this unity principle in our churches, families, businesses, etc…
3. Review Ephesians 3:10. Discuss the “manifold” or “multi-colored” wisdom of God. What does it mean when it refers in this passage to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms”?
4. Read Psalm 133. What does this Psalm say to you about unity among believers?
5. What are some of the issues evangelical churches face today in regard to unity? What are some ways we can maintain unity in spite of our differences? What do you believe is the key to unity while maintaining the integrity of the gospel? What are some examples of times when unity among believers may not be possible? How do we handle our differences and still reflect the grace of God?
It’s All About Jesus
1. In Revelation 5:5 Jesus is described as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” who has conquered and is worthy to open the scroll found in the right hand of God. In Revelation 5:6 Jesus is seen as a “:Lamb . . . as though it had been slain” Share your thoughts on the meaning of this scene described in Revelation 5. What is the message of the lion who appears as a lamb?
2. Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. What does this passage mean to you? What does it teach us about God’s ways and what it means to follow Jesus as one of his disciples?
3. Reread I John 3:8 and Hebrews 2:14. How important is it that as Christians we understand that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil? What are the implications of this truth for our lives?
4. Read the following passages – Galatians 4:19, Romans 8:29. What does the phrase “Christ formed in you” mean to you? What does it mean to be conformed to the image of Christ?
5. Discuss the following – To be like Jesus means to be fully human. To be fully human means to reflect the image of God in which we have been made. See Genesis 1:27)
6. How should SIBC’s vision – IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS – be reflected in our lives and the ministries of our church? What are some ways we can communicate that vision both within and outside of our church?
It’s All About Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3)
1. Why is vision important for our lives, families, churches, etc?
2. “It’s All About Jesus” is our vision at SIBC. How does this vision guide us as a church and as Christians?
3. Why is it so important that we view Scripture through the “lens” of Jesus? How does knowing the heart and purpose of Jesus help us to understand the Bible?
4. I John 3:8 tells us that Jesus destroyed the works of the devil. What are some of the works of the devil?
5. Discuss the relationship between the following passages of Scripture – Gen. 1:27, Gal. 4:19, Rom. 8:29.
5. Read Philippians 2:5-11. What does it mean to say that Jesus is Lord?