Sermon Questions

Every week, we offer discussion questions for our Community Groups to use as a framework to reflect on and apply the sermon to their lives. All sermons are available for listening online here.

WEEK OF MAY 6

Refer to Phil 4:1-7

1) Consider Paul’s expression of love and care for the local church in verse 1. In what specific ways do you convey your love and appreciation for fellow believers in Christ?

2) How would you describe the theme communicated in verses 2 and 3?

3) What is the ‘key phrase’ embedded in the middle of verses 5 through 6? Why is it significant in the context of believers who are suffering or in conflict?

4) What anchors your soul in the midst of challenging or hard circumstances? Share from personal experience.

5) Describe the causal effect of following Paul’s commands in these verses?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 29

Refer to Luke 10:38-42

1) When you think about it, what’s one activity that (if you did it both well and consistently) would have significant results in your journey with Christ? Explain.

2) If you know that this activity makes a significant difference in your life, do you do it?

Name some common hinderances that get in the way. Explain.

3) How would you sum up the theme of this passage in your own words?

4) In your own words, describe the value of sitting before God’s Word.

5) What point in Joe’s sermon got your attention and why?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 22

Refer to Philippians 3:8-21
 
1) Review verses 4-8. As expressed in verse 8, what is Paul willing to forfeit for a relationship with Jesus Christ? Have you ever had to forfeit something earned or gained in your life? Explain.
 
2) Consider verses 10 and 11. What do you think Paul means when he says, “that I may know him”?
 
3) When James Calvert went to the Fiji Islands as a missionary, the captain of the ship sought to discourage him by saying, “you will lose your life and those with you if you go among such savages.” Calvert’s reply was, “we died before we came here.” How does this narrative inform Paul’s statement in verse 10: “become like him in his death”?
 
4) Using your own words, how would you paraphrase verse 14? 
 
5) What significant points in Pete’s sermon this week got your attention? Why?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 8

Refer to Philippians 2:12-30

1) In verse 12, Paul is not saying to work for your salvation. Instead, he’s speaking in the context of the local church. What Gospel truths are identified in verses 1 through 11 that Paul encourage the believers to employ, when he says, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling…”?

2) How would you apply verse 13 (regarding God’s transforming power) in your own life

3) How does the attitude of grumbling and discontent, seen in verse 14, distract from the mission of the church? How does this contrast with the phrase, ‘shining as lights in the world’ seen in the next verse? Refer to Matt 5:14-16.

4) Review verses 19-30. What are some of the Godly characteristics exhibited by both Timothy and Epaphroditus? 

5) What did Pete communicate in this sermon that got your attention? 

 

WEEK OF APRIL 1

Refer to Matthew 28:1-20

1) Why do you think the angel told the women not to be afraid, but chose not to say the same thing to the guards? What reason does the angel give the women for not being afraid?
 
2) What evidence does the angel give to the women to prove his claim that Jesus has risen? Why is this evidence important?
 
3) Describe your personal response to Christ’s command in verses 18-20.
 
4) Describe the characteristics of a disciple of Christ. How do you think disciples are made?
 
5) What did Pete communicate in this sermon that got your attention?

 

WEEK OF MARCH 25

Refer to Matthew 21:1-17 

1) How does Matthew’s description of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem compare to that of a Roman army’s triumphal entry after a victorious battle?

2) What is the significance of Christ’s conduct in the temple? 

3) How do the chief priests and scribes respond to the children singing praises? How does this narrative impact you?

4) In your opinion, was Christ’s entry into Jerusalem triumphant? Why?

 5) What did Pete communicate in this sermon that got your attention?

  

WEEK OF MARCH 18

Refer to Philippians 2:1-11

1) What does “have this mind among yourselves” referring to in verse 5? What does verse 5 mean to you personally?

2) Instead of holding on to his personal rights, verse 7 explains that Jesus, “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” What does the phrase, “made himself nothing” mean?

3) Consider the message in verses 5-7. Have you ever paused to ponder the absolute wonder of the person of Jesus? What is communicated in these verses that grabs your attention?

4) What is the central message of verse 8? How would you apply what you learned in relationships that are important to you?

5) What main point of the sermon got your attention? Why?

 

WEEK OF MARCH 11

Refer to Philippians 2:1-18

1) In v5, to what does “have this mind among yourselves” refer? How is humility defined in this text?

2) Make a list of everything revealed about Christ in verses 5 through 11. Which phrases describe Him before His incarnation, and which phrases which describe Him afterward? What’s God response to this occurrence? What’s your response?

3) Consider verses 12-13. How have you sensed God working in and through you in this season of life? What revealed truth are you seeking to apply?

4) The late Billy Graham once said, “Every generation is strategic. We are not responsible for the past generation, and we cannot bear responsibility for the next one; but we do have our generation. God will hold us responsible as to how well we fulfill our responsibilities to this age and take advantage of our opportunities.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain.

5) What main point in this sermon got your attention? Why?

 

WEEK OF MARCH 4

Refer to Philippians 1:21-30

1) If someone getting to know you asked, “what are you living for?” how would you respond?

2) It is overly simplistic to say, “Christ is all we need for our emotional and psychological wholeness?” Explain.

3) As followers of Christ, we should aim to be able to say, “For me, to live is Christ.” What does this statement mean to you?

4) In this text, we are called to both focus upon and to fulfill the Christian mission. What is this mission? Where/how do you feel called to contribute to it?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 25

Refer to Philippians 1:12-20

1) In this text Paul expresses how his personal experiences of pain, disappointment, and suffering have not been wasted. How has Paul’s story undergirded the Gospel story?

2) Why do you think personal adversity has emboldened Paul to proclaim Christ?

3) What truth does Paul lean upon for assurance and deliverance?

4) When disappointment and sufferings occurs in your life, what frames your perspective and interpretation of those events? What promises do you lean upon? How do you pray?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 18

Refer to Phil 1:1-11

1) How would you describe Paul’s perspective in his introduction? What emotions does he express to the church at Philippi?

2) Paul says the Philippines are his partners in the Gospel. What does he mean?

3) What does Paul mean when he says God will complete the good work he began in them?

4) Share one point from this sermon that got your attention. Where do you apply it? Where do you go from here?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 11

1) In 2 Cor 5:14-15, Paul states an important truth about the Christian life. What is this truth (in your own words)?

What should change in our lives as a result of this truth?

How should this truth change the way we work? The way we view the church?

2) What does it mean to be a willing agent of Gospel reconciliation? What does it look like in your life?

3) As instruments of grace, how does Christ make His appeal through us? Share an example that you have observed or experienced.

4) Share one point from this sermon that got your attention. Where do you apply it? How will you implement this application?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 4

Refer to Luke 10:25–37

1) Based upon the context of this parable, what would you say are the marks of a Good Samaritan?

2) Have you ever had an experience when someone (or some people) came to your aid in a time of need? How did they meet your needs?

3) Based on your experiences and knowledge of scripture, how has Christ played the role of the Good Samaritan on your behalf? How has this changed your worldview in the past? How should it change your attitudes/actions in the future?

4) If you wanted to become more aware of the needs of others in our community, where would you begin? What are some practical ways that you can support others in our community, and meet their needs?

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 28

Refer to Matthew 5:9, Hebrews 12:14

1) In what way would you describe Jesus as a peacemaker? Where do you see examples of Christ as a peacemaker in Scripture?

2) Why is peace so hard to find in our culture today? Where do you find peace?

3) What about David’s sermon got your attention? Where would you begin to apply his message?

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 21

Refer to: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

1) Describe the most memorable Lord’s Supper you have ever participated in. Why was it memorable?

2) What does it communicate to you that the Lord’s Supper is a meal to feed and nourish the beloved?

3) In verse 25, Jesus says, ‘This cup is the new covenant…” What exactly is meant by that phrase? Refer to Jeremiah 31:31-34

4) What are the two significant points communicated by the Lord in verses 24-26, both for the disciples then and for believers today?

5) What was your one take-away in this sermon? Why?

 

WEEK OF DECEMBER 10

Refer to 1 John 1:1-2, Luke 19:1-10 & Roman 5:12-21

1) Old Testament stories in the Bible speak of salvation, redemption and restoration both in a personal and communal context. Israel ached for the promised one to come. Read 1 John 1:1-2. What significant point is the Apostle John urgently trying to convey in the beginning of this letter? How does John’s declarative remarks impact you? What is your response?

2) Read Luke 19:1-10. What do you find remarkable in the interaction between Jesus and Zacchaeus in this narrative? Was it a personal or impersonal interaction? In what way was Jesus intentional in this story? What central message was Jesus communicating?

3) Read Roman 5:18-21. How would you contextualize and summarize the meaning of this passage?

 

WEEK OF DECEMBER 3

Refer to Matthew 1:21, John 3:16, Romans 5:8 and 1 John 4:14

1) Several thousand years ago on a Roman cross outside of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ was crucified. Three days later, the world as we know it would never be the same again. What does Christ’s death and resurrection reveal to you about the love of God? How does this historical event impact your life today?

2) How would you summarize the mission of Jesus? What did he convey by the way he lived, the truth he set forth and the allegiance he required?

3) One theme of this sermon is to start with the end in mind. Do you live your life with the end in mind? Does that thought frighten you or offer you hope? Why?

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 26

Refer to Galatians 5:16-26

1) Have you experienced the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit in your own life, i.e. the places where you do not do what you want to do? (Gal 5:17)

2) How are legalism (following rules to establish right standing with God) and license (living according to the desires of our sinful heart) both focused on self-salvation? How do you see these at play in your life?

3) This passage calls us to both be led by the Spirit v.18 (passive, responsive) and to keep in step with the Spirit v.25 (active following). Share examples of ways you have seen each of these at work in your life or the lives of others.

4) Often the desires of our flesh are ways we find cheap imitations of something better that Christ already offers us–love, identity, belonging, security. What is an area of sin in your life where you need to reject the cheap imitation and receive what Jesus already offers you? What might that look like?

5) As you examine your life, what are ways you can see the fruit of the Spirit growing?

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19

Refer to Galatians 5:1-15

1) How does our culture define freedom? How does the Bible correct our cultural view?

2) How are the Galatians in danger of losing their gospel freedom?

3) Have you ever come close to losing your gospel freedom? How did this happen? What lessons can you draw?

4) What is the hope that Paul says we are to eagerly await?

5) How should our certain future hope in Jesus shape our life here and now?  

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 12

Refer to Galatians 4:12-31

1) Consider verses 12-15, in what manner did the Galatians receive Paul when he first preached the gospel to them? How did Paul describe their response to his ministry?

2) Consider verses 16-20. How would you describe Paul’s concern for the Galatians and why did he wish he could be with them? 

3) Consider verses 22-31. The Galatians were conflicted in their faith, what truth did Paul reveal in retelling the story of Abraham’s two sons and the two covenants between God and man?

4) In the backstory of this Old Testament narrative, Abraham decided to rely upon himself to make God’s promises come true. Have you ever done something similar? If so, what lessons did you learned?

5) What makes this Old Testament story such a powerful message for the Galatians? How would you paraphrase this truth to someone driven to find self-worth through duty and performance?

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 5

Refer to Galatians 4:1-11

1) Is adoption something you can understand, as well as experience? Explain.

2) Which narrative are you living out today — that of a slave or that of an heir? Explain.

3) If this Biblical text conveys such liberating truth, why do we often look for an alternative?

4) Which of Jeff’s sermon points most impacted you and why?

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 29

Refer to Galatians 3:15-29

1) Read Galatians 3:24-26. How would you paraphrase these verses in today’s context? What does the phrase, “you are all sons of God” mean to you?

2) When are you tempted to look to you own efforts to make yourself acceptable to God?

3) How does knowing God’s law increase your gratitude to Christ? What difference does this make to your affections?

4) Verses 28 and 29 paint a beautiful portrait of the family of God. What does this scripture say 
about our identity and freedom in Christ? How does this contrast to what our society says about our identity today?

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 22

Refer to Galatians 3:1-14

1. How does having righteousness (right standing before God) credited to us change the way we see ourselves? Describe how this contrasts to the way we used to live.

2. Have you ever witnessed others living life under a moral obligation (debt of service) or religious law? What values of importance did you observe?

3. Which proclaimed truth in Galatians 3:13-14 excites you the most? Why?

4. If a non-believer asked you to interpret the phrase, “the righteous shall live by faith,” how would you explain and contextualize this truth?

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 15

Refer to Galatians 2:15-21

1. What are some common ‘identity markers’ (objects that give worth) found in our society today? What gives you validation as member of our society?

2. How does the good news of the gospel reveal our identity in Christ?

3. In your own words, how would you explain ‘justification by faith’ to a someone of another belief system or simply a nonbeliever?

4. Is Christ’s death on your behalf everything to you? What difference does this make in your love for Him and your actions in this life?

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 8

Refer to Galatians 2:1-14

1. Can you think of examples where church communities today have pursued cultural unity at the expense of gospel truth? Do you think Christian churches are viewed favorably or unfavorably in our society today? Why?

2. Do you think the gospel is worth defending? In what arena? If so, what would be your heart, method and approach?

3. Personally, do you tend to over-adapt or under-adapt the gospel in the world in which you live?

4. Have there ever been seasons in life when you thought how well you performed counted toward your salvation? What caused you to think this way? What caused you to abandon this perspective?

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 1

Refer to Galatians 1:11-24

1. How precious to you is the message of the Gospel?  

2. What are the things that you are tempted to add to the Gospel that would indicate you are trying to somehow gain your own right standing before God?

3. Are you able to rest in the finished work of Jesus for you?

4. What is your story…

— Before Christ?

— Of how Jesus drew you to himself?

— Of your life after coming to know Jesus?

May God give us boldness and winsomeness in sharing our story with others. Rest in the beauty of God’s promise to you in Philippians 1:6 — “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

 

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 24

Refer to Galatians 1:1-10

1. What is the gospel, according to Galatians 1:1-4. (See 1 Corinthians 9:2, 1 Corinthians 15:9, 2 Corinthians 11:5)

2. What are ways that our culture has changed the gospel? What other “gospels” are being preached today?

3. Why do other “gospels” do so well in our society?

4. Why will understanding the true gospel produce anger at false “gospels”?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 30

Refer to John 21:1-19

1) In what ways could the charcoal fire and a roasted meal in this story represent a rekindled life or new beginning?

2) What was Jesus trying to show the disciples by allowing them to catch such a large number of fish?

3) In your opinion, what is the central theme in Christ’s dialogue with Peter? Describe using your own words.

4) What subtle differences do you notice in Jesus’ three questions and Peter’s response?

5) How does it help to know that you can still serve and glorify God no matter what your past failures reveal?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 23

Refer to John 20:19-31

1) When Jesus appears to his disciples, what gifts and promises does he provide? For what purpose are they provided?

2) Twice in this narrative Jesus appears behind closed and locked doors to exhort, encourage and call forth his disciples. Where in your life do you feel perhaps trapped or boxed in?

3) How does Christ’s resurrection set you free from uncertainty, doubt and fear?

4) What do we learn from Jesus’ encounter with Thomas about dealing with people who have doubts about Christianity?

5) John tells us why he has written this account in verses 30-31. Of all the miraculous signs John has included, which have impacted you the most and why?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 9

Refer to John 12-12-36

1) Excitement and emotion are intense in this narrative. What other words or phrases communicate something of the electrifying atmosphere?

2) What are some of the different perceptions that the various crowds have of Jesus in this text?

3) Imagine yourself in this story. Which group would you naturally align yourself with and why?

4) How is the message of Christ revealed?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 2

Refer to Matthew 5:48

1) GK Chesterton said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” So what’s your response to this statement? How can you merge the stipulations of Scripture with the realities of everyday life?

2) It’s been said that this verse summarizes all that has been said up to this point regarding the Sermon on the Mount. Why do we struggle with this imperative?

3) What is the heart of what Jesus is trying to convey in this verse? What is your response?

4) If Jesus is divine and therefore perfection, how does his statement in this verse guide your journey as a disciple of Christ? Refer to Eph 1:4-11

 

WEEK OF MARCH 26

Refer to Matthew 5:33-47

1) What message is Jesus trying to convey regarding the importance and integrity of our spoken words?

2) As you review this passage on oaths and reprisals, discuss one or two insights that got your attention and explain why.

3) How through the illustrations brought forth in this text is Jesus exposing our hearts that we might see His?

4) Share one point expressed by Jeff in this sermon that personally spoke to you.

 

WEEK OF MARCH 19

Refer to Matthew 5:27-32

1) As with the previous section discussed last week, Jesus begins this narrative reminding them again of what they already know, another of the 10 commandments. From what Jesus says, when does the unlawful act of adultery or covetousness begin? How are relationships violated by this behavior? In what manner?

2) We are tempted to believe that our private thought life is our own. How is this perspective dangerous to our spiritual growth? What is the remedy?

3) In this text Jesus again contrasts inward thoughts vs outward behavior. What some of the lessons we can learn here?

4)  What is the central message Jesus is communicating in verses 29-30? What is he truly asking of us through this compelling analogy?

5) The author C. S. Lewis thought a great deal about this God who would love us to perfection. Here is what he said in his book, Mere Christianity: “When he said, ‘Be perfect,’ He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the full treatment. It is hard; but the sort of compromise we are all hankering after is harder–in fact, it is impossible. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird, it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad…”

What does this quote say about our need for heart transformation? What does this quote say about God’s design or purpose for our lives?

 

WEEK OF MARCH 12

Refer to Matthew 5:21-26

1) In this text Christ is dealing with the commandment “Do not Murder’ which was one of the 10 commandments given to Moses. What’s the greater meaning Jesus is is trying to convey?

2) Jesus makes three statements which are roughly parallel to each other. What is the current thinking that he’s trying to undo?

3) How does a transformed heart trump external obedience in this text?

4) What is the remedy Jesus is speaking of in verses 23-26? What strikes you about its application?

5) What statement or main point in this sermon speaks to you and why?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 26

Refer to Ephesians 3:14-21.

1) Based on Ru’s message, describe the problem of spiritual renewal within the church today?

2) How would you describe the paradigm or pattern for spiritual renewal as revealed by this text?

3) Three times in verses 14-21 Paul mentions ‘love and power.’ What do we learn about love and power in these verses?

4) What is the essence of Paul’s prayer for the church in these verses? Do you hold a similar attitude?

5) What main point in Ru’s sermon got your attention? How will it impact your life leaning forward?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 19

Refer to Matthew 4:18-25 & 6:25-55.

1) Discover the various locations mentioned in chapter 4 of Matthew’s gospel account. What do they tell us about Jesus’ ministry?

2) In what manner does Jesus communicate the Kingdom of God is near in Chapter 4:18-25? How did the people respond?

3) One of Christ’s first functions as heavenly King was to call forth his disciples (see verses 18-22). From these verses, what can you conclude about the meaning of discipleship?

4) Put yourself in the shoes of the young disciples witnessing the proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the healing of human suffering for the first time. How would witnessing these events change your worldview?

5) What does Matthew 6:25-55 say about seeking Christ’s Kingdom and his righteousness? How can this translate practically for your life?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 12

Refer to Psalm 67

1) Why is it challenging to look upon the needs of others in our society? What are common barriers that hold us back? How can we overcome to make a difference?

2) Refer to verse 1. Considering your spiritual journey, describe a time or season when God’s face shined upon you. How did God’s blessings impact your life? How did God use others to help you see Christ, his mercy, his grace?

3) Refer to verses 2 through 4. How can we reflect God’s glory to a lost and broken world, either locally or globally?

4) In reference to Pastor Joe’s sermon, how might we be a practical blessing to those in need of the Gospel? Where can we start? What does it look like for you to give back, intentionally pray or even get involved yourself?

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 5

Refer to Matthew 17: 1-9

1) In verses 1-8, what do the disciples learn about Jesus through his transformed appearance, his conversation with Moses and Elijah, and the voice from heaven?

2) Has following Jesus ever produced seasons of confusion or doubt for you? What avenues of grace (such as prayer, worship, community or God’s Word) have you leaned upon to guide you back to truth? Share from your personal experience.

3) We don’t always process or interpret life from a heavenly perspective. How does the theme of this text reorient your thinking?

4) What do you find reassuring by Christ’s statement in verse 7?

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 29

Refer to Matthew 16:13-24

1) Read verses 13-1. How does Peter have the insight to confess that Jesus is the Christ? Share an example where God, through the Holy Spirit, has illuminated truth to you. How did this experience impact your life?

2) Jesus’ question presented to Peter in verse 13 is one that everyone will have to respond at some point. Who do you say Jesus is, and why?

3) Peter and Jesus seem to be at a crossroad in verses 22-23. Why do you think Jesus addresses Peter as Satan?

4) Having explored the entirety of this text, why is it not enough to just think highly of Jesus? What should frame our viewpoint?

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 22

Refer to Isaiah 49:1-7, John 1:29-51 & 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

1) Read Isaiah 49:1-7. What is the significance of the one who would represent all?

2) In John 1:35-51, we’re introduced to five men: Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathanael and unnamed disciple (John). How did each man respond to the testimony about Jesus?

3) What do you find interesting in Philip’s response to Nathaniel? Have you ever felt compelled to invite a friend to “come and see” Jesus? If so, share your story.

4) Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. What does this text say about our identity in Christ? How does personal identity shape our response to circumstances?

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 15

Refer to Matthew 3:13-17 & Isaiah 42:1-9
1) Who are the divine persons revealed in Matthew 3:13-17, and what is their purpose in this setting?

2) What does the prophesy in Isaiah 42:1-9 say about God’s chosen servant? What does this text say about God’s love for us?

3) The coming Christ demands either repentance or promised judgement. Why is this reality such a struggle to embrace?

4) What is the significance of God’s declaring in Matt 3:17, “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased?”

5) Think about those you know who are going through a wilderness experience such as suffering or loss. How might you reveal Jesus to them?

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 8

Refer to Matthew 2:1-12, 16.

1) This story easily touches on the main characters of Herod and the wise men. Yet God taking center stage has a compelling role. Describe the silent third character in this narrative and the significance of how he is revealed.

2) Describe the contrasting response of these principal characters to the revealed servant-king. How has the revelation of Christ impacted and shaped the course of your life?

3) In every generation since his death and resurrection, Jesus has upset the established world order. How has your faith in Christ altered your worldview and challenged your cultural sensibilities?