Discussion Questions for November 26, 2017

Philippians 3:1-9

What does it mean?

1. How would you summarize the big ideas thus far in Philippians?

2. Who are the “dogs”, “evildoers” and “those who mutilate the flesh” and how does Paul want us to understand them?

3. How are they contrasted with the Philippians?

4. What does it mean to “put no confidence in the flesh”?

5. What reason does Paul have in mentioning all of these things in verses 4–6? Why does it seem that Paul isn’t merely neutral about his background?

6. What does it mean to consider everything a loss that he may gain Christ?

7. What does Paul mean when saying “Knowing Christ Jesus My Lord”?

8. What does it mean to be “found in” Christ? How is this related to being righteous?

9. How would you paraphrase Philippians 3:1-9?

How does it apply?

1.    Why is justification by faith alone, with nothing added, important?  What makes it difficult?

2.   Describe what life looks like for someone depending on their own efforts to become righteous?  What’s it look like?  What’s it feel like?  

3.   Describe what life looks like for someone who has been declared righteous through faith alone?  What’s it look like?  What’s it feel like?  

4.   How do you see yourself putting confidence in your achievements?  What things are you hesitant to lose or count as rubbish for the sake of Christ? Why? 

5.   What things do you do/can you do to see Christ’s surpassing worth more clearly? 

6.   Make a list of situations, events, or choices over the past few months that show God is transforming you from the inside out. That you are counting more things as rubbish (relative to Christ).  Take time to pray and celebrate and thank God for working in and through you. 

 

Discussion Questions for November 19, 2017

Be Humble Like Timothy and Epaphrodictus
Philippians 2:19-30
Todd Chapman - November 19, 2017

1. Be like Timothy. Put the interests of others ahead of your own.

• He puts the interests of others ahead of his own.

• He is more mature than others.

• He is young.

• He is devoted to promoting the gospel.

2. Be like Epaphroditus. Put the interests of others ahead of your own.

• He puts the interests of others ahead of his own.

• He is more mature than others.

• He is devoted to advancing the gospel. He risked his life to help Paul.

• He and folks like him are to be emulated and celebrated.

 

Discussion Questions for November 12, 2017

SOLA FIDE “FAITH ALONE”

Ephesians 2:8-10

What does it mean?

1. We have taken 3 weeks off from Philippians to dig into the reformation.  What were the big three ideas we have looked at?  What of those has resonated with or challenged you?

2. What is the difference between justification and sanctification?

3. How are justification and sanctification related?

4. Why is it important to emphasize justification by faith alone, with nothing added?

5. What does saving faith entail? Is understanding enough? (Anchored in Ephesians 2:8-10. Philippians 2:12-13. James 2:14-17). Explain.

6. What does treasuring Christ look like? How does that change the way we think, feel and live?

7. Do  you believe that exegesis leads to clearer theology and inevitably changes the way we live? Is there a story that you could share about your experience in that process?

8. If  this process is true (exegesis to clearer theology to life) how does it affect your conversations about Jesus? 

 

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Discussion Questions for November 5, 2017

 

SOLA GRATIA

ROMANS 3:21-25, EPHESIANS 2:8-10

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

1. What’s the difference between imputed and infused righteousness?

2. How would you describe the difference between the Roman Catholic view of grace and the protestants view?

3. According to Paul in Ephesians 2:8-10 and Romans 3:21-25, how is that grace received that produces our righteousness? Explain.

4. Why is grace contrary to the human experience, or counter-intuitive? Why do we sometimes resist the idea, especially when it comes to a person’s relationship with God?

5. In what ways do we move away from the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith without realizing it?

6. What do you believe are the effects God intends to produce in our life through the belief in salvation by grace alone? How does that impact our thoughts, feelings and actions?

7. How might you lovingly, humbly initiate this conversation with a Roman Catholic friend? Others in your sphere of influence?

 

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Discussion Questions for October 29, 2017

Sola Scriptura

1. REVIEW: What has stood out to you from Philippians thus     far?

2. As you understand it now, what was the Reformation and what made it so significant in 1517?

3. Why do you think the doctrine of ‘Scripture Alone’ is still important today? Can the Bible be trusted? Explain.

4. What kinds of thoughts and feelings flow from believing that Scripture can be trusted and is the supreme authority for your life?

5. How does the supreme authority of Scripture practically get expressed in your life?

6. Read II Timothy 3:16. As expressed by Paul, what is Scripture useful for?

7. Are there ways you struggle to view Scripture as the authority for your life?  Explain.  In what ways can we lose the centrality of Scripture alone? What are the things in your life that compete with Scripture to be an equal or greater source of authority?

8. At RCC, we talk about being Biblically Saturated.  How do those ideas go together (Scripture Alone and Biblically Saturated)?  What does it mean for how we pursue God corporately?  What does it mean for how we pursue Him individually?

 

Discussion Questions for October 22, 2017

Philippians 2:12-18

What does it mean?

1. How is Paul continuing the big idea from Philippians 1:1-2:11?

2. How might “work out your own salvation” be misinterpreted? How does it fit into this passage?

3. Why does Paul use the words “fear and trembling”? Why might those words be significant?

4. What does Paul mean when he uses the phrase “shine as lights”?

5. What does Paul mean by “so that I didn’t run in vain”? What is he connecting that idea to?

6. What does Paul mean when he talks about pouring himself out as a “drink offering”?

7. Is Paul asking the Philippians to put in effort? How does effort fit into the equation of salvation?

8. What is the “word of life”? Why does Paul want them to cling to it?

9. What is the big idea of Philippians 2:12-17

How does it apply?

1. What would it look like to experience more ‘fear and trembling?’ How can we live more consistently with an appreciation of the miracle of our ongoing spiritual transformation (OST)?

2. If effort is such a big deal to Paul, what would it look like for us to put in more effort in our every day experience in this journey of OST?

3. How do I determine the level of effort I’m putting into this journey, or whether I’m simply floating along? Who are the people in my life that I can ask this week to help make me more aware of the blind spots I may have in my OST?

4. What role does going beyond our church walls, into the world, play in this understanding of working out your salvation? What are those areas of ‘the world’ for you?

5. When I encounter difficult circumstances, what emotions would reflect a heart that desires to hold fast to the word of life? What does that holding fast to the word of life look like day to day?

 

Discussion Questions for October 15, 2017

Philippians 2:1-11

What does it mean?

1. What has been Paul’s flow of thought from 1:3-30?

2. How is Paul continuing the big idea from Philippians 1:27-30 in 2:1-11?

3. What are the foundations or benefits that Paul lists for our Christian unity? What do you think these things mean?

4. What does Paul mean when he says, “complete my joy”?

5. How does Paul define humility? How do we see Jesus pictured in v5-11 as the primary example Paul uses for humility?

6. What does it mean that Jesus emptied himself?

7. How is Jesus being exalted? What is the name that is above every name? What does this say about Jesus? (cf. Isaiah 45:23)

8. How would you summarize Paul’s big idea of Philippians 2:1-11?

How does it apply?

1. How does the expression of humility get misinterpreted?

2. How does the humility of Jesus empower you to serve the best interest of those that claim to treasure Christ? Those yet to believe? How does that get expressed?

3. What gifts or talents do you possess that cause you the greatest frustration when they aren't recognized or valued?

4. How is humility foundational in the development and maintenance of unity?

5. Is being exalted in death a motivator in you life? Explain.

 

Discussion Questions for October 8, 2017

Life Group Discussion Questions:

Philippians 1:27-30

What does it mean?

1. How would you summarize Philippians 1:2-26?

2. What does Paul mean by“live worthy”? 

3. How does Paul intend his readers to understand “whether I come and see you  or am absent?

4. How is “you” being used in this passage? Is he speaking to us as individuals or us as a community?

5. What does it mean to be “standing firm in one spirit” and “with one mind striving side by side”?

6. How does fear fit into this passage? Fear of what? What fear is Paul talking about?

7. What is the “clear sign” that Paul is referring to? What is the clear sign of destruction and salvation?

8. What does “For it has been granted” mean? How are faith and suffering gifts?

9. How is unity functioning in this passage?

10. What’s the big idea of Philippians 1:27-30

How does it apply?

1. Did something specific strike you about what it looks like to live a life worthy of the manner of the gospel? Explain.

2. In what ways can we seek unity within the body? How can we display a greater unity within the community of RCC?

3. What fears are we facing? What does this passage have to say about those fears, both to those around us as well as the condition of our hearts? 

4. What should we think of Paul’s promise that we’ll suffer? In what ways has suffering caused you to assess your own faith, draw closer to God, or provided opportunities you otherwise wouldn't have had to share your faith? 

 

Discussion Questions for October 1, 2017

Life Group Discussion Questions:

Philippians 1:18-26

What does it mean?

1. Why might Paul mention the prayers of the Philippians alongside the help of the Spirit?

2. What does Paul mean that he will ‘not be at all ashamed’ in v.20? 

3. In v.22 and 24, what benefits does Paul list if he is to be released from prison? 

4. How is Paul ok with ‘deliverance’ that means death? What is the benefit he is expecting?

5. With either form of ‘deliverance’ what is Paul’s confidence in v. 20?  Describe how Christ is honored in both scenarios. 

6. How would you state Paul’s big idea in Philippians 1:18-26?

How does it apply?

1. Does Paul’s ability to find joy in the midst of difficult circumstances encourage us, or discourage us?  Why?

2. Who have you known who clearly lived out this phrase “for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”?  Do we believe it, and do we live it out?

3. What fruitful labor do you look forward to if God leaves you here 1 more year?  5 more years?  10 years?  20 years? 

4. Am I experiencing progress and joy in the faith?  How do I continue and/or experience more? 

 

Discussion Questions for September 24, 2017

Life Group Discussion Questions:

Philippians 1:12-18

What does it say?

1. What has happened to Paul in v. 12?

2. How has Paul’s imprisonment served to advance the Gospel?

3. Who are the “most of the brothers” in v. 14?  What do they believe about Paul’s imprisonment? 

4. Who are the “some” who are preaching Christ out of rivalry?  What do they believe about Paul’s imprisonment?

5. How is Paul’s imprisonment “for the defense of the Gospel”?

6. How are his rivals hoping to ‘afflict’ Paul in his imprisonment?

7. How would you state the big idea of Philippians 1:12-18? 

How does it apply?

1. How should Paul’s imprisonment be an encouragement to us? What should it encourage us towards? 

2. What typically keeps us from proclaiming the Gospel?

3. How can we have greater trust that God is at work and using our circumstances?

4. How could our difficult circumstance serve to advance the Gospel? 

5. Do you feel God calling you to proclaim the Gospel somewhere specific or to someone in particular?  Let the group pray with you over that opportunity.

 

Discussion Questions for September 3, 2017

Revelation 21:1-4

What does it mean?

1. Where have we been thus far in the series? 

2. How does the theme "forever with Him" fit into the over all scheme of the series?

3. What is the significance of God's dwelling place being with God? 

4. Are there themes in Revelation 21:1-4 that we have seen throughout the 20/20 series?

5. Who is the bride in verse 2?

6. What's the big idea of Revelation 21:1-4?

How does it apply?

1. How does this picture of this future reality affect our current circumstances?

2. How does the continuity of the whole bible seen in Revelation 21:1-4 help us see the relevance of the entire bible to us?

3. How has the 20/20 series encouraged us to see a bigger picture of who God is? 

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Discussion Questions for August 27, 2017

 

Acts 1:8

What does it mean?

1. Where have we been thus far in the series? 

2. How does the theme "too good not to share" fit into the over all scheme of the series?

3. What does the disciples’ question in v. 6 reveal about their expectations? 

4. What power are the disciples supposed to receive? (v. 8)

5. Is there any significance to the locations Jesus lists in v. 8?

6. What's the big idea of Acts 1:1-10?

How does it apply?

1. How do verse 7 and 8 give us a better lens to see the church’s role in the world?  

2. How should the power we receive be an encouragement to witness to the ends of the earth?

3. What practical and concrete steps can I make towards sharing this good news? 

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Discussion Questions for August 20, 2017

Acts 7:51-8:8

What does it mean?

1. Where have we been thus far in the series? 

2. How does the theme "trusting in every circumstance" fit into the overall scheme of the series?

3. Read Acts 6:3-8, how does Luke describe Stephen?

4. What does Luke tell us about Stephen’s response to the angry mob in vs.55-60?

5. What is the result of Stephen’s death for the Jerusalem church (in 8:1-2)?

How does it apply?

1. Why is it difficult for us to trust in God's provision during difficult circumstances?

2. In what ways do we functionally deny the truth of Stephen’s story when we meet difficult circumstances or struggle in our Ongoing Spiritual Transformation process? 

3. Trusting God's provision in tough times does not mean the absence of grief – so what does it look like? 

4. How have you grown in your ability to trust in the hard times? 

5. What would help you to keep growing in this area?

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Discussion Questions for August 13, 2017

John 13:34-35; Matthew 5:43-48

What does it mean?

1. Where have we been thus far in the series? 

2. How does the theme "love actually" fit into the over all scheme of the series?

3. What's the big idea of Matthew 5:43-48?

4. Why does Jesus tell us not to hate our enemies? 

5. What does it mean that we are to be perfect like God is perfect?

6. What are followers of Jesus supposed to be known by? (John 13:34-35)

How does it apply?

1. Knowing that we are to be known for our love, is that an accurate representation of who we are?

2. How can I better love my neighbor?

3. In what ways can the Church as a whole better love our neighbors? 

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Discussion Questions for August 6, 2017

Romans 6:1-23

What does it mean?

1. Talk through the progression of the Twenty 20 series in your own words.

2. Romans six begins with two questions.  What issue is Paul introducing with those questions?

3. In his next question Paul begins to answer the questions from v.1. Why according to Paul can we not 'go on sinning so that grace may abound'?

4. In v.4-11, Paul compares the conversion of a believer to what event in Jesus' life?

5. What does Paul mean by 'obedient from the heart' in v.17?  What other kind of obedience is there?

6. What is the 'fruit' of our old way of life according to v.21-23?

7. What is the fruit of a life that has been bought out of its slavery to sin?

How does it apply?

1. What are some ways your thinking about God and the Christian Life has been adjusted since you came to trust Jesus?  Recently?

2. Does a clearer picture of God, or what He's done for us, change our feelings?  How?  Can you give any examples?

3. How did thinking about Christ lead to love for Christ in your life?  Did it lead to new patterns of decision making?

4. How does that growth continue today?  Where is God shaping you now?  How can you cooperate with God more in that process?

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Discussion Questions for July 30, 2017

Romans 3:19-26

What does it mean?

1. Where have we been thus far in the series? 

2. How does being declared righteous by faith fit into the over all scheme of the series?

3. How many people were justified by obeying the law according to Paul in v.20?

4. What does Paul mean by the "righteousness of God" in v.21?

5. What is the relationship, then, between the Law and the Prophets and the righteousness of God?

6. What is propitiation in v.25?  How does it help us?

7. How would you summarize Paul’s point in Romans 3:19-26?

8. What does it tell us about God’s character? 

How does it apply?

1. If we are declared righteous by faith, not by works, how should we view our brothers and sisters in Christ? 

2. In what ways do we minimize our being declared righteous?  

3. How would a fuller understanding of your righteous standing in Christ change the way you live? Relate to others? Feel?   

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Discussion Questions for July 23, 2017

1 Cor. 15:14-19; Matt. 28:1-10

What does it mean?

1. Where have we been thus far in the series? 

2. How does the resurrection fit into the over all scheme of the series?

3. Why is death an enemy and how does Jesus' resurrection address that?

4. What is Matthew trying to convey to us about the reaction of the women? Why is this significant? 

5. Why does the angel use the word "disciples" and Jesus use the word "brothers"? Is this significant? 

6. What's the big idea of Matthew 28:1-10?

7. Was the resurrection necessary? What is the crucifixion without the resurrection? 

 

How does it apply?

1. Why is the resurrection so significant? (cf. 1 Corinthians 15 & 1 Peter 1:3) 

2. In what ways do we minimize the resurrection?  

3. Why is it important to see how the resurrection has implications both for today and our eternity?

4. How does the reality of the resurrection change the way we live today?   

5. How can we live with more confidence and urgency rather than indifference and disinterest regarding the resurrection?


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What does it mean?

1. How would you summarize where we have been thus far in our series? 

2. How does this particular section fit in to the overall flow of the ideas we have seen in Scripture?

3. Why did Jesus need to die?

4. What is the tension between God's forgiveness and justice? 

5. Could God have saved another way? (Cf. Matthew 26:39, Hebrews 2:14-17)

6. Was it necessary for Jesus to live 30+ years as a human, could he have come to die for us in an instant? 

7. What does the cross actually accomplish— for our justification? For our sanctification?

How does it apply?

1. What are the benefits of the cross for us? 

2. What are some ways that we can know that we are not trusting in the cross for our salvation as fully as we could?  For OST?

3. If Jesus paid the price completely for our salvation, what then is left for us to do?  

 

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Discussion Questions for July 9, 2017

What does it mean?

How would you summarize where we have been thus far in our series?  How does this particular section fit in to the overall flow of the ideas we have seen in Scripture?

John 1:14-18

1. What's the big idea of John 1:14-18?

2. What does it mean that no one has ever seen God? Why does John bring this up here? 

3. How are Moses and Jesus being contrasted?

Hebrews 2:14-17

1. Why did Jesus have to be made like his brothers? 

2. What does it mean that Jesus became a merciful and faithful high priest? 

3. What does the author want us to get from 2:18? 

Hebrews 4:14-16 

1. What does it mean that Jesus is the great high priest?

2. Why do you think the author emphasizes that Jesus understands our temptations? Yet never sinned?

3. What does it mean that he “passed through the heavens”?

 

How does it apply?

1. Which aspect of the incarnation do we typically diminish? His humanity or his divinity?

2. In what ways does Christ's humanity bring us comfort?

3. In what ways does Christ's divinity bring us comfort?

4. How does the incarnation give us a picture of who God is?

5. How does the incarnation, specifically the temptations that Christ endured, affect the way you go throughout the encounters of your life?

 

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Life Group Questions for July 2, 2017

John 1:1-18

What does it mean?

1. How would you summarize John 1:1-18?

2. How does John describe the relationship between the "Word" and God?

3. How does John describe the relationship between the "Word" and humanity?

4. Define the 'world' as John is using the term here.  Describe the relationship between the "Word" and the world?

5. Who are the children of God?

6. How would you paraphrase v. 14? Why might this verse be difficult to fathom for the original audience?

7. If the Jews already believed in God, why does John say "he has made him known" (v. 18)

8. What is the big idea of 1:1-18?

How does it apply?

1. How does this passage fit in our series?

2. How does Jesus' coming into the worldfulfill what had been promised?

3. What is the tension in this text? How have other people tried to solve this tension?  How do we solve it?

4. How does this text give us a bigger picture of who God is?

5. What emotions strike you when you read this passage?

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