How about that party?
Were you at the party on Sunday? That was just great, wasn’t it?Party Video
This Sunday: SUPERVOLCANO
On Sunday, I’m starting a short, new message series about your true character… You know… The person you really are? The person that you hope nobody ever finds out about? What is that, and how can we actually be the people God wants us to be?
As your group time begins, use this section to introduce the topic of discussion.
Other than your family, who are some of the most important relationships in your life right now?
How did you first get connected to that person?
Through Jesus’ sacrifice we become connected in ways and with people that we might never have otherwise been invested in. Thanks to His work, we are not only connected to God, but also connected to others because a vertical relationship with God always leads to a horizontal relationship with others. Though we may come to Christ alone, we connect to Christ with others.
Unpack the biblical text to discover what the Scripture says or means about a particular topic.
Ephesians 2:19-22 NLT
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
What three metaphors does Paul use to describe what it means to be a Christian? What is significant about each of them?
Do you notice a direction in the pattern of these three metaphors?
Think about that third metaphor… The house. Paul drives the point home even further, pointing out that believers in Christ are “joined together” by God. Christians are not only citizens of the same country and members of the same family: they are “mortared” together permanently by God for His purpose and glory. The only question is whether we live like it.
Do you feel the same way about your relationships in the church and in your group the way Paul says you should? Why or why not?
What kinds of things make the family of God different from any other family? What sorts of barriers are crossed in the family of God that might keep people apart in other situations?
The family of God is not dependent on race, gender, or any other natural factor. While these things might separate people in other situations, our differences in the family of God only serve to highlight the greatness of what we have in common.
How is the building described here different than a physical structure built by men?
How do individuals in the church show they are part of this spiritual building?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 3:16 NLT
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
Think about this for a second… Jesus is building his church, his Body. God dwells in each believer by His Spirit, and collectively we are all the temple of God… So this means that nothing gives more significance to the church than the fact of God’s residing in His people. He doesn’t live in buildings.. He lives in us. Together. We as a group displeay the Spirit of God living in us through the way we we live in community with each other and how we together treat the rest of the world.
What are some hallmarks of the church built by God according to these verses? How do you see these characteristics displayed at our church?
In what ways can you see God’s earthly church being fitted together and growing in the Lord? What role does our group gathering play in God working this way?
Ephesians 4:12-16 NLT
Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
What is Christ’s intention in giving spiritual gifts to His people? In what ways are we each important to the life and growth of other Christians?
Using the gifts God has equipped us with, we should help each other grow in Christ—speaking the truth in love and supporting each other. For ministry to be effective we need the gifts of others and others need us to use our gifts. That’s the beauty of the church body God created. Each person is gifted to benefit those around them. Strength is created within the body when each part works in conjunction with the others.
How can being a faithful member of a small group help bring about the unity this passage emphasizes and protects from the chaos mentioned above?
I’m so glad we are all doing life together. As you close in prayer, pray for ongoing growth and strength for your group.