The 80’s were an interesting time. Not since the 1960’s has there been a defining era of fashion, hairstyle and music. Big hair, mullets and parachute pants may have been popular but they definitely weren’t as cool as we remember. I am also pretty sure that music has yet to recover. The 80’s did teach us, though, that sometimes things need to change to get better.
In this series we will discuss some changes in methodology and redefining our core values to be more effective at reaching people with the Gospel. Helping people take their next step towards a deeper relationship with Jesus is the priority of The Fountains. This series helps us realize how we can be more effective, while having some fun reminiscing of days gone by.
As believers, God has not called us to walk through life alone, but to connected together in biblical community to strengthen our commitment and accomplish His purpose.
But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.
But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
GOAL FOR THIS SESSION
Every believer needs to understand the necessity of Biblical community. We need to encourage and protect each other in our journey with Christ.
1. You can’t do life alone.
God did not call you to walk through life alone. You need to be involved in a local church because according to scripture there is no such thing as a churchless Christian. Likewise, you need to be involved in a smaller group within that church that values you as a friend way more than they value your friendship. The first step away from God is to step away from God’s people.
2. Being a follower of Christ is not a call to just attend church but a commitment to Christ.
To be a Christian is to really commit our lives to Christ, not to just attend church, pray a prayer, and live however you want.
3. Community is essential for maintaining commitment to Christ.
As a body of believers joined in our faith in Christ, we must protect and spur one another on in our relationship with Christ.
Church is often misunderstood as a building where people gather together to worship.
Session 3: Found People Find People
Watch the sermon.
Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.
• Have you ever bought a product from an infomercial? If so, what was it? Did it do what it said it would do? Where you alone when you bought it?
• In the sermon, Bryan made the statement “Some might say 'I go to church every weekend so I am okay'. Lots of folks go to church and don’t follow Jesus. There is a huge difference.”
• What is the difference?
Read Matthew 26:58
- What other followers of Jesus were with Peter?
- Why did Peter follow Jesus at a distance?
- What is the attitude of people that follow Jesus at a distance?
- Where did Peter finally take a seat by following Jesus at a distance? Who surrounded him?
Read Matthew 26:69-72
- Considering Peter’s current crowd, is his response to the servant girl surprising?
- Do those we surround ourselves with people who impact our personal commitment to Christ? How?
- If we follow Jesus at a distance and end up away from other believer’s, what are the chances that we too will deny Christ?
- If we stay away from other believers and maintain our seat among the enemies of Jesus, will it eventually become easier to deny Christ?
- What was Peter’s first step in denying Christ?
Key Point 1: You can’t do life alone. The first step away from God is to step away from God’s people.
Read Matthew 26:73-75
- What do these verse tell us about Peter heart and his relationship to Jesus? Do you think Peter was really committed to Christ?
Read Hebrews 10:19-22
Why are the words in this passage “Sincere Heart” so vital to our walk with Christ?
Read Hebrews 10:23
- Would agree or disagree that “swerving” has become normal in the church? Why? Why not?
- Why is our swerving dangerous to others?
- What some myths that we believe or have been taught that we should reject to keep us from swerving?
- Salvation is enough. “Once I am saved that will just fix everything." Salvation is enough to make us right with God for eternity. But it doesn't automatically fix everything during our life here on earth.
- Emotion will sustain my devotion. Events and emotional experiences will not sustain my Commitment to Christ.
- The more I know, the less I will sin. We believe information leads to intimacy; The truth is the application of that information leads to intimacy. It's not what we know; it's what we apply.
- I need to make more promises. Our best promises only lead to temporary victory. It's only through repentance and accountability that we can truly sustain a healthy walk with Christ.
Key Point 2: Being a follower of Christ is not a call to just attend church but a commitment to Christ!
Read 1 Peter 5:8
- It is pretty evident that we must stay alert to protect ourselves from the enemy. Why must we stay alert for one another? It may help to remember the "antelope herd" illustration.
- Why is just praying for someone in danger not enough?
Read Hebrews 10:24
- Not only are we to stay alert for one another, but according to this passage what else should we do?
- What is the purpose of cowboys wearing spurs when riding their horse?
- What is the purpose of spurring one another?
Read Hebrews 10:25
- What is the practice the writer of Hebrews uses to help us spur one another?
- Can these practices be accomplished by just coming together at church on Sunday morning?
- Why is your Life Group a priority and important in maintaining your commitment to Christ?
Key Point 3: Community is essential for maintaining commitment to Christ.
Help your Group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their next steps later this week.
What Is Your Next Step?
Have you been doing your Christian life alone? Your Next Step may be move beyond coming to church and to becoming part of the church. Ownership class will help you in this next step. The Next Ownership Class in October 4th, at 10:30. It will be held on the 1st Sunday of each month.
Perhaps you have realized that you currently following Christ at a distance. Your Next Step may be repent, as Peter did, and take your seat among other Christ followers, and move closer to being identified with Christ.
Perhaps you have been living your Christian life as a loner. Your Next Step maybe to find other believers that can spur and encourage you to move forward in your relationship with Christ. Remember others need you to spur and encourage them also.
Is church attendance and Life Group involvement a matter of priority or convenience? Your Next Step may need to evaluate your priorities and commitment to your personal walk with Christ and to others within the body of Christ.
- Pray that each of us will be lean closer to Christ to be identified with Him.
- Pray for those within your group who in their hearts have taken a seat in the wrong crowd and are living a mediocre life of denying Christ. Changing crowds can be very difficult.
- Pray for others that attend church that that they may become involved in becoming the church by committing to other believers.