Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Urban Legends 01: There Are Many Ways To God

1) Test the claims of Jesus. 
2) Test the credibility of Jesus.
Examine what people said. 
Examine what Jesus did. 
Examine what God did (resurrection).
3) Test the character of Jesus. 

JESUS is either a liar, a lunatic or LORD.

Has anyone ever accused you of being narrow- minded in your spiritual beliefs? How did you respond?
What are some reasons people have for believing that Jesus is NOT the only way to God?

1. Some believe that all religions are just different paths that lead to the same God. How do we know if what we believe is right? When you were first confronted with the claims of Christ, what questions did you have about Him? How did you overcome your doubts about His deity? What convinced you that Jesus is the Son of God?

2. Share a time when you were asked a difficult spiritual question by a non–believer. What was the question and how did you respond? What can you take from this week’s message that will better prepare you in the future?

3. Some people refuse to believe in a God who would send people to Hell. How would you explain the difference between a God who is fair and a God who is holy and just? Why did Jesus have to die in order for us to be forgiven and receive eternal life? What is the one thing that God asks of us? (see Ro- mans 10:9) How difficult would it be to believe in a holy, but loving God who became human, took our punishment for sin and died in our place so that we could live forever with Him?

4. Why do people today fail to realize that Jesus is God? How would you share Christ with someone who struggles with believing Jesus is the only way to God? What misunderstandings might they have about the gospel? About Jesus? What are your favourite verses to share regarding the claims of Christ?

1. What will you do to be prepare yourself to share the claims of Christ? (Example: study the verses below to become better equipped to share your faith).

2. Do you believe the spiritual myth that there are other ways than trusting in Jesus to be saved? If so, what truth about Jesus are you failing to believe? For example, the truth that he is God, his death was necessary, his resurrection or something else? If your faith is weak, take the time to examine the claims and character of Jesus.

3. How will you demonstrate with your life that Jesus rose from the dead and is the only way to the Father?

1. Read John 1:1-5, 12-14; 10:30-33,37-38; 14:6-11.

Who is the Word? What is the relationship between the Word and God? What did the Word do? Who did Jesus claim to be? What did he say that he came to do? What was his relationship with the Father? What is the benefit of believing the Word? Whose glory did the Word reveal? (1:1-5, 12-14)

What does Jesus mean when he says he is one with the Father? What proof does he give? Why did Jesus’ claims enrage the Jews? Who today is offended by this claim? (10:30-33, 37-38)

How does Jesus describe himself? What one way did Jesus say we could come to the Father? How did Jesus characterize his relationship with the Father? How can we know what Father God is like? (14:6-11)

2. Read Phil. 2:5-9; Col. 1:15-20; Heb. 1:1-3.

 Who and where was Christ before he became a man? How did Jesus limit himself? For what purpose did he come? In the end, who will bow their knee and confess that Jesus is Lord? (Phil. 2:5-9)

What is Christ’s relationship to God? To Creation? To the church? What is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection? What did God achieve through the work of His Son? What does the work of Christ on your behalf mean to you? (Col. 1:15-20)

How did God speak to people in the past? How does He speak to us today? How is Jesus different from other prophets? What does Jesus reveal to us about the nature of God? What did Jesus do after completing his ministry on earth? What difference should it make to us that Jesus is heir of all things and the creator of the world? (Heb. 1:1-3)

Matt.10:32-33; 27:54; 
Mark 6:2-3; 
John 8:46, 58; 14:6-1; 16:15-16; 18:38-39; 
Acts 3:15-16; 
Rom. 2:11-16;10:9; 
Phil. 2:9-11; 
Col. 2:9.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Ghost 04: Filled With The Holy Spirit-Follow Up

Talking through the message during the week helps you turn what God is saying to you into action steps. These talking points, questions and scriptures are designed to help you take that next step.

With your Bible read Acts 2:1-4.

This passage describes the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came and filled the early church giving them the ability to speak in tongues.

Share your personal reactions to the gift of tongues. How did the message influence your beliefs?

Read 1 Corinthians 14: 4-5, 18, 23, 27-28.

Paul instructs us in these passages the purpose of speaking in tongues, which is designed to strengthen the person speaking and not the church.

Why do you think speaking in tongues is such a controversial topic among believers?

Read Galatians 5:16-17 and Ephesians 5:15-18.

These scriptures tell us that we should not give into our sinful desires, but rather we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.
How did the picture of getting drunk help expand your understanding of what a Spirit-filled life is like? 
Describe a time when you experienced being filled by the Holy Spirit. How did the experience affect your relationship with Christ? 
If you haven’t had that experience yet, what do you think it would be like?

Read Galatians 5:22-26.

This passage instructs us to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

How does living a Spirit-filed life currently look in your own life? What steps can you take now to begin or continue to process of living a more Spirit-filed life?
As you take your next steps towards a Spirit-filed life, what questions do you still have that you will seek out answer to?

next steps
Here are some specific things you can do this week to learn more about the Holy Spirit and help you experience the power of the Holy Spirit.

Consider reading Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. In this book, Francis Chan offers a detailed understanding of the Holy Spirit and teaches us how to embrace and follow the Holy Spirit’s direction. 

This week take time to focus on developing a more Spirit-filled life by praying and seeking a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. Also, spend some time with someone who you feel is living a Spirit-filled life and learn from their insight and experience on how to fully experience the Holy Spirit.

Use these prayer tips to guide your time with God this week to expand your conversations both in person and online:
Pray and ask God to show you some specific ways that you can begin living a more Spirit-filled life.
Have an honest conversation with God seeking answers to the questions you have about how to live a Spirit-filled life.
Ask God to show those areas of your life that are keeping you from having a Spirit-filled life. Commit to working on those areas.
Thank God for sending the Holy Spirit and for all He has done in your life and will continue to do.
Pray for those you know and love that they will begin to experience a more Spirit-filled life.