ALL IN #2 – All In For Him

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Last Sunday we were in Ephesians 2:1-5, as we considered that “It’s only in understanding the depths of our depravity that we can respond appropriately to the depths of God’s grace.” This week we concentrate more fully on God’s grace, and what that means as we follow Him.

SCRIPTURE

6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:6-10

GROUP QUESTIONS

Share with your group a time when you went ALL IN for something.

Read Ephesians 2:6-10. What stands out to you most in this passage? Why?

Read Romans 6:1-11, Galatians 2:20, and Colossians 2:10-15, and discuss what you think Paul means by raised us up with Christ.

The verb tense used in seated us with Him is called the aorist tense, meaning that it is a past action completed. Do you view yourself as seated…with Him?

Define grace in your own words. Does the fact that He showed you the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus influence your daily life? Why do you think it is sometimes easy to forget or not appreciate His grace?

How does it feel to know you are God’s handiwork (or, as Aaron, said,trophies)? How does this affect your view of yourself?

According to Ephesians 2:10, what is your new purpose in life? Read Matthew 5:16, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Colossians 1:10, and Hebrews 13:16, and discuss how these passages affirm Ephesians 2:10.

How can you make this new purpose an integral part of your life?

APPLICATION

Think about how you can live a life that is irresistible, attractive, and serves as proof that God is still alive and still in the business of making all things new. Pray about and then choose seven good works (one a day) that you will do this week that you do not usually do as worship to the One who created you in Christ Jesus to do good works.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Ephesians 2:1-10 is a beautiful passage detailing what God has done for us. In the previous chapter, (Ephesians 1:3-14), Paul lists some of the blessings received when you accept this gift of God. List some of those blessings below (there are LOTS of them!).

Would your life look different if you were to be ALL IN with the truths of Ephesians 1? Do you think you would experience more joy, peace, blessing…?

Ephesians 2:8-9 emphasizes that salvation is a gift from God – you cannot earn it. Why is this important?

Wendy Pope, who works for First5.org, said that, “Nothing we do or fail to do will make us more right or less right with God.” Do you ever find yourself behaving as if salvation is something you earn? If so, what can you do to stop this way of thinking?

Knowing that God first went ALL IN for you, even when you were a sinner and turned your back on Him, what changes do you need to make in your life to go ALL IN for Him?

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ALL IN #1: Jesus – All In For Us

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Ephesians 2:1-5 is a beacon of hope in the midst of a hopeless situation. Paul begins by describing our hearts as dead, but then two words change everything… “but God”.

SCRIPTURE

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved….Ephesians 2:1-5

GROUP QUESTIONS

Do you think of yourself as basically good with areas of sin and evil, or as basically evil with areas of good?

Read Ephesians 2:1-5. Ephesians 1 ends with Paul’s beautiful prayer for the Ephesians, in which he begs God to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they would know Him better (1:17). He begins Ephesians 2 by reminding the Ephesians of their condition before Christ. How does knowing you lived in spiritual deadness help you know God better?

According to theologian William Barclay, “the central idea of sin is failure, failure to hit the target, failure to hold to the road, failure to make life what is was capable of becoming.” If your idea of sin is “doing something bad”, how does Barclay’s definition challenge you?

Read the following passages, and list what life without Christ is characterized by:

  • Romans 8:7
  • Galatians 5:19-21
  • Ephesians 2:2-3
  • Ephesians 2:12
  • Colossians 1:13

According to verse 4, what motivated God to make us alive in Christ? What does it mean to be alive in Christ?

APPLICATION

Read Psalm 8 each day this week and meditate on God’s greatness. Praise Him for Who He is.

And/Or

Text ALLIN to 797979 to receive a text from Fellowship each morning regarding God’s greatness. Praise Him for Who He is.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Why is it so important to understand that God is the only one that can change our dead in sin condition, and make you fully alive?

One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is Ephesians 2:4. “But God” contains the gospel in two little words. Read the following passages and describe what happened when God entered the story.

  • Genesis 7:24-8:1
  • Genesis 50:20
  • 1 Samuel 23:14
  • Matthew 19:26
  • Acts 3:15

Do you have a story that has a “but God” in it?

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unchristian: reframing our faith through wisdom

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

To summarize our series on the Sermon on the Mount, if you follow Christ you will exhibit spiritual bankruptcy, mourn over sin, put yourself second, hunger and thirst to have right standing with God, overflow with mercy, have an unmixed heart, be a peacemaker, suffer persecution for the sake of the Savior, be salt and light, choose to make heavenly things a priority over earthly things, trust in God, humility instead of judgment, persistent prayer; and, you will choose the narrow (difficult) road. It’s a no-brainer that Jesus wants us to hear and do what He says. So why is it so difficult to live a life that is marked by the characteristics found in the Sermon on the Mount?

SCRIPTURE

24Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. 28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. Matthew 7:24-29

GROUP QUESTIONS

Share with your group a time when you made an unwise choice and discuss the consequences.

Read Matthew 7:24-29. Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount with a contrast between two people – those who hear His words and those who don’t. What does He mean by “hear”? Is it listening, or does it involve more?

Read the following passages. How do these passages add to your understanding of Matthew 7:24-29?

  • Luke 11:28
  • John 13:17
  • Romans 2:13
  • James 1:22-25
  • James 4:17
  • 1 John 2:5

Why is it so difficult to follow Christ’s commands? Why is it so hard to love your enemies, to not judge, to show mercy, to not seek accolades, to not worry…?

Read Proverbs 3:5-6. Do you rely more on your own wisdom than on God’s wisdom? If so, how can you change that?

APPLICATION

On Sunday, Aaron asked what it would look like to be a church that DOES the Word instead of just HEARING the Word. Read through the list below. Pray and think through these four challenges. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you make these a reality in your life.

  • I need to know His Words and instructions.
  • I need to build habits where I lack discipline.
  • I need to live an interruptable life.
  • I need to think more of others and less of myself.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Look up the following passages and fill in the blanks. Was the person in the passage a hearer, or a hearer and a doer? Would your response have differed? If so, in what way?

SCRIPTURE

PERSON WHAT DID GOD SAY? WHAT DID THIS PERSON DO?

WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME?

Genesis 6-7 NOAH
Genesis 12:1-5; Hebrews 11:8-12 ABRAHAM
Jonah 1-2 JONAH
Genesis 19:12-29 LOT/LOT’S WIFE
Acts 10 PETER

Why is it so difficult to follow Christ’s commands? Why is it so hard to love your enemies, to not judge, to show mercy, to not seek accolades, to not worry…?

What do you think is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Look up Scripture references to support your answer.

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