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Sermon Discussion

 COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE: 1 John 3

COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE: 1 John 3

1.  Icebreaker:

-        What’s the hardest part of fighting sin?

2. What (did the text say):

-        What position has God’s love given us? (Think: What is involved in being children of God?)

-        What is our relationship to the world, and what are the consequences? 

3. What Else (does the Bible say in relation to historical / literary context)

Some context between the chapters:  Chapter 2 is directed at the Gnostic false teachers (especially Docetic Gnostics who denied Jesus' humanity). Chapter 3 continues to also focus on the false teachers who separated salvation (justification) from ethics and morality (sanctification). But, chapter 3 also addresses the believer more directly.

-        Connect 1 John 3:4-5 to 2:1. What is John teaching us about law?

-        Read John 3:4-10.  What is John saying about the relationship between the believer being a child of God and sin?   Notes:  This text presents the goal that all believers long for a total deliverance from sin. This same ideal is presented in Romans 6. Through Christ's power we can fight and have victory over sin.  This passage, however, must fit into the larger context of the entire book of I John.  To interpret this passage without regard for 1:8-2:2 (Christians still sin) would be unwise.  To interpret this passage in such a manner as to defeat the overall purpose of I John, which is the assurance of salvation against the claims of the false teachers, would also be unwise.  Therefore, this passage must be related to the false teachers' claims of sinlessness or sin's insignificance. Possibly 1:8-2:2 deals with one extreme of the false teachers, while 3:1-10 deals with another. Remember that interpreting the letters of the NT is like listening to one half of a phone conversation as it relates to the original historical context of the letters.

4. Now What (should we do as a response to the text)  

-        1 John 3 clearly makes numerous references to the familial nature of Christianity.  God is our heavenly father, and we are all children of God.  As brothers and sisters in a community group, how can we fully take advantage of these relationships?

FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE

-       How is God our heavenly father?

-        How can our friends help us do nice things?  Are there ever times where our friends pressure us to do bad things?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE: 1 John 2

COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE: 1 John 2

1.  Icebreaker:

-        Why is it so hard not to get caught up in loving the material things of the world? 

 2. What (did the text say):

-        Read 1 John 1:4, 2:1-2, and 2:12-13.  What a three purposes of the book for the audience?

-        Read 2:3-6.  How can we know that we have come to know God?

-        What does hatred do to our ability to see (v11)? Explain. (Think: Consider carefully what it means to love or hate as 1 John continues.)

-        Read 2:15-17.  Why are we not supposed to love the things of the world?

 3. What Else (does the Bible say in relation to historical / literary context)

-        Doing a phrase analysis (using NET translation), the following repeated phrases occur: “i have written to” (4 occurrences), “have written to you” (4 occurrences), “i am writing to” (3 occurrences), “that you have known” (3 occurrences), “am writing to you” (3 occurrences).  The phrases “to you”, “you have”, and “that you” also occur roughly 10 times each.  What does this textual analysis imply about the relationship between John and his audience, as well as the theme and intent of the chapter.  

-        Read 1 John 2:23.  Compare that to the gospel of John in John 5:18, 10:33, 19:7. 

-        Explain the relationship between habitual sin and isolated acts of sin.

-        Describe the false teachers’ beliefs.

4. Now What (should we do as a response to the text)  

 -        Today’s church often (rightly) emphasizes grace and forgiveness. In the Bible there is also a complimentary message that calls to repentance and holiness.  Sin is not to be brushed away and accepted in a Christian’s life.  Discuss how community groups can play a role in this call to holiness.

 FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE

-        What is sin?

-        Why does God want us to do the right thing?

Sermon Discussion Guide - 1 John 1

Sermon Discussion Guide - 1 John 1

COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE: 1 John 1

1.  Icebreaker:

-        What do you consider the fundamentals of Christian faith?

2. What (did the text say):

-        Read 1 John 1:4, 2:1-2, and 2:12-13.  What are three purposes of the book for the audience?

-        After reading 1:8-10, why is confession important?

-        List the sacrificial terms found in 1 John 1:7 and 9.

3. What Else (does the Bible say in relation to historical / literary context)

-        The overall theme of 1 John is a recall to the fundamentals of Christian faith.  This is in light of the historical context of the time.  John (the author) wrote the book in response to the second main trial to Christianity.  The first trial was Paul’s battle against legalism and the law.  The second trial (the context of 1 John) was Gnosticism.  Put simply, Gnosticism claimed that matter was evil and spirit was good.  Therefore, it contended that Jesus was not both fully man and fully human.  Read 1:1-4.  Pick up themes of John insinuating both the full humanity and full deity of Jesus.

-        Why does John use so many verbs involving the five senses?

-        Because Gnosticism stated that matter and spirit were separate, it would often lead to a lack of consequence for sin.  1:5-10 relates to the theological attempt to separate knowing God (theology) from following God (ethics). It represents an undue Gnostic overemphasis on knowledge.  How does John refute this? 

-        The beginning of 1 John implies three purposes for the coming of Christ.  These purposes are to reveal the Father (1:5), to give believers an example to follow (1:7), and to die on sinful mankind's behalf (2:2).  Knowing the historical context of the time, which one was most applicable for the original audience to hear?  Which one is the best reminder for the Church today?

4. Now What (should we do as a response to the text)  

-        What are tangible things we as Christians can do in response to John’s emphasis on confession?  How can community groups play a role in this?

FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE

-        Why is saying sorry important when you do things wrong?

-        The Bible teaches Jesus was both God and man.  Act out the nativity scene at dinner.  Explain the importance of God becoming man.  Authors note: a prize will be given to the best food-based metaphor of a sacrificial offering.

Sermon Discussion Guide - The Gap: Service

Sermon Discussion Guide - The Gap: Service

1.  Icebreaker:

Name a time when someone served you unexpectedly when you didn’t deserve it?  

2. What (did the text say):

  • What did Jesus do when he "knew that the Father had handed all things over to him” (John 13:2-4).
  • What is Peter’s response to Jesus’ actions?  If you were Peter, what would have been your response?
  • What is the command Jesus tells his disciples in 13:14? 
  • 13:20 says: "I tell you the solemn truth, whoever accepts the one I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”  Who is the one who sent Jesus?  What is this verse saying?

3. What Else (does the Bible say in relation to historical / literary context)

  • John's Gospel concludes Jesus' signs with chapter 12. Chapter 13 starts the final passion week.
  • The NASB Study Bible's footnote makes the interesting comment "the Greek noun agapē ('love') and the verb agapaō ('love') occur only eight times in chs. 1-12 but 31 times in chs. 13-17."
  • The historical context of John 13 can be seen in Luke 22:24. The disciples were still arguing over who was the greatest.
  • Compare 13:8 to Matthew 16:21-23.  Why is Jesus so adamant with Peter in both of these instances?  If foot-washing which they needed to undergo was a metaphor to their acceptance of Jesus' self-sacrifice on the cross, this makes Peter’s initial abhorrence of the act of humiliation by his master all the more significant in context; it also explains Jesus’ seemingly harsh reply to Peter.
  • Read Philippians 2:4-7.  How do these verses add to your understanding of the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet.

 

4. Now What (should we do as a response to the text)  

  • What were some of the applications Dustin mentioned in his sermon?
  • How can our community group serve the area around us?  How can this point people to God?

FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE

  • Why do you think Jesus washed the disciples feet?
  • What are other times in the Bible that Jesus served people?
  • Talk about a time when a member of the family served you?  How did that make you feel?
  • How do you think we can serve members in our family?
  • How can we as a family serve the church?  Our friends?