How Do I Defend The Gospel

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READING FOR THE WEEK

COLOSSIANS 4:5-6; JOHN 6:44; 1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-34

MAIN POINT

The effective defense of the gospel involves an inner attitude that is gracious, reliant upon the Holy Spirit, and willing to help people overcome barriers.

INTRODUCTION

When someone disagrees with your position on a subject, how do you typically respond to them: argumentatively, with patience and understanding, or with avoidance? Why?

How does the prospect of being put in a situation where you must defend the gospel make you feel: scared, excited, overwhelmed, humbled, other? Explain.

Sharing the gospel wouldn’t be so daunting for many of us if those we shared it with readily agreed with it. The truth is, nonbelievers have real questions about the Bible and Christianity. We must prepare ourselves to answer those questions, but the heart of a good defense of the gospel is an inner attitude that recognizes a few important truths: our words must be gracious, a person’s salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit, and we must be willing to help people overcome the barriers that keep them from faith in Christ.

VERSE OF THE WEEK

1 Peter 3:14-15 (KJV)
14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

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Why Should I Share The Gospel

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Reading of the Week

Matthew 28:18-20

Main Point

Because Christ commanded it and is returning again, the responsibility to evangelize lies upon every believer.

INTRODUCTION

Describe a time when you recall being heartbroken for the world. Was it just a feeling, or did it cause you to act differently? Explain.
Are all Christians called to share the gospel? Why or why not?
If we recognize there is need, and we’re commanded to share the gospel, what keeps us from it?
What’s inside of our hearts compels us to action (Prov. 4:23). What that means is that if we’re not actively sharing our faith, it is a heart issue. In today’s study, we’ll explore the reasons why personal evangelism is a vital part of life in Christ, and we’ll confront the barriers that keep us from it.

 

ENGAGE: What Exactly Is The Gospel

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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.

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.