LEADERS COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY GUIDE
FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 24, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
⇨ OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
We need every Community Group to fill some boxes for Operation Christmas Child. These boxes are DUE back at the church November 14. Please consider having EACH participant be responsible for a box. Our goal is to be able to gift 500 kids around the world!
⇨ DAVE PETTIGREW WORSHIP CONCERT
Thursday, November 11th, 6:30-7:30pm
Celebrate Recovery invites everyone to this very special worship/concert located in the East at the BP campus. The Rhode Island born singer/songwriter was selected among the Top 20 new emerging artists in contemporary Christian music and has opened for bands such as Mercy me and Michael W Smith. The event is free but we will be collecting a love offering.
⇨ NEW HERE LUNCHEON
November 14, 12:30-1:30pm
You may have questions about the church, so we’d like to invite you to a luncheon with Pastor JJ, some of our staff, as well as others who have been guests the last few months. This would be a time for you to meet some of our team and hear Pastor JJ’s heart for where he wants to lead our church. The lunch is free and will take place in the West (Fellowship Hall).
⇨ DISCUSSION SUGGESTIONS
Submit your group’s attendance online by responding to your email from church center.
⇨ FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
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.
Believing the facts about Jesus is only part of the equation. Biblical faith/belief is far more than believing certain things to be true. Biblical saving faith is also trusting/relying on those facts. If you understand and believe what the Bible says about Jesus, and if you are trusting in those truths as the basis for salvation—you are saved!
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!
God was teaching the people something about faith. It is totally illogical to think that looking at a bronze image could heal anyone from snakebite, but that is exactly what God told them to do. It took an act of faith in God’s plan for anyone to be healed, and the serpent on the stick was a reminder of their sin which brought about their suffering.
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?
We can lessen our resistance to change by keeping a divine perspective on life. If we trust that God is at work through changes and that His desire is to sanctify us, then we may more willingly submit. Growth requires change; our resistance to change could actually be a resistance to growth. So, when change occurs, just consider it to be a season of growth. When our human nature protests the change and begs to resist, remember that God has not changed. He is up to something good.
2. Sin has made human hearts dull and unresponsive to God. 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?