1. Why do you think we are called to endure trial and tribulation? How can we persevere?
2. How does James describe the “riches” of this worldly life?
3. What do you think is meant by “the crown of life”? (See also 1 Cor 9:24-27.) What do you anticipate upon receiving this crown?
4. In Genesis 3:1-7, what did the serpent imply about God? What did the serpent promise?
Is our sin always the result of some external force?
5. What is the difference between testing and temptation? Why can it be said that God never tempts us?
6. As Christians, in Christ we are at peace with God yet at war with sin. (Though in Christ, a war that cannot be ultimately lost. See Romans 5:18-21.) What does James offer us in the remainder of Chapter 1 with respect to our struggle, or “mortification” of sin. From this reading, and your knowledge of other Bible passages, how does God’s word and the Holy Spirit help us put sin to death in our lives?
1. From Acts 26 and what you know of Paul’s life, describe how the process of Rebellion, Revelation, Repentance and Restoration worked out in Paul’s life? How does obedience fit in?
2. Is this a one time process? Is it continuous in the Christian life? What kind of life did Paul lead?
3. Do you think understanding and applying these four R’s can help you share the gospel? If we ever feel we may be at a loss for words or a convincing argument, how does Matthew 10:19-23 provide comfort and encouragement?
4. Here’s a theological type of question for you: When “justification” and “sanctification” are used in the Bible, what is meant by each one? How are they similar? How are they different? (Hint: See the question and commentary in the New City Catechism that we use here at Ness.)
5. What God-given gifts did Paul use to share the Gospel and support the church? Were the gifts given before or after his conversion? Why is it important for us to know and understand the Old Testament like Paul?
6. What gifts do you think God has given you to enrich the church? How have you used them? Where do you think will you continue to use them?
Discussion Questions Matt 6:25-34
1. What we fear or worry about can reveal the idols in our lives. What idols was Jesus addressing in Matt 6? Are the idols in our world the same, different or unique in any way?
2. Worry, stress and anxiety often arise from fear of loss or failure to attain in this world. What idols are revealed to you by your anxieties and worry?
3. Are there what may be termed appropriate or “healthy” fears or concerns in this life? What do you think they are? Do you have any scripture to support your answers?
4. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, Paul relays some aspects of his Christian life and the daily pressure and anxiety he feels. How is his anxiety different from ours or the audience listening to Jesus in Matt 6?
5. Do you think we will ever be free of stress, worry and anxiety in our earthy life? What practical means and attitudes does Jesus in Matthew 6, and Paul in Philippians 4, offer us in order to cope and not be dominated by stress, worry and anxiety?
6. If you had a friend who was struggling with the feeling that God was indifferent to their needs, and didn’t care for them or love them, what verses outside of Matthew 6 could you offer them by way encouragement and counter those feelings?
7. Did you ever have something that you were anxious or worried about that was resolved or taken care of in an unexpected way?
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