Get This for September 30

To the Faith Community of King’s Grant Baptist:

This coming Sunday, September 30th, is Mission Sunday, also known as M-3 Sunday. As you remember from my most recent sermon at King’s Grant, there are three words that represent our core values and summarize our church vision:

  • M1 (COMMUNITY), living as a genuine member of the Body of Christ;
  • M2 (FAITH), growing as a community of faith to become ministers for Jesus Christ;
  • M3 (LOVE), living out the love of Christ on mission with Him every day. 

Please join us this Sunday as we celebrate the second and third part of our vision: M2 and M3. 

We will celebrate M2, a life of faith that grows into ministry, with a special volunteer appreciation. If you volunteer within the ministry of KGBC in any way, please stop by the front welcome center for a special time of refreshments at the conclusion of the 8:30 service and just before Sunday school. (This is a “drop by” gathering on your way to Sunday School, etc.) This reception is in your honor, and in thanksgiving to God for your life as one who ministers in and through the church for Christ Jesus and His kingdom. (Each Sunday that I stand before our congregation, most people I see volunteer in some way, so I hope to see all of you at the welcome area this Sunday- this will be a great time to connect with one another.)

Also, we will celebrate M3, a life lived on mission for Jesus Christ. In the 8:30 and 11:00 worship times this Sunday testimonies will be shared by some within our faith community who have been involved in specific mission endeavors this year. Also, through their stories we will all be encouraged to live as people on mission with Jesus. (Please note that our two 11:00 worship services will be combined in the main worship area; the 8:30 service will remain as usually scheduled. Both services will be identical in content.)

I am very thankful for the love and fellowship we sense as we gather together. This Sunday is going to be an incredible time together as we worship Jesus Christ our Lord. I look forward to worshiping with you this weekend.

Community. Faith. Love.

Community. Faith. Love.
Romans 12:4-5, Ephesians 2:19-21, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

George Owen Walton, collection of nickels, deemed fake, when inherited, appraised and proven authentic, value of $1.3 million… we can miss the most important things in life if their value is missed. Here are three basic values of the church. Why we belong, believe, and behave.

1. We exist as a COMMUNITY. Romans 12:4-5

  • A. Community Defined: a unified group of individuals. Church is unified gathering of believers. In substance, it is membership. Expressed in membership. Movement of discipleship in the body. Who we are in the body.
  • B. Membership Rethought: a literal connection to the church spiritually (the Body of Christ). Describes commitment. Sam’s and Costco have memberships. Joining an organization has personal benefit. Ken’s American Airlines membership is solely for personal benefit. This idea conditions our entire culture. The church is never LIKE the body of Christ, it IS the body of Christ.
  • C. Church Revisited: membership for Jesus, as a part of the whole, functioning, characterized by love. We who are many are one. “So it is with Christ.” Not a man-made organization to remember our leaded. “The church expresses Jesus.” – Ray Steadman.

Membership for Jesus, we are saved, sins forgiven, made brand new in Christ. Jesus intends to lead the church, because he is the head.

As part of the whole, KGBC founders… “everyone had a job, asking, what can I do?”

Functioning, all parts are needed to function. This is an oxymoron, an “inactive church member.”

Characterized by love, always, for one another, for the head, for the lost. We are a community more than an organization. The bones of the ear, small, yet vital to hearing. Membership is not the goal… move from member to minister.

[M1 – Member]

2. We exist as a community of FAITH. Ephesians 2:19-21 – Faith Grows and Becomes Ministry.

  • A. Member of God’s household. If the building did not exist, would the church still exist? YES. God dwells not in a house made with hands. Not a community of man, or social gathering, how does faith grow into ministry? All of us were once aliens, but now we are ALL included.
  • B. Founded upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Foundation of Jesus, then the apostles. 1 Corinthians 1:23, in the body by the same foundation of faith.
  • C. Growing into a holy temple in the Lord. We are a living and holy temple, bought with a price. We are a holy priesthood. Ministers to serve God. All are called to serve. 1 Peter 2:5. “Built up” is or means an activity that never stops. We never simply arrive at maturity.
  • D. Ministering in His name. The goal of church is not membership. We must move to ministers. Today’s church is better at producing members rather than ministers. Even when the tree reaches its optimal height, it continues to grow. Growing is not optional. We are never grown up this side of heaven.

[M2-Minister]

3. We exist as a community of faith to EXTEND the LOVE of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

For what? What is the goal? Ingrown is not good. The purpose is to extend the LOVE. Compels us, better, controls us. M3 represents our mission. 5:20 is the summary of the goal…

  • A. Changed. Jesus died to free you from sin. Love changes us transformation.
  • B. Called. Therefore, you are an ambassador, authorized to act and be on mission on behalf of the king or leader. Organized effort, or projects, but in any opportunity, you find to walk through the door of loving others for Jesus.

[M3 – Mission]

Mission Impossible, “Your mission, if you decide to accept it…” we do not have the option to negotiated mission of Jesus.


LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
For September 26, 2018
Romans 12:4-5, Ephesians 2:19-21, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Welcome – Greeting / Get Going

  1. Go around the room and introduce ourselves and mention one thing that few people know about you.
  2. If you could literally be a single body part, what part would you be? Why?
  3. Who are the other body parts that you would need help from in order to function properly?

Word – Digging Deeper

  1. Ken began his message by saying, “Some of the most important things in life are missed because their value is not recognized.” Why do so many Americans (even those who believe in God) not see the value of active involvement in a local church?
  2. What do you think is the value of church membership?
  3. Since there are so many churches yet only one body of Christ, how can we break down barriers and create unity with other Christian groups? In what ways does unity stop when it intersects with doctrine? Does anyone have a story?
  4. Who can describe the Cooperative Program? What is the principle it represents? (We can do so much more together than we can as an individual congregation).
  5. In Gestalt Psychology, “the whole is something else [greater] than the sum of its parts.” How is a gathering of the church something else than a gathering of individual believers?
  6. How are friendships formed in real life? (common interests, common activities, common location, common school, common gender, common history) Since Jesus may be the only common factor in the life of individual believers, how are friendships formed in the church? Who has a story of knowing well different people in the church, yet those friends don’t even know each other?
  7. In what organizations have you benefited by having a membership? In church, how do you explain to non-members that “membership has its privileges?” (more than you can now vote in a meeting or teach in Sunday School) Or does membership have any privileges?
  8. Ken said that we are better at making members than we are at making ministers. What will it take for us to get better at making ministers? How can we “make people thirsty” for more?
  9. The church may be the only organization in the world that exists for those who are not yet members. Who can explain what this means? Does it make sense? In what ways do we confuse making membership all about us? Are we members for what we get out of it or what we give into it?
  10. What are practical examples of membership in our society? (every team has a roster, every school has an enrollment, every company has its payroll) So, why do people resist membership in a local Baptist church?
  11. If membership is a literal connection to a spiritual family, what does this imply? (in God’s family we are his children. In human terms, a child without a family is called an orphan. All orphans long to be welcomed into a family). So, why are we so casual or apathetic about being in God’s forever family?
  12. What are the responsibilities or expectations of being in a human family? (chores, respect, love, kindness, support, encouragement, school, exercise, eating, hygiene, bills) So, what is a parallel to your spiritual family, being a member of God’s household?
  13. The church is founded upon Christ. What is the purpose of our salvation? What does God ask of us?
  14. Sin can distract us from God’s mission. How does sin work against the mission of God? How does sin distract us from the corporate mission of God?
  15. Why is it difficult to understand that we are called to be a royal priesthood? What did those in the priesthood do? What are ways in which priests serve others?
  16. If the church is one body and Christ is the head, how does this relate to church leaders and the laity?
  17. Church leaders and pastors are called to equip the saints for the work of service. Why do most American Christians prefer the staff to do the work of ministry? Is this healthy?
  18. Why are spiritual gifts important? Name yours. How does knowing your gifts help you better serve?
  19. Name some ways that you serve Jesus through the church. What impacts have you made? What is something that you never thought about until now that you can do for God’s kingdom?
  20. We are called to sharpen one another (Proverbs 27:17), why is it so difficult to address sin, in us and in others? What are the risks and benefits? Does accountability keep people from real connections?
  21. Membership naturally and logically moves toward a growing faith. How does being inactive in church relate to our faith? How does faith relate to love? How do these relate to obedience?
  22. In what ways to we often desire greater faith for self-improvement rather than to allow that faith to change us? (a tree is always growing even after it reaches optimal height) In what ways do you need to grow wider, not just taller? Ken mentioned, “ingrown is never good.” What does this mean to you?
  23. In what ways has God called you into his global purpose? When was a time when you told God you would be available later? What are the obstacles that keep you from being all in?
  24. Love controls us. How do we usually look at control in our lives? How can love empower us or the lack of love hold us back? Is love more powerful with an inward focus or an outward focus? Explain.
  25. What are the dangers of an inwardly-focused love (selfishness, conceitedness, tunnel vision)
  26. What are the benefits of an outwardly-focused love? (connection, purpose, service, evangelism)

Work – Ministry / Missions / Motivation

  1. Of the three M’s – name the one we do best as a church. Which must we work on to be more obedient and fruitful? In what ways is the church stagnant? What areas seem to be fruitful?
  2. Where are you personally? What will it take to move toward the next level? What is holding you back? What do you fear? What do you lack?
  3. Do people grow faster in groups or as individuals? Is the church then essential to proper growth?

Witness – His Story / My Story

  1. Who helped you see the importance of obeying Christ, not just showing up at church?
  2. When was a time where you avoided church membership, and what did you learn from it?
  3. Name some ways that you can serve others? What are some KGBC ministries in which you can get involved? Where can you find more information? (kgbc.us/pathway)
  4. How can we be ambassadors for Christ? What does that mean? (evangelism is love going public)

Hurricane Relief Project 2018

Dear Church Family:

Hearts are heavy for our neighbors in the Carolinas who have suffered the impact of Hurricane Florence. Our church family will soon be collecting and forwarding funds for larger disaster relief programs through our Virginia Baptists. 

However, there is an opportunity with immediate needs in the small North Carolina town of Lake Waccamaw (Home town of Ellie Zecchini). Ellie has been in contact with the town. She is friends with the mayor and has discovered a need for some items to help with clean-up efforts. Due to limited amount of space to take items directly to NC, the following are requested:

  • Gloves (Work, Cleaning, Vinyl and/or Latex)
  • Trash Bags (Heavy Duty and/or Yard Waste)

We are asking for donations of these items this Sunday, September 23. There will be designated collection points located in the church. Ellie will personally deliver these items on Monday.

Many of the houses in Lake Waccamaw have flood damage. Some areas are still not accessible. If items cannot get through, Ellie will deliver all donations to Bayside HS for transportation into North Carolina. 

Thank you for your partnership.

Dr. Kenneth R. Pruitt (Ken)
Pastor, Kings Grant Baptist Church
873 Little Neck Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
757-340-0902

Last Words Forever, It Is Finished

LAST WORDS FOREVER: IT IS FINISHED!
“When He had finished the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.” (John 19:30)

All that Jesus said in his ministry in context is leading to this moment and this statement. Jesus spoke into the life of his mother and disciples and crowds, even into his enemies and now he is speaking into the lives of others at the cross, to his mother, to John, to a thief on the cross… for this purpose, to reveal God to man, and bring them to God. These words explain the necessity of the cross, and that the cross is the key principle of salvation.

These words viewed objectively: the significance of this statement in history. There was a Time magazine list of men who changed the world? Hardly. Jesus changed the world forever.

Four descriptions of Jesus’ words:

  1. The statement was described as a loud cry.
    1. Not necessarily the tone, but surely it was not a moan or a sigh. Not “I am finished” but “IT is finished.” Perhaps the vinegar gave him the ability to speak these words through a parched thought.
    2. It was a statement of pronouncement, an announcement.
  2. The statement was built on the analogy of payment for a debt.
    1. The word, to complete, debt payment, paid in full.
    2. Psalm 49:15 – God will ransom me…
    3. Mark 10:45 – I am your ransom…
    4. 1 Corinthians 6:19 – you are bought with a price…
    5. Romans 5:9 – we are saved and justified, saved from the wrath of God.
  3. The statement was a literal audible announcement.
    1. Not assumed, but literally, “it is finished” was heard by those present.
    2. What is IT in this statement? Everything God required to bring you into a right relationship with himself
    3. 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.
  4. The statement referenced that which pleases God.
    1. The impact of satisfaction in God’s pleasure.
    2. John Stott – I would have never believed if it were not for the cross.

Khmer Rouge in Cambodia – in a village, people about to be executed, crying out to the spirits, but one woman remembered the God who hung on a tree, the one who knew suffering. They prayed and then looked up to find the executioners were gone!

These words viewed subjectively: the significance of this statement for me personally.

Four results of Jesus’ words:

  1. We are loved more deeply than we could ever imagine.
    1. You are loved more than you can ever imagine. 1 John 4:10
    2. Romans 6:23 – wages of sin is death… a real-world transaction of work and wages.
    3. You are never asked to earn his love. It is about grace.
  2. The way to God is cleared.
    1. Matthew 20:28 – Jesus came not to be served but a ransom for many.
    2. It is about an exchange. Jesus was the payment that set us free.
    3. There is no change without the exchange.
  3. We do not have to live under the weight of guilt and shame.
    1. As you come to faith in Christ, accept the fact that Jesus has forgiven your sin.
    2. Romans 8:1 – There is now no condemnation for sin.
      1. Guilt – I have done bad
      2. Shame – I am bad
  4. We have purpose and hope through eternal life.
    1. John 10:10 – Jesus promises abundant life
    2. We are made right with God forever.
    3. We have a hollow faith when we don’t realize that Jesus has paid it all.
    4. This new standing is not a business transaction, it is a relationship.

Imagine a time when your kids call you and not want anything from you, but only to talk for a while.
Ken closed with a great story: The war is over – on a Philippine island there was a soldier, who was told not to surrender even if Japan does. He believed he was still at war for over 30 years. Seriously, “It is Finished.”


LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
For September 19, 2018

Welcome – Greeting / Get Going

  1. Go around the room and introduce ourselves and mention one thing that few people know about you.
  2. As a child, what is something that you proudly finished or regretfully left unfinished?
  3. What is one project of yours that is still unfinished?
  4. In what way would you like to be remembered after you die? What legacy are you leaving? Are you satisfied with the legacy you are leaving?

Worship – Prayer / Praise

  1. Read aloud John 19:28-30
  2. Pray the Scripture Back to God – Father, we know that as Jesus hung on the cross, he said, “I am thirsty.” May we pray those words back to you as a declaration of how much we thirst for your presence. Father, make us thirsty. In the quietness of this moment, pray in your spirit, “I am thirsty.” In this passage we also know that Jesus declared, “It is finished.” May we surrender to your will, may we stop fighting against you, may we bow our heads and give our spirit totally to you. Pray these words in your spirit, “It is finished. I surrender, as I think about my priorities, habits, and goals in my life.” Amen.

Word – Digging Deeper

  1. The Statement was a Loud Cry: In what circumstances do people live for today? In what circumstances do people live for tomorrow?
  2. Do people ever live in the reality that we will all one day die? How does a believer with terminal cancer live differently than a believer who thinks we have plenty of time?
  3. Jesus cried out this final proclamation, “It is finished,” which sealed his life of action. Which do you believe speaks louder, actions or words? Explain.
  4. The Statement was Payment for a Debt: We owe money on the things that are important to us (house, car), and these turn into priorities that are worth paying for. We work hard to pay off these debts, but what changes with a gift of grace (getting that which you don’t deserve), since the debt of sin has been paid?
  5. What is significant in the fact that grace is free? Why are people suspicious of free things? Why do people feel the need to pay (or compensate) for the stuff they receive as a gift?
  6. Who has a story about how your church activities once fell into the category of works? What are the dangers of a works-based salvation?
  7. The Statement was Literal and Audible: What do our word choices say about us? What effects do our words have on others?
  8. If “you are what you eat” is true, is it also possible, “you are what you say”? Do your actions match your words?
  9. The Statement Referenced That Which Pleases God: In what ways do you strive to please God?
  10. What are some things in life that people tend to put ahead of God?
  11. When we experience hardship, what are some ways that we can use them to motivate others?
  12. We Are Loved More Deeply Than we can Imagine: How do people show love for one another?
  13. How does God’s definition of love differ from the human definition of love?
  14. How do Christians let love for self get in the way of love for others?
  15. Is it possible to give love without first experiencing God’s sacrificial love? Explain.
  16. The Way to God is Cleared: What obstacles can get in the way that keep us separated from God?
  17. Bob Dylon used to sing, “You gotta serve somebody.” How is it politically incorrect to say that we are all slaves to someone or something?
  18. What does it mean that God has bought us? How does this relate to freedom in Christ?
  19. Ken said, “there is no change without the exchange.” In what ways are Jesus followers living the exchanged life?
  20. Name a few tools in our arsenal that help us to grow in faith and knowledge. (Bible reading, accountability, worship, small groups, devotional time, prayer…)
  21. We Don’t Live Under the Weight of Guilt and Shame: How does guilt hold us back? Why does guilt hold us back when we have been forgiven?
  22. How do you know when you are under conviction of the Holy Spirit? When is guilt a positive thing?
  23. We have Purpose and Hope Through Christ: What becomes our purpose once we are saved?
  24. How has God gifted you, and how can this gifting be used for God’s glory and advancement of his kingdom?
  25. Our second key value at KGBC is Faith, or you may have seen M2, which is represented by the word MINISTER. In what ways are you a minister of the gospel? How are you serving others? We step out in FAITH in order to discover our places of service or ministry.
  26. If not involved in serving others, what prevents you from getting involved in active service at KGBC?

Work – Ministry / Missions / Motivation

  1. How can you change the world in which you live? Who has an example of a small thing that you did that made a huge impact on someone else.
  2. What are a few practical ways that we can show love to others?
  3. Who can help you to live the exchanged life?
  4. Who is an example of what a Christian looks like?
  5. What will it take for you to get involved in serving others at KGBC?

Witness – His Story / My Story

  1. Whose testimony persuaded you to follow Christ?
  2. How has your testimony influenced others to follow Jesus?

Jesus on Community, Faith, and Love

Ken is postponing the end of the Real Life series (John 20-21) until Easter 2019.

Our pastor will begin teaching us about how the Bible reflects the KGBC Vision of community, faith, love. The message for September 23 is:

COMMUNITY. FAITH. LOVE.
Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 2:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:14
We exist as a community of faith to extend the love of Christ and His kingdom in Virginia Beach and to the world.


You Belong Here

There are so many reasons to get back to church, generally people come back due to a life change of some kind. Maybe it’s the calendar that brings change in your life. Whatever brings you back, we are here for you. May you find here peace, community, friendship, purpose, life, grace, and Jesus.


Join us this September during our M1-M2-M3 Emphasis…

[ read about our core values, Community, Faith, Love, and the M1-M2-M3 vision ]

With an M3 emphasis (member, minister, missions), what are the possibilities of actually recognizing all three components of the vision during September? Below could be a potential schedule. Take a look and let me know your feedback. We will also discuss this tomorrow in staff.

Celebrating M1. On Sunday, September 9, celebrate “Back to Church” Sunday, emphasizing the first of our core values – COMMUNITY, represented by M1 (MEMBER). The video presentation was wonderful, members explaining what community means to them.

Celebrating M2. On Sunday, September 30, emphasizing our second core value – FAITH, represented by M2 (MINISTRY). During this day we will celebrate and give special thanks to all who serve through KGBC (yes, this involves food).

Celebrating M3. Also on Sunday, September 30, we will emphasize our third core value – LOVE, represented by M3 (MISSION). This will be our Mission Sunday, sharing the call and opportunity for everyone to live a missional life. Many ministry/missions leaders will speak about what God is doing in their areas.

Our Vision Statement: We exist as a community of faith to extend the love of Christ and his kingdom in Virginia Beach and to the world.

Our Vision Casting Video Series: [ Click Here ]

Get This for September 16

From Pastor Ken Regarding This Sunday…

Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up the spirit. (John 19:30)

With several statements of Jesus from the cross documented, the “beloved disciple” has now expressed what stands as the key phrase of everything he has written: “It is finished.”

When you journey through the entire Gospel of John, you see Jesus speaking to His mother Mary at a wedding, and to the Samaritan woman at the well. You notice Jesus speaking to His disciples at the feeding of the multitude; in that same scene you notice Jesus speaking to God asking for His blessings upon the loaves and fish.

Jesus spoke to the woman caught in adultery, and He spoke to her accusers. Jesus spoke to the blind man. Jesus spoke to Mary and Martha in their grief, and He spoke to Lazarus literal words of life.

Jesus spoke to His disciples in the upper room, and He spoke to God in the Garden. He spoke to the arresting party, to Annas, and to Pilate during his trial.

Jesus spoke again and again; He even spoke from the cross to His mother, to John, and to a thief. Every word from our Savior’s lips deserves the most attentive consideration; but when He spoke, TETELESTI (It is finished), this saying eclipsed them all. “It is finished.”

To whom was Jesus speaking when He said, “It is finished”? This statement was made as a vividly pronounced proclamation. This was not a tired resignation or conclusion. Jesus cried out to the entire universe – He cried out in timeless fashion to you and me – that His work of saving man from sin was perfectly completed forever.

The words “it is finished” should fall as sweet as honey on the bruised and tattered soul of the sinner. These words commemorate the entire life and ministry of Jesus, explaining the necessity of the cross. These words speak of the concluding principle of salvation: Jesus had done all that needs to be done; you can be free.

This Sunday, September 16, I will be sharing a final message from the Gospel of John Series, Real Life. Our one focus of study will be Jesus’ statement: “It is Finished.” Come and engage with the truth of John 19:30, and be changed forever.

Schedule for Wednesday September 12

Yes, yes, yes, the forecast has changed dramatically in our area, but plans had to be made earlier in the week, and we’re sticking to them. Shopping for food during the “hurricane preparation emergency” was chaos, and we anticipated our people battening down the hatches before the wind and rain started on Thursday, which now the timetable has significantly changed.
 
We’re going to get together for some fellowship and talk about what Ken preached on this past Sunday, join us if you can at 6:00.

Don’t Go There

Lessons Learned from Negative Responses to Jesus

A lesson from the garden – Judas (John 18:2-3)

  1. Judas wanted control – premeditated betrayal. Motivated by greed, or his desire that Jesus would bring about a military messiah, or simply he had his own agenda, favoring self.
    1. He had an unrepentant heart, John 6:7.
    2. Matthew 26:15, he acted out his desire for control.
    3. Matthew 26:16, secretly looked for opportunities to arrest Jesus.
    4. John 18:2-3, Judas leading the Romans and Temple officials to Jesus.
    5. Luke 22:48, Judas walked over to kiss Jesus to betray him.
    6. Then he had remorse for what he had done.
    7. Then killed himself. What a tragic lesson.
  2. Jesus was in control of the situation at every step.
    1. John 18:4, they showed up, Jesus stepped out to meet them. Admits he is Jesus, yet Judas still kissed him. John 10:18, no one takes my life, I lay it down.
    2. John 17:1, my time has come.
    3. He took initiative that he lost none the Father had given him.
  3. My life – I can attempt to control or surrender control to Jesus. You know your own personal area of desired control…
    1. Don’t be anxious about tomorrow – Matthew 6:34
    2. With God all things are possible – Matthew 19:26
    3. Do not be dismayed, I will uphold you – Isaiah 41:10
    4. We have blessings according to HIS purposes – Ephesians 1:11

A lesson from the court scene – Peter (John 18:15-17, 25-27) – the servant girl recognized him as a disciple of Jesus. You are one, too. A door of opportunity to witness of Jesus.

  1. Peter prioritized his interests by hiding his identity, bold in the garden but now this? Is it better to be covert? Self-preservation? If you want to know more about me, ask my disciples, I talk them my truth. Come out from among them, 2 Corinthians 6:17. Then came the relative of the one whom he cut off the ear…
  2. Jesus – his truths clearly distinguished his followers.
  3. My life – the only way to be right is to be identified with Jesus, God’s word reminds us that be belong. What location are we tempted to hide our identity? Or what situation?
    1. If we live or die it is for the Lord, Romans 14:8
    2. We are one body, 1 Corinthians 12:13

A lesson from the governor’s palace – Pilate (John 18:33-40) – king of the Jews, who told you this? My kingdom is not of this world.

  1. Pilate attempts to remain neutral about Jesus.
    1. John 18:31 – not a Jew, nothing to do with me – passing the buck based on nationality.
    2. John 18:38 – the custom to release one – appeal to tradition.
    3. John 18 – his appeal to the crowd, deferred the decision to others.
  2. Jesus – his life calls for a response from every person.
  3. My Life – How will I respond to Jesus right now. What am I doing when I see Jesus for who he is? But right now. Peter said long ago, “I’ll follow,” but what about right now? My response to this truth… David Brook study – USA culture vs culture of Japan… decisions we make vs decisions others make. We decide on our own, but they involve community. It is vital to surrender to Jesus as Lord.

LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
For September 12, 2018

Welcome – Greeting / Get Going

  1. Go around the room and introduce ourselves and mention one thing that few people know about you.
  2. As a child, what was one “big” thing you messed up on? Missing the catch for the final out? Forgetting a crucial line in the school play? Leaving something behind, never to be recovered?
  3. Who is someone you would say is “well connected with the right people”?
  4. Who is someone you would describe as being loyal?
  5. When was a time you got caught lying as a child?

Worship – Prayer / Praise

  1. Read aloud John 18:15-18, 25-27
  2. Pray the Scripture Back to God – As Simon Peter and this other disciple were following Jesus, we pray that we will follow Jesus into the difficult places. While we are impressed that one of Jesus’ disciples was so connected to the High Priest, remind us how awesome it is to be fully known by the one true and living God. In this story we are reminded of the peril of being alone, left outside, so convict us of the importance of living in community with fellow believers, and give us the courage to take a stand for Jesus even when it is tough. Please don’t allow us to stand around with those who will tempt us to compromise our values and beliefs. Give us strength and confidence as we follow after our Savior. Lord Jesus, remind us that as we go through life, people can spot us as having been with Jesus, so let our light shine rather than shrinking back into the shadows. Allow your Holy Spirit to remind us of the stories we read in the New Testament and let your people serve as an example for us and other to serve as a warning for us.

Word – Digging Deeper

  1. John leaves out some details between verses 1 and 2. Anyone remember the rest of the story? What happens between John 18:1 and 18:2? (Matthew 26:37-38, Mark 14:34-35)
  2. Do you see any similarities between this garden and the Garden of Eden where the first Adam lived?
    1. The first Adam began life in a garden. The second Adam came at the end of his life to a garden.
    2. In Eden Adam sinned. In Gethsemane the Savior overcame sin.
    3. In Eden Adam fell. In Gethsemane Jesus conquered.
    4. In Eden Adam hid himself. In Gethsemane our Lord boldly presented himself.
    5. In Eden the sword was drawn. In Gethsemane it was sheathed.
  3. JUDAS: It is in our nature to desire to control things. What are some examples of where our desire to control went against what Jesus wanted for us? Name some examples of when you allowed Jesus’ to control the outcome and surrendered to his will.
  4. Why do we struggle to give Jesus control of our lives? Will he ask us to do something we don’t want to do? Will he move us out of our comfort zone? Why is it difficult to let “Jesus take the wheel?”
  5. How is control exhibited by a parent over their child similar to the control Jesus wants over us?
  6. Surrendering control is about trust. Name some ways that we trust Jesus with our lives.
  7. PETER: What do you think that Peter and the other disciple hoped to do? (John 18:15)
  8. Why do you think Peter had to wait outside? (John 18:16)?
  9. Why did this girl suspect Peter of being a disciple? (John 18:17) Why did she not suspect this “other” disciple as being a follower of Jesus?
  10. How did Peter reply to the question about his association with Jesus? (John 18:17)?
  11. How do you account for the difference in Peter from John 18:10 to John 18:17?
  12. In what ways do we put our own interests ahead of Jesus? How does fear stifle our faith?
  13. Do we hold back at work out of fear or because it is against company policy to talk about matters of faith?
  14. If fear can derail our faith, how can the flip-side of fear, pride, do the same?
  15. Name a few ways that we can demonstrate to the world that we have faith in Jesus? How is it becoming increasingly difficult to live out our faith in 2018 America?
  16. What are some lessons for us in Peter’s denials?
    1. Peter responds with on oath (Matthew 26:72), perhaps out of a growing desperation and irritation.
    2. Peter finally responds with cursing (Matthew 26:74), perhaps showing us what we don’t want to see in ourselves, the darkness of the human heart. This shows what people are capable of doing even after a glorious confession and swearing allegiance to following Jesus (John 13:37).
    3. Peter’s experience (denial and restoration) teaches about the type of people Jesus came to save. Jesus did not die for sinless people!
  17. PILATE: What are a few ways that we attempt to remain neutral in our faith? Is silence the same a denial? Explain.
  18. Is it truth that Jesus desire for us to be hot or cold, and that anything lukewarm is sickening to Jesus? (Revelation 3:15-16). So, where do you stand today?
  19. When was a time that you were more passionate about Jesus? What changed? Why to Christians generally become cold over time? How might we remain “hot” for Jesus?
  20. What role does the Holy Spirit have in our being full of Jesus? (Ephesians 5:18)

Work – Ministry / Missions / Motivation

  1. How does this story of Peter both humble and encourage you?
  2. In what ways are these three men examples for us (positive and negative examples)?
  3. When was the last time you felt like Peter?
  4. What inside connections do you have in the church? How do you use your inside connections in the church and elsewhere?
  5. Into what potentially dangerous situations has your faith gotten you?
  6. Under what circumstances might you be tempted to deny knowing Jesus?
  7. When and why have you denied knowing Jesus by either your words or your life-style?
  8. How do you explain the ups and downs in your spiritual life?

Witness – His Story / My Story

  1. How can you use your inside connections to benefit others this week?
  2. What can you do to affirm your relationship with Jesus Christ in front of others?
  3. In what areas of your life do you want to express your loyalty to Jesus more openly?
  4. In what ways are you discipling other people? Who is on you evangelism prayer list?
  5. What will you recall about this message or this Life Group discuss? What is your “take away”?
  6. How can we support one another in prayer this week?

Ways to Apply Scripture

  1. Actions: God-directed, not self-directed
  2. Character: attitudes, behaviors, habits, speech, motives
  3. Thinking: have the mind of Christ, a renewed mind and spirit, able to discern truth from error
  4. Biblical Worldview: able to teach, explain, and model Scripture
  5. Priorities: seeking first his kingdom