Community Group Questions 1/12/14

Pulling Weeds Header

Weekly Training Tip

This is the first week of the new year! This week's tip we share some excitement and a reminder about our upcoming Leadership Team Meeting and Community Group Leader Training Event.

Here's the video:

[vimeo 84008094 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

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

West Pines 1.0

  • On Sunday, January 26th we’re hosting West Pines 1.0, which is an event designed to help you get to know West Pines. Maybe you’re new to West Pines and you’d like to know about other opportunities to get involved. Or maybe you’ve been here for a little while but you’ve never been able to make it before.

  • Mark your calendars or set a reminder on your phone. 1.0 is going to be during the 2nd Service on Sunday, January 26th and will be a great opportunity to find out more about West Pines, or to discover  how to get more involved and make West Pines your church home.

Sermon Title: Pulling Weeds, Part 1: Anger

Main Texts: Matthew 5:21-26, Ephesians 4:26

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

Topics:

  • This is a section out of Jesus’s famous, Sermon on the Mount. This has in it some of the most well known quotes throughout the world and throughout history. Things like: “The Golden Rule,” “The Lord’s Prayer,” “Turn the Other Cheek,” and “Go the Extra Mile.” This sermon could be considered Jesus’ manifesto. It is the quintessential sermon of Jesus, explaining the core of His ministry.

  • The main point of this sermon addresses the question: how good is good enough to get to heaven? How good does someone have to be to be saved? What Jesus will expose in this sermon, is that we would have to be absolutely perfect down to the core. And through His teachings we find out that nobody is. No one escapes judgement. So His sermon leaves us knowing that we need a miracle to be saved. We need a Savior...

  • In this section he starts off saying essentially, “everyone knows that we shouldn’t murder.”  No would debate that. This is plays right into the main point of His entire sermon. How often have you heard someone say, “it’s not like I’ve killed anyone.” Jesus brilliantly starts by zeroing in on a common misunderstanding. We believe that really really bad people should not be in heaven. People like murderers. But we are not murderers, so we are pretty good people.  But then Jesus takes it a step further…

  • In verse 22, He shocks His original audience and us as readers. He says anyone who is angry or insults His brother, or condemns someone else is worthy of hell.  Whoa!

  • Jesus exposes here that sin is not just what happens on the outside. Sin is on the inside. It is our thoughts, our impulses, our motivations, our inclinations. The sin in our hearts condemns us. We are far more sinful than we realize. This is one of those convicting sections that reveals how really sinful we are.

  • Jesus explains further about anger, by providing two hypothetical situations. These situations are there for us to extrapolate principles from. These teach us how to treat anger.

  • The first situation: He says that if you are offering an offering at the altar and realize we have not reconciled a situation with someone, we should first go reconcile with that person. This is a little difficult for us to apply to our lives because we don’t make actual sacrifices to God anymore. So what does this mean? Do we apply this to communion? Do we apply this to going to church?

  • We have to learn the principle, because we operate in a different context than Jesus’ original hearers. A few years after Jesus spoke these words, He died on the cross. He was a sacrifice on the altar before God once and for all. We no longer make sacrifices because Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice that permanently washes us clean. So then, how do we apply it.

  • It seems like Jesus is saying here that, if we think that everything is fine with us, just because there is anger under the surface, we are missing something. Just because anger is not being expressed outwardly, doesn’t mean it is not still a dangerous sin that we need to address. In the same way we can go around thinking that we are fine because you cannot see our anger on the surface, is like someone going to the altar to get right with God as if the conflict that is under the surface is not really a sin. Jesus exposes that we must deal with the heart.

  • The second part of this scenario, is that Jesus tells us to come to terms quickly with our accuser. In this hypothetical situation, he warns that if we don’t he will take us to a judge and we will get prosecuted. We may not know how to apply this because we may not be in a conflict that is so extreme. But again we should learn the principle that Jesus is describing.

  • It is in our own best interest, to deal with conflicts quickly. The longer we wait to deal with conflict, the worse the consequences of the conflict. The longer we wait, the more damage is done. Jesus tells us to deal with anger quickly.

  • We all know what happens when we let anger fester. It runs away with us. It usually mushrooms into something fierce that no longer sees truthfully what happened. We must take seriously the root of anger in our hearts, and deal with it.

  • Here is what we learn from Jesus’s teaching on anger:

    1. Anger, even undercover anger, even anger under the surface, is dangerous. It is a sin.

    2. The anger that we all have in our hearts and minds, is enough to condemn us before God. We desperately need a Savior.

    3. We have to deal with anger not simply when it gets to the surface, but when it’s in our hearts.

  • Don’t wait to deal with anger just when it comes to the surface. Don’t wait until you yell at your family, slam a door, curse at someone, have road rage, spew venom behind someone’s back, write a nasty email, slander someone on Social Media, harpoon them with gossip, punch a wall, or throw a temper tantrum. Many of us who are completely calm and reserved on the outside have anger problems. Deal with it under the surface. Deal with the root.

  • Dig up the anger roots: What do you wish about certain people?

    1. Do you wish they would go bankrupt?

    2. Do you wish that their relationships would break down?

    3. Do you wish that harm would happen to them?

    4. Do you wish that they were dead?

    5. Jesus says that when we feel like that, that is essentially: murder, violence, theft, sabotage in our hearts.

Key Questions:

  1. HIGH/LOW: what was the high point of your week and what was the low point?
  2. ICEBREAKER: can you name a fictional character known for their anger?
    • [Yosemite Sam, Donald Duck, Pop-Eye, etc.]
  3. READ: Matthew 5:21-26
  4. What is the most surprising thing in this passage to you?
  5. In this passage, how is Jesus addressing the question: how good is good enough to get to heaven?
  6. What is the difference between righteous anger and sinful anger?
  7. What are some things people do when anger gets to the surface?
  8. What does anger look like when it is under the surface?
  9. How is hidden anger just as dangerous as exposed anger?
  10. How does hidden anger affect our relationships?
  11. What are some ways to deal with the anger that is under the surface?
  12. What things make you angry, but not in a righteous way?
  13. What are some practical things you can do to get to the root of some of your anger?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.