ENGAGE INSPIRE


ready, move onto the “Inspire” section.) • Who did you look up to to when you were growing up (athletes/actors/teachers/etc.)? • What did God ...

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Life Group Sermon Study

Prepared by Faith December 14-15, 2013

Break the Ice:

ENGAGE

(A key part of healthy group life is to make sure your group gets to know each other and builds good relationships. The purpose of these first questions is to help your group open up. Please don’t feel like you have to ask each question. Once you feel like the group is ready, move onto the “Inspire” section.)

• Who did you look up to to when you were growing up (athletes/actors/teachers/etc.)? • What did God teach you during the message this weekend? Did anything in particular stand out? Prayer: Take some time to pray for God to speak to your group through this week’s study. Questions:

IN SP IRE

(Each question has a lot to unpack. Since the group may need time to process each question, don’t let silence scare you. Try to avoid filling the space with unnecessary explanation or moving on from the question too quickly.)

1. Aaron made the statement, “The cross isn’t the conclusion, but just the beginning. God wants so much more for you than just your salvation.” • How does this statement hit you where you are at now in your life? What else do you think God wants from you, other than salvation? • What does it look like to lose faith in something? Aaron said, “People usually lose faith through the loss of something (loss of a family member, a job, a friend, health, trust, etc.). The church in Hebrews was losing heart.” • Have you ever been tempted to lose faith in God? What caused you to be tempted to lose faith in God? 2. Read Hebrews 11-12:2. Aaron said, “This chapter defines faith for us in this way: The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Faith is the title deed to the future and the foundation of the promises of God. • What are some of the the challenges of faith in God? What are some of the rewards? Discuss as a group. Read Rom. 3:21-25, Rom. 3:28, Rom. 4:3, Rom. 4:15-16, Rom. 4:20-21, Rom. 5:1, Gal. 2:15-16, & Eph. 2:8-9. Aaron listed six definitions of faith: 1. It is not a vague hope grounded in imaginary, wishful thinking, but rather a settled confidence that something future – not yet seen – but promised by God will come to pass. 2. Demonstrates the existence of reality, which cannot be grasped through our senses. 3. A demonstration of the substantial reality of events yet unseen. 4. Is the persistent hope in the promises of God, that obtains salvation on the last day. 5. Believing the Word of God and acting upon it, regardless of how I feel in the moment, because God promises a good result. 6. Not merely “believing in God”, but believing God. He stated, “We all live by faith whether we are aware of it or not. Faith is putting your trust in evidence that you can’t see.” • Can you list examples of things we put our faith in on a daily basis? Why do you think it’s easy for us to have faith in these things? 3. Aaron said, “There are three elements of faith: knowledge, receiving, and trusting. Knowledge comes through reading God’s Scriptures, hearing what He has to say, believing it, and obeying. Receiving consists of not fighting, resisting, or combating against the Truth but receiving it as Truth. The third element is day-to-day trusting God and His Word, knowing that even if you don’t see it or understand it, He is wise and good and right and we trust Him. • What element(s) do you struggle with the most and why?

4. Aaron said, “The more I get to know a person, the more my faith in them increases.” • Is this true for you? Give examples. He went on to say that this is why reading the Bible is so important, because this is how we get to know God. Reading the Bible builds our faith in God. • How does this truth hit you? • Where do you think faith comes from? Read Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 10:17. Aaron said, “There are two things that erode faith: 1) Hurt – psychological or emotional trauma, trials and difficulties in life. 2) Pride – Wanting to call the shots and rebelling against God’s ethical standards.” • Have you seen examples of a loss of faith due to hurt or pride? Discuss.

Life Group Sermon Study

Prepared by Faith December 14-15, 2013

Application:

EQUIP

(These questions will challenge your group members to apply the study to their daily lives. How can they live out what they take in? It is highly important that you go over this section with your group each week for the group study to be a success.)

Aaron said, “We need to come to that place where we give up trying to earn God’s love and the pursuit of being our own god. We need to place our faith in the free gift of Jesus. We need to fully trust God with everything in our lives (our sexual desires, our image, our marriages, our relationships, etc.). God is big enough to pull you through your circumstances, and He’s big enough to allow you to get into them so that your trust in Him may be strengthened. • What are some action steps that you need to take to grow your faith in God? Prayer: Take some time to pray over each group member’s identified action steps and life issues. Equip Your Mind: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)