Sermon Discussion Questions

Sermon Discussion Questions

“Because He Lives” – John 14:18-19 [April 21 – Easter]
  1. Read the first 17 verses of chapter 14 – what does Jesus promise? What are His warnings? How do the two verses in today’s passage fit with the overall theme of the chapter?

  2. In verse 18, Jesus says He will not leave us as orphans (literally fatherless). Why is this statement important?

  3. Why won’t the world see Jesus? Why will believers be able to “see” Him?

  4. Verse 19b contains the great hope of Easter – Because He lives, we also will live. What does this mean?

  5. Connect the statement in 19b to verses 1-4 of this same chapter. Do the same with verses 25-27.

  6. How does “resurrection living” differ from the way you’re living life right now?

“Letting Go” Journey Through Lent – John 12:12-19:  Fasting From Spectatorship [April 14]

1. The triumphal entry is one of the few incidents in Jesus life that appear in all four gospel accounts (John 12; Mt. 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19-29-40). Compare and contrast these four accounts.

2. Verse 14 says, “as it is written.” Where is it written, and what is the context of this Old Testament passage?

3. Verse 16 is a key verse in this passage. What does it say about how we progress in our faith?

4. In verses 16-19, four different groups of people are mentioned (disciples, crowd, many others, Pharisees). Compare the responses of these four groups.

5. Imagine yourself there during Jesus’ triumphal entry, and try to determine what “crowd” you would have been in. Now imagine where you might have been a week later.

6. This week’s fast is from spectatorship. What does it mean to be an active participant (vs. a bystander) in your relationship with Christ?

“Letting Go” Journey Through Lent – John 12:1-6:  Fasting From Discontent [April 7]

  1. What is the context of this passage? Where are they and who are the people mentioned? (See Luke 10:38-42 and John 11:1-44 for help)

  2. Take a moment to read about this same story in Matthew 26 and Mark 14. What additional details do you notice?

  3. This story contrasts the extravagance of Mary and the miserly nature of Judas. What do you think motivates each behavior?

  4. Imagine a line with extravagance at one end and miserly at the other. Where would you fall on the spectrum? Why?

  5. Judas suffered from “never enough” syndrome. In particular, he was discontent with how much money he had, but he likely felt this way about a lot of things. What do you think those things were? What are they in your life?

  6. This week’s fast is from discontentment. How can we keep discontentment from occupying space in our brains and hearts? How do we stop dreaming of more and be satisfied with what we have?

“Letting Go” Journey Through Lent – Matthew 26:31-35; 69-75:  Fasting From Self-Confidence [March 31]

  1. What had taken place just prior to Jesus speaking to the disciples in verse 31? Why is this significant (especially verses 20-25)

  2. What did Peter promise to Jesus? About how long did it take for him to break that promise (i.e. what’s the time frame between verse 35 and 69)?

  3. What do you think contributed to Peter’s short memory? What made it difficult to keep his promise to Jesus?

  4. Verse 75 shows Peter deeply troubled by his inability to keep his word. Many would argue (perhaps Peter did too) that he had learned his lesson and would never make the same mistake again. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

  5. Have you ever been certain you could accomplish something, or keep a promise, but then utterly fail just like Peter? What was the cause of your failure?

  6. What are some specific ways you can fast from self-confidence this week?

 

“Letting Go” Journey Through Lent – Mark 7:1-8:  Fasting From Appearances [March 24]

1. What is the context of this passage? Who are the people involved and what causes the conflict?

2. Since it was not for hygiene purposes, why were the Pharisees so concerned with ceremonial washing?

3. While there are certainly examples of ceremonial washing in the Old Testament, what do verses 3-4 seem to indicate about the idea (to whom is the notion of washing credited to?)

4. Why does Jesus call the Pharisees “hypocrites?” How do verses 6-7 explain His comment?

5. What are some ways you tend to inflate or deflate your true self in order to appear more “spiritual?”

6. What “appearances” can you fast from? Talk about how this is done through the power of the gospel of Jesus, rather than your own strength.

 
“Letting Go” Journey Through Lent – Matthew 11:1-15:  Fasting from Tidy Faith [March 17]

  • Think about the context of this story. Where was John the Baptist? Why was he there?

  • Even though he knew the story of Jesus, identified Him as the Lamb of God, and saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Him at His baptism, John still doubted. Obviously, he wasn’t lacking evidence – so what was the problem?

  • How did Jesus respond to John (vv. 4-5)? Do you think this additional evidence changed John’s attitude?

  • What else did Jesus say about John (vv. 7-11)? Did He condemn John for his doubts?

  • What are some of the reasons you doubt God?

  • Do you ever feel pressure to have a tidy faith that never doubts? Why or why not?

  • How can you fast “tidy faith” this week?

“Seeds of Grace” Week 6 – Grace’s Acre – John 12:23-26 [March 10]

  1. Consider the context of this passage. Where are they? What has just taken place? What time of year is it? What’s about to take place?

  2. The word “glorified” in verse 23 means “to magnify, honor or celebrate.” How does this idea connect to Jesus’ statement in verse 24?

  3. Jesus describes one of the most profound truths about himself in agricultural terms – talk about verse 24 as it pertains to what Jesus has accomplished for us.

  4. Now talk about verse 24 as it pertains to your relationship with others.

  5. Read the command in verse 26. What are some ways you can “follow Jesus all the way down to the dirt?”

  6. How does your understanding of agriculture help you discern what Jesus is communicating here? How can “getting your hands in the dirt” by cultivating a garden (or participating in Grace Chapel’s) help you understand this truth more powerfully?

“Seeds of Grace”  Week 5 – Pastors In Residence (PIR) – 2 Cor. 1:3-4; 5:17-21 [March 3]

  1. Look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. What is the comfort we receive from God?

  2. How do we comfort those in trouble with the comfort we have received?

  3. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says we are new creations in Jesus. What does this mean?

  4. In verse 18, what does the term “reconciled” or “reconciliation” mean? How is it different from becoming new creations?

  5. What does verse 20 tell us about our role as Christians?

  6. How do we carry out a “ministry of reconciliation?”

  7. How is Pastors In Residence (PIR) involved in the ministry of reconciliation?

“Seeds of Grace” Week 4 – Good Measure Food Pantry –Matthew 25:31-46 [February 24]

  1. In this parable, what are the characteristics of people described as “sheep,” and what are the characteristics of those described as “goats?”

  2. Why do you think Jesus makes care for the poor and needy THE issue by which he evaluates His followers in this story – rather than doctrine, personal holiness, or something else?

  3. What’s the difference between doing good works to earn God’s love, and doing good works because God loves us?

  4. What’s more important, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our words or with our actions?

  5. What do verses 40 and 45 say about the importance of caring for the poor?

  6. How does Grace Chapel’s food pantry facilitate us being more “sheep-like?”