Journey of Faith – End of the Journey ( Hebrews 11:8-16 and Hebrew 12:1-2)
What are some ways we are “hinderered” from running our race of faith? See Galatians 5:7.
Hebrews 12:1 speaks of the “sin which clings so closely”. What does this say about sin in our lives? Why is it important to focus on the “root” nature of sin, rather than just the “fruits” of sin in our lives?
What are some ways we can “look to Jesus”? Pastor Dan mentioned a couple. What are others?
Read Hebrews 11:13-16. How important is it that we “acknowledge” that we are strangers and aliens on the earth? See verses 14-15 for help with the answer.
What do you think it means when it says that God is “not ashamed to be called their God?”?
Go for It
Paul’s reference to God “taking hold” of his life indicates that he was certain of his calling and purpose. What about you? What is your purpose and calling in life?
In this passage we are reminded to “forget what lies behind”. What are some experiences in your life you need to forget? What does the phrase “holy amnesia” mean to you?
What are the dangers of NOT forgetting both our past failures and successes?
Pastor Dan often quotes Proverbs 24:16. What does this passage mean to you?
What motivates you to “strain towards the goal of the high calling” in Christ?
In Philip. 1:21 Paul says “For me to live is Christ”. Does this describe your life? Why or why not? What challenges do you face in living for Christ
Journey of Faith: Landmarks Part 2
Pastor Dan spoke of two kinds of landmarks – those that result from our return (repentance) from detours, and those that are the result of unique experiences in our lives. Spend some time talking about these landmarks in your group. Take time and share some of the landmarks that mark your journey of faith.
Read Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4. Discuss the relationship between trials, detours, and landmarks. Is it fair to say that many of our detours are the result of not handling our trials well? (Remember Abram’s detour in Genesis 12:10 was the result of a trial – the famine in Canaan.)
How much easier is it to recognize spiritual landmarks as we look backwards at our journey of faith?
How has this series on our journey of faith encouraged you in your walk with Christ?
Journey of Faith: Landmarks
In last week’s message, we talked about detours that lead us away from the journey to which God has called each of us. What are some detours in your journey? What circumstances led to those detours? How did you find your way back and join God on the journey?
“Repentance” is the Biblical term for returning after a detour. It involves three things – (1) Leaving the place where the detour led us, (2) Returning to the place of the detour, (3) Calling on the Lord. How does this help you to understand the nature of Biblical repentance? What are some other ways to understand repentance?
Landmarks are also a part of the journey. Landmarks include repentance from detours as well as other significant events in our faith journey. What are some landmarks (significant events) you have experienced on your faith journey? How do those landmarks help you in your faith walk today?
Journey of Faith: Part 3
- Pastor Dan stated that, “Faith is not static. Faith is dynamic.” What do you think he meant by that.
- Our faith is continually moving and growing. Faith is a journey not a moment in the past. Unfortunately some people believe that faith is a ticket “in” and once you have it you’re set. How does this mindset hinder faith?
- If faith is continually moving and growing, how do we move forward in our faith?
- Read Isaiah 42:3. The journey is tough. Sometimes our faith burns dim. It flickers and fades. It has mountain-tops and valleys. How can we encourage each other when we see someone who is struggling?
Journey of Faith: The Beginning
- Pastor Dan talked about faith being a journey. When you think about your life as a Christian so far, would you agree that faith has been a journey for you? What were the circumstances of the beginning of this journey for you?
- The journey involves commitment and sacrifice. In Genesis 12, what are the sacrifices that God asks Abram to make? What sacrifices has God asked you to make in your journey?
- Ultimately God was asking Abram to trust him. How have you struggled with this question that God asks to all of us?
Journey of Faith
- The journey of faith must have a beginning point in our lives. Share with group members about that beginning point in your life. When? Where?
- The journey of faith is a journey. How does this statement help you understand the nature of Christian faith?
- The journey of faith involves detours. Can you think of Biblical examples of faithful people who were detoured on their journey of faith? What are some examples from your life?
- How does the idea of “detours on the journey” help us in relating to and encouraging brothers and sisters who are struggling spiritually?
- How does understanding the journey of faith as both a personal/individual journey and a corporate journey that we all make together help you understand the meaning and purpose of the church?
How Cosmology Confirms Faith in God’s Word
- What is the “god-of-the-gaps” response use by Christians (in the past)?
- Can you give some examples of the “god-of-the-gaps” argument?
- Why is the “god-of-the-gaps” argument a bad one?
- What has happened in the area of science over the past 50 years or so?
- Why do you think it has been said that scientifically these are exciting times we are living in for the Christian church?
- How is it that we can describe our life on Earth as living in the right place at the right time?
- Explain the correlation between life and discovery.
- Is a full solar eclipse just a good show or does it have some practical purpose for science?
- What does the description of our Earth as “a pale blue dot lost on a cosmic sea” reveal about a person’s world-view?
- Does the description of our Earth as “a privileged planet” offer a better description of our home?
He Remembers That We Are But Dust (Genesis 2:7)
- Can you think of a situation in ordinary secular life where you can know something is true but you can’t show it to be true to others?
- In what way is your Christian belief like that?
- Anselm (Saint Anselm of Canterbury -1033–1109) was the outstanding Christian philosopher and theologian of the 11th century. Anselm said that, “ours is a faith that seeks understanding.” What do you think he meant by that? Do you agree?
- Anselm describes the sort of faith that “merely believes what it ought to believe” as “dead.” Do you agree? What do you think Anselm meant by that?
- What place, if any, does reason and evidence have in the Christian Faith?
- At the beginning of the Cosmos documentary Carl Sagan said, “The Cosmos is all there is, all there was and all there will ever be.” What do you think he meant by that?
Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- Atheist scientist, Richard Dawkins defines Christian faith this way: “Faith is belief without evidence.” Why do you think he said that?
Do you agree? Why?
Our Guilty Silence (Jude 1:1-25)
- What does the word ‘apologist’ mean?
- Do you consider yourself an apologist for Christ?
- Where do you find the word in the Bible?
- Jeff said that every unbeliever has a wall that they have erected between themselves and God. What is this wall? What does it consist of?
- Do you think that Christians have a “guilty silence”? That is, are Christians too silent about their Christian faith? What do you think are the reasons for this? Do you agree with John Stott’s reasons?
- If you were talking to a non-Christian and they said, “Who designed the Designer?” How would you answer them?
- If you were talking to a non-Christian and they said, “Human DNA is 98% chimp. So how can you believe in God & Genesis?”
How would you answer them?