Community Group Questions for 9/22/13

It's Week 3 of the Community Group Season! I hope things are going well in your group. Invincible-CC

Weekly Training Tip

This week we're talking about how to prepare for group. I hope this helps you think through

Here's the video:

[vimeo 75091570 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

*Please let your Community Group know about the announcements that matter to them.

Baptism Class

  • If you have not been baptized since you have put your faith in Jesus, we want to invite you to our next Baptism Class, which is next weekend, starting at 11:15 and will run during the 2nd Service.
  • The Baptism Class is a great opportunity to find out more about taking that step in your journey with God.
  • It is also the first step in being baptized at West Pines.
  • If you are interested, email Pastor Dan @ dangossett@westpines.org.

Sermon Title: Invincible, Part 2: Mourn

Main Texts: Matthew 5:2-12

REMINDER: The following Topics are for your preparation purposes only and should not be shared with the group as a refresher.

  • The beatitudes are a type of ancient literature used in Greek and Jewish cultures. Teachers would use them to communicate human ideals.  They would usually begin with the phrase, “Blessed are the…”  The teacher would insert something he wanted his followers to understand is important for their lives.

  • We use the word, “blessed” to mean “lucky” or “fortunate.” But the word we are translating “blessed” mean more than “lucky.” The word essentially means “happy” but not in the surface level meaning. Like, “we are eating pizza tonight, that makes me happy,” or “my favorite football team won, so I’m happy.”  This word means closer to the word “bliss” than just ordinary “happy.”  By using the beatitude construct, and by using the term “blessed,” Jesus is revealing how humanity is supposed to thrive. These beatitudes are eight truths that expose God’s intentions for us.

  • The astounding thing about these truths are that they are alien to our planet. They are truths that someone cannot find here on earth. They go against the flow of what cultures teach all over the planet.

  • The first Beatitude says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This means that those who are thriving on this earth, those that get it are those who understand that before God they are spiritually impoverished. They have nothing to offer God. They are beggars before God. We have no righteousness of our own to stand on. This is the first step to entering the kingdom of heaven, realizing our need to be saved.

  • The second Beatitude follows up from the first. It says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

  • This word “mourn” is more than just sad feelings. It is the type of grief that is expressed outwardly. The ancients would often hire mourners at the times of grief such as the death of a loved one. So what is Jesus talking about here? Is He talking about all kinds of grief and mourning? Is Jesus saying that God’s intention for humanity is that we are sad all the time?

  • These beatitudes build on each other. The first Beatitude reminds us that we are spiritually bankrupt. In response to that we will mourn. God’s intention for humanity is that we mourn for sin.

  • There are many levels to this. It is important that we understand that sin is destructive. The sin in our lives, the sin throughout the world is not a light thing. Sin is a tremendous tragedy causing all kinds of hurt and pain all over.

  • This is alien to our thinking. Our world tries to minimize sin. Consider how we do this:

    1. We fool ourselves into thinking our sin only affects us. We say things like, “it’s my body, my life, I can do what I want.” “I can do what I want, who is it going to affect?”

    2. We make excuses for our sin. It is not our fault or it is just the way we are and we cannot help it.

    3. We minimize the impact of sin around us. We don’t want to be judgmental or impose on somone else. But the reality is sin is not a small thing.

    4. We abuse grace. We think “God has saved me and will forgive me, so what’s the big deal if I…” We forget that we have been saved from sin. We forget that it is the enemy, it is destructive. We don’t truly understand our salvation if we accept the cross of Christ but do not have a hatred for sin.

  • To understand the gospel is to understand how devastating sin is. And to desire to eradicate it from our lives. Upon realizing our spiritual bankruptcy, we mourn over the destructive sin in our lives.

  • But there is a promise to this Beatitude.  We will be comforted. How will we be comforted? The is something that has conquered sin. It is the death and resurrection of Christ. The cross conquers sin. We find comfort to our mourning knowing that Jesus suffered for our sin.

  • If God simply said, “don’t worry I forgive you,” it would not be satisfying, if we were truly mourning. If we are truly broken by the fact that we sin, then God just saying, “it’s ok,” doesn’t seem like it has the impact of true comfort.

  • But when we hear God say, “I suffered for Your sin,” that changes things. The sin was paid for in full. And it is almost an insult to ignore that comfort.

  • We must mourn our sin and take comfort in the cross.

Key Questions:

  1. What was the high of your week? What was the low of your week?
  2. What stuck out to you on Sunday? / What is still lingering in your head from Sunday?
  3. Our world operates under the assumption that sin = fun. What are examples of that mindset?
  4. What would be the biblical response to that assumption?
  5. Read Matthew 5:2-4.
  6. In context with the first beatitude, Jesus is saying we will thrive when we mourn our sin. What does this look like?
  7. What are some things we think and even say that reveal that we minimize sin?
  8. What are some sins that we tend to minimize and how are they destructive?
  9. How might our lives look different if we operated under the assumption that sin is truly destructive?
  10. How might the assumption that sin is destructive change what we consider fun or entertaining?
  11. What is the difference between being concerned for someone else being entangled in sin and being judgmental?
  12. How does the suffering of the cross bring comfort more than if God simply said, “I forgive you,” with no suffering at all?
  13. Is there something in your life that you are minimizing that God is urging you to turn from?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.