Community Group Questions 11/24/13

AKA

Weekly Training Tip

This week we're talking about the why we take a break during the holiday season. Check it out.

Here's the video:

[vimeo 80202073 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

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

Help Deck The Halls

  • Next Sunday, December 1st, we are going to start transforming our entire facility for Christmas, and we would love your help.

  • From Sunday, December 1st to the following Saturday, December 7th, we would love your help decking the halls for Christmas. All skill levels needed. And any time you have to help would be appreciated. (good idea to go as a group?)

  • If you’re interested or available, email Noreen Roberts at noreenroberts@westpines.org.

Razzle Dazzle - Thursday, December 12th

  • Ladies - this is what you’ve been waiting all year for: Razzle Dazzle!

  • Razzle Dazzle is our Women’s Ministry Ornament Exchange. It’s taking place on Thursday, December 12 at 7:00PM. You can buy tickets TODAY - in the back. Registration is just $10 per person and you will want to bring a $10 wrapped ornament with you (to exchange as well).

  • This is one night you won’t want to miss!

Sermon Title: AKA, Part 3: I am Freed

Main Texts: Matthew 5:17-20, 2 Cor 5:20-21

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

Topics:

  • Christ says some startling but important things in this passage. He says that He didn’t come to change one thing from the law. He is not abolishing them. He goes on to say that no one should relax one tiny law.

  • This is difficult considering some of the laws in the Old Testament:

    1. Don’t do any work on the Sabbath, even picking up sticks for a fire would be forbidden. What about pumping gas?

    2. The various dietary laws, i.e. no bacon!  And who is capable of doing that?!

    3. The complex sacrificial laws. And we don’t even have a temple to sacrifice at.

    4. Never ever having any god before God Himself. Have I put God first every single moment of my life??

  • This seems like an impossible achievement. And Jesus basically affirms that. He says that we would have to be better than the Pharisees to even get to Heaven. The Pharisees dedicated their entire lives to trying to follow the law perfectly. They were obsessed.

  • So it seems like every single person on earth is in trouble. It seems like none of us, according to Jesus even have a chance to get to Heaven.  Accept there is one other thing Jesus said in this passage…

  • He said He wasn’t here to abolish them, but He was here to fulfill them.  What does that mean?

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  In other words, Jesus was perfect. He followed the law perfectly. But God had Jesus take all of our sin, and He paid for it and defeated it. We in turn, get Jesus’ righteousness.

  • So we get both Jesus’s death counted for us and Jesus life counted for us. Jesus’ death paid for our sin. God sees our lives as if it was Jesus’ perfect righteousness. We perfectly followed the law, in God’s eyes because Jesus perfectly followed it. And His righteousness becomes our own.

  • He came to fulfill the law for us. That is our only hope.

  • This is the most incredible message on the planet. We have been saved by the life and death and resurrection of Jesus.

  • And this is the chief message we share as salt and light to the world. This message will preserve the world. This message is what reveals the truth to the world.

  • But it is hard to share our faith. Why is personal evangelism so difficult?  Because there is so much that goes into it:

    1. we have to set aside the time

    2. we have to connect with them relationally

    3. we have to know how to communicate the gospel

    4. we have to know how to connect it to their lives

    5. we have to answer their questions

    6. we have to follow up with them

    7. we have to care for them and their needs

    8. we have to help them grow in their faith

  • The problem is few of us, if any of us have ALL of these gifts. That is why God’s primary plan for evangelism is to use the entire body to communicate the truth of the Gospel. When someone is exposed to the entire church body, they are exposed to all of the gifts:

    1. some people are gifted relationally helping them feel comfortable

    2. some people are gifted to share the message of God

    3. some people are gifted at caring for people when they have needs

    4. some people are better with kids, some are better with students, some with parents, some with older adults

    5. some are good at following up with people and not letting them fall through the cracks

    6. some are good at discipline people

  • God loves using the WHOLE BODY to share the faith.

  • Not everyone can be a one man army and build a relationship, share the gospel, answer questions, lead them to Christ, and disciple them. That requires a lot of unique gifts with a specific type of people you connect with.

  • But everyone can invite someone to experience what happens at church.

  • How do you invite someone?

    1. Carry invite cards with you and pray for opportunities

    2. Get in a conversation with someone and ask them about their church experience

    3. Bake Christmas cookies and take them to your neighbors with a card and an invite

    4. Put the invites out on your desk

    5. Use social media

    6. Forward church invite emails

    7. put a church decal on your car

    8. etc. etc. etc.

Key Questions:

  1. HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and what was the low point?

  2. ICEBREAKER: Do you remember when you were first invited to church? What was that like?

  3. Read Matthew 5:17-20

  4. How would you summarize these verses in your own words?

  5. Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish any of the Law. What do you think would be the hardest Old Testament law to follow?

  6. Re-read verse 20. What are the implications of this verse on us?

  7. Do you think most people hold this view? If not, what do they believe?

  8. Read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

  9. In what way did Jesus fulfill the law?

    1. [He lived a perfect life. He followed the law perfectly. Then He died and our sin was put on Him. He paid for our sin. And His righteousness was put on us.]

    2. [His righteous life counts for us. Even though He knows who we are and what we do, when God sees us, He sees the righteousness of Christ covering us.]

  10. If this is the most incredible message any human could ever hear, then why is it sometimes difficult for us to share?

  11. Why is inviting someone to church one of the most effective ways of sharing our faith?

    1. [Because those people are then ministered to by all the gifts that the members of the church has. It is not just us, the entire church is evangelising.]

  12. Why is the Christmas season such an essential time to invite people to church?

  13. What is an effective way you have invited people to church before?

  14. Who are three people you specifically want to invite to church this Christmas season?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.