1. We started by talking about our tendency to take events & people from Scripture & read them as we want them to be.
A: What are examples where people have taken a Biblical event/person & “Hallmarked it”, cleaned it up & taken the meaning out of it?
B: What are ways/traditions that you can incorporate into your life to help you understand the Christmas account from a Biblical perspective?
2. We then went through the passage & focused on the shocking aspects of v. 15.
A: We first talked about how the timing of v. 15 is shocking. God announces grace, rescue & a promise in the midst of judgement. What does this announcement of good in the midst of bad show us about the character & nature of God?
B: When then talked about the shocking news that the rescue would come from “her offspring” & points to the virgin birth. Before we get into all the implications of the virgin birth, how important did you think it was to believe in the virgin birth prior to Sunday’s message?
C: We then went into details of why the virgin birth matters. We heard that without it: Jesus would not be God & instead a liar, the Bible would be a fraud, no one would receive grace/forgiveness, the penalty for sin would still be upon us & Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross would be worthless. Which of these implications impacted you the most, led you to praise God for the virgin birth? Which of these implications would you like to study more, examine how it connects to the person & work of Christ in greater detail?
D: We then talked about a shocking quality of the one born of a virgin: He is a Man of War. How do you reconcile the idea that Jesus is a Man of War with Jesus being the one who delivers peace? Why is it important to embrace both of these qualities of Jesus? What happens if you neglect one or the other?
E: We heard that Jesus came to make war with Satan, our sin, & even death itself. How does Jesus’ vanquishing of all 3 give us hope as the people of God?
F: We ended by being called to give unadulterated, unceasing adoration to God. What does it look like for us to give sincere praise in every circumstance?