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Author Archives: Matt Erickson

About Matt Erickson

Senior Pastor of Eastbrook Church, husband, father of three, music enthusiast, book lover, and life-long learner. Find out more here: http://mwerickson.wordpress.com/about/.

The Spirit (discussion questions)

Chosen Words Series Gfx_4x3 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “The Spirit,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This continues the series, “Chosen Words,” where we will journey through John 13-17 over the next number of weeks.

Discussion Questions:

1. When you think of the Holy Spirit, what comes to your mind? 

2. This week we continue our series, Chosen Words, by looking at Jesus words about the Holy Spirit in John14:15-31 and 15:26-16:15. Before you read these two passages of Scripture aloud, take a moment to ask God to speak to you as you read His word.

3. The word Advocate (Greek: parakletos) appears four times (14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) in these two passages we are studying. The term literally means helper, advocate or intercessor. In chapter 14, what is Jesus telling His disciples  and us  about the Holy Spirit by His instruction around the term Advocate?

4. This first passage we are looking at, John 14:15-31, falls between Jesus repetitions of the phrase, Do not let your hearts be troubled(14:1, 27). How might Jesus teaching on the Holy Spirit address the coming troubles in which the disciples will find themselves?

5. At the end of John, chapter 15, Jesus talks about the challenges His followers will face at the hands of others (15:18-25). He follows this by talking about the Holy Spirit and His disciples testifying about Him (15:26-27). What do you think the connection is here between trouble and testifying? What does it mean that the Holy Spirit and the disciples must testify about Jesus?

6. How are you personally testifying about Jesus in your life? Can you give an example? How have you worked with the Holy Spirit in this?

7. The phrase Spirit of truth appears three times (14:17; 15:26; 16:13) in the passages we are studying. Consider this phrase in light of Jesus words in John 14:26 and 16:13. What is the Holy Spirits work in relation to truth? What truth is being talked about? 

8. In what ways have you experienced the Holy Spirit as an advocate or spirit of truth in your life? How might you want to grow in this way?

9. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you about life with the Holy Spirit through this study? How will that shape your life in the next week? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

[Next week we will hear from guest speaker, Pastor Oscar Muriu, of Nairobi Chapel in Kenya. The 40-day journey associated with the “Chosen Words” series will still continue through the week.]

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Eastbrook, Scripture reflections

 

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The Spirit

Chosen Words Series Gfx_Thumb

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I continued our series,”Chosen Words,” by exploring Jesus’s words to His disciples about the Holy Spirit from John, chapters 14-16. The message explored 5 images of the Holy Spirit as described by Jesus.

You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can join in with the “Chosen Words” devotional online.

Connect with us further at Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Trouble (discussion questions)

Chosen Words Series Gfx_4x3 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Trouble,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This continues the series, “Chosen Words,” where we will journey through John 13-17 over the next number of weeks.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When did you face deep troubles in your life? What happened and how did you deal with?
  2. We continue our series, “Chosen Words,” by studying John 13:18-14:4, where Jesus faces into deep troubles. Before you read those verses aloud, take a moment to ask God to speak to you as you read His word.
  3. The first section of this passage, verses 18-30, focuses largely on Jesus’ expectation of betrayal at the hands of Juda. Judas is mentioned five times in John 13 (vss 2, 26, 27, 29 30). What do you notice about Judas from these verses?
  4. Jesus clearly knows that someone will betray Him (vs 21), but it also appears that this is part of God’s plan (vss 18-19). How could these both possibly be true?
  5. In the second section of this passage, verses 31-38, how would you summarize Jesus’ description of what He will face next? What do you think this means?
  6. In verses 34 and 35, Jesus offers “a new command.” Although this may be familiar, what do you think it means practically to fulfill this command? Why do you think there is a direct connection between this command and identification of Jesus’ disciples?
  7. Jesus confronts Simon Peter’s bold declaration with a hard truth about his upcoming failure. Why do you think Jesus said this to Peter?
  8. When do you think it is the loving thing to do to confront someone with a hard truth?
  9. The third section is found in 14:1-4. Here, Jesus balances words about His departure (13:31-33) with the reassuring work of God. What does Jesus promise to His followers?
  10. How do Jesus’ words here help your perspective on the challenges of your own life or the global events unfolding around us?
  11. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you about life with Him through this study? How will that shape your life in the next week? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

 [Next week we will study John 14:1-31; 15:26-16:15. Read it ahead of time to prepare. Join the 40-day journey associated with this series by visiting http://www.eastbrook.org/chosenwords.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Eastbrook, Scripture reflections

 

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Trouble

Chosen Words Series Gfx_ThumbWhat do betrayal, failure, and peace have to do with one another? In one way or another, they all relate to trouble.

We continued our series,”Chosen Words,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church looking at the trouble of Jesus, His disciples, and in our lives. I took us into John 13:18-14:4, exploring Jesus’ encounter with Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s failure. This highlights our own need to be watchful of our temptation to betray Jesus or deny Jesus when trouble comes down upon us.

You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can join in with the “Chosen Words” devotional online.

Connect with us further at Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Genesis: The Beginnings of Everything Including Evangelism

Erickson-pin1I am privileged to be a featured blogger this week as part of the EvangelVision project. My post this week looks for the roots of evangelism is Genesis 1. Here’s an excerpt of the post:

Does evangelism begin with knowledge of the right method? Does helping people understand they are sinners in need of a Savior launch them onto the road to Christ? Or does evangelism really get going when we use fewer words and more action to witness to the good news in Jesus Christ? This is the question:Where does evangelism really start?

While all of these potential answers are valid, the starting point for evangelism, humanly speaking, is found somewhere else. Return with me to the very beginnings of creation in Genesis. There, we read God’s introductory declaration about human life:

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27-28)

The starting point for evangelism erupts from the beginnings of human history as God creates us in His image

[Read the rest of the post here.]

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Evangelism

 

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Introduction

Introduction

Matt Erickson:

Today we begin the forty-day journey known as Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday and concluding with our celebration of the resurrection at Easter. What follows is a brief introduction to Lent. At Eastbrook Church, we are journeying with a daily devotional entitled “Chosen Words.” You can join in with that day or join us at our Ash Wednesday service this evening.

Originally posted on Chosen Words:

Tomorrow we begin a journey. It is a forty-day journey to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a journey that mirrors the forty days when rain fell on the earth to purge it from sin and injustice, while Noah and his family were saved in the ark (Genesis 7:12). It is a journey that recalls us to the forty years when the people of Israel wandered in the desert because of their disobedience and distrust of God (Deuteronomy 29:5). It is a journey that returns us to the forty days when Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested and tried by the evil one in preparation for His ministry (Mark 1:13).

In this forty-day journey, we are preparing ourselves for the joys of Easter by having a deeper experience of the Cross. Traditionally, this journey is called Lent. It begins on Ash…

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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Servant

Chosen Words Series Gfx_ThumbWe began a new series entitled “Chosen Words” this weekend at Eastbrook Church. This series tracks through John, chapters 13-17, and includes a 40-day devotional journey that you do not want to miss. This week, I started us off with a look at Jesus’ powerful display of and teaching on service from John 13:1-17. As you can find out by watching the message, sometimes actions speak louder than words.

One element that I didn’t include in my outline that was really important was the three characteristics of true service we see in Jesus’ life. Those are:

  1. Seeing things the way they really are
  2. Stepping inside of a situation
  3. Sacrificial love

You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can join in with the “Chosen Words” devotional online.

Connect with us further at Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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Posted by on February 17, 2015 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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