4/10/2016 Sermon Discussion Questions

April 11 2016
April 11 2016

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Date: 4/10/2016

Series: Resurrection Revolution

Title: Revolution against Popular Gods

Speaker: Jonathan St. Clair

Text: Acts 14:8-23

Reflection Quotes:

When human beings give their heartfelt allegiance to and worship that which is not God, they progressively cease to reflect the image of God. One of the primary laws of human life is that you become like what you worship… Those who worship money increasingly define themselves in terms of it and increasingly treat other people as creditors, debtors, partners, or customers rather than as human beings. Those who worship sex define themselves in terms of it (their preferences, their practices, their past histories) and increasingly treat other people as actual or potential sex objects. Those who worship power define themselves in terms of it and treat other people as either collaborators, competitors, or pawns. These and many other forms of idolatry combine in a thousand ways, all of them damaging to the image-bearing quality of the people concerned and of those whose lives they touch.” - N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

“'Thou shalt have not other gods before me.' (Exodus 20:3). The simple meaning of this commandment is, You shall worship me alone as your God. A god is that to which we look for all good and where we resort for help in every time of need… Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God." - Martin Luther, German Catechism (1529)

Questions:

God calls us to turn to Him, to keep turning to Him, and to turn others to Him.

1. God calls us to turn to Him.

St. Paul says, “Turn away from worthless things and turn toward the living God” (Acts 14:15). In what ways are Money, Sex, and Power the gods of our Secular Age? In what ways do these counterfeit gods enslave us (see Wright quote)? How does Paul’s description of God compare and contrast with your experience of God - Living, Powerful Creator, Kind Giver, Generous Provider? How do we see these qualities of God shining in Christ’s Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection?

2. God calls us to keep turning to Him.

In what ways do you tend to turn away from God (see Luther quote)? What are the habit-forming practices in your life that may it more and more natural and effortless to turn back toward God? What would it mean for you to adopt this rule of life: “1 hour a day (prayer), 1 day per week (Sabbath, Eucharist), and 1 weekend per year (spiritual retreat)”?

3. God calls us to turn others to Him.

Think of the names and faces of three people in your life who need to hear the good news about the Living God. Given that “we commend what we most cherish,” what is keeping you from talking about this with them?