PHILLIPIANS SG Wk16, Saints and Sinners

Pastor Steve Taylor Small Groups

Bible study logoSaints and Sinners

Remembering and reclaiming what matters most.

PHILLIPIANS SG Wk16

Note to leaders: Do not feel that you have to use every question.  Pick and choose as the Spirit leads you but don’t skip over the first question in the discussion from the message!

Warm Up: Where do you typically find images of the saints? How comfortable would you feel being called a “saint”?

Background: Contrary to what many people think, saints are not stain-glassed images found in church windows nor are they NFL football players from New Orleans. Saints are everyday Christians who are called out and set apart for God’s purposes in the world. Although the church isn’t generally comfortable referring to itself as saints, it should be. “Saints” was the most common term used to describe those who call themselves Christians and church members by the Apostle Paul and for good reason.

Text: Phil. 4:21-23

  • Why does Paul go out of his way to make sure that every believer in the church receives his greeting?
  • What sets the saints apart from the rest of humanity?
  • Who were the “brothers” who were standing with Paul while he was in prison (2:19, 25)? What has it cost them to identify with Paul during his imprisonment?
  • Do you find it surprising that the gospel had reached into Caesar’s household? To whom was Paul referring?
  • How would you define grace? How important is grace to your daily walk as a Christian? In what ways?

From the Message:

  • What spoke to you the most from the message and why? What challenged you the most? Don’t rush by this!
  • This morning Pastor Steve said, “The church is an inclusive body where every member matters.” Is this more true in theory than it is in practice? Why or why not?
  • How inclusive are you in your efforts to minister to and bear the burdens of your brothers and sisters at McConnell? What makes it difficult? How would you go about improving it?
  • Read Eph. 4:12 (NCV). Pastor Steve said, “No one can do the work of ministry alone.” How would you activate the membership at McConnell for service?
  • Pastor Steve said, “Your circumstances cannot hinder your usefulness to God… but your attitude can.” How so?
    • According to what Pastor Steve talked about this morning, how can your circumstances work for the good of others? How does this impact how you view hardship or less than ideal circumstances?

Reflect: Saints are sinners who are continually being shaped by God’s grace to become more like Jesus day by day. Our whole life is Christ. If you get nothing else of our study through Philippians, I hope and pray that you get that one simple truth. As believers, we are called by Christ, saved by Christ, commanded to have the mind of Christ, instructed to serve the way Christ served, and called to become like Christ. That’s the message: to be like Jesus. Although we are saints, we are not yet all we should be. But we should be moving to become more like the One who calls us saints a little more each day.