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.”
This study is based on Mark 2:13-28. The sermon can be downloaded here: Sinners called to be Saints
- Why was Levi being called by Jesus such a big deal?
- What can we learn from all of the different characters (and their responses) mentioned in the account of Levi’s calling (verses 13 – 17).
- Should Christians fast? explain the various answers.
- What was wrong with the Pharisees approach to the Sabbath?
- What can we learn from this, with respect to the way we spend our Sundays?
- Spend some time in prayer for each other and the wider church, asking the Lord to have His way in our church life and our personal lives.
A Study based on our verses for the year (Hebrews 10:23-25) and this Sermon: Your Church Needs You!
- Take the passage and use it as a ‘sounding board’ to answer the following:
- What is Christian hope and how does it differ from the way hope is often used?
- The passage doesn’t talk about us doing what we want or getting what we want but focuses on other brothers and sisters in our church, why is that and what difference should that make to the way we relate to each other as a church?
- Sometimes we get restless as individuals and decide that we want something else, maybe a different style or more going on, a bigger church or a smaller church. Why is acting on what we want almost certainly the wrong thing? (if there are any brave characters in the group they might share about past occasions when they have left churches for personal preference rather than because they were called for a purpose);
- How can we motivate, encourage, and provoke (in a positive way) one another? And how might we demotivate, discourage and provoke (in a negative way) one another?
- Should we expect Christ’s return soon?
A study based on Proverbs 17:24
If you missed the sermon you cam pick it up here: Is that terribly wise?
- How would you describe wisdom? Can anyone have wisdom or is it a gift for some?
- What characterises a fool?
- Can the group recall any other times wisdom and foolishness are mentioned in the Bible? Discuss what God is saying through each example.
- How can we get wisdom?
- Discussion on things like this can be a bit disconnected from real life. in the sermon we looked at a number of ways that we could and should apply this passage to our lives. Discuss those further as a group, and consider how we might encourage and challenge each other in this.
A study on Nahum Chapter 1.
This study is based on the sermon: Is God Really Jealous?
- How familiar are the group with this book? Why do you think that is?
- What are the first thoughts you have on reading the first six verses?
- Describe what it means to be jealous?
- How is God jealous?
- Jonah had been used by God to convert the whole of Nineveh, a few hundred years later and there are few believer left. What can we learn from this as we look at our own society?
- In which ways is this chapter comforting to believers?
Some study questions based on the sermon Do You Have Real Peace?
- Read Colossians 2:8-14
- Verse 8 – How might we be captured, and by what kinds of empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense?
- Verses 9 & 10 – Why is it crucial that we see and believe the truth that Christ is both completely man and completely God? Also what does it mean, “that you are complete by your union with God“?
- Verses 11 & 12 – Discuss what we heard in the sermon about these verses on circumcision and baptism. How might we overstate or understate the importance of a public declaration of faith in baptism?
- Verses 13 & 14 – Pastor says, “These are powerful statements and if taken to heart will have a profound affect on the believer” Do you agree, if so (or not) why, and what difference is it going to have on your life with Christ?
A study on the sermon: Hunted down Chapter 2 of Zephaniah
- Discuss the first three verses of the chapter, specifically look at and talk through the following phrases – how might they apply to us today?:
- verse 1 “Gather together—yes, gather together…”
- verse 2 “the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger”
- verse 3 “Seek the Lord”,
- Verse 3 all who are humble, and follow his commands.
- Verse 3 “Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you
- Take the rest of the chapter and look at the individual ‘judgement oracles’, consider:
- the different directions mentioned,
- the sins mentioned
- the warnings given
- which of the prophecies were fulfilled and which are yet to come
- does any of this passage equate with what’s going on in the Middle East today?
This study relates to the sermon: God’s Love Seen Through Judgement
- Zephaniah starts his prophecy telling us his family background (1:1); he is a fourth-generation descendant of King Hezekiah (King of Judah from 715-686BC). Does this pedigree matter to you? Why or why not?
- His opening words of prophecy tells of a terrible judgment to come: “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth” (1:2). It closes on the “day of the Lord” when God “will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth” (1:18). This just might be the harshest, most universal judgment announcement in the Bible. How does this make you feel? How does this make you feel about God?
- God is clearly a little upset with Judah. What has Judah done wrong? (see 1:4-6)
- Why is this book relevant to Christians today? On Sunday we talked through a lot of application for us today – what did that include?