Surviving or Living? The Gospel Makes All The Difference.

Last night the New Life Care Ministry hosted an event called “Surviving or Living? The Gospel Makes All The Difference.” What we wanted to address is the fact that there is a gap between knowing the facts of the gospel and how it relates to everyday life. The major reason we are so fatigued, burnt out, anxious, prone to give into temptation is that we we are not immersing our hearts and minds in the truths of the gospel. We fail to see what the good news of Jesus Christ has to do with how we feel and live on Monday morning. Here are the notes from our time together.

  • Introduction to Care Ministry at New Life Church
    • It is for you
    • It is for you to recommend to others
    • It is Christ-centered
    • It is discipleship
  • Introduction to our topic tonight, “Surviving or Living”
  • The problem
    • Many of us feel tried and worn out
    • We hear of the abundant life but we wonder if we are missing out
    • We feel like we are in survival mode
  • The solution is the gospel
    • What is the gospel? “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” -1 Corinthians 15:3-5
  • But we have a problem again. We need a bridge to get us from the amazing truths of the gospel to how it actually connects to everyday life.

bridge.jpeg

  • The bridge is learning what it means to abide in Jesus Christ (John 15).

Table discussion

  • Read John 15:1-11
  • “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

  • Questions:
    • What does Jesus say the vine, branches, and gardener represent?
    • What happens to a branch that does not abide to its branch?
    • What happens to a Christian that is not abiding in Jesus?
    • Describe how you have been feeling lately (happy, tired, sad, anxious, etc).
    • Verse 5 tells us that a person who abides in Jesus bears much fruit. What do you think it means to bear much fruit?
    • What is the key way that we abide in Jesus? (Verse 7 gives you the answer.)
    • How have you been doing lately when it comes to abiding in Jesus by reading the Bible? (doing great, it’s a struggle, non-existent)
    • End of table discussion

Large group time

  • Let’s get even more specific and practical when it comes to how the gospel relates to everyday life.
    • How should Jesus’ love for you impact the way you live everyday life?
      • As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. -John 15:9
    • How should the fact that Jesus has forgiven you of so much impact the way you respond to people who offend you?
      • 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. –Ephesians 4:32
    • How should the fact that we have been given all the riches of Christ (forgiveness, adopted into God’s family, eternal life) impact how generous you are?
      • that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3
    • God loves you and cares about you so much that he sent his Son to die on a cross for you. How does this impact our daily temptation to be anxious or worried?
      • 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. -1 John 4:10
    • Our culture lacks contentment. How should the gospel impact your level of contentment and gratitude in everyday life?
      • 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
    • Jesus is amazingly beautiful to gaze upon. How should this impact a person’s temptation to look at porn?
      • 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. –Mark 13:26
    • Here is the key. As we think about these Biblical truths we find that we are abiding in Christ.
    • A helpful tool to abide in Christ
      • The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent
    • Let’s take a few moments of prayerful reflection. Identify something that is on your heart and mind these days (a concern, difficult circumstance, temptation, etc). Prayerfully think about how the gospel applies to this particular issue.
      • Write down your thoughts here:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  •  Have a few people share their thoughts based on their time of reflection (only if you feel comfortable doing so)
  • Closing prayer

We had a great discussion and I hope people left with a better idea of how to abide in Christ and the difference he makes in everyday life. What are some ways that you apply the good news of Jesus Christ to everyday life? Would love to hear from you!

 

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