16 Aug Discussion Guide: One Another – Week 4
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
Today we continue our new series that, in light of all that is going on in our world today, couldn’t have come at a better time. We will be looking at some of the different commands in Scripture that call us to “one another” one another. Serve one another, encourage one another, sharpen one another, seek to outdo one another in showing honor, and above all, love one another, are just a few of the things Jesus and the New Testament writers command us to do in our dealings with one another. Of course those things are easier said than done, but why is that? In this series we will be asking some tough questions and seeking the Gospel-centered solutions in how we can best “one another” one another.
Be Kind To One Another
How would you describe your idea of the perfect church?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
“The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves. He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest.”
What is the Church?
If the church consists of people who have acknowledged they are sinners in need of God’s grace through the atoning sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, then what should we expect when it comes to being part of a local church community?
How might that change your expectations in regards to being part of a local church community?
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…”
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Why do you think it is important for us to see the Church the same way Paul and Jesus do?
What is the purpose of the church? What is the power and motivation that enables us to accomplish that purpose?
The purpose of the church is to collectively reflect the glory of God and His Kingdom to the world. In the same way the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love one another as a diverse community, so the Church is meant to be a diverse community of people who love one another unconditionally. We are meant to be a picture of sacrificial love, humility, peace, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, repentance, integrity, honesty, etc. Like the photo on the front of a puzzle box, we are meant to be the living illustration of what life is meant to look like. We are a New Creation Humanity meant to live life in light of eternity and under the light of God’s grace. In a sense we are a glimpse of the future, a foreshadow of what it will look like when God reconciles all things back to His original design. We don’t always do a great job at fulfilling that purpose, but that is our purpose nonetheless.
The reason we don’t always do a great job at it is because we often times lose focus on the command to love one another in the same way Jesus has loved us. Love is the power and the motivation, given by the Holy Spirit, that enables us to fulfill our purpose together. It’s incredibly simple, and yet extremely difficult, but if we would just learn to love one another with the unconditional love of Christ we would do away with many of the problems that exist in a local church. If we could consider the needs of others as more important than our own (Phil. 2), or truly seek to outdo one another in showing honor (Rom. 12), we would be able to grow together through the offenses and hurts that would occasionally occur. But, too often we forget the love Jesus has for us and the identity that comes with it, and instead we chase after the perceptions of others and the reputations we believe will bring us the significance we long to experience. When we do that our hearts turn inward and we begin to see others as the means to our end rather than the brothers and sisters we are called to walk with in love and humility.
If the love of Christ is what rescued you, and if our love for one another is what shows the world we belong to Jesus, then how ought we to react to others when they hurt us in some way?
What would loving that person look like?
How might our loving one another, forgiving one another, and being kind to one another help others better understand the Gospel?