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Sermon for April 24, 2022 – Second Sunday of Easter

Speaking of Life 4022 | The Great Disruptors

Jesus invites us to participate in his upside-down kingdom. He disrupts our broken systems, takes us out of our comfort zones, and ushers in peace while healing our broken world.

Program Transcript


Speaking of Life 4022 | The Great Disruptors
Greg Williams

In the 2008 musical comedy Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog the titular character, Dr. Horrible struggles to explain his motivation for being a villain and wanting to disrupt society. He tells the viewers of his vlog: “And by the way, it’s not about making money, it’s about taking money. Destroying the status quo because the status is not… quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.”

Like Dr. Horrible we can also have difficulty explaining exactly how to fix or change the world. All we know is that the “status is not quo” and something needs to change.

In first-century Jerusalem, the political and religious leaders of the time found themselves dealing with a gang of agitators who sought to change the status quo. This upstart group of fishermen and tax collectors had the nerve to accuse their leaders of an absurd crime: murdering God!

Since they were obviously dangerous malcontents, the leaders placed them under lock and key, warned them to be quiet, and considered the matter resolved. But the next day, the men were at it again—they’d escaped from prison without a soul noticing, and there they were in the courtyard, talking about this man Jesus who had been crucified.

Led by Peter, freed by an angel, and guided by the Holy Spirit, the apostles had entered the temple courts and begun preaching the Gospel boldly!

But the Gospel confounded the Pharisees who were defined by the status quo. When a group came declaring an exciting and hope-filled message of redemption, they threw them in jail to maintain their power and influence. They could not comprehend the inverted world order implied in Peter’s words:

“We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.”
Acts 5:29b-31

Peter chose his words carefully, by referring to the Crucifixion as Jesus being hung on the tree, he brought to mind Deuteronomy 21:22-23 where we are told that such a man is cursed. For the Jewish rabbinical leaders this was inconceivable, here was this man Jesus, who should be cursed by the death he died – yet this man is now raised and exalted by God? Such a thing should not be! Who are these men that they would make such extraordinary claims?

Peter and the apostles were the great disruptors, the forerunners of every Christian since who has endured imprisonment, torture, and deprivation even to the point of death for the sake of the Gospel. For the sake of obeying God and not man.

Christians today are no strangers to acts of social disruption designed to bring about societal change. Yet in the clamour of opposing voices, the solutions being put forward usually aren’t much better than Dr. Horrible’s desire to rule. Unlike Dr. Horrible, Christians have been given insight into what needs to change. We are called to be great disruptors to the status quo by pointing to the solution – Jesus. We acknowledge the world’s a mess but we also acknowledge the mess is because we humans are trying to rule it without God.  

Peter reminds us to obey God and not man. When we do, we bring a message of hope that can transform the world. We share the good news that God has exalted Jesus. He is the prince and Savior who brings about repentance and forgiveness. He is the great disrupter. Disrupter for the good! He is the solution to the messes we see around us. He is the gospel. Let’s participate with him in disrupting the status quo and bringing beauty out of our messy world.

I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.

Psalm 118:14-29 • Acts 5:27-32 • Revelation 1:4-8 • John 20:19-31

Today is the Second Sunday of Easter, which kicks off a season of reflection upon Jesus’ resurrected life and Ascension. The theme is: responding to the resurrected and glorified Jesus. In our passages today, we witness how in the resurrection, God has shown us the chasm between human values and God’s values. We are brought to witness the exalted Jesus, contrasted with his horrific death and supposed humiliation upon the cross. Our call to worship Psalm calls us to remember that God’s love is eternal, and that what humans have rejected, God has chosen. In Acts, Peter stands before a bewildered Sanhedrin declaring boldly that the man they crucified, God has glorified. In Revelation we bear witness to the exalted Christ in all his power, the Alpha and the Omega, and we are reminded that even those who crucified him will witness his glory. Finally, in our sermon passage, we see Thomas balk at the concept that the risen Lord could be the same person who had nails driven into his hands or a spear into his side. Yet when he does confirm that the wounded Christ is also the glorified Christ he can have only one response: “My Lord and my God.”

Out of Doubt, Exaltation

John 20:19-31

Every year, on the Second Sunday of Easter, we are blessed to be able to reflect on the experiences of the disciples as they encounter the risen Christ and contend with the reality of a world turned on its head: the one who the leaders reviled, rejected, tortured and crucified, is now exalted by the Father. It’s an incredible moment in history, filled with incredulous people being taken from a place of doubt and fear to one of faith and hope. There is one man history has made the very incarnation of the incredulity and doubt – Thomas, often unfairly labelled “Doubting Thomas.” Let’s have a look at his encounter with the risen Christ.

If you haven’t already, have a reading of John 20:19-31.

Our doubting souls

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “I never doubted you!” cried when we succeeded at something. While the phrase might sometimes be a sincere statement, it does of course beg the question, if there was no doubt, why did the thought of doubt even come up? It can be uncomfortable to acknowledge just how prevalent doubt is in our lives. Think of everything you have doubts about on any given day: We doubt we can get out of bed without being grumpy. We doubt we can get the kids to school on time, or ourselves to work for that matter. We doubt that we’re the right person for the job, any job that is! We doubt that anyone else is the right person for the job!

Some doubts are generation locked – derived in early childhood from our parents, teachers and other influencers. Then as teenagers we began to form our own doubts – often doubting that anyone really cared about us. As young adults we doubt anyone else has a clue what they’re talking about (that doubt might be more intergenerational than we care to admit). Once we hit middle age, we doubt every life choice we made up until that point. Past middle age we begin to doubt our own bodies; we doubt we can make it to the bathroom on time without throwing our hip out again. And toward the ends of our lives, like the teenagers, we often doubt that anyone really cares about us (again this one might be intergenerational).

While we might not have personally experienced all the same doubts at the appropriate age (some people have perfectly good hips their whole lives), many of us have had similar doubts. That’s because those doubts have foundations. They don’t crop up out of nowhere – and knowing why we doubted something is key to being able to overcome the doubt.

Share a personal anecdote of a time you had a doubt – it can be funny or serious, but it should be empathetic – a doubt people can relate to because the reasons for the doubt can be easily explained.

The deep foundations of doubt

Doubting God, like most other doubts, also has an identifiable foundation. Many of us have had moments where certainty wavered, hope flickered, and we had to contend with the cold and terrifying existential prospect of a world without Jesus. Yet in our passage today we have poor Thomas, singled out for being the doubter amongst a sea of doubters. The question we need to ask though, to help us understand what is happening in the passage, is what was the foundation of his doubt? Let’s have a look at the way he frames his doubt:

“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25b)

Thomas makes a simple assertation – his belief is dependent on being able to verify Jesus’ wounds. There are many reasons why Thomas might have wanted to do this. Some theorize that he was fearful that Jesus could be a ghost, or a masquerading evil spirit. Others claim that he needed to touch the wounds to verify it was Jesus and not just a prank.

So, which was it? Why did Thomas want to touch the hands and side of Jesus? Was it just that he needed the physical contact to assuage his doubts? A tactile moment of certainty? That’s something many people could get behind – just give us the cold hard facts!

For others of us, the idea that he was worried about a spirit masquerading as Christ might be a little more divorced from our experiences – we might have a harder time empathizing with the rationale of his doubt. But what if there was yet another cause for his doubts, one that hinged upon a prevailing philosophical outlook that persists to this day. Perhaps it came down to a simple question: How could God bleed?

If this was part of his thought pattern, Thomas may have been contending with a deeper theological challenge. For Thomas, like so many before and since, this idea that God (or his appointed Messiah) could bleed was probably preposterous. That God could be in any way affected by the material world did not stick with the Jewish understanding at the time and contradicted the prevailing theories amongst Hellenistic philosophers.

Almost 400 years before Thomas’ encounter with his risen Lord, the philosopher Aristotle posited a theory that the universe was made up of “unmoved movers” – constants that held to their pattern of existence unaffected by any other force. The greatest of these, he theorized, must be God – his theoretical omnipotent deity must be the greatest “unmoved mover”. Key to this understanding was the logic that God could not possibly be affected by his creation – he is instead ‘other’ and separated by a great distance.

Perhaps you can see the problem for Thomas here. His doubt had some deep foundations, they were founded in his religious and social cultures. His friends were claiming something that was going to force him to reassess everything he thought he knew! He had to be sure! Thomas had to learn that no one, whether priest or philosopher, could tell you who God is and how he acts. God himself would have to do that.

No foundation strong enough

This could have been the end of Thomas’ faith – he had demanded a high bar for believing that Jesus was risen from the dead – it couldn’t just be his closest friends and confidants telling him so. Yet in Jesus’ response we see the heart of God toward his (even stubborn) children.

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:26-27)

Regardless of the reason Thomas felt he needed to touch Jesus’ wounds, whether he thought him to be a ghost, a fraud or a theological impossibility, there was one solution that shed all these foundations. But it wasn’t Thomas touching Jesus, even though it might seem that way from the text What we are actually seeing here is far deeper – it is Jesus coming to Thomas; he is sought out the one sheep who had gone astray, just like he told them he would.

Jesus’ accommodation of Thomas’ desire to touch him sometimes leaves people with a difficult conundrum – what do we say to people now who say they need to touch and see Jesus? It’s a difficult question to wrestle with, but one that Jesus is actually giving us an answer to here. For Thomas, his foundations of doubt were deep – but they were nothing Jesus could not overcome. After one simple encounter with Jesus, Thomas is left exclaiming, “My Lord and my God!”

Not only had he come to believe that Jesus is risen, but he also declares a theological truth that had never been so clearly uttered until that point: Jesus is God. He’s not just a political, religious, or military messiah – Jesus is God. Thomas overthrows centuries of traditions and beliefs in this one statement. He proclaims that this man, born out of wedlock, tried as a criminal – who was tortured and crucified is God! The foundations of his doubt are uprooted, in one simple moment – this isn’t something that would normally happen in one single moment of time!

Yet it does. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, opening Thomas’ eyes to God’s reality – showing that Jesus is the one to be exalted above very other name. And so we see in this passage that no matter how intimidating the depths of our doubt might be, regardless of how firm a foundation they might have in our lives, they are powerless before the Holy Spirit as he strips our doubts away.

And yet still, we see him

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:29-31).

Thomas and the disciples were not going to see Jesus again after his Ascension – at least in bodily form. Yet they had already received a clear promise, they would see him in a different manner. Earlier in John 14:19 we read what Jesus told his disciples:

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19)

Thomas’ declaration, “My Lord and my God” was a fulfillment of a prophecy he had received only days earlier. This moment of revelation was where Thomas saw Jesus, not just as a man, but as God meant that he saw him in a way the rest of the world didn’t.

Thomas saw the risen Lord, and we too, through the power of the Holy Spirit see him. He lives in us and we in him. We see that Jesus is exalted to the highest place, that he sits at the right hand of the Father. And we, with Thomas can declare with exaltation as we witness the risen Christ – “My Lord and my God!”

Extravagant Worship w/ Dan Rogers W4

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Extravagant Worship w/ Dan Rogers
April 24 – 2nd Sunday of Easter
John 20:19-31 “My Lord and My God”

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Program Transcript


Extravagant Worship w/ Dan Rogers W4

Anthony: Well, Dan let’s move on to our final pericope of the month. It’s for the second Sunday of the Easter season. It’s John 20:19 – 31. It is the revised common lyric common lectionary passage for April the 24th.

Please read it for us.

Dan:

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. [NIV]

Anthony: “As the Father has sent me, I send you.” What is Jesus revealing about the Father and also about us as disciples of our Lord Jesus?

Dan: Jesus said, as the Father sent me, I’m sending you and then he breathed on them. And here we find that Jesus is sending out his disciples. He’s telling them that they’re going out with the same authority and the same mission that he’s had from his Father. We understand that the mission of Jesus, the mission of the church is from the Father through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.

It is a Trinitarian mission to save humanity and indeed to save all of creation. So, Jesus’ followers are to continue in his ministry on the earth, even after he left. After he went back to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Spirit, all of his followers from that day forward will be able to work with him in his ministry.

And the followers of Jesus will have the power of the Spirit to continue the Father’s mission through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. So, his followers participate in the heart, the goal, the mission, the purpose of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

Anthony: Yeah. That’s encouraging to know that the mission is God’s mission.

It’s the Fathers in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. It’s not my mission. It’s not the church’s mission. It’s God’s mission. And so, whenever we engage our neighbor, love our neighbor, work in our community, we know that God is at work already in front of us, at work.

Help us to theologically understand verse 23 about if you forgive, it is forgiven, if you retain, it’s retained. Is Jesus really saying sins will be retained if the disciples don’t forgive them?

Dan: This particular verse over the years has been subject to many different interpretations. And indeed, it is a challenging verse to look into. The Roman Catholic church has used this as a proof of needing to go to a priest and receiving forgiveness for your sins, from the priest and the act of confession.

Protestants have looked at it in several different ways, including the communal view, where it is the community of faith, the church, which either lets people into the church, allows them to be baptized, or denies them admission to the church, or something along that view. But let me give you an analogy that at least works for me, and I hope it may work for others who are listening.

Let’s say a man robs a convenience store and steals all the money, makes a getaway. But from that day forward, he lives with a feeling of guilt. He knows he’s done wrong. And so, for the next 20 years, every time he sees a police car, every time he hears a knock at the door, he wonders, is this it? Have they finally caught up with me? Will I be going to prison now?

He can’t sleep at night, lives in guilt for 20 years. And then suddenly one day there’s a knock on his door and of all things, it’s the sheriff. So, he puts out his hands and says, “All right. Put the handcuffs on me. I know you’ve been looking for me. I knew my day would come. Take me away to prison.”

The sheriff looks at him and says, “No, you’re not guilty. Let me tell you what happened. Even to the very moment that you robbed that convenience store, the governor simultaneously, and even previously, pardoned you and declared you not guilty. We’ve been looking for you for 20 years to tell you that you’re a free man.”

Now, the person who robbed the store would probably say, “What took you so long to find me and tell me that? I’ve lived 20 years of my life under guilt, and in fear. I’ve been cursed, and you tell me I’m not even guilty of the crime.”

You know to be free, to be declared not guilty and to [not] know it, is to continue subjectively to live with a feeling of guilt, not knowing that you’re really free. How many people do not know that God, Jesus Christ has indeed forgiven them of their sins?

And because of their not knowing they are living a life of condemnation, a life of guilt, a life where they fear what the final judgment may be. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone would find those people, and tell them that they’ve been declared not guilty, and that in Jesus Christ, they are free of their sins?

As the followers of Jesus today, as his disciples, we need to let people know that in Jesus, their sins have been forgiven. Now, if you let someone know that their sins are forgiven, they can experience that forgiveness. If you don’t let someone know that their sins are forgiven, they do not experience that forgiveness. And they feel as though their sins have been retained, even though they have not. So, the responsibility, I think, is on the followers of Jesus to let people know Jesus has forgiven you of your sins. You are free.

Anthony: Jesus repeatedly said, “Peace be with.” What a beautiful greeting, not only for his friends that heard it, but also for us! And if that’s the case, how so?

Dan: In Aramaic, which was the primary dialect of Jesus and his disciples, the word for peace is shlomo alach. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the word is shalom.

And it has a broad range of meanings. It’s its meanings included primarily health, good life, and prosperity. But it also included notions of security, completeness, blessing, and salvation, and all Shalom was viewed as coming from God.

Now I’m a big Star Trek fan, and I hope you or maybe some of the listeners are, and you can appreciate what came to be known as the Vulcan salute. Leonard Nimoy portrayed Mr. Spock in the series. And Leonard Nimoy was Jewish; he grew up in the synagogue. And they were looking for a way that Vulcans might greet one another. And Mr. Nimoy reflected back on his time as a boy in synagogue, and he remembered the priestly blessings.

The priests would bless the people, the rabbis would bless the people by forming the [Hebrew] letter shin, which was the beginning letter of one of the names of God. And so, what he did was he separated the two hands into one hand: the thumb extended, the ring finger and the middle finger together and the little finger and the other finger together in what came to be known as the Vulcan salute. But it came right out of the synagogue as a blessing from God.

And the words that Spock would recite would be “Live long and prosper.” And the response was “Peace and long life.” And those are exactly the meanings of Shalom. I have to admit that when I pictured Jesus in this scene saying, “Peace to you,” I keep seeing him give them the Vulcan salute. At least that works for me.

Now in the Greek New Testament, the Hebrew meanings carried over, but some Christian nuances came to be understood. And the word peace is used in three basic ways in the New Testament. One is the opposite of war or strife. And two, it’s used to describe restored, happy, personal relationships. And three, it’s use for peace of mind, especially in a contrast to a troubled and fearful heart or outlook on life.

Now in our passage, Jesus appears to use the term mostly as number three, but not excluding the other two. The peace Jesus passed onto his disciples and to us today is the peace of God. The peace of mind that comes from knowing and trusting Jesus, the peace that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, the peace that erases a troubled and fearful heart.

The peace that comes from realizing Jesus has entered the building. (A little play there on “Elvis has left the building.”) But literally in the story of Jesus, [he] did enter the building. In our lives, Jesus has entered the building. He is always in our lives.

So, the New Testament tells us 365 times, (and mostly from the mouth of Jesus) fear not. Peace. Have peace in Jesus. He is here. He is with us. He’s in our lives. Trust him. You have hope in him. You can have confidence in him. Fear, not. Shalom, live long and prosper!

Anthony: While you were talking, our podcast producer, Reuel, typed in the chat area that he’s a fan of Star Trek. But I got to tell you, you lost me. I don’t know that I’ve seen a single episode, but I’m with you in that, what a beautiful greeting of shalom from our Lord!

Finally, “My Lord and my God.” [verse 28] What a stunning declaration from Thomas! Tell us more, Dan.

Dan: In the verses that we read, Jesus said to Thomas, put your finger here and see my hands, reach out your hand, and put it into my side, stop doubting and believe. And so, Thomas has been known, down to this day, as Doubting Thomas. And anytime someone doesn’t have a hope or belief or they’re being negative, people say you’re a Doubting Thomas.

So, Jesus said to Thomas, stop doubting and believe. Now here, Jesus allows Thomas to make a scientific experiment. You know, stop doubting, believe, except God’s reality. It’s a far greater reality than the one you know as a human. I’m the same Jesus you knew, fully human, but also fully God, come back from the dead. And I still bear the scars in my body.

And some ask were the scars not healed? Why did Jesus still manifest these scars? One reason is so that Thomas and the others would know he was Jesus. He was the same human that they had known for so many years. He’s not some different being, he’s not some ghost, some spirit thing, something of their imagination.

He is really, and truly Jesus, fully human and fully God standing right there before them standing right before Thomas.

So, we note what Thomas says in his reply in verse 27.

 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Now, I don’t think Thomas should be known as Doubting Thomas. In fact, in this verse, he’s probably made one of the most important and powerful statements in the New Testament about the divinity of Jesus Christ. He’s called him my Lord and the Greek word for the Lord, Kyrios, is the same word that’s used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament for the Hebrew word Yahweh. So what Thomas is saying here, in a sense, is Yahweh, my Lord, my God.

Now I feel for so-called Doubting Thomas. And on behalf of all realists everywhere, I’d like to suggest we now call him Believing Thomas, because Thomas accepted God’s reality as the most real reality of all.

And Thomas becomes a faith-filled believer.

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Thomas was blessed. He saw, he believed, and he gave a profound announcement of faith.

But it makes me think, what about us today? What about you and me? We’ve not seen Jesus, literally, physically with our own eyes. We’ve not been able to perform a scientific experiment of touching scars. And yet we believe. Jesus said blessed are those who believe without seeing. We do know that Jesus is alive. We experience them in the spirit.

And as he becomes to us – over time, communing with him – our best friend. He was a friend of Thomas and the other disciples. He was close to Thomas, but he’s close to us too. He is our best friend, as he was Thomas and the other disciples. And he’s also our Lord and our God. But as I said earlier, we worship him as our Lord and our God, as Thomas did [with] a startling claim in the New Testament to Jesus’ divinity as fully human and fully God. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that he’s not only our Lord and our God, he is also our friend. Again, as one of the famous hymns says, “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

Anthony: Dan, thanks for being my friend and be my guest here today. I so appreciate the commentary you provided as I’m sure our pastors and teachers will as well. It’s our ongoing rhythm at the podcast to have our guests pray a blessing over the pastors, preachers, teachers, Bible students.

So, would you say we’re to prayer for our listeners?

Dan: Our Lord and our God, we come before you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus to ask your blessing on your disciples today, especially those who minister in the word. May we speak your word rightly, truthfully, powerfully, and boldly.

May we be empowered and abled, strengthened by the Holy Spirit. And may those who hear the words we speak also be empowered by the Spirit to understand, and to apply these words in their lives. We thank you, God.

Father, we know it is your mission through Jesus and in the Spirit. And because it is your mission, it cannot fail. Sometimes we wonder if we’re adequate preachers or, if we’re doing a good job, or if we’re having any effect at all, or if our lives make any difference. And yet if we’re participating in the ongoing mission of Jesus from the Father in the Spirit, we cannot fail.

We can only succeed. And as Jesus said, numerous times in the passage we just read, let his peace be unto us. And let us know and have that confidence, that trust and that faith, that though we are human, we cannot fail for we are on mission with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Thank you for allowing us to participate.

Thank you for the success that you give. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it. Bless us, please. For we love you, Lord. And we want to serve you and minister to your people. We ask your blessing as well as give thanks, in Jesus’ name. Amen


Small Group Discussion Questions

Questions for Sermon: “Out of Doubt, Exaltation”

  • Have you ever had a misplaced doubt that took a long time to shake? How did being guided by that doubt affect you?
  • Reflecting on your own testimony, what was your “My Lord and my God” moment? Share the moment where you came to the realization that you actually believed that “… Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30)
  • The sermon taught that the Holy Spirit can overcome any doubt, no matter how firmly ingrained. What persisting doubts do you or a loved one have that you hope will be uprooted by him?

Questions for Speaking of Life: “The Great Disruptors”

  • How do you feel about being a disruptive force in society for the sake of the Gospel?
  • Have you ever had a cause that you were willing to go to great lengths for? Perhaps it was protesting, boycotting, or campaigning? Do you apply the same uncompromising passion to sharing the Gospel?
  • Christians often mistake “Christian issues” for the gospel when they vocalize the things they care about. Do you ever fall into this trap?
  • How can we ensure that the loudest thing that people hear coming from the Christian community is the good news of the exalted Jesus bringing reconciliation to mankind?

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