February 17, 2018
Our Mission at church@paravista is:
“To help people become active, committed followers of Jesus Christ”.
This week we begin a series of three studies based on our mission, titled….
1. Being a Follower of Jesus Christ.
2. What it means to be committed to Jesus.
3. What it means to be active in our life for Jesus.
1. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ?
How do we follow someone we haven’t seen or even met? What did Jesus say to doubting Thomas? John 20:24-29.
Discuss in your group the following questions.
• Before we can follow Jesus how important is it to be sure we know Him personally?
• Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
• If your answer is ‘yes’ then how do you know? What is your assurance based on?
Are there any members in your group who are not sure? The rest who are sure help them help them to gain the same assurance you have.
2. The Right Foundation.
What should our assurance of knowing Jesus be based on?
Read what Jesus said about some people who were sure they were God’s children but on judgement day what will Jesus say to them? Matthew 7:21-23. What is their assurance based on?
All people by nature feel they need to do something and in some way contribute in order to be saved or to be good enough to be saved. What did Jesus say to those who asked Him “What must we do to do the works God requires?” John 6:28-29.
What does this mean/involve? See also John 1:12.
Discuss in your group the futility of trying to be “good enough” for God in order to be saved.
See our natural condition: Romans 3:10-12, 23, Isaiah 53:6. What is God’s ‘glorious standard’? What was Isaiah’s response when he saw God’s glory? Isaiah 6:1-5. What is the only way we can be saved? Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-7.
Discuss the following:
How do you explain to someone what saving faith really is?
When you’re sharing the Gospel with your friend, it’s critical that they understand what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. We’re not talking mere head knowledge but an understanding of what saving faith really is.
Here’s an illustration you can try. We call it the Chair Illustration.
Using two chairs – the first has our name on it and it’s the chair of good works. We were all born in this chair. The second chair is labeled Christ and it is the chair of the work of Christ on the Cross for our forgiveness and our salvation. When explaining saving faith we actually get up out of our chair of good works and sit down in the chair of Christ’s finished work. Drawing this contrast, we help a person to understand the need to cease trusting in themselves and to transfer their trust to Jesus Christ ALONE. https://evangelismexplosion.org/chair-illustration-2/ ( For a longer explanation go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtq3uVG4fg0 )
Can you think of any other ways you can explain what saving faith in Christ is like to a non-Christian?
Discuss what Jesus meant when He said on the cross, “It is finished” John 19:30.
Of the last sayings of Christ on the cross, none is more important or more poignant than, “It is finished.” Found only in the Gospel of John, the Greek word translated “it is finished” is tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in full.” When Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the debt owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever. Not that Jesus wiped away any debt that He owed to the Father; rather, Jesus eliminated the debt owed by mankind—the debt of sin. https://www.gotquestions.org/it-is-finished.html
How can a believer who is putting their faith in Jesus finished work on the cross be assured they are saved? See 1 John 5:11-13, John 1:12-13, John 10:27-28.
What is synonymous with receiving eternal life according to Jesus’ words in John 17:3?
Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ alone to ensure you have eternal life?
In the chair illustration above which chair are you trusting in to be good enough for God?
Is it the chair which represents your good works or the chair representing what Jesus Christ has done for you?
3. Deciding Who will be In Control of how you live.
Read John 10:10. Why did Jesus come, what was His purpose? According to this verse what is the alternative? Discuss what/who the thieves of this world are. Which are the ones we need to be most mindful/wary of?
When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts permanently. See John 14:17, Ephesians 4:30.
Discuss the following truths about the Holy Spirit:
….He will never leave us( John14:16 ); the world at large cannot receive Him ( John 14:17 ); He lives with us and in us (John 14:17 ); He teaches us ( John 14:26 ); He reminds us of Jesus’ words ( John 14:26 ), John 15:26 ); He convinces us of sin, shows us God’s righteousness and announces God’s judgement on evil ( John 16:8 ); He guides us into truth and gives insight into future events ( John 16:13 ); He brings glory to Christ ( John 16:14 ). The Holy Spirit has been active among people from the beginning of time, but after Pentecost ( Acts 2 ) He came to live in all believers. Many people are unaware of the Holy Spirit’s activities, but to those who hear Christ’s words and understand the Spirit’s power, the Spirit gives a whole new way to look at life. ###
Read Paul’s words Galatians 5:25. What is the practical outworking of this? Give examples in your answer.
Discuss the illustrations below.
A. The Non-Christian. Christ is outside his life.
B. The worldly Christian-largely living by their sinful nature. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Read Galatians 5:19-21. Christ is in his life but not on the throne of his heart.
C. Read Galatians 5:22-23.
Ask yourself the following:
• Which one best illustrates your life at the moment?
• Which one best illustrates how you want your life to look like?
• What is God’s will and plan for your life? Refer to Galatians 5:16-26.
• Are there areas you need to surrender afresh to the Lord?
• Discuss in your group ways which will help you to live by the power of the Holy Spirit and ‘put off’ your sinful nature? See Ephesians 4:20-24.
• Read and discuss the importance of meditating on God’s Word so that it fills our lives. Joshua 1:8, Psalms1:1-3, Colossians 3:16.
### taken from ‘Life application Study Bible’