HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, October 21)Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
•What is one verse or idea that sticks with you as you read this passage, and why?
•Verse 10 reflects the idea that God has chosen to work out the salvation of His people through the mission and the works of these same people – some of who, like Paul, are actually the last people you’d expect. In other words, God chooses to partner with us, even when He doesn’t have to, and even when we are far from worthy!
◦Why do you think this is?
◦What other scripture verses also speak to this idea?
◦Do any personal experiences come to mind?
•Paul speaks to the idea that even though he himself was locked up, the gospel of Jesus Christ he shared was very much spreading freely. Think of some individuals from history who represent a much larger (and more important) ideal or message. What are the messages they are anchored to? What do they have in common with each other when it comes to their relationships with the messages they embody?
•Verses 11-13 speak to some of the contrasts of a life coupled with Jesus. Challenges and comforts. Using this same structure, what are some other contrasts that come to mind? E.g. If we change, Jesus remains firm; if we falter in love, Jesus’ love never fails… Take some time to write these down, and make them your collective prayer for this week.
•What is one thing you are taking away from tonight’s discussion?
HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, October 7)Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-7
•As you read through this passage, what is one thing that speaks “loudly” to you? How does it resonate with what you are experiencing in your life this week?
•In verse 2, why do you think Paul encourages Timothy to choose his audience somewhat selectively, as opposed to simply anyone who would listen? What is Paul saying here about teaching?
•Paul offers three different analogies in verses 4-6. Read them one at a time, and together try to come up with a ‘virtue’ that you feel best embodies each (some examples could include Focus, Structure, or Effort, but try to come up with your own).
◦What activity (or activities) is Paul referring to when he asks Timothy to “join with me in suffering?” (v. 3)
◦Think of an activity from your own life which requires these same virtues from the previous question. This could be a sport, a mental exercise, a hobby, etc. How is this activity similar to the activity Paul is asking of Christians here? How is it different?
•Growth in the Christian life is often achieved through ‘spiritual disciplines’ – activities, not attitudes. What practices have been taught to you to help you grow as a Christian? What do you feel you could practice more of? Who at Capstone could you teach these practices to?
•After this discussion, what is your one-sentence prayer that you can draw on this week?
HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, September 30)Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-12
•What is Paul thankful for in the early verses? Why do you think he highlights the specific family connections he does?
•Have you ever felt like clinging to Jesus is like an endurance challenge? In what ways? How are verses 6-7 a response to this challenge?
•Paul’s prescription for a Christian who is suffering is, essentially, “keep your eyes on Jesus”, as well as “keep your eyes on me.” Why do you think Paul calls on Timothy to model his life after his own?
•Who are some of the living Christian ‘heroes’ in your life today? What is it about them that you are most inspired by?
•Some interpret 2 Timothy as a final “farewell” letter from Paul. What jumps out at you from this passage when read from this perspective?
•What is your overall takeaway from this week’s study? In what ways do these verses encourage you to act or think differently this week?
•Based on this study, what is your one-sentence prayer that you can draw on at times of conflict or struggle this week? Take some time to develop these together and share with the group.
HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, June 3, 2018)Scripture Reading: Acts 4:1-22
•As you read this story, what do you think about the men who seized Peter and John? What role do you imagine they played in society? How do you think they were viewed by the people? Finally, why do you think they were so threatened by what was taking place?
•The Sadducees represented the aristocracy class and would have worked closely with the Romans to protect their own interests. In contrast with other Jews and even the Pharisees, they also did not believe in the resurrection from the dead (see Mark 12:18). Given these, why do you think Peter’s sermon was especially disturbing to them?
•Read Acts 1:15; Acts 2:41; and Acts 4:4. What were the people hearing and what were they witnessing that accounted for the incredible growth of the church? Another way of looking at this: what were the claims being made by the apostles, and what was the evidence supporting these claims?
•Verse 13 highlights that Peter and John were “unschooled, ordinary men.” Why was this significant to the religious leaders (“they were astonished”)? Why was this significant to the crowds (see Acts 3:12)? Why is this significant to Christians today?
•Reading this account of Peter and John being tried by the Sanhedrin (the Jewish High Court), and echoing Pastor Rob’s question from his message last week, why was it significant that the man who was healed had been lame from birth?
•Have you had a similar, “who should we listen to?” (v. 19) moment in your life, when you felt pressure to keep quiet about the truth of Jesus? Notice that, in verse 20, Peter’s and John’s response was not, “we will not stop speaking…” but rather, “we cannot help speaking…” Why is this an important distinction?
•How does this story inspire you to speak boldly about what you have seen and heard about Jesus?
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