This Sunday was the final piece in our series on the high priestly prayer of Jesus from John 17.
Pastor Jeremy pointed our attention to the difference which often exists between what we desire, and what is good for us. We've all walked through this personally, and certainly with our children if we're parents.
Share an experience which highlights this from your own life.
When you consider heaven, what do you picture?
What did you picture of heaven when you were a kid?
What changed your expectations?
Are streets of gold and a mansion enough to change you actions here and now? What about perfect relational harmony? Perhaps
Pastor Jeremy paraphrased John Owen when he said “For a change to take place, what you love must change.” He suggested that it is in contemplating Christ that this change begins to happen in us. In what ways do you contemplate Christ? How have you been changed by him? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in this?
Read 2 Cor. 3:12-18 for a window into this process.
Here are 5 Truths about love.
How have you felt a longing toward each of these things?
How do you understand and feel Christ is the only one able to fulfill these longings? Keep in mind, understanding and feeling something are different. We understand with our mind, we feel with our emotions. Should we need to wait for heaven to be able to experience real change?
September 23, 2019
This past week we witnessed the Baptisms of seven people. It was incredible to hear what God has done in and through each life to bring them to the point of baptism.
This week reflect on your stories. We had started this last week and just wanted to give appropriate time for everyone. If everyone has shared already, this week is an excellent opportunity to talk about your own baptism.
When were you baptized? Why did you choose that time? What were the factors in your life at the time that led you to choose baptism? What did baptism mean to you then? Has your understanding of it grown over the years? Has your baptism served as a milestone for your faith, an event for you to look back on and reflect?
For further discussion, look at these passages on baptism together if you have time. For each, consider your own understanding and motivation in baptism. What can you learn from these verses? How does each passage glorify God? (Definition: God’s Glory is his holiness made manifest.)
1 Corinthians 12:13
1 Peter 3:18-22
The Theme of Water as an instrument of purification:
2 Kings 5:1-19
How do you reconcile the theme of purification with your own baptism?
Does contemplating God’s purpose in water judgement, purification and obedience in baptism lead you to deep worship? This is not easy to understand, but it is worth it!
Timothy Brindle writes (or more accurately, raps);
“Saving us from the lake of fire, Yahweh Jehovah
Who was baptized in the Jordan River
A redemptive historic picture of his death for the sinner
The dove descended on him, this is fact Christian
Mark 10:38 he called his death a baptism
'Cause the only way he's saving us from hell
Is to be baptized by wrath and to take it on himself
The point I bring is that upon the anointed King
End time judgment fell for all who are joined to him
Plus the reason I discuss this
Is 'cause the Bible says the flood's a preview of the final judgment
Just as Egyptians were cast into the sea
The wicked will be in the lake with gnashing of teeth
Thus your baptism is a water judgment
That's either pointing to all that God the Son did
Or to fall away and to disregard your sonship
Means your baptism points to your awful punishment”
Well it’s been many months since we posted to sermon questions. The main reason for this is because our sermon questions are actually intended to be used as the main course of discussion in the Ness Baptist Life Groups which meet mid-week. Every Monday afternoon we will be posting 3 to 4 questions intended to take the sermon deeper through discussion with each other.
The mission of our Life Groups at Ness is a 3 fold progression.
First, to Disciple Up. This means that we are in this together, being formed by God’s word The Bible, and discovering it’s truth in the context of Christian community. Together we are growing to submit every area of life to the lordship and presence of Jesus Christ. To be a Christian is to be formed by Christ each day in the mess of real life, not just in an idyllic, disconnected, bubble. We need God’s word and each other for this to happen.
Second, to Reach Out. If we are growing to submit every area of life to the lordship and presence of Jesus, then it should show. It should show in our relationships with each other, in how we love our neighbours, and how we connect with our larger community. We should regularly and honestly ask ourselves this question: If I were to disappear tomorrow, would my neighbours care? Would my neighbourhood notice? Would my city be different? Are we open to having new people in the group each week… a byproduct of actually reaching out!
Third, to Send Forth. Once we have reached our and made a difference together, how do we commission others in our Life Group to go and start something new? Are there any among you who feel called to lead a Life Group? What is our path as leaders toward replacing ourselves? We want to disciple people up, so that they will reach out, so we can then send them forth, and start the whole thing over again… but new!
This week, take turns sharing your faith story. Get to know each other! If you know this about each other already, do a deep review of your summer and talk about how God has worked in you and through you since May.
If you still have time, talk through the three points of our mission which are written above. What do you think of these? Does your group exist for these reasons? If so, how to you see these (disciple, reach, send) expressed? How can you as a group express them better? Where do we see these imperatives at work in Scripture?
1. Icebreaker - describe a time in your life when you where in community with a radically diverse group of people. What were the dynamics like? What was it that drew all of you together? What were some of the difficulties? What were some of the blessings?
2. This past week, we looked at 3 very different people who in one form or another, responded to the gospel message. There was a high class business woman, a middle class working military guy and a young girls with no social standing. Was there anything that stood out to you as we went through the biographies of these three people?
3. Lydia is referred to as a “God-fearer” in this chapter. This meant that she was a Gentile who felt the draw towards the God of bible and the law contained within the Old Testament. What do you think it would have been like to have been a gentile reading the Old Testament and not being Jewish and knowing nothing about Jesus?
4. What do you think the message of Paul and the apostles would have sounded like to her after knowing the law and the prophets so well?
5. Before Paul shared the gospel with the Jailer in verses 31 and 32, he prepared the way for his gospel presentation to be heard. Two things in particular:
a) They exhibited joy and peace by praying and singing hymns in the midst of their pain and uncertainty. What does this tell us about the way we should suffer? Is it appropriate to pretend like everything is fine when it’s not? Is that the message here? If not, what is?
b) In the midst of exceptional cruelty against him, he exhibited kindness and forgiveness. We see this in verse 28. Maybe this was the first time this man had ever been shown mercy. Regardless, these two actions were ordained by God to prepare his heart for the gospel message. What kind of acts are currently around you that God could be using to prepare hearts?
6. We noticed 3 marks in the soldiers life that indicated he had accepted the gospel message: 1. He became compassionate where he wasn't before 2. He became committed to community by sharing the news with his entire family and by being publicly baptized. 3. Joy came into his life as he rejoices that he and his family have now believed in God. v.34
What are some practical ways that you can live these three marks out in the week ahead?
7. In this chapter we saw that Jesus was beautiful enough for Lydia, powerful enough for the young girl and practical enough for the soldier. Spend a few minutes giving God glory for how he is enough for you.
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