- Read and discuss Rachel Jones’ article titled Heavenly Citizenship [on Engage Handout].
- Read Philippians 3:19-21. How might awareness of our eternal citizenship impact our temporal choices in the world?
- According to John 3:3, how can one see the Kingdom of God? What does Matthew 7:21‑23 teach us about heavenly citizenship?
- In this world, how are we to respond to our temporal authorities [Romans 13:1‑6]?
- What do Daniel 7:27 and Isaiah 9:7 tell us about the kingdoms of this world and Christ’s kingdom?
- What does the Bible teach us about welcoming people we don’t know [Hebrews 13:2; 3 John 1:1-8]?
- Read Galatians 5:22-26 and discuss as a group how the Fruit of the Spirit affects our action toward those with whom we do not agree? Toward those we do not know or understand?
- Has there been a time when you have handed over your will to the Lord? Compare Psalm 40:7-8, Acts 9:6 and Romans 12:1-2. Discuss why is it so hard for us to surrender our will to God. What changes this struggle?
- Look up Psalm 126:6. How might we at times find ourselves serving? Why might it be tempting not to sow seed? Does serving add burdens to our daily lives? What does go out and return imply about service? Is service rewarding? What does it do to our hearts?
- Have you ever noticed how many times in scripture the Lord says, “Fear not!” and “Be strong!” Why does He say this so often? Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. What does this verse teach us about serving the Lord?
- Compare Ezekiel 33:6 and 1 Peter 3:15-16. How can we have a clear conscience regarding the lost?
- Read Galatians 5:25. Are you “utterly abandoned” to the Holy Spirit? Are you filled and dominated by Christ? Is your life Spirit-led? What can we do when we do not like our answers to these questions?
- Read Mark 8:1-9. What partnership is demonstrated in this passage as it relates to meeting human needs? What does this partnership teach us about meeting needs today? What does it teach us about giving?
- Still focusing on Mark 8:1-9. Discuss what Jesus did and did not do in meeting human needs?
- Read Matthew 25:31-46 as a group. Give focus to verses 34‑40 and discuss what message is being conveyed. Now consider all the verses here and discuss their implication to our lives today.
- How do we strike a balance between meeting the temporal and eternal needs of humanity? What does Jesus teach us about keeping the right focus as we minister to others in Mark 14:7?
- How are you doing on meeting the temporal, physical and spiritual needs of others? What is hindering you from doing more?
- Share briefly of a time when someone helped you.
- If you look up the word hope, “confident desire” and “trust” mark two of the five possible uses of the term. How do these two concepts fit into the biblical definition of hope? Read Proverbs 3:5-6, 2 Samuel 22:31, Psalm 37:4 and Proverbs 11:23.
- Read Romans 5:1-6. According to verse 3 and 4, what produces hope in us?
- According to Romans 5:3-4, which of the following things is most closely related to our hope: tribulation, perseverance or character? Why is this so closely connected to hope?
- Much focus is given to Christians’ faith and love, but how does hope impact our spiritual journeys [Colossians 1:5 and 1 Thessalonians 1:3]?
- Christians often talk about their faith and love. We’ll even ask for prayer to help with waning faith or greater love. But when was the last time you had a conversation about the state of your hope or someone else’s hope? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the greatest, how would you rate your hope at this time? Why did you give the response you did?
- What can you do to foster greater hope in your life and the lives around you?
- Read Acts 4:12 out loud. Why might we personally struggle to recognize that good people and even spiritual people are not saved and will spend eternity in Hell if they do not fully accept and live by the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord of all before departing this world?
- Re-read Acts 4:12 and then read John 3:15-17, John 10:9 and John 14:6 out loud. How is Christianity inclusive and exclusive at the same time?
- Do you believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ truly changes people? Why or why not? What does 2 Corinthians 5:17 imply about life in Christ? Does your life reflect this change? Why or why not?
- Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven? If so, is your belief actively demonstrated in witnessing to this truth? Explain your answer. Are you good at leading others to Christ? If not, what effort have you made to change that shortcoming?
- When was the last time you did a Bible study for or with mostly unbelievers? Read Romans 10:17. What does it reveal about the value of Bible studies for unbelievers? How many in your Engage group have ever participated in a Bible study of mostly unbelievers?
- Read Matthew 28:19 out loud as a class. Now read it again and replace the word nation with the word ethnicities. How many cross-cultural relationships do you currently foster?
- Read Galatians 2:11-16.
- What is the greatest bond between two believers?
- What was Peter’s problem?
- Do you ever struggle with prejudice in your heart?
- What may be influencing you toward some form of prejudice?
- How can you work to not make the same mistake as Peter?
- In addition to ethnic diversity, what are several other areas in which Christians must strive to avoid prejudice?
- Read Genesis 11:1-9 out loud as a group. Then read the commentary below.
- Among all of creation’s diversity, human cultural diversity—ethnic and linguistic differences—is also part of God’s good creation. Sometimes, Christians view cultural diversity as part of the fallen world, as a curse. The biblical narrative of the Tower of Babel [Genesis 11:1-9] is often used to justify such a negative view. A closer reading, however, suggests that God’s confusion of “tongues” or languages at Babel was not a curse but more a tool of God’s grace. The central sin of Babel is not simply pride in trying to unify the world…even though that is implicated. Rather, the Babel builders’ sin is trying to define their corporate identity apart from God. To “make a name” (v. 4) for oneself means more than just becoming famous. Names in the Old Testament and in the Bible as a whole are supposed to capture the object’s essence or character; you are what your name is, so to speak. Thus, making a name here also means they are trying to define who they are apart from God. This “self-naming project” is linked to both their unification project and their building project: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (v. 4, NIV). There’s evidence to suggest that this story was composed with a glance toward the Babylonian empire. The land of Shinar (v. 2) is connected to Babylon and the word babel in the Babylonian language means “gate of god.” As such, the name or identity that the Babel builders seek for themselves is to be “the gate of god,” a heaven on earth. They desired to make their own perfect society by means of technology (v. 3), architecture (v. 4) and by implication through political and religious means. This is similar to Babylon’s empire building (an allusion that would not be lost on ancient Israelites) symbolized by Babylon’s ziggurat towers that purports to be gateways to the gods. However, babel in Hebrew is “confusion” or even, “folly.” Hence, Genesis mocks the Babylonians. They think they are building heaven on earth, but in reality, they are confused and foolish. Therefore, God’s confusion of them is a means to prevent them from a foolish idolatrous identity of making projects that reject God’s name and identity. God’s intervention and creation of diverse languages actually forced them to fulfill God’s original command in Genesis 1:28 to “fill the earth and subdue it,” something which these Babel builders were afraid to do. They were afraid of being “scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth,” a phrase repeated three times (verses 4, 8 and 9). Human cultural and linguistic diversity, then, fulfills a redemptive purpose in God’s plan; it is not a curse.
- Considering what you have just read, what should be the most multicultural institution in the world? Why? What is your personal part in God’s redemptive plan? Discuss these thoughts as a group.
- Read Mathew 7:21-27. What needs to change in your life?
- How well do you live out Philippians 2:14-15?
- What does James 4:1 tell us about our attitude and our need for greater reliance on the Holy Spirit? About our tendency to focus on escaping a problem rather than finding God’s purpose within it?
- What miracle accompanies these baptisms [Act 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6]? Why is the tongue significant in Pentecost [James 3]?
- Read Romans 8:26 and discuss its implications as a group.
- How does 1 Timothy 6:6 relate to our trust in God and affect our attitude as we wait on God?
- Discuss this statement: “The prerequisite to every miracle is a problem.” How might recognizing this help our daily walk in Christ?
- Have you ever been used in the gifts?
- Would you like to be used in the Gifts?
- Do you believe that God will use you in the Gifts? Why? Why Not?
- Do you hold any unforgiveness in your heart? Toward yourself, or someone else?
- Do you have an unconfessed struggle that has not been given to the Lord in prayer?
- Are you committed to the word, worship and prayer daily?
- If you have been used in the gifts has it been in more that one category of gifts?
- When was the last time you were clearly used in one of these gifts?
- When was the last time you needed one of these gifts to help you help others?
- Do you really want to be used of God in greater ways? Beyond you abilities?
1. The gifts of the Spirit which come upon us to express the power of God are found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. List them in their correct groupings (revelation gifts, power gifts or utterance gifts).
2. How have you seen these gifts used or misused? Would you like to be used in any of these gifts? Why?
3. The Fruit of the Spirit within us is to express the virtues of Christ and are found in Galatians 5:22-23. List them and discuss as a group why both are important for believers to walk in daily.
4. Discuss what John is telling us in his words about Jesus and the Holy Spirit [Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16]. What do you think he means when he says “with fire?” How might this apply today?
- In your own life, how has the Spirit of God been working lately to make you more like Christ?
- Do you feel like you need more of God? In what way?
- Do you feel like you have been walking in the Spirit of adoption as described in Romans 8:15? Why? Why not?
- Read Genesis 1:2. What was the Spirit doing in this verse?
- How would you rate your focus on your walk with the Spirit on a scale of 1-10? What are you willing to do to improve it?
Trinity Chapel Assembly of God
8617 Whipps Mill Rd br>
Louisville, KY 40222 br>
(502) 425-1636 br>
Sunday Services: 9:00 AM & 11:00 AM
Family Night Activities: Wednesdays at 7pm