sermon
discussion
questions

utilize these discussion questions to dive deeper 
into the sermon each week!
they are perfect for Life Groups, personal reflection

 or family discussion around the dinner table
07 July 2024 - (Guess) Who's Who
1.   Review from last Sunday – When should a Christian not submit to the governing authorities?

This week:  Romans 14
2.   People had gathered in Rome from many different countries and cultures, each with their different ideas. As a result, they tended to think less of those who didn’t share their values. Among the issues the Christians differed on were eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols and celebrating religious holidays. Explain what these issues included.

3.   Romans 14:1 says, “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” How are we to know which issues are not disputable for a Christian?

4.   What will God do for those who disagree with us?  (see verse 4)

5.   What should we be concerned about?  (see verse 12)

6.   How are we to treat people who believe differently than we do on issues that are not included in the “non-disputable list”?  (see verse 13-15)

7.   What should our focus be on when we are with those who think differently than we do?  (see verse 19)

8.   How forceful and confrontive should we be in getting other Christians to agree with us on disputable matters?  (see verse 22)

9.   How are we to handle disputable matters for ourselves?  (see verses 14 and 23)
30 June 2024 - How Not To Church
Romans 13:1-14  
 
1.   People living in Rome were tired of Caesar’s tyrannical rule.  Yet Paul wrote to them to “submit to governing authorities”.  Why is it so difficult for American’s to submit to our governing authorities?

2.   Pastor Cliff suggested that we pray, “Father, help us to submit to authority, believing that God chose them to be His servants rather than oppressors.  God, help us change our attitudes and beliefs.”  Is it possible to submit when we don’t agree with the decisions of our leaders?  What needs to change in our attitudes and beliefs in order for this to be possible for us?

3.   Romans 13:8 says, “ … If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.”  Is it easier to attempt to keep all of the rules and laws of the Bible, or to genuinely love the people around us?  Why is genuinely preferring others so difficult?  What needs to happen in us to make this possible?

4.   Romans 13:12 says, “ … remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.”  Pastor Cliff made this very practical when he said, “Quit thinking of ways to satisfy sinful desires.  If you think about temptation long enough you will give in.”  What can you replace temptation thoughts with in order to steer our minds in a better direction?

5.   Romans 13:13 lists some specific “deeds of darkness”, including intoxication, sexual sin, divisive speech, and jealousy.  In our present political situation it is very easy to indulge in “divisive speech”.  How serious are you about not participating in this “deed of darkness”?

6.   What does God want your next step to be?  Ask the Holy spirit to reveal that to you.
23 June 2024 - How to Church, Part 3
Sermon Discussion Questions for
Romans 12:17-21  
 
1.   Verse 17a says, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.”  How might anger and a lack of self-control fuel an inner desire to get even with someone who has hurt us?
 
2.   Verse 17b says, “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.”  Pastor Cliff paraphrased this as “Do what is right because everyone is watching”, or “Behave the same no matter who is watching”.  What are some things people might do when they thought no one was watching, that they would never do if they thought someone was watching?
 
3.   Verse 18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  What might we do if we have done everything we can think of to bring about peace in a broken relationship, but the other person refuses?
 
4.   Verse 19 says, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’, says the Lord.”  We sometimes think of this as a bigger and better revenge than we could do ourselves - but what does God usually do with someone who has caused pain?  What did Jesus do with those who abused and crucified Him?
 
5.   Verse 20 says, “On the contrary, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’”  Pastor Cliff asked, “What if we thought that our response of generous kindness would be the tool God would use to save the person who is mistreating us?” 
 
How do you react to the following comment?  “We are to be recognized by our kindness in the face of mistreatment.  Not by our ability to defend ourselves effectively.”
 
What has to happen inside of us in order for us to be able to act this way?
 
6.   Verse 21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Explain the comment, “Lose if you need to so that God’s kindness can ultimately win.”
 
7.   Who are you tempted to treat with anger, unkindness, or gossip about? 
Who do you struggle most with being kind to?
16 June 2024 - How to Church, Part 2
1. Pastor Cliff highlighted Paul's call to "Help God's family and treat strangers like family." In your small group, take a few minutes to discuss what Pastor Cliff meant when he shared that, as a church family, we do the first part well but challenged us to be friendly to strangers.

2. What did Pastor Cliff mean when he said, "Give some of God's goodness to those who make life difficult on you because of your faith but because of your faith, give them only God's goodness"?

3. Cliff challenged us to come to a place where other people's stuff matters to the degree that we participate meaningfully in their celebrations and their sorrows. What are some ways you can enter into someone else's joy this week? What are some ways you can enter into someone else's sorry this week?

4. What were the two H's that Pastor Cliff challenged us to practice?

5. Pastor Cliff stated, "If you think you are too good for somebody, you will have to answer to Jesus for that." Talk about a time when you were less than harmonious or less than humble with another person. How did that work out?

Bonus Fathers Day Questions:
1. For those fathers who are grandfathers, what do you know about Christian fatherhood from the perspective of being a grandfather that you wish you had known as a young man?

2. For those fathers who have an active young family that puts many demands on you as a dad, what do you consider as you set priorities for your family's schedule and discipleship?

3. For all fathers, what do you pray about most often relative to your task of raising sons and daughters as disciples of Jesus? 
09 June 2024 - How to Church, Part 1
Romans 12:3-12
 
1.   Pastor Cliff told us that American Christianity is individualistic, meaning I get to choose.  How is this different from what we read in Romans 12:3-5?

2.   In verses 9-12 the Apostle Paul offers 8 distinctives of what people in the church should aspire to be like.  Give an example of each:
a.   Vs 9a, “Love must be sincere.”  Put the wellbeing of others before yourself.
​b.   Vs 9b, “Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good.” Virtue is more than just doing what is right.  It is loving what is right.
​c.    Vs 10a, “Be devoted to one another.”  Focus almost exclusively on “us”.
d.   Vs 10b, “Honor one another above yourself.” To honor is to do something that shows you recognize a person’s value.  
e.   Vs 11, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”  Stoke the fire and serve like you mean it.
f.     Vs 12a, “Be joyful in hope.”  Quit being a Debbie Downer.  Jesus’ people are always hopeful about the future!
g.   Vs 12b, “Be patient in affliction.”  Stop praying for patience.  Choose it and do it.
h.   Vs 12c, “Be faithful in prayer.” Have a conversation with God.  That is the key to being joyful in hope and patient in affliction.

3.   Which of these does God want to make a project in my life this week?
02 June 2024 - Old Dogs, New Tricks
1.   Why do you think that so many Christian people in our culture don’t live much different from non-Christians?

2.   Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  Pastor Cliff said we don’t need a new way of thinking, but an old way of thinking.  What did he mean?

3.   If renewing our mind means that we agree with God about how life should be lived, how might each of the following apply to us?
a.   God is God and we are not His equals.  He decides what is right and wrong.
b.   God is all wise and knows better than we do what works in this world.
c.    God is all good and therefore His ways are good.  God’s ways are better than mine.
d.   We trust God enough to do as He wishes and we prove trustworthy enough that He can bless us.
e.   When we agree with God about how to live, our lives begin to change.

4.   Pastor Cliff suggested that we read the Bible in order to learn the
mind of God, and then agree with Him.  Give an example of how this might work.

5.   Where in your life are you in disagreement with God?  (Where are you experiencing frustration, hurt, and damage?)  If you were willing to change your mind and agree with God in this area, how would your life be different?
26 May 2024 - Presto Change-O, Not Exactly
Sermon Discussion Questions for
1.  Describe the two definitions of the word “transformed” in Romans 12:2:
          A.
          B.

 
2.  Pastor Cliff said, “I’m not a sinner because I sin.  I sin because I am a sinner.  We need a very thorough remodel.”
          A.  What is God’s part in the remodel of our lives?
          B.  What is our part in the remodel of our lives?
 
3.  What can we do in order to avoid the sin that results from temptation?
 
4.  What are some of the things that might need to change in our lives?
 
          What needs to change in my life?
19 May 2024 - Muscle, Not Meat
1.    What does it take to get you and your family to church to worship God on a Sunday morning?
 
2.   What did it take for a family in Jesus’ day to go to the Temple in Jerusalem to worship God?
a.   Travel:
b.   Kids:
c.    Animal for a sacrifice:
 
3.   What was it like in Jerusalem during the “Day of Atonement”?
a.   People:
b.   Sounds:
c.    Smells:
d.   Sacrifices – knives and blood:
 
4.   All this to “cover over” their sin for the year.  Did it work? Read Hebrews 10:3-7, 10, “But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’” … And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

5.   What does God want from us?  Read Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

6.   Pastor Cliff offered several characteristics of a person who is offering their body as a living sacrifice.  Which might God be talking to you about?
a.   Enrich the lives of other people.
b.   Put aside pride and personal preference.
c.    Give up control of money.
d.   Live selflessly to your spouse and family.
e.   Surrender sinful desires.
f.     Be kind to mean people.
g.   Change your mind to agree with God’s Word (the Bible).
h.   Submit to God:
          a.  Your speech.
          b.   Your business dealings.
          c.    Your attitude.
          d.   Your marriage.
          e.   Your dating relationships.
          f.     Your private thoughts.
 
“Your true worship is submitting all of you to Jesus and causing your life to take on the shape of His. … Die to selfishness, then live for Him.”  Living is muscle, not dead meat.