Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sermon Discussion: Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord

Date: for October 12, 2008
Text: II Corinthians 11:1-3 / Acts 2:36

1. The notion of "simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" can be hard to define. What examples, either personally, or through others, can you share that would help others understand how this devotion to Christ is practiced? What are your barriers to maintaining this devotion?

2. "Christ" means Messiah, which means the One on whom Israel has pinned her hopes. Yet the reality is that Jesus was overwhelmingly rejected as Messiah by the very people who knew their scriptures the best. "He came to His own, and His own received Him not." Why was He rejected? Is there a danger that we too might reject the true Jesus, and His true teaching, while thinking, like the religious leaders of Jesus day, that we're standing on the moral high ground? What is the best protection against this happening?

3. Saying "Jesus is Lord" could get you killed in the early church, because it meant that you had a higher loyalty than the state. Some material that might help you understand the historical significance of this can be found here. Do you agree or disagree with this article's notions regarding Lordship, as it applies to America? Why or why not? Does the author's article make enough provision for our calling to maintain a measure of involvement with, and prayer for, our nation and its leaders?

4. People often say, "I like Jesus - it's the church I can't stand." If Jesus is so wildly popular today, what do you think it was about His life that got Him killed in the first place?

5. The outgrowth of true devotion to Jesus as Messiah, Lover, and Lord is overwhelmingly positive, as seen in the Acts narrative, and the lives of the saints. Which of these three elements are most challenging for the church today? How about you personally?

6. Is it easier for you to make Jesus Lord of your decisions regarding your personal life or those more in the public arena, eg. politics, social networks, job-related? Can you explain why one is easier for you to surrender to Jesus than another?

7. In Philippians 3, Paul considers everything trash in order to know Christ, and to know him. Can you think of something in your own life that you have given up or sense a need to give up in order to deepen your relationship with Christ?

8. In Act 4:13, the Christ-given courage of Peter and John was a testimony to those who would condemn them. Can you think of an example of when your dependency on Christ made an impact on someone around you?


At 8/10/08 13:07, Anonymous nathan said...

I love that you're posting these. Great prep work for me during the week!

At 9/10/08 12:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before i became a christian six years ago, i hated for what he stood for and the church b/c of my own painful experience w/the church & God. But today, i still or whether love to know him better and better b/c he Did Die for me and forgave my sins. And i know in my own Spirit i would give up my life for Jesus. As a Native,i am required to die for the ones i love and the friends that i have made. the only barrier i have today is that i continue to want to be in his presence and learn more about his love for me, but i also feel that my Spirit is not always w/his love when i come to him in Prayers or smugging !! How i can reach his true self for me ?
Thank you,Michael

At 10/10/08 10:37, Blogger Sherry said...

**People often say, "I like Jesus - it's the church I can't stand." If Jesus is so wildly popular today, what do you think it was about His life that got Him killed in the first place?**

At a very basic level his death was political.


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