The Gospel Project Vol. V

Notes Journal

Volume V (Fall 2013)

Session 13 – “Forever Restored”

11/21/13 – I’m changing the title to “Forever Victorious” (taken from v. 57). It’s important to note the context of verses 35-58, since they’re part of a presentation putting to rest distorted views of resurrection. Paul’s discussion wasn’t random information for the curious; it was to set-up the powerful exclamation point of verses 57-58.

Opening Question: “What are some ideas in culture about the “afterlife”?”

I. Victory will be Physical (1 Corinthians 15:35-56)

A. Our current body will cease to exist

  • Sown in corruption (v.42)
  • Sown in dishonor (v.43)
  • Sown in weakness (v.43)

B. Our future body (at the Lord’s return, not death v.52) will be totally new (not reconstructed)

  • Raised in incorruption (v.42)
  • Raised in glory (v.43)
  • Raised in power (v.43)

Discussion: “What part of this teaching about a new body speaks to you most? Why is it good to know?”

II. Victory is a Daily Reality (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)

A. Be steadfast & immovable

  • Confidence in the gospel
  • Hope is alive

B. Abound & know

  • Our work is not in vain
  • Eternity is a destination for everyone

Discussion: “How should this “settled future” influence my attitude toward daily things like family, work and goals?”

For the week: Pray this week for a “forward-looking mindset” concerning yourself and others.

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Session 12 – “Forever Trusting”

11/13/13 – I’m starting this lesson off with a simple “word association” exercise using the word “trust”.

I. Embracing Trust (John 10:22*-29) *picking up 5 extra verses for context

A. Sheep hear (discerning shepherd’s voice among others)

B. Sheep are known (shepherd’s know the health, etc. of sheep individually)

C. Sheep follow (they don’t second guess the direction)

D. Sheep are kept (they rely on the strength of the shepherd)

Discussion: “What are some fears associated with being a “sheep”? What are some sources of comforts?”

II. Demonstrating Trust (Hebrews 3:12-19)

A. Belief is key (verses 12 & 19)

B. It’s the heart and not the eyes (v.12 & John 10:25)

C. Encourage each other daily in trusting (v.13)

Discussion: “Hebrews 3 references the wilderness (Numbers 13:1-2, 14:2-3, 11, 26-32); what can we learn about trust from Caleb and Joshua?”

III. Evaluating Trust (Philippians 3:7*-14) *picking up 3 extra verses for context

A. “Gain” and “Loss” redefined after conversion (v.7-8)

B. A Jesus-centered standard (v.14)

C. Pressing on toward the personal call (v.14)

Discussion: “What are some obstacles to moving forward? What are some personal “gains” and “losses” you’ve had to redefine?

For the week: Consider how you can encourage someone this week to simply trust God (even without all the answers).

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Session 11 – “Forever Reflecting”

11/7/13 – There are some great life-applications in this lesson. I’m approaching it as a three-point journey with a Start-Journey-Finish outline. I plan to write Philippians 1:6 on the board and start discussion with this:

Opening Question: “What are some specific words that stand out to you in this verse?”

After the opening question, I’ll work through the lesson with the group broken down into discussion groups (allowing time at the end of each point for the smaller groups to discuss, then report back to the larger group)

I. THE START-We Are Set Apart In Christ (1 Cor. 1:2, Col. 1:13)

A. Justified (Declared Righteous – 1 Cor. 6:9-11)

B. The Corinthians had lots of failures, but were still justified through Christ

C. Principle of consecration (people, places, things set apart to God as holy)

Discussion: “If someone asked if you’re holy, how would you answer? Why?”

II. THE JOURNEY-We Are Being Sanctified (2 Cor. 3:17-18, Col. 3:5-11, Heb. 10:14)

As we progress on the journey, certain elements are part of the process:

A. A “killer instinct” – (“put to death…” Col. 3:5)

B. Faith (mentioning Heb. chapter 11, and then reading Heb. 12:1-2)

C. Becoming more effective

Quote: “For one look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ!” – Robert Murray M’Cheyne (p.133 in the teacher book)

Discussion: “What are some things you’ve learned about dealing with sin?”

III. THE FINISH-We Will Be Like Him (1 John 3:2)

The process will be complete

A. Hope as we look forward

B. Confidence as we walk

C. Finality when we get there

Discussion: “What are some specific struggles that’ll go away? What are some specific things that we’ll gain?”

For the week: As we go through our daily routines, consider what’s at stake (and who’s watching) regarding living life as “set apart”.

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Session 10 – “Forever Family”

10/31/13 – What a great lesson. My outline will begin with verse 26 (instead of 27). I plan to read the writer’s opening story aloud in class, then start the discussion with this question:

Opening Question: What are some of the results for those involved in adoption as a child or parent?

I. In Christ We’re Sons and Daughters (3:26-29)

A. Abraham’s seed, fully part-not proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism)

B. Identified as family with a new surname (put on Christ v.27)

C. Equality-no need to posture for position (v.28)

Note: According to Bible Teacher/Commentator Warren Wiersbe, Paul’s phrase in v.28 is interesting, because a Pharisee (his former life as Saul) would have prayed every morning, “I thank you God that I am a Jew not Gentile, man not woman and free not slave.

Discussion: “How should this influence the way we see ourselves and the comparisons we tend to make?”

II. In Christ We’re Named Heirs (3:29, 4:1,7)

A. It’s a totally unearned position

B. Now is a time of waiting-looking forward to the inheritance

Discussion: “What does Paul’s description of ‘being free from the bondage of the elemental forces of this world’ mean to you concerning daily decisions?”

III. In Christ We’re Loved and Received (4:6)

A. My “Dad” always has time for a sit-down conversation

B. My “Dad” is proactive-not reactionary

C. My “Dad” is completely dependable

Discussion: “What difference should this make in my time with God and how I describe Him?”

For the week: Galatians 3:27 says we’ve “put on Christ”. This week consider Ephesians 4:22-24 and what it means to live daily as ones who’ve “put off the old man and put on the new”.

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Session 9 – “Jesus Reigns”

10/23/13 – Similar to the previous week, I’m adjusting the three points (and narrowing the scope of the Hebrews text) to help with making application. Since the contexts of the three passages are very different, my goal is to tie them together in a way that facilitates discussion about living in (and sharing about) Jesus’ realm.

Opening Question: What are some characteristics of being under the authority of someone else?

I. Our King is Superior to us (Isaiah 9:6-7)

A. Wonderful Counselor (His counsel is amazing and complete)

B. Mighty God (His position is unthreatened)

C. Everlasting Father (Father of Eternity, everything originated with Him)

D. Prince of Peace (His kingdom is marked by contentment)

Discussion: “What are some things we’re eager to take to the King, and what are some things we’re hesitant about?”

II. Our King Faced Life’s Challenges (Hebrews 2:14-18)

A. He suffered and was tempted (v.18)

B. He experienced death (v.17)

C. He earned the right to be High Priest (v.17)

Discussion: “How should these things specifically influence my attitude in prayer?”

III. Our King Empowers Us to Reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:8-13)

A. To be truly alive with Him (v.11)

B. To be sustained by His strength (v.13)

Discussion: “What difference does this make regarding success, failure, worry and confidence?”

For the week: This week choose one of the four names of Jesus in Isaiah to really consider and meditate on – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.

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Session 8 – “Jesus Redeems”

10/19/13 – I’m presenting this lesson considering the points Peter was making based on Christ’s redemptive work. In other words, since these things are true; what are we free/directed to do? I’m including verses 13-18 and opening with a discussion of being physically empty versus full (and how that affects a person’s mindset).

I. Redeemed People Should Have Hope (1 Peter 1:13, 18-21)

A. “Gird yourselves” (v.13)

B. Be sober minded (v.13)

C. Rest in Him (v.13)

Discussion: “How should this kind of hope affect my daily disposition and outlook?”

II. Redeemed People Should be Obedient (1 Peter 1:14-17)

A. As children (not conforming to the former “family”) (v.14)

B. Be holy (v.15-16)

C. Have a healthy fear (v.17)

Discussion: “How does this compare to the average church attendee’s view of God’s expectations for a follower of Christ?”

III. Redeemed People Should Love (1 Peter 1:22-25)

A. Love the brethren fervently (v.22)

B. With love not based on a merit system, but the Word of God (v.23-24)

C. The rules of the game are unchanging (v.25)

Discussion: “Considering these three verses; what should our scorecard for showing love look like?”

For the week: Read John 10:10 and consider what it means this week on a daily basis.

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Session 7 – “Jesus Reconciles”

10/10/13 – With Joseph’s story as a background thought;

“What elements are involved in reconciling a relationship?”

I. Jesus is Qualified as the Reconciler (Col. 1:15-20)

A. Firstborn (not created, but “of first importance”)

B. Primary Cause of creation (v.16-17)

C. Fullness of glory dwells in Him

Discussion: “How does this truth compare to other belief systems/religions, and what difference does it make?”

II. Jesus Reconciles us to God (Col. 1:21-23)

A. We were once alienated and enemies of God

B. He presents us holy and blameless

C. We’re to be grounded and steadfast

(Do an exercise with verses 13-14, by replacing “we & us” with “me & I” then asking the following question)

Discussion: “How do those two verses (with the words changed) help with approaching daily life?”

Note: To set this excercise up, I sent a a brief devotional on verses 13-14 to the group ahead of time. Click here to view it.

III. We are to live as Reconciled People (Col. 1:24-2:3)

A. Be encouraged and also be an encourager (literally “heart strengthening”)

B. Be knit together (alongside of others)

C. Seek the treasure of wisdom and knowledge (only in Christ v.3)

Discussion: “What obstacles hinder us from being like this?”

For the week: Write down and consider verses 13-14 with “me & I”

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Session 6 – “Jesus Reflects”

10/3/13 – Along the thought of the book’s opening illustration (different images/conceptions of God), I’m starting with a question for general discussion:

“What are some common descriptions or representations of God in culture and media?”

I. Jesus Reflects God’s Nature (Col. 1:15-18)

A. Visible Image (He’s approachable)

B. Creator (He was and is creative)

C. Head of the Church (He’s invested in the future of the Church)

Discussion: “In what ways may these be displayed through us as well?”

II. Jesus Reflects God’s Glory (2 Corinthians 4:1-6, John 1:14)

A. “Full strength representation” (compared to lesser examples from Prophets, etc.)

B. Illumination of the problem (our sinfulness compared to Jesus)

C. Solution to the problem (He as the only answer)

(Like Paul, we should always be careful to point people to Jesus and not overly focus on ourselves or our personal stories)

Discussion: “Why is it important to remember the Bible’s teaching concerning “blindness and sight”?”

III. Jesus Reflects God’s Mission (John 5:36-44)

A. His work was validated (at baptism, with miracles, fulfilled prophecy, resurrection)

B. He focused on what the Father deemed most important (avoided distractions)

C. Rejection didn’t alter His message

Discussion: “How should these truths influence the way I pray/plan?”

For the week: Pray for an opportunity to specifically discuss Jesus’ life and work with someone.

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Session 5 – “Created to Rule”

9/26/13 – Replacing the word “rule” with “have authority” helps me get my mind around this one. I’m starting the discussion with a question:

“How have your views of “authority” changed from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, to parenthood?”

I. Created to have Authority over Creation (Gen. 1:26-28)

A. We are unique among earthly creatures

B. There is order of authority (husband/wife, parent/child, etc.)

C. We have an obligation as stewards (with authority comes responsibility)

Discussion: “Why do you think heroes are often written as ones rebelling against authority?”

II. With Sin Comes Abuses of that Authority (Mark 10:42-45)

(Sin corrupted human authority, but didn’t remove it)

A. Abuses to creation (exerting too much control or abandoning responsibility)

B. Abuses to people (exerting too much control or abandoning responsibility)

Discussion: “Do you struggle with being tempted to exert too much control or to abandon and avoid it?”

III. In Christ our Reign is Re-established (Revelation 5:9-10)

A. Order is restored

B. No injustice or inequity (racial or otherwise)

C. Glory is radiated from the throne throughout the realm

Discussion: “How should the reality of a “future reign” affect my goals and dreams now?”

For the week: Prayerfully consider what areas of your personal influence need adjustment concerning the amount of authority exercised.

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Session 4 – “Created to Rest”

9/20/13 – In the same fashion as lesson 3, I want to start the discussion with a word association exercise, but this time built around the word “rest”. As before, there are different emotions associated with it and it provides a good lead-in. Like the subject of work, it’s crucial to understand that rest was instituted by God BEFORE sin came and I’m adding a fourth point in the outline to mark the turning point where sin entered.

I. God Created us to Rest (Gen. 2:1-3)

A. A rhythm of work/rest (6/1) was started

B. The 7th day was set apart as Holy

C. The need for sleep is intrinsic

Discussion: “What ways do we see similar “rhythms” displayed in the natural world?” (For example, God chose to make a day/night cycle to mark start/stop)

II. Sin entered and disrupted

In life there are two temptations that pull at us regarding rest

A. Leisure as an idol

1. More bling associated with it

2. Bigger and better contexts of leisure

B. Refusal to rest

1. Being a workaholic

2. Having a “the-world-can’t-function-properly-without-me” attitude

Discussion: “What are some warning signs of these two?”

III. Rest is Elusive (Ecclesiastes 6:7)

A. Modern technology creates a 24/7 “On”

B. Worry (over what we can’t control)

Discussion: “What are some problems these can lead to?”

IV. In Christ-True Rest is Found (Hebrews 4:9-10)

A. In Him, restlessness becomes rest

B. In Him, there is contentment

C. “Selah” is a great example of rest and reflection (Psalm 46)

Discussion: “How can we incorporate rest/reflection into our daily life?”

For the week: Along with personal examination, ask those closest to help you find balance in work and rest.

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Session 3 – “Created to Work”

9/12/13 – I want to start the discussion on this lesson with a “word association exercise” built around the word “work”. There are quite a few different emotions associated with it, which is a good springboard to dive in. The first point is crucial, because the simple (yet powerful) truth that God made us to work BEFORE sin speaks volumes. I’m laying the points out as a timeline across the board using three sections, Garden-Now-Future.

I. God Created us to Work-Garden (Gen. 2:15-17)

Discussion: “What is the popular imagery of the Garden of Eden?” (i.e. paradise of leisure)

A. Created in God’s image (God is active and working (add John 5:16-18))

B. Order from chaos as example (Adam assignment to name animals)

C. Work was not a vocation, but a natural part of life

(On the timeline-sin entered and corrupted work-Genesis 3:17-19)

II. God Created us to Work-Now

We have two basic choices regarding work.

A. Let work define and drive us (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23)

B. Define work properly (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12)

Discussion: “For each of the two choices, what are some potential short/long-term results from each path?”

III. God Created us to Work-Future (Revelation 21:22-22:5)

A. Jesus’ work frees us from the sacrificial system to live in grace and work to God’s glory (Hebrews 10)

B. Future Heaven is a restoration/continuation of the project started in Eden

C. Our work will continue in Heaven (not a grand lounge in the sky) (v.22:3)

Discussion: “How should this influence our attitude toward work now?

For the week: Attempt to properly define work at home and vocation.

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Session 2 – “Created to Relate”

9/5/13 – I like the illustration in this lesson, so I’m using it and adding that along with “Wilson” he had the picture of his girlfriend (which was crucial in his maintaining hope for getting off the island). I’m rolling the three points out by drawing a diagram; starting with a figure of God interacting with us (pt.1), then adding a connecting line to others on one side (pt.2) and lastly adding a connecting line to the natural world (pt.3).

I. God Created us to relate to Him (Gen. 1:26, Jeremiah 9:23-24)

A. Our relationship with Him is to be primary

B. Our relationship with Him is on His terms

C. Our relationship with Him is personal

In Him, we experience faithful love, justice and righteousness (in which He delights)

Discussion: “How can we demonstrate that relating to God is a priority? What are warning signs that it is not?”

II. God Created us to Relate to one Another (Genesis 1:27, Romans 13:8-10)

So how do we relate? (I plan to use a visual description of the difference between a thermometer and thermostat. You can view it here in a recent post)

Key Truth: We use God’s standard in Jeremiah 9:23-24 to set the tone.

Discussion: “What does it look like to be committed to the right attitudes in different circles, for example marriage, parenting, work, or social settings?”

III. God Created us to Relate to the World (Genesis 1:28)

A. The right approach to work (Genesis 2:15) (This will be explored further in Lesson 3)

B. As stewards (to be the ones reminding others that it’s God world)

Discussion: Since many believe the Earth is being destroyed by mankind, where does the promise of a “New Heaven and New Earth”-Rev. 21 fit into the conversation?

For the week: Prayerfully consider how to specifically be a “thermostat” instead of a “thermometer” in one or more relationships.

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Session 1 – “Created to Reflect”

8/31/13 – Have you ever witnessed something special and unique; like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls? In all of God’s creative wonders, there is one made special from the beginning…mankind. For this session, I’m staying with the main idea of the three points, but tweaking the titles and scripture reference for pt. III.

I. Created in His Image (Gen. 1:26-28)

A. Set apart from the rest of creation

B. A unique place

C. A central role

Discussion: “How should this truth affect the way we view people (of all kinds)?”

II. Created to Glory in Him (Psalm 16:11, 1 Corinthians 10:31)

Discussion: “What images do we think of when we hear the words glory or glorify?”

A. For Adam (before sin), all of life was glorifying to God

B. For us, there are still many ways to glory in the Lord’s goodness each day

Discussion: “What are some ways we can glory & enjoy God in everyday “mundane” things?”

III. We’ve all Fallen Short of His Glory (Romans 3:9 & 23)

A. Our natural inclination is toward self

Discussion: “How does this manifest itself in pursuit of approval, recognition and affirmation?”

B. In many ways, even those who deny God still display His glory

C. Ultimately, transformed hearts/lives will bring Him glory (Matt. 13:36-43)

For the week: Pray this week to see other people as having innate worth regardless of their personality.

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