In his sermon, Pastor Jeremy began with the acknowledgement that each of us (including him) are in need of the following truth...
We enjoy communion with God not because of our perfection but because of Jesus.
Do you believe this? What does this truth mean to you? What would your life, emotional health, relationships look like if the statement were put in the world’s terms, that they fail to enjoy communion with God (or whatever a person worships, because of their imperfection?
Holiness is what we’re called to, but it is absolutely unattainable on our own, because we don’t start as holy. In fact, we wouldn’t even know what true holiness is if we didn’t have God’s revelation of himself to us. If it seems like this topic comes up a lot in our conversations together, it’s because it is a main theme in scripture. The Lord providing for the sanctification of His people so they can be in relationship with Him.
Now, on the virtue of integrity, or the lack thereof, read the account of Peter’s promise to Jesus in Matthew 26:30-35, and subsequent denial of him in Matthew 26:69-75
What does it mean to live a life of integrity? What is the opposite of this?
Often the promises we break are relatively small. To say we’ll do something and then ‘forget’ or to make a commitment knowing full well we can’t follow through. Pastor Jeremy noted though that we should be a people of commitment. When we knowingly break a commitment we’ve made, what does that actually say about what we’re placing our hope in? Like we discussed last week, our actions say so much about who we believe we are, what God has done, and who He is. (Follow the chart from last week.)
So how was Peter restored? Maybe a better way to explore this is to ask what Jesus did to restore Peter (and us)? Because anytime we fail to trust the work of Jesus for our salvation in big and small ways, we break faith with Him just as Peter did.
Look at these passages and promises. Discuss the effect of each promise on your faith and life...
So it is clear, we have been saved from separation from God because of our sin nature, but we have also be saved FOR something spectacular… Mission!
Jesus said in John 14:15 and then effectively commanded and commissioned us all in Matt. 28:18-20.
So the demonstration of our integrity as Christians then is directly related to keeping our commitment to being missionaries each and every day! How can we live this out this very week in practical (proclaiming and serving) ways? Friends, neighbours, co-workers, our children? How can we hold each other accountable in this?
In this, the first week of our series, “Sin, the Struggle, and the Solution”, spend some time talking about what your first reaction to the series title was. I was told that when the sign for this was going up outside the church last Tuesday, two boys from the highschool who were walking by read it and yelled that they are gay.
When you first heard this, what did you think and feel? (Were there some specific circumstances brought to mind, or a feeling of dread, or worry about being made to feel guilty?)
Pastor Jeremy said that our problem with sin is actually our denial of it. How do you understand this? Do you agree with the statement?
Read Jeremiah 2:1-13 together.
The main motivation behind sin is a denial of the awe of God. Where do you see this in the passage from Jeremiah? What two things did it lead the people of Israel to do? (v13) Why was this so bad that God would name these things individually?
How does Paul talk about this very same thing in Romans 1:18-23
What is the solution to all this? How can we reverse things such as broken denying the source of living water, making broken cisterns, and worshipping what is created?
How did Jesus accomplish this reversal? In other words, how is Jesus the hope we need?
How will you explain all this to your unbelieving neighbour who is struggling with the effects of sin in his or her life? How will you point them a path to hope and wholeness? Preach this to each other.
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
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?
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