I. 3 INGREDIENTS FOR A GREAT COMMUNITY GROUP
1. Information vs. Revelation – We would have a change of heart and not just a change of mind! By the time we leave here tonight you would not just know God loves you, but you would experience his love at a heart level… As a result, your big problems would seem small.
2. Exegete Text – We want to listen to the text, rather than speak to it. The Bible was written 2000 years ago, so we have to see what it means to them, in their culture FIRST, before we can understand what it means for us today. Exegeting is like a time machine.
3. Be Real – Be vulnerable with someone else in the room. Don’t be fake. Don’t give religious answers. If you don’t want to answer, then don’t answer!
II. PRAYER: Pray for those things.
Action: Have student pray.
Sample if no student will pray: Since our goal is to encounter Godâ€™s love through community and through listening to the text, letâ€™s ask God to open our hearts to be vulnerable with each other and help us hear what the text is saying.
III. SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 18:15-19
Background: Jesus is talking to his disciples. He has been saying, this is what it is like when you sin against your fellow believer, now in verse 15 he says this is what it is like when your fellow believer sins against you. READ: Mathew 18:15-17
your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ d 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 18:15–20.
IV. EXEGETE: Scripture: Matthew 18:15 15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. Exegete #1: Notice this disciplinary action is not to put down your brother, but for the sake of redeeming him. Jesus has in mind, that this can only truly be done in a spirit of humility. Accepting even a private rebuke is hard, but it is harder still to give a rebuke in loving humility. Tiny Group Questions: 1. Have you ever called out someone for something they did wrong? What was it? 2. Have you ever wanted to call someone out but did not? What was it? 3. Have you been called out for sin, for missing the mark? 4. Have you ever wanted to be, but you weren’t? Scripture II: 15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. Exegete: When it says to “show him his fault,” Jesus uses a word Paul usually used to say evangelize.
Question for Big Group In the context of calling someone out for what they need to do different, why would you need to evangelize another Christian? Answer to question if no one gets it: The Gospel is not just the abc’s of the Christian but the a-to-z; it is how the seed is planted and how it receives its nutrients and grows!
Scripture: Matthew 18:16-17a 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church… Exegete (What it meant then): After privately approaching a brother or a sister and failing to get through, you’re to next bring along two or three witnesses. This provides a connection to the communal aspect of ancient Israel, as Jesus quotes and expects similar action to Deuteronomy 19:15. This action establishes the view of the church on the witnesses’ solidarity, their united testimony. Today: Jesus expects Christians to be apart of Christian communities, for persons to not just friends with individuals who are Christians, but for every individual to be apart of a Christian community. The way you know you are apart of a Christian community is because that community, not just individuals from a community, can call you out on your sin. Tiny Group Question: 1. Are you a part of a church that can call you out when you miss the mark, when you sin? 2. Why or why not? 3. What practical steps would you have to take to be apart of a church that could call you out?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:17 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Exegete: How did Jesus treat pagans and tax collectors? He spent a lot of time with them, right? Out of his love for them, he pursued them with the good news of the kingdom of God until it changed their hearts and lives. He met them where they were at, but then he expected them to go somewhere else, hopefully towards him and the true life he offered. We are often tempted to let people stay where they’re at because it’s easier, it’s more comfortable. But with that mindset, it’s the members of the church that end up changing to look like the world, drifting away from their source of life. Tiny group question: 1. What is one thing that gets in the way of you calling out your fellow believers? (I.e. you don’t know enough of the Bible to pick up their wrongdoings, you’re not close enough to anyone to see them sin, you’re afraid of hurting the relationship, you don’t believe God really wants us to judge anyone, etc.) 2. What is one thing that gets in the way of being apart of the life giving community of a local church
where you can be called out?
IV Gospel Turn Time: In verse 17, the root of the Greek word that’s used (ekklesia), means to call out. Jesus’ followers are called out of there sin into life, and the calling out continues as we help each other grow into places of more and more holiness, where we can experience the love and grace of God more fully and truly. Leading rhetorical question: How do we know that that Jesus words can be trusted? That we can trust his command to be apart, truly apart, of a church that can call us out. That it will be for our good if we are apart of such a community? Jesus Because He will call out to His Father, but He will hear the pain of silence. He will turn to his right and left and there will be no good friend, or commtunity there to lovingly stand with him, so that now that when you call out to heaven the Father is always there for you, and He has made a community for you in the city that will call you out of things, and call you up to who you are as a brother and sister of Christ! So that when turn to the right and left there are people with the Sprit of God in them brining you life giving encouragement, and correction. Practically: That is why you can trust Him. he gave it up such a community! The ultimate community of the Father and the Spirit so you could forever be in that community! Surrounded by brother and sisters of Jesus who have the Spirit! Who are being loved by the Father everyday! Walk into your destiny now! You’ll have to fight to be apart! But trust His words to fight to be apart of a His Church! He has a local church for you in this city, He has it for you so you can experience this life giving presence of REAL community that can call you out, and call you up into who you are in Him!
Pray for each other that we would see more clearly Jesusâ€™ desire for justice and his willingness to bring it about by the most drastic and most effective means. Also that we would have the courage and faithful humility to call out our brothers when they sin, and to receive rebukes when we sin. Help us, Lord.