Discussion Questions on Contending for the Faith
The goal for these discussion questions are to guide you into level-three conversation by using the latest sermon, “Contending for the Faith.”
This sermon is meant to serve as a starting place for honest dialogue about our relationship with Jesus in the midst of life’s complexities. In case you missed the sermon, I’ve tried to provide enough content to get everyone on the same page (you can also listen or read the entire sermon online). As you’ll see, the questions are set up in clusters and subdivided by bullets, each as a follow up to the one before it, moving from theoretical to practical.
I’ve also thrown in some bracketed asides specifically for the Life Group Point-Person. These are meant to help you guide the discussion. Feel free to throw in any extra questions that come to mind, or skip what seems out of place. The plan for these questions is that they help guide your time together, not consume the entire thing. So, as always, I encourage you to use the questions as they are helpful, and then fill in the rest.
Jude says of the false teachers:
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (verse 4)
There are two categories of error that have to do with how they live: immorality and rebellion. On the rebellion side, Jude appears to be saying that they deny the authority of Jesus. It’s not that they reject Jesus as a historical figure, they just reject him as “our only Master and Lord.” And we see this today. The idea of Jesus as a good teacher or as an inspirational figure — that is all fine. But a Jesus who is my Master and my Lord and my Boss — a Jesus who tells me what to do — a lot of people don’t want that kind of Jesus.
Can you think of a time in your life when you rejected the authority of Jesus? Specifically, what about Jesus’s authority did you have a hard time accepting? What areas of your life today do you struggle the most in when it comes to submitting to Jesus’s authority?
The Bible is clear about sexual immorality. Every sort of sexual deviance is considered sin, whether heterosexual misconduct or “unnatural desire” (verse 7). Chances are, we all know that. And yet, at the societal level, many believe that sexuality and sexual ethics are self-determining — “everyone is entitled to whatever they want.” Why do you think that is case? What do you think is behind the world’s view of sexuality? In what ways is it grossly incoherent?
[Take a minute to broach this subject. Try to tap into some of the deep cultural issues here.]
Now, we know that the world gets sexuality wrong. God’s word is the ultimate authority on sexuality. He’s our guide. We listen to him. And yet, the struggle with sexual sin is as just as intense among Christians as among non-Christians. Why do you think that’s the case? What makes this struggle unique in 2016? What’s your battle plan against sexual immorality? In other words, how are you “contending for the faith” in this area? What about your fight needs to change?
[Take all the time you need here. Walk through each question. If this doesn’t seem to be an issue in your Life Group, then talk about ways that you can come alongside the fight with your brothers and sisters.]
When it comes to false teaching, grace seems to always take the hardest hit. And one of the biggest ways that grace is perverted today is in the topic of sin.
In what ways do you see false teaching in the American church?
[Take a minute and ask your Life Group to share about some negative examples you’ve each seen.]
From the sermon:
We experience God’s grace when he forgives our sins, but for him to forgive our sins we have to know that we have sins that need forgiving. We will never understand the wonder of God’s grace unless we understand the reality of our sin. So we talk about sin here at Cities Church, but we only talk about sin because Jesus rescues us from sin — and we want to make a big deal about his rescue.
We all probably agree with this, but how does it look in our own lives? If we believe that Jesus rescues us from sin, and that we experience more of his rescue when we face our sin head-on, why do we often try to sweep sin under the rug? In what ways is God calling you to experience more of his rescue by fighting your sin?