May 2, 2021
On Sunday Pastor Nate taught us three things:
• The people of God sing praises to God.
• The people of God examine the Word of God.
• The people of God are characterized by love for the people of God.
1. We first see an ordinary occurrence in Matthew 12:46: Jesus speaking to the people. Jesus had just taught that sinners can only be redeemed by grace alone. Pastor Nate pointed out that we are gravely mistaken if we think we can escape hell and enter into God’s presence forever because we are a so-called good person, and the good things we’ve done outweigh the bad things we’ve done. On what does your salvation stand? Share with your group ways to reach out to those in your circle that are caught in a type of behavior modification belief system.
2. Our Scripture passage then transferred to an awkward situation; read Mark 3:13-21 for more information. Jesus’ family was embarrassed by Him and wanted Him to stop proclaiming that He is the Son of God, the Lord of Lords, the salvation of sinners. Who is embarrassed by your proclamation of the same? How is that hindering or helping your proclamation?
3. Jesus Christ then provides two answers to the two questions He asks in verse 48-50. Mark 10:35-36 provides information about Jesus’ brothers. How does Jesus answer the questions? (Hint: First, Jesus emphatically announces who is a member of God’s family; secondly, He emphatically affirms the importance of the Christian community.).
4. Pastor Nate said: “The call to follow Jesus is not a call to isolation.” and “Every follower of Christ needs the Christian community.” What happens when you isolate from your Christian brothers and sisters? What specific encouragement are you receiving from regular times of community with your Christian family currently?
5. When have you allowed your nuclear family to pull you away from your spiritual family? Both Acts and Hebrews 10:23-25 are provided as examples of the importance of not elevating our nuclear families over our spiritual families.
6. Jesus Christ gives His final instructions in verse 50: Jesus is not saying how you become a member of the family of God…He is saying WHO. Whoever does the will of God is a child of God. How are believers able to do the will of God?
7. We are to remember that:
• Salvation in Christ is by grace.
• Obedience to Christ is by grace.
• Therefore, God is deserving of all praise, glory, and honor.
What is one way, that Pastor Nate pointed out, that we can praise God for His grace that saves and sanctifies? How will you incorporate more of this into your life?
8. Pastor Nate gave an example about why it is important to examine the Word of God. What other dogmas or tenets can you think of that compete for our attention but highlight the importance of knowing God’s Word? “We must examine everything in light of the Word of God. The Word of God is the authority for faith and practice.”
9. Consider reading John 13:34-35: “Jesus makes clear the evidence of being a child of God is obedience to the word of God and being characterized by love for the people of God.” What things will you lay aside this week so that you have time and energy to love the people of God well?