Growing: Transparency

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 1:5 – 2:1

Transparency_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Study 1 John 1:5 – 2:1. Use Vine’s Dictionary of the New Testament to look up “light” and “darkness”. How is John using those words in v. 5 and how is this slightly different in v. 6-7?
  • What do you think it means to “walk in the light” or “walk in the darkness”? Why can this not mean to live without sin?
  • Do you think John saw being “in the light” as something to fear or something to find? Why? How does knowing the gospel affect our fear?
  • How does this passage speak to the need for transparency? What is gained as we live transparently with God and each other? How have you experienced this?
  • What qualities would a community of people have in which transparency was celebrated and safe?
  • Study 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 as a case study for transparency. Where do you see Paul being transparent? How did this benefit Paul and his readers?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Pray Psalm 139:23-24. If the Holy Spirit shines light into your heart and exposes a sin or struggle, identify a trusted friends, full of grace and truth, to whom you can confess the sin or share the struggle. Set up a meeting and go “walk in the light”.

 

 

Growing: Renewing Our Minds

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3

Renewing Our Mind_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 3. Circle or note any words which have to do with our thought life.
  • How would you describe the way Paul begins both Romans 12 and Colossians 3?
  • How does Romans 12 connect with Hosea 6:6, Psalms 40:6-8 & Psalms 51:16-17?
  • Paul calls us to offer our “bodies as living sacrifices.” What does this mean? What dies? What lives?
  • Colossians 3 commands us to put to death certain things, rid ourselves of things, and stop doing things. What type of things are these?
  • What type of things are we to “put on” (Colossians 3:12)?
  • How do we put these things on (Colossians 3:1-4, 10, 15-17)? How does thinking play into this putting off and putting on?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Read through Colossians 3 again thinking about your present life and relationships. Ask the Holy Spirit to call to your mind habits of this age which need to be taken off and a new habit of a renewed mind that He wants you to put on. How will you set your mind on the things above and act in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading?

Growing: The Fight for Identity

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Philippians 2:12-13; John 12:3-6; Ephesians 1; 1 Timothy 6:12; John 8:31-32

Fighting For Identity_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read John 13:1-6. What is happening? What does Jesus know about Himself? What does this enable Him to do?
  • Read Ephesians 1. In your Bible or on a piece of paper, write down as man answers as you can to this statement… In Christ I am____.
  • Where do you see parallels between Jesus knowing His identity and you knowing your identity from Ephesians 1?
  • From your study on Ephesians 1, what are two or three of the “I am” statements which speak the most to you at this moment in your spiritual life?
  • Which of the faulty foundations for identity can you identify with either now or in the past? (Ex: Performacnce, People, Possessions, Power, etc.)
  • Spiritual Exercise: This week look up Neil Anderson’s “Who I Am In Christ” list. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to one of these categories and statements that you need to memorize and work out in your life.

Growing: “The Silent “S’s” in Salvation”

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:1-10; 4:17-24

Silent Ss In Salvation_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Philippians 2:12-13 a few times. Then, read and contemplate Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-19.
  • Make three observations about how God is at work in your spiritual life from Paul’s prayers?
  • What is something you learned about growing as a Christian from Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1 and 3?
  • Read Ephesians 2:1-10. What encourages you from this passage?
  • Read Ephesians 4:17-24. Think about how Paul relates mind/thinking and hear/desires in this passage. Is thinking simply about information and propositions? Why or why not?
  • Philippians 2:12-13 talks about what we do and what God does. How does Ephesians 4:22-24 connect with Philippians 2:12-13? What is one way you can act in faith on this passage this week?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Jesus taught the disciples that they would not be alone after His resurrection but have the Holy Spirit with them. This week, spend time in prayer asking for greater awareness of the Holy Spirit’s work in and around you. Practice “walking by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25) this week by daily being mindful and submissive to his promptings, warnings, empowering, and assuring.

Growing: “Gospel & Goal”

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Romans 1:15-16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 Peter 2:9-12

Gospel and Goal_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 Cor. 15:1-4. If you want, circle or underline key verbs and nouns.
  • what is one word of phrase that stands out to you? why?
  • How does the phrase “according to the Scriptures” function in the passage? How does it inform understanding the gospel and Old Testament?
  • What are the ways Paul indicates believers relate to the gospel?
  • What is the gospel? how would you summarize it?
  • Pauil’s summary includes facts about Jesus and their meaning, but not Jesus’ ethical teaching. Why is this distinction vital to the Christian message of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone?
  • Both in Corinth and Rome (Romans 1:15) Paul talks about preaching the gospel to Christians. What are some benefits to remindinfg Chrstians of the gospel? (c.f. Gal 1:6-8; 2:11-14)
  • Spiritual Excercise: Pray for a chance to encouage a brother or sister in Christ with the hope, assurance, and power of the gospel.

 

Growing: “Image of God: Description and Destiny”

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-17; Romans 8:29

Image of God Description and Destiny_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Genesis 1:26-28 and Gen. 2:15-17
  • Analyze the differences between God’s creating plant life (Gen. 1:11-13), water animals (1:20-23), land animals (1:24-25) and human life (1:26-28).
  • What makes “Human” different from all else in God’s creation?
  • What do you think it means to “image” God? What needs to happen to rightly reflect God’s glory into His creation?
  • Read Gen. 9:6 and James 3:9. How is the image of God used in these verses? Who has the image of God?
  • Col. 1:15 says that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God”. How does this help you understand what it is to be in God’s likeness?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Rom. 8:29 teaches us that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus, who is the image of God. Read and meditate on Gen. 1:26-28 and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you could better reflect God in your life this week.

 

The Eyes Of Faith – Mark 10:46-52

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Eyes of Faith_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Mark 10:46-52 two or three times. Then, read Mark chapters 8-10.
  • Who are the characters in the account of Bartimaeus?
  • How does Bartimaeus’ experience of Jesus help you understand Jesus’ teaching about children (10:13-16) and the Rich Man (10:17-27)?
  • How does Bartimaeus’ response to Jesus’ question differ from that of James and John (10:36-37)? What can this teach you?
  • How does Jesus’ love shine through in this story? What are the images?
  • How does Bartimaeus show faith? Where do you need to exercise faith?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Make a point this week to ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to those around you who are crying out for God’s mercy (audibly or silently). If you see someone, ask the Holy Spirit to give you a heart like Jesus. Stop. Ask them what they want Jesus to do for them. Pray with them and encourage them to meet Jesus and walk with Him..