June 7, 2014
HOME GROUP QUESTIONS (second week in June)
This week we look at Matthew 5:1-12.
Trevor spoke on….
1. Read Matthew 5:1-12.
Why do you think Jesus spoke The Beatitudes at the beginning of His message to His disciples?
2. Read the following….
‘The Beatitudes can be understood in at least four ways:
a. They are a code of ethics for the disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers.
b. They contrast Kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary).
c. They contrast the superficial ‘faith’ of the Pharisees with the real faith that Christ demands.
d. They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new Kingdom.’
What do you think? Discuss in your group each of these 4 ways (plus possible others).
How should we properly understand them?
In recent weeks we have looked at John the Baptist’ and Jesus’ message:
‘Repent of your sins and turn to God for the Kingdom of God is near.’ Matthew 3:2 and Matthew 4:19.
Plus: ‘The Kingdom of Self’ where self/our sinful nature, reigns verses ‘The Kingdom of God’ where Jesus the King of Kings reigns.
3. With the continuation of this theme of God’s Kingdom, where does The Beatitudes fit in the lives of Christ’s disciples?
One view we must not see The Beatitudes as is a list of legalistic rules, do or don’t do, be or not be!!
4. Following are the points Jesus makes in these attitudes….
· Being poor in spirit v3.
· Mourning v4.
· Humility v5.
· Hungering and thirsting for justice v6.
· Merciful v7.
· Pure hearts v8.
· Working for peace v9.
· Doing right and therefore being persecuted. V10.
Jesus begins each attitude with the words, ‘God blesses’.
How would you describe the term ‘bless’ or ‘being blessed’?
It may be helpful if you can you think of any other places in the Bible where these terms or similar are used? Eg: James 1:12, Acts 11:23, Ephesians 1:3, etc.
5. Consider the above attitudes.
…. Ask yourself, ‘How am I going?’ …. ‘How close am I to living out each of these consistently?’
If we are honest, could any of us could say that we have arrived or even close?
Are there some areas you feel you are ‘being blessed’ because you are living them out and they are a part of your life? Does this encourage you to work on others?
6. How do we improve in the other areas?
How do these attitudes grow in us in our day to day living as a fruit of our relationship with Jesus?
Read John 15:5. What does Jesus say?
· in v.5a ……
· and v.5b……
Read Galatians 5:22-23 and compare with The Beatitudes, Matthew 5: 3-12. What conclusion do you come to?
What does Paul say in Philippians 4:13?
Discuss in your group how the above verses can help.
Identify one area you feel God has highlighted that He wants you to work on. Pray for each other now and in the coming weeks. Check how you are going and share you struggles and victories.
‘Each Beatitude tells how to be blessed by God. Blessed means more that happiness. It implies the fortunate or even enviable state of those who are in God’s Kingdom. The Beatitudes don’t promise laughter, pleasure or earthly prosperity. Being ‘blessed’ by God means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances. To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.’