COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY GUIDE
FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 24, 2021
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. While faith and reason are not opposites, expressing faith in God invites us to move beyond our own finite levels of human comprehension and control. Can you describe a time when your experience with God invited you to move beyond your own capacity?
1. Read Colossians 2:6-7. Explain the difference between knowing about Jesus and being an established believer.
Colossians 2:6-7 New Living Translation
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
2. Let’s back up a minute. During the plague of poisonous snakes sent upon the rebellious Israelites, God directed Moses to put a replica snake on a pole and instruct the dying but now repentant Israelites to express their faith in Him by looking to the snake (Numbers 21:4-9). It was a picture of the ultimate redemption God would provide through faith in Jesus —if only spiritually dying but repentant people would look to Him. How would looking at Jesus instead of your own circumstances change your circumstances?
Numbers 21:4-9 New Living Translation
4 Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea[a] to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, 5 and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”6 So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. 7 Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.8 Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” 9 So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!
3. What kind of things do you think Nicodemus missed out on by not following when others did? Like him, in what ways are you trying to do life in your own strength and in your own way?
TAKING IT HOME
1. Even in his search for the truth, Nicodemus remained resistant to it. What are some factors that cause people to resist? In what area(s) of your life and to what degree are you resisting?
2. Sin has made human hearts dull and unresponsive to God. God regenerates hearts, allowing faith and obedience to grow. God regenerates hearts today as the Holy Spirit brings the new birth, salvation through the work of Jesus Christ. Read the following passage and answer the questions below:
Ezekiel 36:25-27 New Living Translation
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
What does this passage say God has the power to do?
What is your response to Christ’s promise of new life?
- Like Nicodemus, I have questions
- I have claimed this promise and have this life.
- I need to be born spiritually
- I need to live by the truth
3. Knowing God can regenerate dead hearts gives us confidence to share the Gospel. Who do you know that seems too far from God to ever consider turning to Him?
How can this group remember you in prayer this week?