SG Guide, Wk 8 Work It Out

Pastor Steve TaylorLife Groups

Bible study logoWorking It Out  Holding out the light of faith



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: Who are you like in the morning: Big Bird or Oscar the Grouch?

Background: Mark Twain wrote, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” Perhaps the thing most annoying about a good example is our inability to accomplish the same achievements in our own lives. Admiration for a great person can inspire us, but it cannot enable us. Unless the person can enter into our own lives and share his skills, we cannot attain to his heights of accomplishment. It takes more than an example on the outside; it takes power on the inside.

Paul has just spent eleven verse trying to persuade the Philippians to imitate their Lord and Savior Jesus when it comes to dealing with others; especially those within the body of Christ. Now, Paul tells us how. We are to let what God has put into us shine out through us to a watching world that desperately needs to see what God can do in us.

Text: Phil. 2:12-18

  • Who does Paul sound like in this passage: Your dad? Army sergeant? Coach at halftime?
  • How hard was it for you to be obedient when no one was watching as a child? How about now?
  • What does it mean for you to “work out your salvation”? How’s that going right now? (see also vs. 2:1-4)
  • What is God’s responsibility and what is yours for achieving His good purpose in your life?
  • What task is most difficult for you to do without “grumbling and arguing”?
  • How encouraging is it to know that God will supply us with both the want to and the power to do his will?

From the Message:

  • Pastor Steve asked, “Are you willing to do God’s will with no strings attached?” Why do we usually want to put conditions on our obedience; especially when it involves others who we think are in the wrong?
  • Pastor Steve said, “Salvation starts when you accept Jesus but it never ends there.” If this is true, what should this look like your life? In the church?
  • What spoke to you the most from the message and why? What challenged you the most? Don’t rush by this!
  • How can “conditional obedience” lead to grumbling and arguing in the body or in your home? What’s the cure?
  • If Paul believed that “We are different to make a difference,” how much of a difference are you currently making? How did Pastor Steve say you let someone know they are using a “crooked stick or standard?” Is it possible for a Christian to be neutral on important cultural issues?       At what price?
  • Pastor Steve asked, ”What’s going to matter most when we stand before Christ?” How would you answer this?
  • What does “doing your part” to keep peace and harmony in the church look like for you? When are you most tempted to just let someone else worry about it?

Reflect: The change we seek must start with us. The world can ignore our arguments, but it cannot ignore a godly example. There is no answer for a life, a marriage, a church, or a family transformed by God’s Spirit. What happens when we live like that? People will see the way we live, they will notice the difference, the light of Christ will be seen in us, and when they ask us the reason for the way we live, we can share the word of life with them.

So that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23 (NIV)