Study Questions: Zephaniah 1

This study relates to the sermon: God’s Love Seen Through Judgement

  1. Zephaniah starts his prophecy telling us his family background (1:1); he is a fourth-generation descendant of King Hezekiah (King of Judah from 715-686BC).  Does this pedigree matter to you?  Why or why not? 
  2. His opening words of prophecy tells of a terrible judgment to come: “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth” (1:2).  It closes on the “day of the Lord” when God “will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth” (1:18).  This just might be the harshest, most universal judgment announcement in the Bible.  How does this make you feel?  How does this make you feel about God?
  3. God is clearly a little upset with Judah.  What has Judah done wrong? (see 1:4-6)
  4. Why is this book relevant to Christians today? On Sunday we talked through a lot of application for us today – what did that include?

 

Bullet points – A study on Matthew 5:6-8

This study is based on the sermon: Need an attitude adjustment?

Reading: Matthew 5:6-8

  1. How do you feel when the Lord reminds you through His Word, or a sermon about a need to change your attitude?
  2. Verse 6:
    1. what does it mean to hunger and thirst?
    2. what might cause us to lose our appetite for God, and the things of God?
    3. how can that be remedied?
  3. Verse 7:
    1. what is mercy?
    2. what is the condition on us being shown mercy?
    3. what if we don’t feel merciful?
  4. Verse 8:
    1. what does a pure heart look like?
    2. how can you have a pure heart?
    3. what does it mean to see God; is that a promise for now or for the future?
  5. Homework: ask the Lord to show you any areas in your life where there needs to be an ‘attitude adjustment’, and follow that up with a commitment to let Him do that work with you and for you.

Feasts of Israel – Study 4

Study based on Gordon’s sermon: Jewish Feasts Part 4 – Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Reading: Leviticus 23:26-32

  1.  Leviticus 16 contains instructions for the priest on the Day of Atonement. Why do you think Aaron needed to make atonement for himself before making atonement for the people? (see vv 11–14). How is this step different from when Christ performed His Atonement? (Hebrews 9: 6-15)
  2. Why did Aaron need two goats? (see vv. 6–10). How do both goats (the one used for the offering and the one used as the scapegoat) represent Christ and His Atonement? (see vv. 20–22).
  3. Using Hebrews 10 vv1-18 compare the work of the High Priest with that of Christ in achieving atonement.
  4. Discuss the effects of Christ’s finished work of Atonement, past (sins forgiven), present (no condemnation) and future (We shall be like Him).

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

Feasts of Israel – Study 1

The Jewish Calendar

Study based on the sermon: Jewish Feasts part 1

Reading: Leviticus 23:1-14

  1. What does it mean to keep the Sabbath? How might we either be too legalistic or too liberal in this?
  2. Are these feasts in Leviticus 23 really relevant to us today? If so how, and why don’t we celebrate them within the modern church?
  3. As a group discuss each of the first three feasts; how are they a reminder of past things and in which ways do they speak of things that were to come.
  4. In the sermon we looked at the dates of Passover, preparation, selecting the sacrifice etc. and how the prophecies of Daniel 9, Psalm 118 and Zechariah 9, Luke 11:29 form part of the picture. Discuss how all of this fits together in God’s plan, how tradition has confused things and what this might teach us about the importance of studying the whole of scripture.
  5. Please use the points below to guide you in a time of prayer.

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

Micah 6 – A Study

Note to leaders: As with all studies, please don’t feel you must cover all questions, fine if you can, but rather take a few of the questions and do them justice that rush through 🙂

If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: God doesn’t want your religion

Read Through Micah 6

  1. Why are the mountains called as witnesses? And who does the Lord ask to state their case?
  2. What is the Lord’s charge? In verse 3? What does it mean?
  3. Look back in your bibles at each reminder the Lord gives, why should have Israel remembered?
  4. In verse 6 and 7 look at the people’s questions, what do you notice about them? Discuss The Lord’s answer.
  5. What does it mean that we should fear the Lord?
  6. Where are the key lessons for us in this chapter today – how should we apply those lessons in our lives?

Micah 2 – Study Questions

A study on Micah Chapter 2

Here is the sermon if you missed it: God wouldn’t do that… Would He?

  1. To gather a bit of context, before taking a look through Micah 2, read through Leviticus 25: 8-34 and Exodus 20:1-17. As a group chat through those passages and clear up any queries group members might have;
  2. Read the first 11 verses if Micah and in the light of the Leviticus and Exodus passages, discuss:
    • verses 1-2 who was Micah addressing – how could it apply to Ely in 2016?
    • verses 3-5 God lays out what will happen, how come all the people are affected, even the few who have been faithful? What do group members feel about God’s response?
    • verses 6-11 What was going on here? Why were the people responding that way? (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3);
  3. Read the last verses (12 – 13) These verses seem to be at odds with the other verses, but the do fit in both technically and theologically, can the group work out how? (don’t give too much time on this :)). Read through John chapter 10and consider what this prophecy is pointing to, both in the near future (to Micah’s time), and further on.

A Committed Christian?

So often in our Christian lives we spend inordinate amounts of time talking about prayer, wanting to seek the Lord and do His will; which I believe are great sentiments, but as we approach the end of the year I’m drawn back to some words we used at the start of our year in our covenant service, words which were borrowed from a great puritan called Richard Alleine:

I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly give all things to you. Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. This my covenant with you my God, made here on earth, let it be confirmed in heaven. Amen

Why not take that prayer again, study it, meditate on it, discuss it and consider: as individuals, and as Christ’s Church, have we yet made this prayer our own? How can we encourage one another, and what is the Lord asking of us as individuals walking in covenant with Him? If studying in a group: spend a good time in prayer seeking the Lord for each other and the wider Church. When studying alone: also, of course, pray through the issues that arise in your heart.

Love beyond

You might want to take a look at our Introduction to the Minor Prophets and check out the sermon that accompanies this study: Hosea and the local tart.

Reading Hosea 1-2

  1. What do we know about Hosea (family, time of ministry, who was ministering at the same time, where was he etc.)?
  2. How do you think Hosea’s relationship with God was before his marriage, and when he was called to prophesy in the way he was what kind of thoughts and reactions might he have had?
  3. What does the way we live our lives show others about our relationship with God?
  4. Chapter 1: verse 7 – discuss the different attitudes of Israel and Judah (at least at that time)
  5. Chapter 1: verses 10 and 11 – what have we seen so far of this happening in our era?
  6. Chapter 2: verses 6 to 16 – God will often use our sin to bring us to the lowest point and back to him – why should Christians be wary of trying to ‘protect’ people in these situations?

Characters on the way…

If you missed the sermon you can pick it up here: Believing AND Following

Read Luke 23: 26-43

  1. As you read through the passage, consider the various characters we meet along the way and for each of the characters discuss:
    1. What do we know about them (maybe from other passages)?
    2. Did Jesus talk to them?
    3. Do we know how they responded to Jesus?
  2. What do the various things that happen and are said in this passage teach us about:
    1. Our own faith;
    2. Humility;
    3. Christs love;
    4. Sharing the gospel?
  3. What is the difference between intellectual belief and following Jesus?

Does Jesus Know You?

For this weeks sermon click here: Does Jesus Know You?

Readings: Luke 19:28-19:44 Matthew 7:21-7:23

  1. Read Luke 19:28-19:44; discuss what you know about what was going on in this account from Luke (much of the usual focus on this was missed from the sermon, but if you need more background refer to older sermons on Palm Sunday online, check out other accounts and cross references to other scripture).
  2. Talk through the implications of how the tail end of this reading fits in with Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:21-7:23.
  3. Consider how we ought to be applying this and why so often people coast along in church without making that commitment to Christ?
  4. There is a prophecy here: EU Brexit?  please read it and discuss it as a group.

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