Passage: Ephesians 2:1–10 Theme: The Gospel Believed Conviction #2: God is glorified through Christ as his gospel is proclaimed, believed, and obeyed, transforming the believer to become like Christ. The Gospel Believed: • We are/were dead in our trespasses and sins (1–3). o We walked in the way of this world. o We walked under the control of the ruler of this world. o We lived according to our own fleshly desires. o We deserved the wrath of God. • God made us alive with Jesus Christ (4–7). o Basis: He did this because of his mercy and love toward us. o Actions: He raised us from the dead and seated us with Christ in heaven. o Purpose: He will show his incomparable riches of grace to us in Jesus Christ. Implications: • We are saved by God’s grace through faith (8–9). • We are God’s new creation in Jesus Christ, transforming us to do good works (10). Main Idea: God graciously saves those of us who believe in what he has done for us in Jesus Christ in order to transform us to live like Christ. Application Questions: 1. How does Ephesians 2:1–3 describe us in our spiritual state apart from the work of God? Describe the different things that Paul indicates about people in this spiritual state. Is everyone truly this bad off? 2. According to this text, why did God choose to act toward us? 3. What is it that God has done for us? For what purpose did he do these things? 4. What does the phrase “by grace you are saved through faith” mean? What would happen if salvation came by any other means? 5. Where does “good works” fit into what God is doing in the life of the believer? Are they necessary?
February 17, 2019
Ephesians 2: 1-10
February 17, 2019 • Pastor Phil Burggraff • The Gospel Believed
April 14, 2019
1 Thessalonians 3: 13 • April 14, 2019 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Passage: 1 Thessalonians 3:1–13 Theme: The Approach to Helping Others Thrive 1. Those helping others sincerely desire to see others grow in their faith. a. They see passed their own situation to the need of weaker siblings. b. They go to the necessary lengths to strengthen them for the trials ahead. 2. Those helping others find joy in life in the faith of their fellow believers (6–10). a. They gain strength in their spiritual life through God’s work in those to whom they minister (6–8). b. They rejoice and thank God for his work in other’s lives (9). 3. Those helping others continually pray that God will use them to bring others to spiritual maturity (10–13). a. They pray that God will give them time together for spiritual impact (11). b. They pray that God will bring about greater love within those to whom they minister (12). c. They pray that God will bring his work of sanctification to completion in the lives of his holy ones (13). Main Idea: God calls us as believers to invest our time and prayers to help others grow to maturity in faith. Application questions: • Describe Paul's attitude toward the Thessalonian believers in chapter 3. Do you possess this same attitude toward your fellow believers? How do we cultivate such an attitude? • What are the actions that Paul takes toward these believers to help them mature in the faith? How can you go about doing these same things with those to whom you minister? • From their description in this passage, how do trials contribute to the process of helping others thrive? • How does this passage impact the way we should pray?
April 7, 2019
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16 • April 7, 2019 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Passage: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16 Theme: Developing others to thrive Conviction #4: Members of this community seek to develop others to thrive according to God’s design. Paul presents us here with a model to develop others through biblical leadership that results in faithful imitation. I. Church Leaders fulfill their God-given role (2:1-12). How do we fulfill this role? A. Present a message centered on God (1-4). Why? because: 1. Only this message can overcome difficulty and hardship (2). 2. Only this message truly “stays on track” (3). 3. God has approved you to deliver this specific message (4a). 4. Ultimately, you are accountable only to Him (4b). B. Avoid the tendency to elevate self (5-6). This manifests itself in 1. Flattering speech (5a) 2. greedy motives (5b) 3. seeking man’s approval (6) C. Care for others through service (7-9). How? 1. Handle the various situations that arise with gentleness (7). 2. Genuinely get involved in others’ lives (8). 3. Do the work of ministry regardless of the financial and material gain (9). D. Maintain godly integrity (10-12). 1. We maintain integrity through exemlary and fatherly behavior (10-11). 2. We maintain integrity so that others will follow our example and walk worthy of God (12). II. Church members must heed this message (2:13-16). How? A. Recognize the message as God’s (13). B. Listen to and imitate the message (14a). C. Persevere in the message regardless of life’s circumstances (14b-16). Point of the Passage: We must pursue a model of developing others—biblical leadership resulting in faithful imitation—to accomplish our mission and bring Christ glory (1:8–10; 2:19–20). Application Questions: • What progression do you see in the impact of the gospel that took place among the Thessalonians in 1:4–10 (Indicate each of the steps)? How long did Paul actually minister in this church according to Acts 17:1–9? What might this indicate about present strategies of ministry and discipleship? • According to 2:1–7, how did Paul present the gospel message and disciple these new believers? What did he do and didn’t he do? What do these actions look like in our ministry today? • What would it look like for you to share your life with other believers (2:8)? • What does Paul mean by imitation (1:6; 2:14)? According to this passage whom should we imitate and what would this look like today? • What implications can be drawn from this passage in your current ministry concerning developing others?
March 31, 2019
1 Corinthians 14 • March 31, 2019 • Pastor Josh Kee
Passage: 1 Corinthians 14 Title: A Community Built on Love Summary: If we are to be the kind of community God intends, we must help one another identify, use, and celebrate our various gifts, recognizing that each has been given by God's sovereign choosing as an expression of his grace to his church. God's glory and the good of the church body ought to be the aim of every exercised gift. The most beneficial gifts are not those that build us up individually, but those that build up the community of faith in love. Outline: 1. Prophecy better than tongues (14:1-5) 2. The priority of clarity (14:6-19) 3. The gauge of maturity (14:20-25) 4. Worship that represents God (14:26-35) 5. Humility and submission (14:36-40) Main Point: In regards to the gathered church, corporate edification is more valuable than individual edification, and building up the body is more important that having intense spiritual experiences personally. Discussion Questions: 1. Why does Paul emphasize prophecy so strongly in 1 Corinthians 14? 2. When you gather with other believers, either on Sunday morning or in small groups, are you more concerned with what you will receive or with how you might be able to build up and encourage others? How might your perspective and motivation shift away from yourself and toward others? 3. How do you gauge spiritual maturity? Are there areas in your life where you are "a child in your thinking" (immature)? 4. On what basis do you evaluate the "success" or "value" of a worship service or small group/ ABF gathering? (I.e. What determines whether it was "good" or not in your mind?) 5. Why does Paul stress the importance of how the church worships when it's together? 6. How has our western emphasis on individualism affected the church?