2 John - True Love is "Truth Love"

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read 2 John. What does it mean to walk in the truth (v4) and walk according to his commandments (v5)? (See James 1:22-25). Do you rejoice when you see others walking in the truth? How does your walk demonstrate your love for God?
     
  3. What kinds of false teachers/deceivers do we face today? How can we be on-guard against them? What roles do spritual disciplines, theology, and doctrine play in this?
     
  4. What are some ways of the ways that you have seen false teachers trying to deceive people?
     
  5. What implications do verses 10-11 have regarding church governance, church membership, and restorative church discipline? 
     
  6. What implications does John’s example in verse 12 have for us in our mass-communication, technology-driven culture?

Ephesians 2:1-10 - You Were Dead... But GOD

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Eph. 2:1-3. What does it mean to be “dead in trespasses and sins”? (See Romans 1:18-23, 3:10-18, Eph. 4:18-19.)
     
  3. Read Eph. 2:4-10. How does being alive in Christ contrast with the deadness of verses 1-3? (See Galatians 5:13-26)
     
  4. How are you tempted to fall back into the Galatians 5:19-21 way of life? Spend some time in prayer asking God to show you any sinful way in your life and confess that sin to God. Ask God to grow you in the evidences of life found in Galatians 5:22-24. 
     
  5. What role do works play in Eph. 2:8-10? How does this impact the way you view your own spiritual walk? How does it affect the way you view yourself in relation to unbelievers or other believers?
     
  6. What was your understanding of the Gospel before you were saved? How has your understanding of the Gospel changed since then? How would you use this passage to help a non-Christian understand the Gospel?

Ephesians 1:15-23 - That You May Know

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Ephesians 1:15-23. In verse 15 Paul gives thanks for the Ephesians’ love toward all the saints. Are other people able to thank the Lord for your love toward all the saints? What are some ways you show love to all of the saints? What are some ways you could love other believers better?
     
  3. What is the difference between the kind of knowledge Paul prays about in verses 17-18 and the kind of knowledge in Matthew 7:21-23? (See also John 10:14-15,27)
     
  4. Consider that Christ, who has immeasurable power described in verses 19-21, is given as head over all things to the church in verse 22. How does this impact the way you view the church?
     
  5. Read Paul’s other prayers, found in Ephesians 3:16-20, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9b-12. What are some insights these passages reveal about prayer? How should these passages affect your own prayers?

Ephesians 1:7–14 - To the Praise of His Glory (Part 2)

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Ephesians 1:7-10. If you have been redeemed through Christ’s blood (v7), how should this impact your life? (Read Galatians 4:3-7, 1 Peter 1:17-19, and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 for a better understanding of redemption.)
     
  3. Read Ephesians 1:11-12. What is the inheritance mentioned in verse 11? (See also 1 Corinthians 15:50-58.)
     
  4. Read Ephesians 1:13-14. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in this section? How might this be encouraging in times where we don’t feel “close to God”?
     
  5. Take time as a group to pray and praise God the Father who chose to call people to Himself before the foundation of the world, Jesus Christ who provided redemption through His blood, and the Holy Spirit who seals those who have believed in Christ.

Ephesians 1:1–6 - To the Praise of His Glory (Part 1)

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Ephesians 1:1-6. What are some spiritual blessings we have been blessed with? (Several are mentioned in verses 1-14.)
     
  3. Who is doing the actions in verses 1-6? How does this inform your understanding of your relationship with God? (See also 1 Corinthians 1:27-31, Romans 5:8-11, Ephesians 2:1-10) 
     
  4. What does verse 4 say we have been chosen for? How does this truth impact your understanding of the Christian walk? (See also 1 Peter 1:13-16)
     
  5. What is the motivator for the purpose of God’s will in verse 5? How does this motivate you to respond to God’s work in your life? (See also 1 John 4:7-11)
     
  6. For further study, read Romans 9:1-29.  How does this passage in Romans contribute to our understanding of God’s choice in salvation?

Salvation through Judgment: An Overview of the Book of Nahum

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. The book of Nahum is a good reminder that God is in control. What fears or temptations do you face that seek to convice you that you are in control? What are some ways we can daily relinquish our lives to God’s sovereign control.
     
  3. The book of Nahum paints a very vivid picture of God’s wrath against sin. By what means are we able to celebrate God’s wrath against sin instead of being apalled by it or fearful of it? (See Romans 5:8-11.)

Philemon - Unpopular Reconciliation

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Philemon 1:1-7. What kinds of things do you typically pray for? Do you take time to thank God for other believers you know and pray for their spiritual effectiveness? 
     
  3. Read Philemon 1:8-16. Are there areas in your own life where you need to pursue reconciliation? Are there ways you can be like Paul and promote reconciliation in the lives of others?
     
  4. What are some ways you can practice and encourage culture-defying unity in the body of Christ?
     
  5. Paul challenged Philemon to transform his view of Onesimus from being his slave to being his brother. Read Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21, and Mark 10:28-30. How does Jesus transform the idea of family? How does that impact how you view/interact with other believers?
     
  6. Read Philemon 1:17-25. In what way does Paul follow Christ’s example in how he treats Onesimus? How should this affect the way we treat those who wrong us?

Psalm 119:33-40

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read all of Psalm 119 in your community group. As you read, notice what themes stand out, and discuss what you noticed.
     
  3. What motivates you to seek God and obey His Word? What motivated the psalmist to seek God and follow His commandments?
     
  4. Read Jeremiah 23:29, Hebrews 4:12, and James 1:21-25. What pictures are used to describe the Word of God? Why is the Word of God valuable, and how is the value of God’s Word evidenced in your own life?
     
  5. Read John 1:1-5. John describes Jesus as the Word. What similarities are there between the Psalmist’s description of the Word in Psalm 119:33-40 and John’s description of the Word?
     
  6. Pray through the areas of Psalm 119 that you want to embody in your own life. Ask specifically that God would increase your delight in His Word (vs. 36a).

Psalm 121

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. If this was the only chapter in the entire Bible, what are the dozen or so things that a person would learn about the LORD from reading this psalm?
     
  3. Four significant words show up five times or more in the psalm. What are they, and how do they inform the meaning of the psalm?
     
  4. The superscript (verse 0) is a “song of ascents.” In it’s original context, where were people ascending to as they sang this psalm (see Exod 23:17; Deut 16:16; Ps 84:7)? Now read Revelation 21:1–4, and note the final destination city of every Christian. As new covenant believers, how does this psalm apply to Christians on their journey to the city mentioned in Revelation 21?
     
  5. How might this psalm give encouragement to those Christians who are spiritually struggling and concerned about whether they can hold fast to Christ till the end?
     
  6. Are the promises of verses 3–8 for every single person who ever lived? Why or why not?

Psalm 145

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 145:1-3. What are ways you can bless the Lord and praise His name every day?
     
  3. Read Psalm 145:4-7. How can you intentionally commend God’s work in your life to the next generation? Can this be done even if you don’t have children? If so, how?
     
  4. Verse 5 says the Psalmist will meditate on the splendor of God’s majesty and on His wondrous works. Take time to meditate (pause and ponder) on verses 8-9. In what ways has the Lord shown these verses to be true in your own life? How should you respond to those truths?
     
  5. Read Psalm 145:10-21 aloud as a declaration of praise to God.Take note of God’s attributes and actions in these verses.

Psalm 34

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 34:1-3. What does it mean to boast in the Lord or to magnify the Lord? Is this something that every Christian should be doing? What hinders you from doing this more often? List some practical ways you can boast in the Lord and magnify Him.
     
  3. Read Psalm 34:4-7. When we face fears or trials, we’re often tempted to run from the Lord instead of seeking Him like David did. How can we condition our hearts to run to God in times of trial instead of away from Him? (See David’s example in Psalm 119:9-16.)
     
  4. Read Psalm 34:8-10. How do we reconcile these verses with the worldwide persecution and suffering of Christians? (See Psalm 34:19, John 16 verses 1-4 and 33.) 
     
  5. Read Psalm 34:11-18. What doe these verses reveal about the character of God?
     
  6. Read Psalm 19-22. What form of deliverance is verse 20 alluding to? (See John 19:33-37.)

Psalm 8 - The Majestic Lord

Discussion Questions

  1.  What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 8:1-2. How might verse 2 be an encouragement to you? (See also 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 and Matthew 18:1-4.)
     
  3. Read Psalm 8:3-4. How often are you intentional about pausing to reflect on the beauty of God’s creation? When you look at God’s creation, what truths are brought to mind about God and about man?
     
  4. Read Psalm 8:5-8. How do these verses affect your thoughts, words, and actions towards other people and towards creation? (See also, Psalm 24:1-2, Genesis 2:15, and Deuteronomy 8:17-18.)
     
  5. Read Hebrews 2:5-9. How does this passage shed new light on Psalm 8:4-6?
     
  6. Read Psalm 8:9. Take time in your community group to praise God for His attributes, for His creation, and for His provision for us - ultimately through Jesus Christ.

Psalm 58 - The Just Judgment of God

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 58:1-5. What are some characteristics of the wicked, based on these verses? Contrast those characteristics with the characteristics of righteousness in James 1:19-27
     
  3. Read Psalm 58:6-11. Does this prayer of David make you feel uncomfortable? How might a better understanding of sin, wickedness, and the havoc and heartache that they cause help us to better appreciate prayers like this? 
     
  4. What are some ways we ought to respond to the reality of God’s righteous judgment? (In your own life? In your interactions with believers? In your interactions with non-believers?)
     
  5. Read Matthew 16:24-28 and Revelation 22:10-15. What “reward” is there for the righteous and how to we attain it?
     
  6. Take time in your community group to pray that fellow members of GCC would be spurred to evangelism and evangelistic prayer by the reality of God’s judgment, their passion for God’s glory, and their love for the unsaved.

Psalm 137 - Remember the Promises of God

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 137:1-4. In what ways are we, as followers of Christ, like the people described in these verses? (See 1 Peter 2:9-11, and John 15:18-19)
     
  3. In Psalm 137:1 the people wept when they remembered their homeland. When you see the sin and brokenness of our world in contrast to the joy of citizenship in God’s kingdom, what causes you to weep? What are some Scripture passages you can use to remind you of your citizenship? (See Philippians 3:20)
     
  4. In Psalm 137:5 the psalmist again vows not to forget Jerusalem and to set it above his highest joy. Do you eagerly anticipate your home with Christ as your highest joy, or are there worldly “joys” that you’ve given higher priority?  Read Philippians 4:4-7.  What will such a joy-filled focus on Christ produce in our lives?
     
  5. Read Revelation 18:1-19:9. What is the future destiny of the godless world system symbolized by Babylon? What is the future destiny of those who serve and fear God?
     
  6. Read Daniel 9:1-19. What reasons does Daniel give in his plea for God to act? How can we apply Daniel’s example as we pray against evil in the world?

Psalm 88 - The Cry of the Hurting

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 88:1-2. Have there been times in your life where you’ve cried out to the Lord? More importantly, have you cried out to the Lord for your salvation?
     
  3. Read Psalm 88:3-7. Sometimes it may seem like God’s wrath lies heavy upon you, either as the consequence of sin, or because of a trial that is meant to grow you. In what ways is God’s wrath a mercy to his people? (See Proverbs 3:11-12) How does this perspective help us to run to the Lord in such times instead of running away from Him?
     
  4. Read Psalm 88:8-18. Where do you turn when you’re in the depths of despair or loneliness? What Scripture passages and/or biblical truths have been helpful for you in such times? What are some practical ways your community group can be an encouragement to people who are lonely or in despair?
     
  5. How does Psalm 88 challenge or encourage you in your response to difficult periods in your life as you observe where/when/how the psalmist cries, turns, and calls upon the Lord?  Where else in Scripture to we see a similar response by those in periods of turmoil in life?

Psalm 110 - King-Priest-Messiah

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 110. How does this Psalm impact your view of who Jesus is? 
     
  3. How is the portrayal of Jesus in Psalm 110 different than popular culture’s portrayal of Jesus? Why is it important to recognize Jesus as a conquering king?
     
  4. What are some of Jesus’ roles as our eternal priest? (See Hebrews 7:23 - 8:6.) In what ways is the priestly service of Jesus better than that of the Old Testament priests?
     
  5. Read Luke 22:31-34. In what ways are you encouraged by Jesus’ conversation with Peter in this passage, in light of His role as our High Priest? 

Psalm 2 - The Lord's Anointed King

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 2:3. Does God really keep the nations enslaved in bonds and cords? Is this portrayal of the Lord and His Anointed accurate? Why or why not?
     
  3. Read 2 Samuel 7:12-17. How does this passage inform your understanding of Psalm 2 and the role of the Anointed Son?
     
  4. What does Psalm 2 reveal about where the Psalmist found hope (refuge) in a raging world? How do you respond when the nations rage and the peoples plot around you?
     
  5. Read Joshua 24:14 and Psalm 55:5. How do these verses inform your understanding and application of what it means for you to “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling?” (Psalm 2:11)
     
  6. Take time to praise Jesus as the Anointed King over all the nations, and to pray for one another in your community group.

James 5:13-20 - Prayer: The Enduring Evidence of Faith

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read James 5:13-20. Notice James’ emphasis on prayer and confession. Do you ever confess of your sins? In what ways could it be improved?
     
  3. Before studying this passage, what statement did you most agree with: sickness is always the result of personal sin, sickness is never the result of personal sin, or sickness is sometimes the result of personal sin? What statement do you agree with now, and why? And how might James 5:15; 1 Cor. 11:30; and John 9:1–3 factor into your thinking?
     
  4. How do you usually respond if someone “falls off the radar” due to sin and stops gathering with our church? Read James 5:19–20; how should this passage inform your actions if people do this?
     
  5. If someone asks you to pray for them to be healed, is it ever appropriate in light of James 5:16 to ask that person if there might be any unconfessed sin in their life that is contributing to their physical sickness? If you asked for prayer for healing and someone asked you this question, how would you respond? How should you respond?
     
  6. As we conclude our study in James, take time to review the book and discuss what truths have been most impactful for you. Read Romans 12:9-13 and note themes in James that are echoed in Romans.
     
  7. Take time to pray for one another in your community group.

James 5:7-12 - Living with an Eternal Perspective

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read James 5:7-12. What examples of patience does James give? What reasons does James give for being patient?
     
  3. In what circumstances do you find it most difficult to be patient? What examples in Scripture can be a reminder and encouragement to you during those times?
     
  4. Aside from exterior circumstances, what are some desires, motivations, or mindsets that might foster an attitude of impatience? How can we be on guard against such an attitude? (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
     
  5. Read Matthew 5:33-37 and 12:36-37. How do these two passages contribute to a right understanding and application of James 5:12? Consider whether you are someone who is known to follow through on what they say, or if you find yourself having to convince others that you mean what you say.
     
  6. Discuss how your community group can help each other cultivate greater patience in light of the Lord’s return.

1 Samuel 2:1-10 - “Not By Might Shall a Man Prevail”: Glorying in the God of the Underdog

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read 1 Samuel 2:1-10. What is the focus of Hannah’s prayer? What themes do you see throughout her prayer?
     
  3. Hannah endured mocking and sorrow “year by year” (1:7) because “The Lord had closed her womb” (1:5–6). And yet, God did this to bring Hannah to a place of exulting in Him. How have you seen God’s sovereignty over your suffering, and how has God used your pain to bring you closer to him (Rom 8:28)?
     
  4. What attributes or characteristics of the Lord does Hannah mention in her prayer? Which attributes of the Lord are most meaningful to you? 
     
  5. What are some ways that this passage is similar to what we’ve been reading in James over the past several weeks? (See James 1:9-11, 4:6-10, 4:13-16, etc.)
     
  6. Take time to pray in your community group, praising God for who He is by focusing on His specific attributes.