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Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Jesus Demands from the World, from the Story I Thought I Knew, Part 2

Yes, the sermon title is from a book title by John Piper. I own the book, but I have not yet read it, so I can neither comment on the book or claim to be following it, but I do like the title. The outline is below, along with follow up discussion questions. 

What Jesus Demands from the World, The Story I Thought I Knew, Part 2

1.    Reject the attempt to fix yourself

2.    Embrace the good news

Mark 1:14–15 (ESV) 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

3.    Sharpen your vision of the right response

Mark 1:16–20 (ESV) 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

4.    Respond (Repent and believe)

Mark 1:15 (ESV) 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Discussion questions for groups, individuals, or families:

Do you think popular Christianity as expressed in books and sermons leans more toward trying to be a better person on your own or more toward trusting in what Jesus accomplished on the cross?

What sense of urgency do you feel about responding to the good news of Jesus? Why do you think many seem to sense little to no urgency to respond to the challenge of Jesus’ message?

How would you describe the gospel? Why is it important that repentance and belief go together?

How would you describe following Jesus? How does a person follow someone that they cannot see? What is the significance behind James and John leaving their father in the boat? How does this story of their decisive action to follow Jesus inform your thought about what it means to follow Jesus now?

Have you followed Jesus’ call to repent and believe?

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