Welcome to week eight of our fall sermon series called A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus.This week we look at four key elements of understanding Jesus as Savior. This conversation can help us humbly listen to Paul’s teaching in Ephesians on the good news of Jesus.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What’s a favorite fall memory from when you were a child?
What do you have going on in your life the next few weeks that the group can be praying about for you?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Ephesians 2:1-10. How have you interacted with this passage before? What are some of your initial thoughts to Paul’s words?
Have you ever had a “we need to talk” situation? Share what happened.
The idea of our physical heart being healthy while our spiritual heart is flat lined can be difficult to grasp. What do you think it means to be spiritually dead? What reason does this passage give for why we are spiritually dead?
Death is serious. How good of a chance did we have of rescuing ourselves? Do you think we are often honest with ourselves about this? Why or why not?
Paul basically tells the Ephesians he needs to talk to them about the seriousness of their sin. What three influences does he give for why we sin (see verse 2)? Which of these influences do you feel like has the biggest impact on your life?
The word “wrath” often has harsh connotations. What kind of response do you have to that word? Why do you think Paul would have chosen such strong language? What language did Pastor Aaron Buer give for helping us understand what the word wrath means?
This passage transitions with a stark contrast from punishment right into being made alive. What is the reason given for the transition in the beginning of verse 4? What happened to the wrath Paul was talking about?
What did Jesus go through to be the solution to the problem of our spiritually dead hearts?
“Jesus saves” can sometimes turn into a cliché. Why do you think it can be easy to somewhat forget the significant price Jesus paid to save?
This weekend, we heard that grace is God’s hand reaching down to rescue us. How does it make you feel to know God does that for you?
Faith is us reaching up to be rescued. What’s the difference between this and thinking Jesus just saves everyone? How often do you think people are aware of their responsibility to make a decision to do this?
Faith is a personal decision. No one else can make it for us. When did you reach up to grasp God’s hand? If you haven’t, what is stopping you?
Paul contrasts the idea of gift versus earning. Why is this a significant idea to understand? How can viewing God’s gracious offer of salvation as a gift change the way we treat others?
We all have different stories and have walked various journeys. How have you seen someone in your life live out God’s grace to the people around them? Are there aspects to your story that uniquely reveal God’s infinitely valuable grace?
What does it mean when Pastor Buer makes this statement about our response to God’s saving grace in our lives: Good works are not how we reach up—good works are how we reach out.
We are all God’s artwork and our transformed lives put his grace on display to the world. How has God uniquely gifted and wired you to put his grace on display? Encourage each other around the circle in how you see each other’s gifts and abilities that can be used in this way.
Today’s conversation was about four key elements to understanding Jesus as Savior. Which section was the most challenging to understand or maybe completely new to you? What’s one step you can take this week to decide or respond to Jesus as Savior?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
This October our focus has been on serving as a group. If you haven’t already, take the time to find a date and get it on the calendar.
Download a printable PDF here.