Resources for Discussion Class Hour on November 7, 2018

Resources for Discussion Class Hour on November 7, 2018

Sermon Title: Lights in the World

Text: Philippians 2:12-18 (ESV)


Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)

On the first Sunday morning of each month in 2018, we’ve emphasized our theme: Love God. Love People. Change the World. As we near the end of the year we’re using the last of these to emphasize the last part of that theme: Change the World.

God put us here to make a difference, not for us just to meet weekly and talk about how bad the world is, but for us to worship so that we might be present in the world as people who reflect Christ’s light to those who need it so badly. In Philippians 2:12-18 Paul challenges the Christians at Philippi to recognize their role as “lights in the world” (v. 15). In the “midst of a crooked and twisted generation,” Christians are to be “blameless and innocent.” In a world of darkness, we are to be light.

No one would argue with the darkness of our world: hatred, division, violence, immorality. But what are we doing about it? How are we challenging the prevailing norms of our society? How are churches—small communities of Jesus-followers—functioning as darkness-dispelling beams of light?

How are we salt? How are we light?

In this text Paul helps us think about this, and he challenges us to live so that the world takes notice and wants to know more about the Source of this light.

How do I live out the implications of this passage? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)

    1. The first point of the sermon was: “Obey . . . in fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12-13).
      1. How does the church’s obedience help us be the lights in this world that God wants us to be?
      2. In what areas has the church’s disobedience caused the world to think badly of us?
    2. The second point of the sermon was: “Avoid grumbling and disputing” (Phil 2:14-16a).
      1. Some people grumble and complain about everything. Why should Christians avoid that?
      2. How does complaining suggest that we don’t really believe God is doing a good job of working things out according to our satisfaction?
      3. When non-Christians see and hear Christians complaining and whining, what kind of impression does this make on them? What does this make them think about Jesus?
    3. How should the church demonstrate a stark contrast with the world in the following areas?
      1. Sexuality
      2. Ethics/integrity
      3. The lives of the unborn, the disadvantaged and marginalized (immigrants, the poor, children without parents, abused women and children), etc.
      4. Peace/violence/war


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