This past weekend at Eastbrook Church I concluded our series “Unshackled: Joy Beyond Circumstances” on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I took us through the last section of the letter, Philippians 4:4-23, where Paul draws together some final exhortations and personal reflections. This section has some of the most well-known verses in the entire letter, which makes it both a delight and a challenge to preach in its context.
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Dying to Live,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the fifth part of our series, “Jesus at the Center,” from the book of Colossians. This week we looked at Colossians 2:16-23.
- When have you felt judged by someone else? What happened and how did you respond?
- We continue our series, “Jesus at the Center,” from Colossians by studying Colossians 2:16-23. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak to you through His word, and then read that portion aloud.
- Background: This section of the letter builds on 2:6-15, which seems to highlight a type of wrong belief or false teaching present in the Colossian church. While there is some debate about exactly what the nature of that false teaching was, it seems that there were elements of Jewish asceticism and mysticism present. Paul’s desire is to keep the believers focused on the fully sufficient work of Jesus Christ.
- In verses 16-17 what is Paul addressing that some people may use as a basis for religious judgment?
- What do you think he means by saying these things are “a shadow of the things that were to come”?
- What is the false belief he is addressing in verse 18? According to verse 19, what is the outcome of such false beliefs?
- What would you say are tendencies toward false belief today that could lead us away from Jesus the center?
- Paul highlights the basis of our changed life and reality in verse 20. What is it? Why would this change the way we relate to religious rules and regulations?
- How might we move beyond the superficial rules that “lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence” (v 23) or superficial regulations that “are a shadow of realities to come” (v 17) in our life together as a church?
- What is one significant thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are on your own, you may want to write it down, pray about it, and then share it with someone later. If you are with a small group, share these things with one another and then pray for one another about these things.
Memorize: This week we continue our memorization of Colossians 1:15-20 by focusing on Colossians 1:18. Read the verse through multiple times a day this week. Consider some of our other recommended helps for Bible memorization here: www.eastbrook.org/memorize.
[Next week we will continue our series, “Jesus at the Center,” by looking at Colossians 3:1-17.]
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Is Jesus Really the Source of Truth?,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the second part of our series, “3 Questions We All Have About Jesus,” where we are digging into Jesus’ provocative statement: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
- When did you learn something that changed your life, whether as a child or as an adult? What happened?
- This week we enter the second part of a three-week series entitled “3 Questions We All Have About Jesus.” In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Before you begin this study, ask God to reveal His truth to you as you read His word.
- The theme of truth is particularly important in the Gospel of John. Read the following verses which mention ‘truth’ and reflect on what they tell us about God, Jesus, and truth:
- John 1:14, 17
- John 3:21
- John 4:23-24
- John 7:18
- John 8:31-32
- John 8:40, 45
- John 16:13
- John 17:17
- John 18:23
- John 18:37-38
- Given everything you just read, what do you think is important about Jesus including ‘truth’ in His statement to the disciples in John 14:6? Why do you think it is important that Jesus includes this?
- How have you wrestled with questions about the truth in your own life? Has your knowledge of Jesus resolved those questions? How?
- Jesus is described as coming from God the Father “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, 17). Many times Christians are criticized for being arrogant in their claims to truth or in the way they talk about the truth. Do you think these criticisms are valid? Why or why not? What do you think it looks like to be full of grace and truth?
- In John 8:31-32, Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Based on the surrounding verses in John 8 and your own reflections, what do you think it means to be set free by the truth of Jesus?
- What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study about the truth of God found in Jesus? How will that shape your life in the coming 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.
[Response: Throughout this series, we will be looking at tough questions about Jesus. There may be some questions you wish someone would answer about Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. Send us your questions either by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org, writing them on a connect card, or visiting the Eastbrook Church Facebook page.]
Does it really matter that Jesus claims to be the truth?
This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I continued our series, “3 Questions We All Have About Jesus,” addressing that very question. Looking at Jesus’ statement, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6), I explored just what Jesus means by saying He is the truth. In the midst of walking through themes of truth in John’s gospel, we also touched on the distinctive belief that God reveals Himself to humanity, the exclusive nature of truth, the framework of ‘worldview’, and how to assess truth statements of conflicting worldviews.
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 may also be interested in last weekend’s message, “Is Jesus Really the Only Way?”
Many commentators divide the Ten Commandments into two categories: 1) those dealing more with how we relate to God and 2) those dealing more with how we relate to others. Strictly speaking, the final two commandments are the only ones that mention the word ‘neighbor’, drawing into focus the ways in which we treat those around us.
The outline for the message is below. You can view the message online here or listen to it via our audio podcast here. You can now access all the messages from the “Chiseled” series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This series is part three of an occasional series we are doing from Exodus. You can enjoy the first two parts of this extended series on Exodus here: