Every now and then, in this crazy society we live, I think we need reminding of this:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
A study based on the sermon: Called to bring the roof down!
- In verse 1 it says Jesus came home, but Jesus home was in Nazareth; why does Mark say this?
- Verse 2: What was Jesus preaching to the people? What should we preach to people and what happens if we preach something different?
- Verses 3&4: discuss the faith these men had and the effect their faith had on the different people around i.e. the paralysed man, Jesus, the four friends, the religious leaders, others in the house.
- How should this impact our own faith and our own approach to bringing people to Jesus?
- Verse 5: Jesus forgives the man’s sin – what does that mean?
- Verses 6-12: Jesus proves His authority, what do His words and actions prove? How should that impact our lives?
A Study on Mark 1:21-45 based on the sermon: Authority!
- Imagine the scene in the in the Synagogue as Jesus joins the regular crowd. What was different about the way He taught?
- Discuss Demons, being possessed and what that means. Are Christians possessed? Discuss your answers.
- Why don’t we hear of people being possessed today?
- We see Jesus healing many people. Does He still heal today? If so why isn’t everyone healed?
- Talk through the lepers request, Jesus response and the Lepers response to being healed.
If you missed the sermon, here’s the link: Don’t Mend Your Nets!
Reading Mark 1:1-20.
- What do we know about Mark, who was he, why was he writing and who to, when was he writing?
- What was John the Baptist doing and why? Discuss what it must have been like to have been around with him?
- Why was Jesus baptised? Discussed what happened when He was.
- Mark hardly mentions the temptations, but He mentions enough to tell us the important facts – what are they and what difference does it make to our understanding of Jesus?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus, and what might be stopping us from following Him more obediently (what kind of nets might we be mending?)
A study based on Acts 12:1-11
If you missed the sermon you can pick it up here: Powerful Prayers & Powerful Answers
- Read the passage and as you work your way through it, stop at after each new character is introduced and discuss what the group know about them;
- Peter slept, talk through how you might feel in a comparative situation and also why was Peter able to sleep? What can we learn form this and how can we apply it to our lives today?
- Discus verse 8 and consider how the miraculous is almost always missed with the practical when Go intervenes in our lives;
- Going back to verse 5, we read that the people prayed earnestly, what might that kind of prayer be like?
- Discuss as a group how you can practically help each other to be encouraged and helped to develop in your personal prayer lives and also be more engaged in the church’s collective prayer life.
A study based on the sermon Is There Grass On Your Path?
- In the sermon we looked briefly at the following scriptures: James 4:1-2, Isaiah 59:1-2, 2 Chronicles 16:9a. Which other verses on prayer come to mind, when thinking about our need and reluctance to pray.
- Take the 5 sermon headings and talk through practical applications which we could commit to taking on board (individually and as a church). The headings were:
- We crowd out prayer with other things
- Sin separates
- We don’t see prayer as a relationship thing
- We don’t appreciate the massive importance of the facts that prayer prepares us for spiritual warfare. And prayer is spiritual warfare.
- We think we can handle things ourselves
- Spend some time praying for each other.
This study is based on the sermon: Does Praying Achieve Anything?
- Read Revelation 8:1-5 – what do the group know of the book Revelation?
- Where else in the bible is incense and prayer spoken of?
- Take a look at each verse of the reading and talk it through as a group.
- Does Prayer achieve anything? If so, what?
This study is based on the sermon: God’s priority for praying together
- Read Act 6: 1-5
- What does the bible, generally have to say on corporate prayer (prayer meetings)?
- Why do church prayer meetings in the west lack attendance? Are prayer meetings important…? Discuss. If so who should get along to prayer meetings?
- What should prayer meetings be like, is there a general rule of what to do?
- Discuss the difference between prayer and church growth in Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia, The Middle East, and Africa.
- Do you feel challenged by this study?
A study based on the Sermon : Top (Teamwork Obedience and Prayer) Christians
- Looking back at the whole book of Colossians, what are the key points?
- What can we learn about ministry from verses 7&8?
- What is Paul’s attitude to imprisonment? What might we learn from that?
- Mark’s clearly part of the team, but what can we learn about his ‘backstory’? [Acts 12.25; 13:13; 15:38-39]. How should we learn from what we see of Mark’s journey in faith and ministry?
- Verse 12 – prayer what does praying earnestly mean?
- Verse 14 – what do we know about both Demas and Luke [from further study in the NT]?
- Discuss how verse 17 might apply to us.
This study is based on the sermon Nothing New Here!
- Read Colossians 1:24-29; what are your first thoughts?
- Paul says he is glad to suffer and that he is participating in the sufferings of Christ [cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-27]. Talk through what he means and how we should apply this in our lives.
- Paul is at pains to make clear that he is a servant for God. Discuss why it is important that we understand this and live it out.
- What does it mean to preach the whole gospel and how do we do it?
- God’s wisdom and strength are the key to Paul’s service – are we working, serving and living in His strength, power and wisdom? what difference does it make?