Discussion Guide: The Story of the Bible Week 8

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Today’s Discussion

This week we continue our series The Story of the Bible. Many of us may know some Bible stories, but we may not actually know the story of the Bible. Over the next couple of months, we will be walking through the overarching story of Scripture by looking at the 9 main acts of the story: Creation, Catastrophe, Calling, Covenant, Crown, Corruption, Captivity, Christ, Cross, Church, and Consummation. Our goal is to come away with a better understanding what the Bible, and history, are really all about, and the impact that has on our lives as a people.

Discussion Questions

How is Christianity different from every other religion in the world?

Luke 1:26-30

“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” 

We see in our scripture reading this week that Mary was troubled by the news that God as with her. 

Are there certain aspects of God being God in your life that you find troubling? 
If so what are those aspects and why are they troubling to you? 
Why do you think our culture, in particular, has such a difficult time with the idea that Jesus is Lord and King over our lives?
Leader Notes

For most people, particularly in our American, individualistic, consumeristic, culture have a difficult time with the idea that life could be about anything other than our happiness and pleasure. We live in a day where technology has enabled us to custom fit life around our every desire. We have robots to vacuum our houses. We have Prime shipping to deliver our groceries or clothing or whatever within 2 days. We have social media to communicate our every thought and opinion the moment we feel the world needs to hear it.

So, the idea that someone other than ourselves would be in charge of our lives, or that some omniscient being might hold us accountable for our every thought and deed, is outright offensive to us. However, if you look at it from a Biblical standpoint, what we do today is what Adam and Eve did thousands of years ago. We don’t want to submit to God because we would rather be like God and define good and evil, right and wrong for ourselves.

Consider also Mary’s response to the angel’s message: 

Luke 1:31-34

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

Have you ever had questions or doubts about something God has said or done?

What emotions or thoughts has that triggered in you?

How might honest questions or doubt actually benefit our relationship with God and with others?

Why do you think we, as Christians, tend to suppress or ignore these kinds of questions and doubts when it comes to our faith?

How might looking into the face of the Gospel (Christ’s love, sacrifice, and victory) impact the way we handle the doubts and fears we face on a regular basis?

Closing Thought

What would it look like for us as a Christian community to walk with, and encourage, one another in those places where doubt and fear threaten our relationship with God and with one another?
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