Rev. Trevor Johnston and Eric Stewart
Series: Do the Math
Week 4: Check Your Work
PDF file for printing: 08-26-18
- Say Ephesians 4:4-6 by memory 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.
- Review from previous weeks:
- 3 = 1 = The Trinity
- Trinity = We believe in One God who exists in three persons
- God is community, and we are made in His image – we’re made for community
- Knowledge + Community = Spiritual growth
- Christian community multiplies joy and divides sorrow
What idea from previous weeks was most significant for you personally and why?
- We all need someone to check on us and help us do life with God well. Share an example of a time when you tried to do something in your life on your own without anyone else’s help and ended up making a mess.
- Read John 15:1-17:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
What ideas do you notice Jesus communicating here? What questions come to your mind as you read this passage?
- What is Jesus’ grape vine illustration intended to teach us about the spiritual life?
- In John 10:10 Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” What does Jesus mean by “life to the full”?
- When we stay connected to Jesus, we will experience a truly full life. Andy Stanley said, “Following Jesus makes life better and makes me better at life.” What are some things you can do to stay connected to Jesus?
- In Greek, the 2nd person plural of “you” is a different word than the 2nd person singular of “you.” But since English doesn’t have two different words for singular and plural “you” we sometimes miss it when the New Testament is talking about a group of believers and assume it’s just about individuals. There are lots of ways that various parts of America try to express the 2nd person plural word for “you” – y’all, you-ins, yinz, all y’all, you guys. Share with the group how the 2nd person plural for “you” is expressed in the part of the country you come from.
- Read John 15:5-14 (LIV – Loxahatchee International Version)
“I am the vine; y’all are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If y’all remain in me and my words remain in y’all, ask whatever y’all wish, and it will be done for y’all. This is to my Father’s glory, that y’all bear much fruit, showing y’all’s selves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If y’all keep my commands, y’all will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told y’all this so that my joy may be in y’all and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Y’all are my friends if y’all do what I command.
What is the point of this?
We Stay Connected to Jesus by Staying Connected to Each Other
How to “Check Your Work” (that is, How to Check Your Soul):
We need people to question us:
- Read the following tweet from Beth Moore and talk about how you’re doing on this in your own life: “Fellow leader, what several people in your closest ministry circle get to question you even about a weird vibe they’re getting from you without losing your favor or provoking offense? Can you name them out loud to yourself? Can you ask them if they feel free to question you?”
We need people to challenge us:
- Recently the news has been full of scandals about church leaders whose private lives have not been what they should be. Pastor Dale says, “We all need people in our lives who love us but are not impressed with us.” Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” What is the Proverb saying?
We need people we can confess to:
- Read James 5:16a: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”Why is it helpful to confess sin to another person, and not just to God?
- East Campus folks – if you missed Group Connect Day, check the website in the coming week for groups that are open to join.
West Campus folks – join us for GroupLink tonight at 5:30. If you’re coming, it would really help us if you pre-register at communityofhope.church/grouplink.
We want to help you find a group of people to do your spiritual life together with you and support you as you seek to stay connected to Jesus.