We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Nov. 26th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.
- What are the different parts of the body of Christ? For example, someone who preaches could be considered the “mouth.” What other roles do members of the body play?
- Paul seems to be encouraging people by reminding them that everyone has a role to play in God’s plan. Why is this something of which we need to be reminded?
Paul wants his readers to know that they all have a specific role to play in the church’s mission. We have all been given personalities and abilities that make us uniquely suited to serve the purpose of evangelizing the world. Sometimes, however, we feel as though we will never live up to the precedent that others have set. We decide that our prayers aren’t eloquent enough, or that we aren’t truly faithful if we don’t give up our possessions and move to Africa to minister to an unreached people group. However, the story of Jesus healing a paralytic explains to us that we all have a role to play, regardless of the “level” of talent we have.
- In verse four, the men encounter a roadblock, but simply find a way around it. What are some roadblocks we come upon when spreading the gospel?
- How do you think the various characters felt at different points during the story:
- The four friends when they saw the daunting crowd.
- The paralytic when being brought up on to the roof.
- Jesus, as the paralytic is being lowered down to Him.
- It would have been far easier for these men to simply say “let’s just wait in line” or “maybe we’ll catch Jesus the next time he is in town, rather than go through the hassle of climbing onto the roof and doing what they did. Why do you think they chose the hard way?
- What do you consider your role in the body of Christ to be?
- Have you ever encountered a roadblock when you attempted to share the gospel with someone? How did you get around it?
- Who is someone that you have hesitated to talk to about Jesus, and why?
A major new idea that Jesus brought to the followers of God was the concept of “gentile inclusion,” that is, that salvation wasn’t to be kept to the Jews anymore! Instead the whole world was not included in the church’s mission to expand the Kingdom of God.
Things haven’t changed. While it is easy to say “I agree, the world needs to know Jesus” it is much harder to get around our own personal concept of who is worthy of evangelism. Sometimes, we just can’t stand a coworker and don’t want to talk them more than needed. Sometimes, we’re holding a grudge against someone who used to be a friend.
However, the culture of the church needs to work against the culture of the world. Rather than putting our own desires and opinions first, and expecting to be served, we need to see others as more important than ourselves, and realize the urgency with which we should be spreading the gospel to all people!
Pray for your role in the body of Christ to be revealed to you, and for opportunities to play that role. Pray for opportunities to stretch your comfort zone, to live out the fact that everyone in the world is deserving of the gospel of Jesus Christ.Tags: Step Up, Study Guide, Week Four