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Heroes vs Zeros
Message #5

What Lies Beneath: Achan's Story

October 18-19, 2014
Pastor Chris Brown

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Growth Group Homework

For the week of October 19, 2014

Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

.  If it’s true that everyone makes mistakes, why do you think most of us have a hard time admitting them?

Why do you think it’s easier for some people to admit they’ve made a mistake?

2.  What did you think when you heard Chris say, “If the enemy has a place in our house, it’s because we have invited him in”?

  When it comes to struggling with sin and life challenges, God never intended for us to face them on our own.  His plan has always been for us to be in relationships where we’re genuinely known, lovingly supported, and honestly challenged.  How do the following passages help you understand what your responsibilities are for helping to create this kind of environment?
Galatians 6:1-2
Doing Good to All
1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. [NIV]

Matthew 18:15-17
Dealing With Sin in the Church
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. [NIV]

Ephesians 4:25
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. [NIV]

Matthew 5:23-24
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. [NIV]

Can you think of any challenges we might face putting these responsibilities into action?


2.  King David had a similar experience with sin as Achan did. He also disobeyed God and then tried to hide his sin (his sin was an affair with a neighbor’s wife and a cover-up that included the murder of her husband – see 2 Samuel 11 & 12 for the details).   After God used Nathan the prophet to confront David about his sin, David wrote two Psalms about confession and forgiveness.  What do Psalm 32:1-6 and Psalm 51:1-13 teach us about how David felt about his failures, his forgiveness and how God related to him?
Psalm 32
Of David. A maskil.
1 Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them. [NIV]

Psalm 51:1-13
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you. [NIV]

When it comes to dealing with your own failure and sin, is there any part of David’s prayer that would be helpful for you to use?


According to Proverbs 28:13 and James 5:16, what role might confession play in overcoming the struggle with a long-repeated sin?
Proverbs 28:13
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. [NIV]

James 5:16
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. [NIV]


At what point do you think a person needs to confess disobedience or a struggle to someone else and not just to God?


3.  We heard this weekend about Achan’s progression into sin – he saw, he desired, he acted, and then he hid.  What similarities and differences do you see in his progression compared to the process of sin described in James 1:13-15?
James 1:13-15
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. [NIV]

Achan’s steps of progression into sin – see (opportunity), desire, act, hide – are often ones we also follow.  Looking at each of the four steps, can you think of anything a person could do at each stage to prevent the process from moving to the next stage?



  Are there any temptations you’re struggling with – cheating, gossip, over-spending, sexual purity, exaggerating the truth, pride, or other that you’d like prayer for?


2.  As you consider any areas you may be struggling with temptation, can you think of any safeguards or strategies you need to implement to help you avoid or resist it?


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