May 31 – Sermon Discussion Guide

Download “Confidence in Christ” Discussion Guide Here

Confidence in Christ

1 John 2:28-3:3; 3:19-24; 4:17-18; 5:13-15

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1 John 2:28-3:3

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
1 John 3:19-24

17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:17-18

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:13-15

Digger Deeper

The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming again and this time that he is returning in judgment.  Spend some time reading through these passages about the return of Christ, the joy of being in his presence, and prayer.

  • 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • Psalm 66:18
  • Proverbs 15:19
  • Isaiah 59:1-2
  • Daniel 7:13-14
  • Matthew 13:24-30; 24:29-31, 45-41; 25:31-46
  • Luke 11:1-13
  • John 16:23-24
  • 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
  • Ephesians 3:11-12
  • Colossians 3:4
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • James 4:2-3

Digesting the Text

  • When you think about the return of the Lord, what feelings, thoughts, or concerns come to your mind? What is your general response to the truth that Jesus is coming back and this time in judgment?
  • In this series, we have noted that Jon identifies 3 “signs of life.” Can you remember what they are?  Read 1 John 2:23-24 and 5:1-5.  Pastor Will noted in this sermon the significance that these are “signs” of our life in Christ and not the “sources” of our life in Christ.  What did he mean by this?  Why is it significant?  Can you find support for this statement in John’s letter?
  • John writes not only so that we can have confidence before the Lord on the “day of judgment” but so that we can have confidence before the Lord now! How does John encourage us to practice this confidence now?
  • John tells us that we can know that the Lord hears our prayers but places two conditions upon them. What are these two conditions?  Do these conditions obligate or force the Lord to give us what we pray for?  If not, what is the significance of these conditions?
  • What is the condition of your current prayer life? What steps can you take to grow in your prayer life?

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May 17 – Sermon Discussion Guide

Download Love Discussion Guide .pdf Here

Signs of Life: Love

1 John 2:7-11; 3:11-18; 4:7-12

7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:7-11

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  
1 John 3:11-18

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:7-12

Digging Deeper

John tells us that his command that we love is not a new commandment but an old one.  The Bible is filled with testimony of God’s love and his command that we love like him.  Take some time to look up these other passages of Scripture to get a fuller view of God’s command that we love.

  • Leviticus 19:18
  • Matthew 5:21-22
  • John 13:34; 15:12-17
  • Galatians 5:14
  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • James 2:1-9
  • 1 Peter 2:19-23

Digesting the Text

  • What is something that you consider valuable? What is it that determines its value?
  • Take some time to read through the passages from 1 John. Take special notice of the words that John repeats throughout these verses.  What patterns do you see?  What is John trying to communicate to his audience and to us?  What does John indicate has value and what does not?
  • When is a time that you have struggled to love other believers? What are some ways that we tend to close our hearts (1 John 3:17) to someone in need?
  • What was the response of Jesus to our need? Make a list of everything you can think that Jesus sacrificed to serve us in our need and save us from our sin.
  • Pastor Will shared that love and hate are two sides of the same coin, two ends of the same spectrum. When we love one thing, we must hate another.  How does this challenge you to be intentional to love who, what, and how Jesus loves this week?  What are some real steps you can take to love on purpose this week?

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May 10 – Sermon Discussion Guide


Signs of Life – Truth

1 John 2:18-25, 4:1-6, 5:1-13

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
1 John 2:18-25

 1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:1-6

Digging Deeper

The Bible is full of evidence regarding the divine identity of Jesus Christ.  Spend some time looking up these verses and allowing them to give you a fuller understanding of Jesus’s true identity.

  • Daniel 7:13-14
  • Mark 2:10-11
  • Luke 1:35
  • John 1:1-3, 14-18; 12:44-45
  • Philippians 2:6-7
  • Colossians 1:15-20
  • Hebrews 2:16-17

Digesting the Text

  • Who do you think is the greatest threat to the health of the church? Are you more concerned with persecution from outside or corruption from inside the church?  Read Acts 17:10-12.  Why were the Bereans commended?  What does their example have to do with John’s letter and what does it mean for you as individual Christians and church members?
  • What do you think are the claims being made by the antichrists? What are the assuring truths that John gives to counter their false teachings?  What does John want to make clear about the identity of Jesus? 
  • If we “all… know the truth” (2:20) and “do not need anyone to teach” us (2:27) because of our anointing, does this mean that we don’t need preachers and Bible teachers? Why or why not?
  • Would you be able to identify false teaching if you encountered it in a sermon, a book, or a movie? What steps can you take to be better prepared to identify and correct false teachings when they come?
  • What does John mean when he says we must “confess” and “believe” in Jesus? Is this just a mental assent to a truth or is it something more?  If it is more, what do you think it is and how is this confession and belief present in your life?
  • Write down any questions that you might have from these verses or this sermon and discuss them with one another or reach out to Pastor Will for more help.

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April 26 – Sermon Discussion Guide


Establishing a Baseline pt 1: God is Light

1 John 1:5-10; 2:8-11

1 John 1:5-10 (ESV) 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2:8-11 (ESV) 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.  

Digging Deeper

The Bible is filled with references to the themes of light and truth.  Spend some time searching out these passages of Scripture together and see how they help shape our understanding of John’s statement, “God is light.”

  • Job 12:24-25
  • Psalm 119:105, 130
  • Proverbs 4:19
  • Isaiah 5:20
  • John 1:4-5; 3:19-21; 12:35-36; 17:17
  • 2 Corinthians 4:6
  • Ephesians 5:8-9
  • Philippians 2:15
  • 1 John 2:21-22, 27; 3:19; 4:6; 5:6, 20

Digesting the Text

  • In his Gospel, John records Jesus’ conversation with a man named Nicodemus. In that conversation, Jesus said, “the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19) What is the darkness according to Jesus?  What does this teach us about human nature?
  • At the opening of this letter, John summarizes his message with a deceptively simple statement, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) What does John mean by this statement? What does this teach us about the nature of God? 
  • Aside from light representing moral purity, Pastor Will shared that light reveals truth and exposes lies. In these verses above, John identifies the lies being spread and believed by the people with the phrases “If we say…” and “Whoever says…”  What are these lies that John wants to refute with the light of God’s truth?  What is the truth that John speaks against these lies?  How do these lies and truths relate to you personally?
  • Light isn’t merely for our moral and intellectual benefit. Light has the very practical purpose of allowing us to live, move, and function.  John wants us to walk in the light as opposed to the darkness.  Read 1 John 1:7-9.  How can we be walking in light even though we still need to be cleansed of sin?  What then must walking in the light mean if it doesn’t mean that we are morally perfect?
  • Confession is essentially telling the truth, calling something what it is. Is there any part of your life that is still shrouded in the darkness of unconfessed sin?  How can you walk in the light of confession and repentance today and this week?

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April 12 – Sermon Discussion Guide

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Matt. 7.24-27_Foundations, Faulty or Firm

Foundations, Faulty or Firm?

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)

Digging Deeper

The Bible has much to say about obedience.  Take a few moments and look up these passages and discuss them together.

  • Deuteronomy 5:29
  • Psalm 1; 81:13
  • John 14:15, 21
  • Romans 2:13
  • James 1:25
  • Revelation 22:7

Digesting the Text

  • Take a moment to compare the two characters of Jesus’ parable.  What is similar between each?  What sets them apart from one another?
  • It takes hard work and extra time to dig beneath the surface and build a house on the rock instead of the sand.  What are some ways that you prefer the “easy way” in your Christianity?  Are there corners that you might cut in your obedience?
  • No one likes to think of themselves as “deceived” and having built on sand instead of stone.  What are some sandy foundations that you have seen in your own life or in the lives of others? 
  • This current crisis is not the final storm but it is a good opportunity for us to check our foundation.  How has this season encouraged you to examine your obedience to Jesus and your relationship with him, with his word, with his church?
  • Take a moment of honesty and vulnerability.  Are there commands of Christ that you do not like or that you find difficult to obey?  How can you come together as a family or a group of friends to support each other in these known areas of weakness?
  • How does the gospel’s message that Jesus’s perfect obedience and not our disobedience or incomplete obedience will be the firm foundation for all those who have put their faith in Jesus motivate you to be more obedient instead of less?


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March 22 – Sermon Discussion Guide


Faith in Anxious Times

Sunday, March 22, 2020

1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV)

6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11  To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Dig Deeper

The Bible has much to say about anxiety. Spend some time searching out these other passages of Scripture related to fear and anxiety.

Psalm 37:3-7     
Psalm 55:22     
Proverbs 12:25; 14:30; 17:22     
Matthew 6:25     
Philippians 4:6-7

Digesting the Text

  • Where do you see and feel anxiety in the midst of this current crisis? Go deeper than the current crisis, what worries do you carry in your day-to-day life?
  • Peter commands us to humble ourselves by casting our anxieties upon the Lord (vv. 6-7). From these verses, why is God worthy of our humility and our trust?
  • What does casting your anxieties upon the Lord look like for you? How can you begin or continue to trust the Lord with your circumstances this week?
  • Peter warns us about our enemy (v. 8). What is the devil’s intention for believers? How do you remain vigilant against the devil in your life? How should you begin to be vigilant moving forward?
  • Where are you seeing the influence of the devil in your heart and our society due to this crisis? How can you resist his influence in your life and in our society?
  • Peter calls believers to stand in faith with the knowledge that we are not alone? What responsibility do you feel for the faith of other believers? What strength do you draw from the fact that we are not experiencing these times of crisis alone? Who in your life needs the encouragement that these verses bring?
  • Peter encourages us by reminding us that the God of grace himself is the powerful God who will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” us. How does the knowledge that God is not distant but intimately involved in our suffering encourage you in this time of crisis?
  • Peter ends these verses in worship. Spend time in prayer praising God for his power and thanking him for his presence and the grace he has given you in Jesus Christ.

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