The Gospel for Real Life: Discussion #10
Pre-reading questions for you and your journal:
- Do you ever struggle with feeling “not good enough” as a Christian? If so, in what areas are you typically confronted with this feeling? What do you think related to God when you are feeling inadequate?
- Usually, we feel that we have strong areas as well as weak ones. List ways that you see yourself as pleased with the ways you live your Christian life. Again, how do these relate to God?
After, or during, your read:
- When have you experienced a sense of coming to the end of your own resources while striving for Christian values, conduct, or morals? How did God meet you in that time of weakness? Was the gospel message central to your experience?
- In talking about Paul’s (and our) great exchange, “God laid our sin upon Christ in order that He might lay Christ’s righteousness upon us” (109). This is based on 2 Corinthians 5:21. How is this great exchange real and personal to you? How have you grasped the amazing truth that God rightly counts Jesus’ righteousness as yours?
- In light of what you’ve read today, what self-righteous thoughts should you re-examine and perhaps relegate to the garbage shoot because they are dangerous to you and/or harmful to others? Examples:
- “I may not be a perfect homeschooler, but I’m not as bad as ________ , who never seems to get around to teaching her kids.”
- “I care about our kids’ education and work hard at homeschooling. I wish my husband would get on board.”
- “I do my daily tasks faithfully; why won’t my kids do their work like I do?”
- “I have a regular quiet time. My friend doesn’t. That’s why her life is such a mess.”
- “I sure am glad that I don’t send my kids to public school, like my Christian friend __________ !”
- “I believe that human morality, rather than flagrant sin, is the greatest obstacle to the gospel today” (110). In your own words, why does Jerry believe this? How can you see your own heart attitudes reflected as he explains why he’s concerned? What can you do about them?
- “The same Christian activity can be either an expression of our own righteousness that we think earns favor with God, or it can be an expression of love and gratitude because we already have His favor through the righteousness of God” (114). As Jerry says, there is a sustaining grace in doing our works out of gratitude for being saved vs. a continued sense that we must earn the favor of God. Make a two-column list, with these headings:
- Things I Do Because I’m Saved
- Things I Do Because I Want to Earn Favor
Fill these columns in; take some time. Be brutally honest. Then, rejoice in items on the first list, and ask God to pour out even more grace for them! Repent of items on the second list, asking God to fill you with a new joy in believing in His love for you, which empowers you to do all things by His grace alone. Then, transfer items (one by one) to that first column. What have you learned? Care to share with us?
Below are links that will help you navigate the discussions easier. (You can also use the Archives section of this blog.)
Discussion #9 for this book.
Discussion #11 for this book.