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Small Group Questions (11/16/2014)

Nov 19, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
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?

Small Group Questions (11/09/2014)

Nov 12, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

Straight Talk

  1. Was Paul’s message:
    • of his own invention
    • adapted from the Mystery Religions
    • given to him by God
  2. Give reasons for your answer to Qu.1. (Consider also: Galatians 1:13-24: )
  3. Can you find four descriptions for the Judaizers from Phil.3?Give a reason why Paul uses each particular description of the Judaizers?
  4. Was Paul a fitting candidate to refute the Judaizers? Why?
  5. What was so different about the message that Jesus and Paul preached
  6. 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?
  7. How does Colossians 2:11-12 relate to the Judaizers in Philippians 3:1-11?
  8. 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?
  9. In the following verses, what advice does Paul give Christians regarding our lives in this world?
  10. 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

Small Group Questions (11/02/2014)

Nov 4, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

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.
6.  Discuss the following passages of Scripture — Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Proverbs 27:17, Acts 15:36-40, 2 Timothy 4:11, Hebrews 10:24-25.  

Small Group Questions (10/26/2014)

Oct 30, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

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?

Small Group Questions (10/19/2014)

Oct 23, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

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?

Small Group Questions (10/12/2014)

Oct 15, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

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?

Small Group Questions (9/21/2014)

Sep 26, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

The Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life: Fasting (Matt. 4:4, Isaiah 58:1-9)

1.  What did you learn from this message about fasting?  What questions do you have?

2.  Pastor Dan discussed ways that fasting reveals our flesh, or attitudes and actions that are not Christ-like.  Why is this important?  How should we respond to these revelations of our flesh?
3.  Fasting reveals the slavery to our earthly or worldly appetites.  How important is it that we understand what controls or enslaves us?  What should be our response to these revelations?
4.  Pastor Dan mentioned that fasting leads to spiritual nourishment (see Matt. 4:4).  What does this mean to you?  Have you experienced this in your life?
5.  Read Isaiah 58:1-9.  What does this passage teach about the pitfalls of fasting?

Small Group Questions (9/14/2014)

Sep 16, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

The Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life: Meditation (Psalm 1, Mark 6:30-32)


  1. Pastor Dan talked about his experience in learning the “rhythm of the woods.” He compared this to learning the “rhythm of life”.  The rhythm of life that God calls us to is very different from that of the world.  Discuss some of these differences.  How can mediation help us to discover the rhythm of life from God’s perspective?
  2. Based on the message, share some of the differnces between Eastern meditation and Christian meditation.  Remember “detachment” versus “attachemnt” as well as “emptied” versus “filled”.
  3. What are some obstacles to the practice of meditation in our lives?
  4. Review Psalm 1.  Discuss the following -
               1.  What does it mean to meditate on God’s word “day and night”?
               2.  The image of our lives like trees “planted by streams of water.”
               3.  The importance and meaning of the phrase, “yields its fruit in its season.”
               4.  The importance and meaning of the phrase, “its leaf does not wither.”
  5. What is the difference between the Bible and the “living Word of God”?
  6. How does meditation help us to hear the living word of God rather than simply understanding the truths and precepts found in the Bible?

Small Group Questions (9/7/2014)

Sep 10, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

The Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life: Prayer (Luke 11:1-4)

  1. Ask group members to share their experiences with prayer.  What are some times God has answered your prayers?  Do you have a regular prayer time?  Why or why not?  What are some of your questions about prayer in the life of a Christian?
  2. Pastor Dan noted that “to pray is to change.”  Discuss the following passages and how they relate to this idea of change – James 4:3-6, John5:19-20, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans8:26-29.
  3. The second truth about prayer is that we learn to pray by praying.  Pastor Dan was careful to point out that this involves a learning process.  It takes time and we must allow ourselves to learn about prayer.  What are some things you have learned about prayer?
  4. Luke 11:1-4 is a simple prayer that emphasizes the transformational nature of prayer in our lives.  Review this prayer both noting and discussing the transformational phrases found in it.
  5. What does Exodus 32:14 tell us about the power of prayer to change things?  How is our prayers and God’s will different from a fatalistic view of God and our world?
  6. What do you think it means to be co-laborers with God? (Cor. 3:9)
  7. Read Matthew 6:5-6.  Discuss the fact that prayer is private and deeply personal in our lives.  What does it mean that our Father who sees in secret will reward us?
  8. Pastor Dan talked about the importance of the imagination in prayer.  What are your thoughts on using your imagination when praying?
  9. Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each member of the group and their practice of the spiritual discipline of prayer.

Small Group Questions (8/31/2014)

Sep 5, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

The Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life: Experiencing Christ (Psalm 42:1-2)

1. Read Psalm 42:1-2.  What does this passage say about David? What are the implications of David’s realization?

2. This week Pastor Dan introduced the topic of his upcoming sermons on the Spiritual Disciplines.  Would you say that spiritual disciplines have been an important part of your spiritual journey?

3. According to Colossians 2:20-23 the spiritual disciplines are not about will power. What does this truth free us from and what implications does it have?

4. Galatians 6:8-9 talk about sowing to the spirit. How do you think Galatians 6:8-9 relates to the spiritual disciplines?

5. Pastor Dan talked about the laws of the harvest.  Discuss the spiritual implications of these laws.

a. We reap what we sow.

b. We reap after we sow.

c. We reap more than we sow.

6. Pastor Dan used the term “disciplined grace”.  Discuss what this means.  What are some Bible passages that explain the meaning of this term?

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