Big Idea: When we remember separation, alienation, and estrangement from Christ, we are driven to gratitude, hope, and a thriving relationship with God.
I. Remember when?
A. Remember when you were considered out by those who were in? (11)
B. Remember when you didn’t have Jesus? (12a)
C. Remember being alienated from the people of God? (12b)
D. Remember being a foreigner to God, his promises and covenant? (12c)
E. Remember being without hope? (12d)
F. Remember being without God? (12e)
II. Celebrate now.
A. Now you are brought near. (13a)
B. You have been reconciled through Christ’s blood. (13b)
A. How near are you to God? Take a step toward Him.
B. Connect to the people of God.
C. Choose hope.
D. Let the transformation begin.
1) When you look back the changes God has made in your life, what are you most grateful? What is the single biggest change the Gospel has made for you?
2) Have you ever experienced being an outsider where you were told specifically by the insiders that you didn’t belong? Please share the story.
What made you an outsider (race, gender, education, where you lived, vocation…)?
3) What makes someone an insider at a church? How inclusive is church? What makes someone an insider at this church?
4) Do you have a clear memory of being far from God? If so, what was it that kept you away? What kinds of things typically drive people away from God?
5) Are you closer to God today than you were a year ago? When were you closest with God? What produced that close relationship for you?
6) Is hope something you can increase by doing something? Or is it something you either have or don’t have? Why would Paul say, “Love hopes all things” (I Corinthians 13:7)?
7) How strongly connected do you feel to God’s people? Does God care if we are connected to His people?
Is your connection to God’s people stronger now than in the past? Which way is it trending? What are you prepared to do to strengthen your connection to the body of Christ?