Session One: Is There a God? Is Jesus Really God?
This FAQ series is an opportunity for all of us to consider what we think about lots of spiritual issues. Each week, after a few minutes of social time, we’ll gather like this to watch two short films. Then we’ll
take some time to discuss them, poke holes in them, agree, and disagree. There’s nothing for you to prepare
each week, and you can participate at whatever level you feel comfortable. That’s one great thing about this group—it’s a discussion. It’s about exploration. I’m not here to convince anyone about anything. I’m on the journey just like you. The reality is that none of us has it all figured out. We all have questions and we can probably learn something from everyone. I would like to ask that each of us be respectful of others’ views. We’re not here to debate or argue. We’re not here to fight. We’re not here to bite, kick, scratch, and spit. We’re here to foster great conversation around arguably some of the most important questions we all have. Does anyone have any questions about this before we begin?
Dostoevsky said, “Without God, everything is permitted.” Thus, knowing the answer to today’s question helps us know how to live: in submission to God or to ourselves only.
Is Jesus really God? The implications of this question are clearly enormous. Every aspect of society would be impacted by the confirmation that Jesus was literally God in the flesh. Also, if Jesus were God, then his words take on much greater meaning. They’re more than simply wise words of an influential prophet or philosopher. On the other hand, if he’s not God, then the entire Christian faith is undermined. As Paul said, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead (i.e., do something that only God could do), then faith in him is in vain (1 Corinthians 5:14).
Questions for Discussion
Choose from this list of questions or ask some of your own to facilitate discussion. There’s no need to limit your discussion to these questions or to feel pressured to cover all of them in the time you have.
Read Psalm 19:1
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” In other words, if there is a God, all people have experienced him, though they might not have known it or attributed that experience to God.
What makes it easy to believe in God? What makes it hard to believe in God?
What role—if any—did God play in your family when you were growing up?
How does your upbringing impact your beliefs now?
What has convinced you that God either does or does not exist?
What do you think of the suggestion, “If there is a God, I can’t prove him, nor can I disprove him with science”?
What do you think could convince you to change others current stance on God’s existence?
Was Jesus a historical figure, in your opinion? Why or why not?
What does Religion says, ‘I do, therefore I’m loved.’ Jesus says, ‘You’re loved, therefore you do’”?
Christians believe that sin separates humanity from God. Yet Jesus, through his death, bridges that gap. Why do you think Jesus had to die in order to accomplish this?
Jesus was resurrected—rose up from the dead—with over five hundred witnesses. They saw him and, based on that encounter, were willing to die in order to testify as to what they saw.” What do you think about his claim?
What do you think about Jesus’s claim to be God?
Thoughts to Share with the Group
The thoughts people have about God are as diverse as the people who’ve thought them. Most have attributed their life to some form of god or Supreme Being. As we saw and discussed, there is ample evidence supporting this. Yet, it seems, for us to be confident that there is a God, he must “reveal himself to us in a way that makes sense.
In order to right the wrongs of the world, God entered his creation in the person of Jesus Christ. “The Bible says that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He bore the burden of our shortcomings for us. And then he rose from the grave to defeat the power of sin, brokenness, and death in the world. This was done so that when we abandon our own efforts—which always fall short—and simply accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, our relationship with God is restored. And we, like Jesus, are given a new life in order to become all that God made us to be.”1
This is the gospel; God loves each of us so much that he gave us the gift of his son. And if we believe in him, we receive the gift of eternal life.
God loves; God gave; we believe; we receive.
This week, keep an open mind and consider how the creation around you might speak of God and his plans.