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Bible Discussion Guides - Sermon on the Mount

April 12 - June 13, 2021

Discussion Guide | Week 10

June 20, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. In your words, how would you describe an earthly pursuit that yields earthly treasures? How would you describe a heavenly pursuit that yields treasures in heaven? 2. Offer some specific examples of earthly treasures and how they are obtained, as well as heavenly treasures and how they are obtained. 3. Think about how you invest your time and resources. What does that show you about what you treasure? Do you think you need to make changes to invest more into the things of God? If so, what are those changes? 4. Consider what you are currently focused on. Would you say your life is like the healthy eye or the unhealthy eye? Explain your answer. 5. Money is a part of life. Do you think Jesus is teaching that money is evil? Why or why not? How can a follower of Jesus handle money in a way that is focused on the things of God? 6. How do the other Scripture passes in this week’s reading help you understand and apply Jesus’s teachings in this section of the Sermon on the Mount?

Discussion Guide | Week 9

June 13, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. After several weeks of focusing on Jesus’s teachings about motives, how has God moved in your heart concerning this? 2. Have you fasted before? If so, share your experience with the group. If not, share a reason you’ve chosen not to fast. 3. In Isaiah 58, God issues an indictment of the Jewish people because they attempted to follow religious practices but were inwardly selfish and neglected to care for the people around them. Do you see this same problem in the church today? If you do see it, how do you think the church can do better at caring for people and emphasizing this as much as any religious practice? 4. What does Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 9:14-17 teach you about fasting? How is fasting connected to times of mourning and intensely seeking God? 5. How can we as believers follow the examples of the early church leaders as they spent time in worship, fasting and prayer when they were seeking to set apart people for ministry (Acts 13:1-3, Acts 14:21-23)? 6. Sadly, we still battle our human nature and sometimes we put on an outward appearance of righteousness while remaining selfish and sinful inside. How do we fight against this? How would it transform our families, our churches, and our communities if we were more focused on being honest and open with our struggles against sin?

Discussion Guide | Week 8

June 6, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. Public prayer is fairly common in local church settings such as worship services and meetings. (Keep in mind, Jesus prayed in public and in private.) How do you think Jesus’ teaching about praying in secret lines up with this practice of public prayer? Can we pray from our hearts when we pray in public? Explain your answer. 2. In what way can you apply Jesus’ teaching about “empty phrases” and “many words” to your own times of prayer? 3. What does it mean to you to know that God knows what you need even before you ask Him? If He knows what we need before we ask Him, why do you think He still wants to hear from us? 4. How does beginning a time of prayer with praising God put us in the right mindset to commune with our Heavenly Father? 5. In your own words, describe what it means to desire God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done. 6. When we ask God for provision, forgiveness and deliverance, how does that affect our attitude and actions as we live in this world?

Discussion Guide | Week 7

May 30, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. Why is it that we sometimes are tempted to do good so that other people will see our righteous actions? 2. How does the rise of social media play into the teaching of Jesus in this section of the Sermon on the Mount? 3. Do you think there are circumstances under which it is acceptable to tell someone else about something good you have done? Explain your answer. 4. What should be our motivation when we give to others? How can we cultivate the practice of giving out of the right motivation? 5. What does it look like to give and “not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”? 6. How do you think God rewards those who give in secret? Why is this reward better than recognition from people?

Discussion Guide | Week 6

May 23, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. How are you challenged by this week’s reading? 2. What do you think accounts for the perceived difference between the Mosaic “laws of retaliation” and the teachings of Jesus? Do you see a way that the two fit together? Explain your answer. 3. Can you identify with David in Psalm 139:17-24? If so, how? 4. Do you think Jesus’ teaching in this section of the Sermon on the Mount would prevent a believer from utilizing self-defense or defending others? Explain your answer. 5. What are some biblical truths that can help us love both our neighbors and our enemies? 6. How can we help each other follow these teachings of Jesus and grow to “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48)?

Discussion Guide | Week 5

May 16, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. Have you ever dealt with someone who did not keep their word? How did that affect the way you viewed them? 2. Do you think other people see you as someone who keeps your word? Why or why not? 3. In your own experience, can trust be regained once it has been broken? Explain your answer. 4. This week’s reading included verses that showed how God is connected to His creation, and the structures that have been used in worshiping Him. What does it mean to you to know that as believers, we are the temple of God? How is this connected to the importance of keeping our word? 5. Do you have a hard time saying “no” when someone asks you to do something? How does Jesus’ teaching of using a simple “yes” or “no” help you see the value of saying “no” to people? 6. Why are the values of honesty and integrity so important within the body of Christ?

Discussion Guide | Week 4

May 9, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. Our culture is one that seems to have a strong focus on sexuality. Entertainment, advertising, fashion and other aspects of our culture attempt to use sex to get their messages across. How do we as believers navigate a culture like this and seek to keep our focus on Christ? 2. In your own words, how would you describe God’s design for marriage and sexuality? What Scriptures have helped you form this perspective? 3. What are some practical things we can do to invest in and strengthen our marriage relationships? 4. What lessons can we learn and apply from David’s sins recorded in 2 Samuel 11-12? 5. How have you seen God’s grace at work in a broken marriage relationship that resulted in reconciliation? How have you seen His grace at work even when the result was not reconciliation? 6. Moving forward, how can the body of Christ disciple people to create strong marriage relationships that stand the tests of time and temptation?

Discussion Guide | Week 3

May 2, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. Do you think that Jesus “raises the bar” of the Mosaic Law that forbids murder when he teaches that anger towards another person will bring judgment? Why or why not? 2. How does Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:22 frame your understanding about how we are to view and treat other people? 3. What do you learn about the importance of relationships from Jesus’ examples in Matthew 5:23-26? 4. Justice has become a popular topic in our culture. How do we determine what is true justice? 5. What does Genesis 4:1-10 teach you about the connection between anger and murder? 6. Based on what John writes in 1 John 3:11-15, does hatred towards others demonstrate that a person is not a follower of Jesus? How are we to apply this passage personally? 7. Consider what James writes in James 1:19-21. What role does the Word of God play in helping us to obey God by pushing away selfish sinful desires? 8. Do you think it is possible for a human being to have “righteous anger” (Ephesians 4:26)? How can we maintain a heart of forgiveness towards other people (Ephesians 4:32)?

Discussion Guide | Week 2

April 25, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. As followers of Jesus, what should be our attitude towards the Old Testament (the Law and the Prophets)? 2. What is the relationship of Jesus to the Law and the Prophets? How does this help you understand the “big picture” of Scripture? 3. What is a type of righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees? 4. Do you view obedience to God as a relationship or a list of rules … as something joyous or something laborious? How did you arrive at your view? Do you think it needs to change, and if so, how? 5. What is the difference between an empty outward obedience and obedience from the heart? 6. How do the companion passages from this week (readings Tuesday-Friday) help you understand Matthew 5:17-20?

Discussion Guide | Week 1

April 18, 2021

Discussion questions are below. For the complete guide, click on the button titled, "Full Commentary" Discussion Questions 1. What does Jesus’ use of salt and light as analogies teach you about what it means to follow him? How can we as believers “stop being salty” or “have our light hidden”? 2. According to Jesus, what is the purpose of doing good works out in the open? What does it take to maintain that perspective as we seek to do good in this world? 3. What are some practical things we should build into our lives so that we walk in the light of Jesus? 4. Based on our reading this week, what do you think it means to walk in darkness? What is the danger of living this way? 5. In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul taught that good works do not save us, and yet we are created in Christ Jesus for good works. How do you think we can accept the truth of salvation by grace through faith and yet still properly understand the importance of doing what is right and good? 6. How does Philippians 2:12-18 deepen your understanding of what it means be a light in the world? 7. How does John’s writing in 1 John 1:5-10 and 1 John 2:7-11 help you grasp what it looks like to walk in the light of Christ?