Community Group Questions 1/19/14

Pulling Weeds Header

Weekly Training Tip

This week we're talking about the upcoming Community Group Leader Training Event and a reminder about the most important question you can ask during group.

Here's the video:

[vimeo 84523235 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 2: Lust

Main Texts: Matthew 5:27-32

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

Topics:

  • Jesus’ sermon, “The Sermon on the Mount” answers primarily one question: how good do you have to be to be saved? Or, how good is good enough?

  • In this section he answers that by discussing the subject of lust.  He starts by establishing that adultery is wrong. If someone cheats on their spouse, most would agree that is wrong. But then Jesus clarifies...

  • He says that lust is adultery in our hearts. God views lust as a sin. This is not a common perspective in our culture. Many would say things like:

    1. You can look, but you can’t touch.

    2. There’s nothing wrong with browsing the menu.

    3. Who does lust hurt, anyway?

  • But Jesus says that lust is a big deal. How big of a deal is it? He says it would be better to cut out your eye than give into lust.  What?!  Surely Jesus is exaggerating. But before we just dismiss Jesus’ statement, let’s hear his logic. He says, if you are trying to get into heaven by being good, then know that lust by itself will keep you out of heaven. And if lust will send you to hell for eternity, wouldn’t it be better to cut out your eyes? It’s hard to argue with that logic. So is Jesus advocating that we mutilate ourselves?

  • For starters at this point in our lives, all of us have already committed the sin of lust. So it is too late anyway. The mutilation of our bodies would not help. But there is a more significant reason.

  • We ARE NOT good enough to get to heaven. The point of Jesus’ whole sermon is that we are not good enough. It’s not just being pretty good (i.e. not murdering, not cheating, etc.), it’s being perfect. We cannot have anger or lust in our hearts. Those inner sins themselves, would keep us out. The point of The Sermon on the Mount, is that we desperately need a Savior.

  • Jesus is that Savior. He died on the cross, to save us from our lust and our anger and all of our sins. So why should we not mutilate ourselves? Because of God’s grace. If we had to get to heaven on our own lifestyle, it would be hard to argue with Jesus’ logic. But we get to heaven based on what Jesus DID not what we DO. Jesus’ body was mutilated on a cross, so ours doesn’t have to be.

  • But is lust really that bad? Why is lust such a big deal? Look at what Jesus says next:

  • Jesus enters into a hot debate in his day, the subject of divorce. In Jesus’ day the rabbi’s debated on what grounds someone could divorce his wife. Some said only on the basis of infidelity. Other’s said you could divorce her if she burned your dinner. Even some rabbi’s said that you could divorce a woman if you saw a prettier woman that you wanted more! No wonder Jesus brings the subject of divorce after the subject of lust.

  • Lust is destructive. As much as we may want to think that lust does not hurt anyone. The bottom line is lust can destroy a marriage, which hurts families, kids, and friends. Lust must be taken seriously.

  • Jesus says some tough phrases on divorce.

  • He says, “everyone who divorces his wife, except on ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery.” What does that mean? That creates some questions:

    1. Does that mean infidelity requires divorce? Absolutely not! In fact, biblically speaking, in most cases it is best for couples to work towards reconciliation and forgiveness.

    2. Are there any other grounds biblically that would allow for a divorce? Jesus is not intending this segment to be an exhaustive dissertation on divorce. He is speaking into the ease in which divorce was sanctioned by them.

    3. An application for us from this phrase is:

      1. God takes marriage seriously. He hates divorce, because it is so destructive and hurtful in our lives.

      2. Many get divorced and they say they fell out of love, or they are in love with someone else. But really it may be stemming from a lust.

    4. There may be other biblical reasons for divorce. It is best not to make a clear cut law about it, but for a couple that is struggling to seek immediate godly counsel.

  • Jesus also says, “whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

    1. If someone is divorced and remarried, are they living in perpetual lust?

      1. Remember Jesus’ point is not to provide a complete and total discussion on divorce. He is showing the hypocrisy of much of the Pharisaical teaching of the day. He is showing that sin is on the inside. Jesus is showing us our need for a Savior.

      2. Jesus as a Savior provided grace. If we are in Jesus, than we are a new creation. We are born again. His grace is new every morning.

      3. Divorce is the exception to grace. It does not cling and permanently taint us. A divorce in the most likely was the result of numerous sins on all sides. Not just infidelity but things like selfishness, pride, etc. If a Christian has a divorce in their past, acknowledge and confess those sins before God. But then truly believe that He has separated you from it once and for all. A divorce is a sin of the past that has been washed away. However, it is wise to confess the attributing sins, so that they do not hurt our current marriage.

      4. If someone is divorced and remarried, they should know that God wants them to enjoy their current marriage in the godly way He desires for all marriage.

    2. Is Jesus saying, that no one should marry someone who has been divorced? Can someone who has been divorced get remarried?

      1. Again, as stated above, divorce is not an exception to the rule of grace. If someone gets a divorce they should confess the sins that led to that. They should turn away from those sins. And ask God to change their heart.

      2. But those sins do not permanently mark them.

      3. Certainly someone can get remarried with lust in their hearts, and it might as well be adultery.

      4. But often it is a grace covered believer, that truly wants to pursue God with a new holy and godly marriage.

  • Lust is an issue for all of us.

    1. Lust includes things like: pornography, fantasizing, and even simply admiring someone in a sexual sense.

    2. Lust is not just an issue for men. There is a recent surge in popularity over erotic novels among women. 1 in 3 pornograpy viewers are women.

  • What should someone do if they are struggling with lust:

    1. Understand the urgency, and confess it to God

    2. Create good boundaries

      1. Covenant Eyes

      2. X3 Watch

    3. Get Help

    4. Get Accountability

Key Questions:

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

  2. ICEBREAKER: What do most people think is good enough to get to heaven?

  3. READ: Matthew 5:27-32

  4. How does passage answer the overall question of The Sermon on the Mount: “how good does someone have to be to be saved?”

  5. What is our culture’s view of lust?

  6. How is lust, adultery in the heart?

  7. Why do you think Jesus use such strong language regarding lust?

  8. How is lust destructive for men and women?

  9. What are some practical ways to safeguard against lust?

  10. How can lust, even without adultery hurt a marriage?

  11. What are the damaging effects of divorce?

  12. What would change in your life if you had Jesus’ view of lust?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.