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COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY GUIDE
For the week of April 10 2022
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
1. What is an example of a time you had to come up with an unusual, quick solution to get out of a bind because it was all that was available to you?
Feel free to have fun with this! Examples could include a time you had to go to the bathroom in an unfortunate place, a time you had to use an unusual object because you didn’t have the right tool to do something, a time you forgot to buy something you needed, a time someone asked you a question you didn’t know how to answer so you came up with something quickly, etc.
2. There are many ways we can try to justify or rationalize straying from obedience. When it comes to the areas that it can be tempting to compromise in (finances, relationships, etc.), which of the justifications below have you heard people use most often?
“That ship has sailed anyway”
“God will forgive me”
“It’s not going to hurt anybody”
“I can’t right now, but I’ll do it later”
“It’s not that big of a deal”
“God wants me to be happy”
No one will ever know, It’s just this one time, etc.
What are those common situations where we can be tempted to use these justifications?
Which of these justifications do you find yourself using most often?
Can you think of a time you were tempted to compromise obedience in something because of one of the reasons listed above?
Additional Question: (Follow up) If so, what kept you from giving in to the temptation? Why did you choose to remain obedient? What was the result?
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. As you read Romans 6:15-23, what principles do you find most compelling to choose obedience in the moments you feel tempted to stray from doing the right thing?
Romans 6:15-23 New International Version (NIV)
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
How would you respond to someone who cited the reasons/justifications for not obeying listed in My Story #2 based on what you read in Romans 6:15-23?
This is a great opportunity to break down each verse in the passage as they relate to the ways we think about sin.
“That ship has sailed anyway” – v. 15 by no means should we keep on sinning
“God will forgive me” – v. 19, 22 we are called to righteousness and holiness because of God’s forgiveness and setting us free
“It’s not going to hurt anybody” – v.23 the wages of sin is death (even if it doesn’t appear to be harming, it’s harming your soul)
“I can’t right now, but I’ll do it later” – v. 15, 19, 22 sin no more, offer yourselves as slave to righteousness now
“It’s not that big of a deal” – v. 21, 23 those things result in death
“God wants me to be happy” – v.22 God wants you to be holy and righteous
Additional Verses: Romans 7:15-25
How does Romans 7:15-25 help us relate to or understand why David lied to the priest?
How does Roman 7:15-25 help explain why we are often tempted to use the justifications for sin?
2. As you read the verses below, what do you notice about the benefits of letting others into your life in a real and honest way instead of pretending?
Note about Digging Deeper #2: We hope Community Group will be a place where you can build the kind of relationships where you feel you have people you can be honest with, but Community Group will never be a place where you are forced to confess or share.
1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Proverbs 28:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Psalm 32:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Hebrews 3:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 10:24-25 New International Version (NIV)
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
These verses cover both the freedom of confessing sin and simply encouraging and supporting one another through trials. Being open and honest with others in Christian fellowship/community can bring us closer to the benefits of purity, righteousness, mercy, forgiveness, freedom, encouragement, love, etc.
Most of us can attest that telling the truth or being honest about our struggles is almost always harder than pretending or hiding. What are some of the hurdles that keep us from doing what these verses describe?
What are the hurdles that are hardest for you personally to be honest about your struggles with others?
What are some of our biggest fears when it comes to being open or honest about what we’re struggling with?
How do these verses help combat those fears?
Why is telling the truth so important? What is the power of telling the truth?
Do you have a victory story of a time you experienced the benefits these verses describe because you were honest about something you were struggling with? Is there a key lesson you took away from that situation?
If so, what did you learn or experience about the benefits of telling the truth?
Were you met with grace from others? Were you met with grace from God?
Did it make you more likely to be open and honest again in the future?
If you don’t have a victory story, is there a time you wish you would have been honest about something you were struggling with? How do you think you would have been received if you had?
TAKING IT HOME
Discussion Note: You may want to break into men/women only for these questions.
1. Is there anything you could do in the coming week to strengthen your relationship with someone you can be honest with about your struggles?
Additional Question: Do you have someone in your life with whom you feel comfortable being honest with about your struggles and with whom you don’t “pretend?”
2. Is there an area of your life where you feel you’ve been pretending or not being honest about something you’re struggling with?
We never force people to share in group, but of course welcome it if they feel comfortable. If someone feels convicted and led to share, be sure to thank them for sharing, pray for them, ask how you can support them and follow up again later.
Additional Verses on Confession of Sins and Forgiveness: If someone shares a sin they are struggling with in group, it might be a good idea to read these verses and discuss the power of confession and the forgiveness of Christ.
1 John 1:5-10