We’re back into the rhythm of Life Group every other week, and with that, a batch of discussion questions to help guide level-three conversation. The questions this week come from the latest sermon in our Hot Topics series, “Homosexuality.”
These questions, remember, are designed to spark discussion. They’re not meant to be a sermon quiz or feedback generator. Simply use some of the content in the sermon to help start heart-level discussions with your Life Group.
In the current Hot Topics series we’ve been looking at the most pressing topics for our church and in our world. As you think about the “hot” topics that you face day in and day out, what comes to mind? Is homosexuality one of those topics?
Specifically, when it comes to the topic of homosexuality, how does it intersect with your life? What are the ways that you have had to think through the Bible’s teaching on the subject?
When it comes to the topic of homosexuality (or really any “Hot Topic”), the pastors have been teaching from an important presupposition. It’s that the Bible is true and reliable — which then points back to an even greater presupposition: that God is God and we aren’t. This is why when we ask what we as Christians should think about any given topic, we look to the Scriptures. The foundation of every conviction is what the word of God teaches.
But what might you expect from others who don’t share that foundation? If the Bible is not their foundational presupposition, what might be? What kind of assumptions need to be made in order to reject the Bible’s teaching?
[This question is a little different than usual because there is a more specific answer to discuss here. Basically, to reject the Bible’s teaching in favor of, say, human reason, requires the presupposition that human reason is a superior to the Bible. It requires that someone make the valuation that human reason (or preference or opinion) is a more reliable guide than the Scriptures. And if that is the case, what kind of problems might follow?]
The Bible teaches that individuals who engage in habitual, unrepentant sin will not inherit the kingdom of God — and this is because that kind of lifestyle is incompatible with faith in Jesus (see 1 John 5:18). This is why, being aware and honest, we do not condone homosexual practice. Our gospel witness requires that we say: You’re wrong. This is not okay. This is sin.
Now, to be sure, I don’t mean we literally walk up to people at say those exact words. But that is our position as Christians. That is our conviction toward a lifestyle of sin. But that is not the only conviction! That is not all we say!
Right beside saying “You’re wrong” we also say “You’re loved” — and we always hold both convictions together because together it is the message of the cross. The cross always says both to everyone — you’re so wrong that your salvation took the death of Jesus, and you’re so loved that Jesus willingly died. This is the gospel truth that calls for our faith: you’re wrong and you’re loved.
How has this message impacted your own life? What kind of effect does it have on you right now? What makes this good news so good?
Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The miracle of the verse is so clear. God’s love is shown in that while we were still sinners Jesus died for us. If we accept our sin and ignore God’s love then we’re hopeless; and if we accept God’s love and ignore our sin then God’s love is bleached of its wonder. It is always both. God loves us as sinners. And that love was displayed by Jesus dying for us.
Since it is true that God loves us “while we were still sinners,” what kind of implications does this have for how we interact with our friends and neighbors? If God loves us where we are, how might that encourage you to engage people far from God?