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The Way--RSVP--Pastor Nicholas Todd

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Discussion Guide – “The Way—RSVP”  Pastor Nic

Questions by Pastor Ric

July 9, 2017 

If we want to understand the history of the church, Acts is our book.  This study will continue to give us a picture of how the early church handled its beginnings, struggles and subsequent growth in a culture not unlike our own— hostile to Followers of “The Way” but also open to spirituality.  We need this. 

Feel free to use more or less of these questions.  They are here to move us from knowledge to obedience as God’s Spirit speaks to our hearts.  Share what God is doing in your heart as a result and have others you trust hold you to account for the life-change God is working in you.

Text:  MA 5:3-11;  Acts 24:22-27

  • Jesus’ amazing teaching in MA 5 was new, different and life-changing. The beatitudes are like the “Cliff Notes’ of Jesus’ teaching.  They are Jesus’ invitation to a life of righteousness (Blessed are you if):  Your poverty (your spirit) allows you to be “poured into” by His Spirit…  Vulnerability is losing and loving…  Gone are destructive instincts (the meek)… Mercy is given and received…  we are single-purposed…  Making peace brings maturity….  Persecution leads to a reflection of the grand story of God and a heavenly perspective…  Rewards can be here but are mostly in heaven… you  hunger and thirst for Righteousness which cannot be defined as moral only (behaving correctly)---It is connected to God through my pursuit of a relationship with Him—his presence is a powerful part of my desire to obey and is wrapped up in my loving relationship with Him…Paul’s connection with Jesus changed him forever.  It is all about relationship.  Discuss your relationship with Jesus and how it specifically impacts your life every day.  Talk about how some days, it doesn’t and why.
  • Being falsely accused is not fun. Paul’s situation landed him in prison for over two years.  How’s that for a resume builder? Would you hire this man? How would we respond if we were in this specific situation?  Talk about how Paul responded to this extended challenge and what ways you might struggle with this?  What are the keys to responding well?
  • Are there people in your life/Oikos you have given up on? Paul continued to share “The Way” with Felix and Drucilla for more than two years, with no response.  How do we wrap our arms around this kind of perseverance?
  • Felix was looking for a bribe…illegal but culturally acceptable. If I were Paul, I might be tempted to respond “culturally” to “help” Felix understand my desire to identify with him and perhaps move him closer to a response.  What would be the harm in that?  (hint:  what part does the Holy Spirit play in anyone’s response to Jesus’ invitation?)
  • Felix was not responding to Paul’s invitation (no RSVP).  In Paul’s teaching on Mars Hill, there were several responses…”some were saved, some departed saying he’s nuts, and some said, we will hear from him again.”  How do we decide who we spend our time with? 
  • What are the specific ways Jesus is asking you to respond to his teaching (see #1 above)?
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Discussion Guide - Standing on the Resurrection

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Discussion Guide – “The Way—Standing on the Resurrection” Pastor Tony

Questions by Pastor Ric
July 2, 2017 

If we want to understand the history of the church, Acts is our book. This study will continue to give us a picture of how the early church handled its beginnings, struggles and subsequent growth in a culture not unlike our own—somewhat hostile but open to spiritual things. We need this.

Feel free to use more or less of these questions. They are here to move us from knowledge to obedience as God’s Spirit speaks to our hearts. Share what God is doing in your heart as a result and have others you trust hold you to account for the life-change God is working in you.

Text: Acts 23:1-34 

  • Paul’s defense of his testimony divided the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Honesty clearly characterized his speech. Honesty in this case, revealed the flaws of both religious groups and divided them. However, it created more problems for Paul, in that both groups were even more antagonistic towards him. It was clear that this kind of honesty is what Christ desires from us as His followers. How have you been tempted to dishonesty recently? How does this story about Paul’s testimony impact your response to truthfulness today?
  • Ephesians 1:18-20 speaks of the hope that the resurrection gives us, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…” His power transforms us, justifies us, gives us hope as well as victory over death. Explain how this has happened in your life and give an example of how this kind of power, working in your life, has been an encouragement to you. 
  • The uniqueness of Jesus’ resurrection gives us the ability cope with the tragedies of life here on earth (hope). Christ’s power over death assures us that death is not final for us either (1 CO 15:51). It also gives us a perspective on eternity that enables us to live lives of selflessness here and now. Discuss the many ways today’s follower of Jesus is able to live a life of service to others because we serve the risen Christ.
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