ENGAGE: What Exactly Is The Gospel

talk

READING OF THE WEEK

ROMANS 1:16

MAIN POINT

We must understand the meaning of the gospel so that we can share it with others.

INTRODUCTION

Would you rather: share your testimony on a Sunday morning to the whole church, or answer the spiritual questions of an unbeliever at work? Why?

Do you find it easy or difficult to bring discussions around to the Bible? Explain.

What is the relationship between your own understanding of the gospel and your desire to share the gospel with other people?

“Gospel” is a word church-goers tend to use easily, within the walls of the church. But how well do you think the average church-goer really understands the meaning of that word? And if we really grasp its meaning, then shouldn’t we naturally talk about the gospel outside of church, with people who do not understand it? If we’re going to effectively engage people in conversations about faith in Christ, we must understand the gospel. Today’s study will help us do that.

VERSE OF THE WEEK

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)
21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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The Conclusion Of The Matter

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING:

ECCLESIASTES 12:1-14

MAIN POINT

The meaning of life is found in having faith in God and obeying Him.

INTRODUCTION

If someone asked you what the meaning of life is, what would you tell that person?

What is one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self?

In Ecclesiastes 12, Solomon advised people to serve the God who made them. Solomon reminded his readers in symbolic language of the physical and emotional losses that often accompany aging. Death is the final destiny of all people, and a time when the stewardship of life ends. This chapter summarizes the conclusion of Solomon’s instructions about the meaning of life. The conclusion calls on all people to respect God and to obey His commands.

VERSES OF THE WEEK:

Philippians 2:4-8 (KJV)
4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5   Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 

 

Life & Death

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESISTES 9:1-6 & PHILIPPIANS 1:18-30

MAIN POINT

The gospel equips us to face the fear of death head on.

INTRODUCTION

What are some ways that people in our culture try to avoid thinking about death or hide the signs that death is coming? Why do people do this?

How do you cope with the death of loved ones? How do you tend to respond?

Does the pain of losing someone you love ever really go away? What does that tell us about death?

We live in a culture that is constantly trying to sell us a hundred different creams and lotions that try to hide the reality that our bodies are not permanent. Whether we face terminal sickness or someone around us dies from an accident, we all will be confronted with the reality of our mortality at some point in our lives. God, however, doesn’t want us to live in fear of death. In fact, God hates death. He hates it so much that He took on human flesh, suffered on the cross, and defeated death by rising from the grave.

VERSE OF THE WEEK

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
“They, then, who are destined to die, need not be careful to inquire what death they are to die, but into what place death will usher them.”  Augustine
Don’t forget, this Sunday is “Back to Church Sunday”  Invite, Invite, and invite!
See You Sunday!

Wisdom & Foolishness

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES 7:5-14

MAIN POINT
Christians live according to God’s wisdom, not man’s.
INTRODUCTION
What has been your toughest decision this year?What prevailed in guiding your choice: Your feelings? Others’ advice? Circumstances?
How would you define wisdom? Where are most people in today’s world likely to go for wisdom? Explain.
Who or what in our society clouds the view of true wisdom?
Although the world offers many “answers” to our quest for wisdom, our first stop should always be to consider God and the wisdom in His Word. All of your life is to be submitted to God’s direction. That doesn’t mean finding perfection, but it does mean that you can live in obedience to God’s teachings.

VERSES OF THE WEEK:

Ephesians 1:6-10 (KJV)
6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

 

 

The Fear of God

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES 5:1-7

MAIN POINT

God’s holiness strikes a reverent fear in the hearts of those who see Him for who He truly is.

INTRODUCTION

Q: When was the last time you stood in awe of nature? Describe the experience.

Q: Why do you think we are sometimes blind to God’s glory in nature?

Q: What does the terrifying power of storms and natural disasters tell us about God’s power and strength?

God’s power is displayed around us in ways both pleasant and terrifying. If we hope to worship God rightly, we must come to terms with His perfect power and sovereignty that rightly strikes fear in the hearts of men.

VERSE OF THE WEEK:

Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)
10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

The Emptiness of Life’s Pursuits

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER 2

INTRODUCTION

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING:

If I had _________________________, then I would be happy. How do you tend to fill in that blank?

How do people in our culture tend to fill in that blank?

What do people in the world today think is the key to happiness and satisfaction in life?

Why won’t these things satisfy?

Solomon devoted himself to testing the pleasures of the world to see if He could find meaning and value in them. He says that this too “proved to be meaningless” (Ecc. 2:1). The problem with chasing after pleasure in work, education, and leisure activities is that our hearts were not created to find satisfaction in these things. We were created for something bigger. We were created to delight in God supremely. It is only when we put God first in our lives that we will be able to enjoy the things of the world in a way that honors Him.

VERSE OF THE WEEK

Philippians 4:11 (KJV)
11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

This lesson is not meant to be a discouraging statement but rather to instruct us in a proper perspective of the activities we participate in and whether they are a true value in the spiritual life.

God bless and have a great week. See you Sunday!

The Presence of Sin & the Power of Community

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES 4:1-12

MAIN POINT

One of the ways we navigate life in the broken, sinful world in which we live is by plugging into community.

INTRODUCTION

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How does this aspect of your personality impact your thoughts on biblical community and accountability?

What aspect of the Christian life do you think is the most challenging to do alone? Explain your answer.

When Christian community is happening as God designed it, how involved should we be in each other’s lives? Support your response with Scripture, if any come to mind.

God created us for community. In fact, the Trinity is the perfect model for us of community—the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct, but they function together in perfect unity to form the Godhead. The church is modeled after that perfect community, and part of doing life together as God intended involves being personally accountable to other Christians. As we will see today, biblical accountability is two-fold. It pushes us away from temptation and toward Christ.

Think of the strength we gain from accountability in the Church community and how it affects our spiritual lives.

God bless and have a great rest of the week. See you Sunday!