19 Jan Discussion Guide: Amazing Grace Week 2
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for, or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together.
This Week’s Topic
This week we join hundreds of other Every Nation churches around the world in kicking off a new series titled Amazing Grace. We will spend the next few weeks looking at how God’s grace saves us, changes us, and carries us through even the most difficult of circumstances. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see.” Let’s find out what we just might see in Him, ourselves, and in one another as we look at God’s amazing grace.
What is the most gracious thing someone other than Jesus has ever done for you?
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”
How have you seen “death reign” in our world in your lifetime?
Why do you think we as humans can be so horrible to one another? What is the driving force behind that behavior?
In what ways do you see “death reign” in your own heart?
Where do you think that comes from? What is the driving force behind that behavior?
“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
How have you seen grace a life reign in our world?
What would you say is the driving force behind those examples?
Timothy Keller, The Reason for God
“The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”
Dr. Keller says that God’s grace as seen in the Gospel frees us from both pride and insecurity at the same time. How does it do that?
Have you experienced that freedom in your own life? If so, how has it impacted your life?
Have you found this freedom in your own life? If so, how has it changed you?
The Gospel frees us from pride, from looking down at others to compare ourselves and set up our identity based on our own accomplishments, because the Gospel shows us that our best efforts are still never good enough to overcome our own sin. If the purpose of God for our lives is to reflect Him and His unconditional love to the world, then the very idea of pride goes against the grain of that purpose. Pride seeks to raise one’s self by lowering others. Love seeks to lift others up at the expense of one’s self. Pride seeks to its own comfort, power, reputation, and worth. Love seeks the comfort, reputation, service and worth of others. The Gospel steps in and tells us that in light of God’s perfection and glory we have fallen way short and that no matter how high we might elevate ourselves, like the Tower of Babel, God still has to stoop down to see what we’ve accomplished. The Gospel tells us that even at our best, in our own efforts, all we have earned is death because we have sought to live apart from His love and therefore apart from His presence.
At the same time, however, the Gospel also tells us that in that state of fallenness and death, God has entered into our mess to come and rescue us, adopt us into His family, and bring us back home to once again live as He has designed us to live. The Gospel tells us that at our worst God has loved us the most and that as our loving Father we are approved and affirmed by the King of the Universe. This sets us free from the need to impress, or find approval in the opinions of others because there is no greater opinion than that of the King of kings.
You see pride and insecurity are really just two sides of the same coin. Pride is our attempt to cover up the weaknesses we know reside in us. The Gospel steps into those places in our soul and says your weakness is precisely the thing needed to experience the power of God’s unconditional love and amazing grace. You cannot receive love and grace unless you first recognize how great your need is for them. In our weakness, His power is made perfect.
What do you think could result from a community of people who not only experienced this grace, but who sought to demonstrate that grace to others?
What are some ways we can demonstrate that grace to one another and to the world around us?