January 12, 2020
1. Today’s passage begins with the person & ministry of John the Baptizer…Pastor Nate highlighted the OT connections (Isa. 40:3; Malachi 4:5-6; 2 Kings 1:8) of his life & ministry. What stands out to you about John the Baptizer & how do we connect his work to the reality of Jesus?
2. Then we looked at the heart of John’s message…repentance! Pastor Nate gave 4 aspects to biblical repentance: confession, contrition, conversion, & evidence of change. Which of these aspects do you see most often avoided or neglected? Why would people be uncomfortable speaking of repentance in today’s world?
3. Pastor Nate made the statement concerning repentance, “The Christian life is a life of repentance.” How important is repentance in the life of a Christian who wants to be sanctified? How do we purpose ourselves to repent regularly?
4. The reason for the call to repentance is because “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) So we spent time on the 2 realities of the kingdom’s arrival: salvation is here & damnation is near. Which led to a common question, “How could God send people to hell?” Based on what you heard & know, how would you respond to this question if asked?
5. In Matthew 3:5-6, we also see that people hear the Word of God & respond accordingly by being baptized. Pastor Nate mentioned that until this point only outsiders had been baptized, so there was a cost in following through in baptism. How has hearing the gospel, believing the gospel, & obeying in light of the gospel compelled you to make hard, right choices?
6. We ended with 3 questions: 1) Have you repented of sin & put your faith in Christ for eternal life? 2) What is the evidence of salvation in your life? 3) How can you express gratitude to God for His grace & mercy daily? So walk through these questions & perhaps they will need to lead to more one to one conversations on specific matters.