Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: Do the Math
Week 2 – Addition
PDF File for Printing: 08-12-18
- Icebreaker: What number were you in the birth order of the family you grew up in? How did your birth order affect your personality?
- Read Ephesians 4:4-6 and seek to memorize it together as a group:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- Last week, we looked at the equation: 3=1, which represents the Trinity. God is three persons, but still just one God, just one Being. Our God is not a loner out there who doesn’t need anyone. In fact, God IS community. His very Being is three persons who have always existed in perfect, loving, cooperative friendship. And because we are made in God’s image, we are created for community. Note what it says in Genesis 1:26-27: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”. As a review from last week, talk about why all of this is significant for our lives.
- When we come into an earthly family, we celebrate that and take pictures. Read Ephesians 2:19 in the Living Bible: “You are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” Talk with your group about some of the privileges we have as members of God’s family.
- Read 2 Peter 1:1-11:
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
What comments or questions come to your mind when you read this passage?
This passage in 2 Peter gives us some equations that teach us about the Christian life:
Knowledge + 0 = not enough
- In Romans 10:9, Paul explains the basics of what we need to believe in order to be saved. He writes, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
This passage explains the core of what we need to know and believe to be a Christian. But what’s the problem if you stop there?
Knowledge + 0 = Pride.
- Knowledge alone often leads to pride. Paul write in 1 Corinthians 8:1, “Knowledge puffs up, while love builds up.” Why does knowledge alone tend to lead to pride? How can we work against that tendency?
- Pastor Dale shared two quotations:
Sheldon Van Auken wrote: “The strongest argument for Christianity is Christians, when they are drawing their life from God, but the strongest argument against Christianity is Christians when they become exclusive, self-righteous and complacent…”
Dallas Willard wrote: “How many people are radically and permanently repelled from the Way by Christians who are unfeeling, stiff, unapproachable, boringly lifeless, obsessive and constantly dissatisfied? Yet such Christians are everywhere, and what they are missing is the wholesome liveliness springing from a balanced vitality with the freedom of God’s loving rule…(Spirituality wrongly understood or pursued is a major source of human misery and rebellion against God.”
What was his point in these?
Knowledge – Christian Community = Trouble
- Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” What is Paul’s point here?
Knowledge + Christian Community = Spiritual Growth
+ Mutual Affection
Notice that you can’t even do these things, if you’re not in community. These qualities require us to be in a setting where we’ve grown close enough relationally, that we can actually live them out. Where and how are you living out these values that Peter says should be increasing in your life?
- Read 2 Peter 1:8-9:
“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
What are some things that might cause a person to become nearsighted and blind about their faith?
- What are some things you could do that would help you not to be “ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of Jesus Christ”?
- If you are not yet in a group, plan to attend GroupLink at 5:30 p.m. on August 26th (for the West Campus) or attend Group Connect Day after church on August 26th (for the East Campus). West Campus folks need to register for GroupLink at communityofhope.church/grouplink.