1. We went verse by verse through the calls to radically distinct living for God, so let’s work our way through the questions in the same manner.
A: In v. 14, we see how our treatment of those that persecute will look differently. This type of response is called for by Jesus in Matthew 5:43-44 & embodied both by Jesus at the crucifixion as well as by Stephen in Acts. How does responding to persecution by blessing others rather than cursing others make the gospel shine brightly? What are other examples that you’ve seen of Christians living gospel-rooted lives in the face of difficulty?
B: In v. 15, we are to celebrate with those that are celebrating…but this can be challenging as many of us may identify with the Older Son of Luke 15. Look at Luke 15:25-30…what are ways that this kind of Older Son behavior & mentality can creep into our lives today?
C: The second half of v. 15 leads us to consider our compassion towards others. What are avenues that you can care for those walking through difficult moments?
D: Verse 16 says a lot about how we are to treat others & also how to view others as well as ourselves. How does the gospel message give us a sense of understanding that value of all types of people? How does the gospel message give us a foundation for how we are to view ourselves accurately?
E: Verse 17 challenges us to consider how to publicly do good towards those that hurt us, to seek reconciliation rather than revenge. One platform for this was given in the message: marriage. How can marriage be a platform for displaying the gospel in how spouses treat one another? What are other platforms for displaying reconciliation in light of the gospel?
F: We talked about the need to build bridges rather than walls in v. 18. The illustration was given of baking cookies for a neighbor, what are other ways you can be a person who intentionally builds bridges of peace with those at odds with you?
G: We see in v. 19 that there is no time in the Christian life for revenge, that we are to refrain from revenge & be confident that God will deal with the situation perfectly. The passage connects our view of God with the way we think & act towards others, how has the gospel impacted your thinking & treatment of the people in your life?
H: In v. 20-21, we see that putting into action what is called for in v. 14 leads to gospel inroads, gospel conversations. We see that we are to overcome evil with good…so what are ways that we can be marked by the type of goodness that is stronger & better than evil?
2. We ended with a few questions & an encouragement.
A: We were asked to consider who in our life we need to forgive. So have you taken the time to truly forgive that person? What does forgiveness of that person look like?
B: We were also asked to consider who we need forgiveness from. Have you taken that step of asking for forgiveness?
C: Finally we were encouraged that God’s grace is greater than our sin & His power is strong enough to empower us to live radically distinct lives…what changes when we recognize the greatness of God in His grace & His power?