Why The Cross Isn't Enough
April 19-20, 2014
Growth Group Homework
For the week of April 20, 2014
Looking back at your notes from this weekend’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. This week we heard that in order to build a relationship, we need time invested, knowledge gained, and to push through the awkward. How have you seen these play out with your spouse, best friend or a family member?
2. Chris gave us a list comparing what Jesus’ death provides for us with what his life provides for us. Which of these statements caught your attention and why?
1. Chris said “It’s not the knowledge of Jesus that changes us, but walking with Jesus that changes us.” One of the ways we can move into a deeper relationship or walk with a living Jesus is to “practice his presence” on a daily basis. How could the following verses guide our efforts and help lead us to a more intentional relationship with God?
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” [NIV]
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. [NIV]
1 John 1:7-9
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. [NIV]
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. [NIV]
When have you felt closest to God? Most distant?
2. Jesus rising from the dead is foundational to the Christian faith because it is the proof that Christ is who he claimed to be – our Savior and God’s only son. But it also has impact on how we live out our faith. What importance does 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 place on Christ’s resurrection for us in our Christian walk?
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. [NIV]
What’s your first reaction to reading 1 Corinthians 15:14?
3. Chris mentioned “It’s never too late, you’re never too old, and you’ve never walked too far away” to have a living relationship with Jesus. Jesus often demonstrated this by meeting people where they were at in life regardless of their circumstances. How do Jesus’ interactions with the following people support Chris’ statement?
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. [NIV]
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews. 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[b]” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [NIV]
27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [NIV]
How do Jesus’ interactions change, affirm or add to your understanding of God’s love and forgiveness for us?
TAKING IT HOME
1. Looking back on this week’s teaching, what are some ways you’d like to be more intentional in your relationship with God in the coming week?
Spring Into Service 2014 is here!
Sign your Growth Group up for one of our projects on Saturday, April 26 or Saturday, May 10. Help us prepare a community garden for the summer by building and organizing a tool shed, laying mulch, and painting or join our Buena Vista Creek Clean-Up. Register at northcoastcommunityservice.org