Community Group Questions 3/23/14

Beast Mode Connection Center-TAG Weekly Training Tip

This week we're half way through the group season! Here's a quick idea/reminder for your group this week.

Here's the video:

[vimeo 89837649 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

Student Camp

  • This summer our Student Ministry is hosting a Mission Camp June 23-27.
  • Students - registration is open and spots will go fast, so sign up early and make the most of the early bird discounts.
  • Everyone else - we have lots of opportunities to get involved. Check out the insert in your bulletin for more details and how to sign up.

Easter Service Times

  • Easter is just 4 weeks away!
  • We’re planning 3 identical services for Easter Sunday this year at 9, 10:30 and 12.
  • As you plan for Easter, we’d like to invite you to go to either the  9 o’clock or 12 o’clock services, so we can make the most room for new guests in our 10:30 service.

Sermon Title: Beast Mode, Part 5: Heavy Lifting

Main Texts: Matthew 6:12-15, Matthew 5:20, Colossians 2:13-14

Topics:

  • This model prayer of Jesus’ takes us through different dynamics of prayer: praise, submitting to His will, and making requests to Him. In this section, Jesus reminds us the power of confessing our sins.

  • Jesus introduces the concept by saying, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” One of the ways we must understand sin, is that it is a debt. There is a Creator God, who is the owner and sustainer of all that is in existence. He has given us His expectations of how we are to live. We owe Him our obedience. When we sin, it is like we have committed a crime against the highest Lawgiver in the universe. We now must pay the price for that crime. We are in debt.

  • Understanding this is key to understanding prayer. If all we do in our prayers is ask God for stuff then our relationship with Him is pretty limited. It would be like only talking to one’s spouse when you wanted something from them. So part of talking to God is acknowledging when we’ve disobeyed. Prayer is not a spiritual version of wishing on a star. Prayer is the foundation of a dynamic relationship with the Living God.

  • Jesus then says, “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” This represents another way we must understand sin. God did not simply set up laws for humanity to test their loyalty. They are not arbitrary. They are the way this world functions at its best. Going outside of God’s plan leads to destruction. That is why Jesus uses the word, “deliver us.”  He is asking that God would save us from falling into temptation and evil, because it is always destructive.  Sin is not just a DEBT. Sin also brings DANGER.

  • Jesus then comments on the end of His prayer. He says if we forgive others, then God will forgive us. This should be terrifying to us. Which one of us forgives perfectly? So are we to understand God’s forgiveness as conditional? That does not bode well for us.

  • To understand these troubling verses we have to understand that the Lord’s Prayer is part of a larger sermon, The Sermon on the Mount. The point of this sermon is to address our attempts at trying to earn our way to heaven. Jesus uses His sermon to tell us that we would each have to be perfect, down to the intentions in our hearts. By the time Jesus is done with His sermon, we all realize that we are on shaky ground. None of us can make it to heaven. God is too holy, and we are obviously imperfect.

  • These verses are helping us understand on what basis we should communicate with God about our sin? Do we think God owes us forgiveness? Do we think we just need to say some words, and our sins are washed away?

  • There is only one hope for us. Our debt is paid because of what Jesus did on the cross.

  • So this affects how we confess. When we confess it is not that action that forgives our sins. Only Jesus’ death forgives sins. So when we confess it is an opportunity to remember that THE DEBT IS PAID. Confession reminds us of how much we need the Gospel, every day. It gives us an opportunity to preach it to ourselves again. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate it again.

  • But secondly, confession is important because it reminds us of the danger of sin. Confession is part of our fight against sin. It is where in our communion with God, we bring before Him what we are struggling with. It is an opportunity to remember the consequences of sin and where it will lead.

  • In Confession:

    1. Remember The Debt is Paid

    2. See The Danger Displayed

  • If we do not understand these two dimensions we may fall into a few pitfalls:

    1. we may avoid God when we are in sin, thinking we need to clean ourselves up first

    2. we may treat sin flippantly, abusing His grace

Key Questions:

  1. HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and the low point?
  2. ICEBREAKER: What is one superhuman feat, you’ve always wished you could do?
  3. READ: Matthew 6:12-15
  4. Why do you think Jesus refers to sins as debts?
  5. Jesus also indicates that sin is a danger. What sins do you think people often don’t think of as dangerous? How are they dangerous?
  6. If God only forgave us when we forgave others, how would that work out for us?
  7. READ: Colossians 2:13-14
  8. We know that through Jesus we can have forgiveness from God. Why then do you think Jesus words it like he does in these verses? [hint: it plays into the overall message of the Sermon on the Mount]
    1. The Sermon on the Mount is showing what it would look like to try to be good enough to get to heaven. So here Jesus is making the point, what would make us think God would forgive us if we are unforgiving?
    2. He is forcing us to ask the question, on what grounds am I hoping for forgiveness?
    3. The Sermon on the Mount is setting us up to need a Savior.
  9. How does God’s forgiveness inspire us to forgive others?
  10. How does confessing our sin to God in prayer, give us an opportunity to celebrate the Gospel?
  11. How does confessing our sin to God help us in our fight against sin?
  12. What keeps us from confessing our sins?
  13. What was the most impacting thing in your life, from the Beast Mode challenge?
  14. What things do you intend to keep doing?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.