Message: Religion Isn't the Answer
Speaker: Greg Holder
Leaders, open by checking in with your group. If you take prayer requests at this time, write them down to pray for them at the end of group time.
Pastor Greg opened the message with a question- if you had to boil down the 66 individual books, the over 800,000 words in the bible to one thought to one idea to one promise, to one offer, what would it be?
Leaders, set the stage for the context of this chapter in Acts which involves the explosive growth of Jesus' command to spread the good news from "Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost ends of the earth."
- Acts 2- converts were Jewish.
- Acts 8- converts were Samaritans with strong Jewish connections/roots.
- Acts 10- Cornelius
- Acts 11- Antioch, now we see pagan gentiles with absolutely no connection to Judaism.
We will focus on Acts 15:1-35 and the pivotal conflict in this still new movement of God.
- Read aloud Acts 15:1-5
- What was the argument?
- Why do you think this was an issue?
- Read aloud Acts: 15: 6-11
- After discussion, what was the response from Peter?
- Focus on v. 11
- Why do you think the concept of Grace was hard for some of the Jewish believers (particularly the leaders)?
- How might we still struggle with this undeserved gift from God: Grace?
- Read aloud Acts 15:12-21
- What was the ultimate decision of the assembly?
- What jumped out at you in this section?
- Finish by reading aloud Acts 15: 22-35
- What did the assembly in Jerusalem do to communicate their decision/guidance to the church at Antioch?
- What was the response from the church at Antioch?
- What takeaway points do you see from these passages for today?
- Are there ways we consciously or unconsciously live a "Grace plus ______" life?
- How can we encourage each other to push back against that?
Close your time together looking forward to Easter services 4 weeks away. Begin to challenge each other to think of at least one person or family to invite. If you're comfortable, share the names of people to pray for.
Close in prayer with any prayer requests made at the beginning of group time and include prayer for our upcoming Easter services at all campuses.
"We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
How do you see the conflict of religion vs Grace play out in our day?
Easter is just 4 weeks away. Begin to think about who you might invite to one of our Easter services. Discuss together ways to do that in ways that are winsome and appealing.