Sun, Jan 28, 2018

God's Eternal Purpose in the Church

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Big Idea:  God pours out His grace on people like us who do not deserve His incredible love.  This grace extends beyond saving us, calling us to join God in sharing the unsearchable riches of Christ.  God chooses the church to be His primary conduit of love and grace to a dying world.

I. The Job Description of a Gospel Minister

A. How do you get the job?

B. The shocking nature of God’s grace in calling us (v.8)

C. The job – preaching the gospel and conveying the riches of Christ

II. The Church in God’s Plan

A. The Church is the steward of the mysteries of God and proclaims the truth.

B. Our audience

C. God has eternally purposed this in Christ Jesus.

D. An appeal to not lose heart over suffering

Discussion Questions:

1) How would you assessment your current engagement level with God’s mission to convey the unsearchable riches of Christ who don’t have that? (0 being completely disengaged and 10 being all in). Which way are you trending? Are you moving toward engagement or disengagement?

2) Do you see your ability to minister to others as a gracious gift from God? Is every Christian a “minister of the Gospel” or just pastors? What does it mean to minister? What is the difference between “minister” and “bless”?

3) Is there something in your past that is so painful you think God could never use it? Is there something in your past that makes you feel like “the least”? Have you done anything worse than killing other Christians on purpose?
Why would God use Paul?

4) Why would God give the church such an important job of stewarding the mysteries and proclaiming the mysteries of God?
What role does the church play in God’s big plan in this epoch of redemptive history?

5) How do you view the church? Why does the local church exist?

6) Is it ok for Christians to love Christ but not love the (institutional) church? Is it possible for a church to exist without any “institutional” expression?

7) Why is watching others suffer so hard? Is it easier to suffer yourself than it is to watch those you love suffer?
What happens in your heart when you watch the ones you love suffer?

8) Why is Paul worried that this church will lose heart watching him suffer? Have you lost heart over someone else’s suffering? What can you do to not lose heart?

9) Obedience Challenge: Pick one name that you would like to see find the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” Take one step of obedience to convey the riches of Christ to that person in some way this week.

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