Community Group Questions 2/24/13

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Sermon Title: Basic Elements, Part 3: Mission

Main Text:  Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:34-35, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Romans 10:14-15

Topics:

  • In this passage we see the Basic Elements of following Christ. This is the very first things the church did. Before there were any books or manuals or tradition, these are the things that are purely instinctual. This passage shows us the things that naturally lead from the Gospel.
  • Of the entire description in Acts 2:42-47, lets pull two elements to the surface:
    • they were selling their possessions to take care of the needy
    • the Lord was adding to their number daily
  • To sell your possessions to meet the needs of someone else, is an extreme step of compassion. But this wasn’t just an isolated incident or drive. This was a characteristic of this group. This was something that was common among them.
  • What exactly did that look like? This is how it is described later in Acts 4:34-35, “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
  • Again this seems extreme. So what caused this to instinctually become a distinctive of their community?  They didn’t have tradition to tell them to do this, all they had was the Gospel. How did the Gospel make them all naturally decide to do this?
  • This is how the Gospel is described in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
  • They instinctually gave up their stuff to meet the needs around them, because that is what Jesus did!  He was rich in heaven, and became poor for us. We have been so transformed by that love that we now follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
  • The other thing it says is that the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. And He was doing that daily. How does the Lord do that?
  • God is clear about how He intends to get the message out. He intends to use us. Romans 10:14-15 says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
  • So if God was adding to their number daily, then that means they were regularly going out and sharing the Gospel. Again, this was something that was instinctual for them.  What made sharing the gospel instinctual for them?
  • Once again it is because the message of the Gospel is that God came and found us. Jesus came to earth to die for us and tell us the Good News that we can be saved. In the same way that God reached out to us, we reach out to those around us.
  • When He saves us, it is not simply a matter of saving us and then we wait around on earth until we die and go to heaven. When He saves us He has saved us for a purpose. He is stirring up a desire in our hearts to meet needs and share the truth.
  • We want this to be a way of life for us.  Not simply something we do on occasion.
    • We build relationships with people, with the hope of sharing the truth with them.
    • We seize opportunities to invite them to church to hear the truth.
  • One of the things we do at WP to reach out to the world around us and to develop that perspective in our lives is to go on a mission trip and serve the needy.
  • We have two mission trips coming up soon:
    • Haiti - July 10-13
    • Guatemala - August 8-14 or 12-14
  • In light of this passage consider going on a trip. Or maybe even helping someone else go on a trip. If you are even just interested, go on our website and check it out:

Key Questions:

  1. Has anyone ever been on a mission trip? If so, can you give us a 3 minute recap of how it impacted you?
  2. What situations or needs really bring out your compassionate side?
  3. Read the Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:34-35.
  4. What is your initial reaction when you hear these passages?
  5. Read 2 Corinthians 8:9. How does the Gospel lead us to be generous people?
  6. What are needs you see around you that you would like to find a way to meet (family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.)?
  7. What are some practical things we can actually do to meet the needs of hurting people around us?
  8. This passage tells us that the Lord was daily saving people in their midst. Has there been a time that God prompted you to share about Jesus with someone?
  9. God has saved us for a purpose: to meet physical needs and spiritual needs. Which comes easier for you: compassionately meeting a physical need or sharing the gospel/inviting to church?
  10. What practically can we do to stir up our hearts to be more compassionate to the needy?
  11. What practically can we do to equip ourselves to be ready to share about Jesus or invite to church?

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