Blueprints – Part 4 – A New Community
Sermon by Greg MacRobbie – Sunday, January 22, 2023
Just as we attempt to do today, the very early church tried their best to love one another as Jesus had told them to do. It’s just as compelling now as it was then to see people caring for each other, and through that, demonstrating the presence of God to the world.
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Life Group study content
THIS WEEK’S MAIN IDEA:
The first attempt of the early church at obedience to the command of Jesus to love one another as He loves us is recorded in the opening chapters of Acts. The details of their experience may be descriptive (‘here’s what happened’) but the principles at play are prescriptive for us today (‘here’s what we also should do’). As we follow in their footsteps, we present the strongest argument to a skeptical world that God exists and is with us.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:41-47; John 13:34-35
If this is a study week in the rhythm of your group, discuss the questions below from this week’s teaching. Be sure to reserve time at the end of to pray.
What do you like most about being part of the Brookside family? What would you miss the most if you had to move away?
Read Acts 2:41-44. In v41 it says “those who believed… were baptized and added to the church that day”, and according to v42 “all the believers” were active members of the group. Joining the group of people that were called the church seems to have happened almost automatically when someone became a Christian. Today, many people seem to see joining a church as a separate action from putting their trust in God, and maybe even an optional one. Can someone be part of “the Church” without being part of “a church”? What do we lose by not being part of a local church community? What do we lose by attending the weekly public gatherings of a church but having no other interaction with the community?
Read Acts 2:42, 46. God doesn’t tell us exactly how many hours a week we should spend with him or with his people. What principles or guidelines do you use to decide how to allocate your time? Does 2 Cor 9:7, which is talking about how much money we give to the church, give us any guidance on this question? Does the way your time is spent reflect how you think God wants you to use the time he’s given you? Is there anything you think needs to change?
Read Acts 2:44-46. Does this description sound like an unrealistic dream or an achievable and desirable way for a church to operate today? Why don’t people and churches do this more? Would you sacrifice something of your own to meet the needs of someone else in the church? Have you done it in the past? Share the story, if possible. What would it take for us to become more generous and more willing to sacrifice for others? What kinds of things hold us back from doing it?
Read Acts 2:47. Is the Brookside family welcoming to new people? What might someone encounter at Brookside that might cause them to feel unwelcome? What factors can contribute to someone being superficially welcomed but not fully accepted or treated as an equally loved and valued member of the family?
Read John 13:34-35. If we compare our love for our fellow believers to Jesus’ love for us, what are some ways that we might be falling short? What obstacles do we need to overcome to make our love more like his? How can we help and encourage each other in this?
What is God calling you to do? What will you do about it this week?