Think about the last time you were a part of a group who had to make a major decision together. What was that like for you? How did the discussion go? What type of information was brought into the process (factual, emotional, psychological, logistical, etc.). How did the outcome leave you feeling?
This was the situation in at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. Read Acts 15:1-5.
What were these men teaching?
Pastor Jeremy said that the fate of the Christian faith hung in the balance at this point in history. Do you agree or do you feel that this is an exaggeration?
He said that doctrine and theology are vitally important in the keeping of the faith. What do you think? Why?
You can chat about this one first if you want…. What is the gospel?
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Watch this video from Tim Keller. Talk through how what he’s saying relates to what the men in Act 15:1-5 were teaching.
There are 2 sides to how this conversation in relevant today. On the one hand, without a clear understanding of the gospel we can swing too far toward legalism as we see in this weeks passage. On the other hand, without being able to clearly articulate the gospel we are in danger of being too inclusive. What are some issues you’ve encountered this week that you need to speak into with the truth of the gospel and not a legalistic (moralistic) or overly inclusive reaction? How did you handle it? What were you unsure of?
What questions do you still have after thinking through this stuff?
If you have time, discuss how circumcision relates to the gospel and communion. This is a very big question that will take some theological heavy lifting. But the thing to focus on is, how can we look at this and end up with solid hope?
If you want some help on this one, check out Timothy Brindle’s “Circumcision Song” and the lyrics.
In light of the events of Acts 14, today let’s dig into the big idea of joy. We want to end up with a clear idea what bringing the gospel to a post-Christian world looks like and how it is our path to joy. In this discussion, Pastor Jeremy points us to some incredible tools in scripture that can help us out.
(All the questions here are worth going through, but #5-7 are the most important.)
This past Sunday Pastor Matt talked about two big ideas, suffering and God’s glory.
This conversation will probably work better if we’re all on the same page with these words.
Today we’re talking about shattering the myth of comfort. What does that mean?
Perhaps it’s best to first talk about what it is that makes us comfortable. In your life (personal, familial, vocational, spiritual, experiential) what things have you put in place to ensure comfort? Maybe a better way to explore this is to ask, what are the discomforts you actively, consciously avoid in your life?
Looking at the personal cost of the early Christian mercy ministries, Pastor Jeremy pointed to Rodney Stark’s excellent book The Rise of Christianity. We’ve ordered this for the church library if you’re interested in taking a look. (This book also comes with Pastor Brennan’s personal thumbs up!)
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