Set Apart (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Set Apart,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, which began our new series on the Ten Commandments entitled “Chiseled.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. When you hear the phrase “Ten Commandments” what do you think of? Why?
  2. This weekend at Eastbrook, we continue our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments. This week we focus on the 3rd and 4th commandments found in Exodus 20:7-11. Read these verses out loud and then ask God to speak to you through your study of the Scripture.
  3. In the Ancient Near East – and even today – the name of a person signifies their unique identity. Since this is the case, what is the significance in your mind of “misusing the name of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:7)?
  4. While this command may include things we immediately think of, like dropping God’s name in a string of profanity, it also includes using God’s identity for purposes that don’t reflect His ways. How have you seen this happen in others or yourself?
  5. The Ten Commandments are a reflection of God’s saving action (Exodus 19:4; 20:2) and His desire to form a new people for His purposes (19:5-6). In that sense, they are identity markers for God’s people. This is nowhere more true than the Sabbath, which is intended to be a cultural sign of God’s lordship of His people. From Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15, what would you describe as the meaning and purpose of the Sabbath?
  6. The concept of Sabbath seems to involve both the ceasing from work, or resting, and devotion to God. Author and pastor Eugene Peterson describes it as involving “playing and praying.” What would you say Sabbath means for us today?
  7. How might Sabbath convey a sharp contrast with the surrounding culture that ties in with one’s understanding of God’s identity and work on our behalf?
  8. What is one thing God is speaking to you through this study? If you are alone, write it down somewhere so you can think about it further this week. If you are with a small group, take some time to discuss these things with one another. Close in prayer.

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