Sermon Notes April 20 and 23

Primary Scripture:

55 times in the OT and NT, God invites us to repent.
Here are a sample of scriptures:

Ezekiel 18:30
“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.

Matthew 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Luke 13:5
I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord

Repentance is not something God demands of you before He will take you back, it is simply a description of what going back is like. —C.S. Lewis

Discussion Questions:
Over and over again, all through the Bible, the command to REPENT.

1. When you think of “repent” do you think of it as negative or positive? Why? What has caused this reaction in you?

2. During the message, we said, “Repentance is: Changing your mind. Testing your assumptions against God’s truth. Turning back toward God and away from self. Believing the better news. Rejecting the news you thought was good news that actually leads to death.  Naming a lie you’ve believed for years that is at odds with the truth.” Of course this is not an exhaustive list. Does anything on this list cause a reaction? What would you add on to this list?

3. In the message, we showed how repentance is less about being yelled at and threatened by an angry God and more like looking at what you count on for your life to go well. We trust so many things to make sure our life goes well, but those things aren’t trust worthy – they’ll destroy us, and Jesus invites us to repent and trust him instead. What do you think of this way of looking at repentance?

4. Do you have any examples of necessary repentance in your own life that you’d like to share?

5. Will William says, “Jesus doesn’t meet our needs; he rearranges them. He cares very little about most things that I assume are my needs, and he gives me needs that I would’ve never had if I hadn’t met Jesus. He reorders them.” What is your reaction to this quote? How might Jesus ‘rearranging our needs’ be a form of repentance? How about Jesus giving us needs we wouldn’t have if we’d never met him?

6.  We talked about how repentance is not a “one and done” experience, but an ongoing habit. What do you think about this concept?

7. One of the wider culture’s issues with Christians is our seeming smugness/moral superiority. How might our posture change if we lived the reality that repentance isn’t a one time, past tense experience, but a daily reality?

8. Questions for ongoing repentance:

Have I ever asked God to forgive my sins and come into my life?

Have I ever publicly identified with God through baptism?

Is there an area of my life today where I am trusting ‘self’ with instead of trusting God?

Do I have a secret habit that I’ve been trying to manage on my own?

Is there a hardship in my life that I am worrying about but cannot control?

Am I telling myself a story that isn’t true that God can free me from?

Is there a lie I didn’t even know I was living out of that the truth can set me free from?