The Promise  |  04/12/20

2020 Easter Series

1.  What is the typical understanding of Easter (Jesus paying for our sins and enabling us to be forgiven and to go to Heaven one day) actually a limited perspective of the Biblical narrative, and not the full story?

2.  Read Colossians 1:8.  Why is Easter the new beginning of a new story, rather than the end of the story?

3.  Read Isaiah 43:18-19, 65:17 and Romans 8:22-24 and Revelation 21:3-5.  What do these verses teach us about the greater plan of God, of which Easter was merely a 'fulcrum' - an essential part?

     a)  What are some other verses in the Bible that reinforce this broader understanding of God's plan of redemption?

4.  Read Leviticus 16:14-17 and John 20:11-12.  By his description of the angels in the tomb, John made sure his readers understood that Jesus was the promised redeemer who had made atonement for the sins of the world.  Why is it so important we understand this about Jesus?

5.  Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Romans 6:4.  What does it actually mean to be a 'new creation'?  Describe it in your own words.

6.  How does this broader understanding of God's redemptive work (that we are a new creation) affect the way we respond to hardship and suffering, to times like we're experiencing right now with this epidemic?

7.  Until Jesus comes back and 'makes all things new' (Revelation 21:5), we - the church - are the people who demonstrate what it looks like to be a new creation.  How should we be doing that?  

     a)  What does God's Spirit have to do with this?

     b)  What do you need to do to ensure you're living as a new creation this week?

The Promise  |  04/05/20

2020 Easter Series

1.  What are some of the clear promises God made in the Bible that He would send a redeemer?  (for example see Genesis 3:15 and Job 19:25)

2.  Read Deuteronomy 32:4 and 2 Peter 3:8-9.  What difference does God's character make to our ability to trust His promises?

     a)  How have you specifically experienced God's faithfulness in your life, and how does that affect your willingness to trust Him?

3.  Read Jeremiah 29:10-14 and 2 Chronicles 36:21.  The Jews in exile experienced the judgment of God but also the very specific fulfillment of His promise of redemption after the land had been given its 70 years of sabbath rest.  They knew this before they were taken into captivity.  What difference do you think this knowledge might have made for them?

4.  Read 2 Corinthians 1:18-20.   How does the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus continue to give you confidence in God's and His promises?

The Problem  |  03/29/20

2020 Easter Series

1.  Adam tried to deflect the guilt of his sin, first blaming Eve and inferring God was responsible because he created Eve.  How do we try to deflect the blame for our sin?

2.  There are four typical responses to sin: a) make a greater effort to be good, b) hide from God, c) justify our sin by comparing ourselves to others, d) go on sinning knowing God will show us grace.  Which response best describes you?  Why?

3.  Read Romans 3:23.  What does it mean to 'fall short of the glory of God"?  

     a)  How is 'falling short of God's glory' most often seen in your life?

4.  Read Romans 3:27-28Why is it important to understand and 'feel' our sinfulness?  Why is it good for us to be aware of our ongoing sinfulness?  

5.  Read Romans 2:4.  Where does our hope come from?