Here’s a few sermon discussion questions to help our church love God by applying his word to our lives. Feel free to use these questions for personal reflection, alongside your family, within a smaller discipleship/journey group, or even within the context of your Life Group. If you missed Sunday’s sermon from John 6:60-71 you can view it online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CUZ4M38w5I
TPQ: When is a time that you had a hard saying shared with you? How did you respond?
- Does this offend you? verses 60-65
As we heard on Sunday, this hard saying the disciples (or his followers) are referring to is not an intellectual issue but rather it was offensive to them. This eventually leads them to no longer walk with Jesus (verse 66) The reality is, the truths of Jesus are often offensive to people.
What are some offensive truths from Jesus that the culture around us rejects? and/or What are some offensive truths you have wrestled with and how has that wrestling cause you to worship and trust Jesus all the more?Here are a few truths mentioned in the sermon that collide with our culture: the sinfulness of man, eternal judgement for that sin, the gender “conundrum” in our culture, 1 exclusive truth and way to salvation.
The most offensive truth that John 6 zooms in on is the fact that man can do nothing to save himself. Justification (our legal standing with God) comes not by any work(s) that we have committed but by faith in the one who has completed the work God requires.
Martin Luther quote from the sermon: “Man’s natural default is religion, is works righteousness, is trying to earn our way to God. The gospel is the opposite – it is: you can’t earn it. All you can do is believe in the one who earned it for you.”
Why is this a hard truth for humanity? Why is this such a sweet truth for the person who has put their faith in Christ?Notice in v.63 that it is the Spirit who gives life. John is speaking to the fact that God intervenes in someone’s life way before they respond with faith in Christ. How is the doctrine of election (God choosing his people) offensive to people? What might be a right response to God’s gracious work in salvation? You can go deeper with this truth with some other passages: Romans 3:9-24, 8:28-30, 9:19-24, 10:1-4; Galatians 2:15-16; Ephesians 1:3-10, 2:1-10
- Where shall you go?
Once the disciples of Jesus walk away from his offensive truth, Jesus turns to the twelve. Peter makes an excellent confession. What some of the things Peter confesses here?
One of them is the reality that where have no where else to go to find eternal life or life to the full (John 10:10). What are some of the things the world has to offer that you have tried your hand at but they never satisfied like you had hoped? Some of the different places we tend to go to find our souls longings mentioned in the sermon are education, social justice, money, pleasure, philosophy, reputation, etc. These things are not bad – in fact they are good gifts! But the drum we have been beating from John 6 is that they won’t satisfy us fully – wholly – completely. What are some ways we can evaluate if we are trying to find our satisfaction in the wrong place? What are some practical ways we can enjoy these gifts but make sure we reorient our hearts to the Creator as opposed to the creation?
Lastly, Aaron talked about the differences of life John is drawing out here. The Greek word bios refers to creation or existence; it is where we get the word biology (the study of life) from. The Greek word zoe (pronounced zo-ay) is to have life to the absolute full. It’s not just existence of life but quality of life.
Amidst pain and suffering, how is the zoe life or eternal life still the only place where the Christian to go? Another way to ask this question, what are some of the truths of the gospel that hold you firm today? Aaron mentioned provision, protection and peace. I’m sure you (or your Life & Journey Group) can think of more.
We will be taking a break from the Gospel of John for the summer. We will spend some time going through different Psalms/Proverbs this summer. Now is a great time to pick up reading the Psalms and Proverbs. You can read 5 Psalms a day and get through all 150 in one month. You can take a slower pace and read a 1 chapter of Proverbs a day and get through all of them 3 times this summer. Of course there are many variations you can do as well, I hope you drink deeply and enjoy Christ in the Psalms and Proverbs as a church this summer. :)