SERMON DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
SOVEREIGN: The Pledge of Judah and the Plan of God || OCTober 21st, 2018
As a group, recap Joseph's story to this point.
What is a covenant? How do the covenants found in the Old Testament (both before and after Joseph's life) help us understand this narrative?
Why does Joseph test his brothers?
How do we see God's provision for his chosen family in Genesis 45?
As we zoom out from the immediate context of Genesis 44-45, what do we learn about God's character? How should we respond?
SOVEREIGN: FROM FAMINE TO FEAST || OCTOBER 14TH, 2018
As a group, recap the Joseph story up to this point.
How is God's providence seen in chapters 42 and 43?
How do the brothers respond to Joseph's tests?
Think about the rest of Genesis. How does God use Joseph to preserve his family?
How has your own sin affected the way you see God's mercy?
How can you embrace God's mercy this week?
SOVEREIGN: THE PLAN FOR THE PAIN || OCTOBER 7TH, 2018
As a group, quickly recap Joseph's story thus far.
Up until now, have there been any indicators that God has a plan in Joseph's life?
Sometimes we can gloss over theological words without really thinking about their meaning. As a group, define providence, and then speak of other areas in Scripture where we see God's providence.
How does God use Joseph to save his people?
What parallels do we see between Joseph and Jesus?
Think about your own life. Is there a plan for the pain?
SOVEREIGN: PROVIDENCE IN PRISON || SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2018
Look back at the last few chapters. As a group, recap Joseph's life thus far in our story.
How is Joseph faithful in spite of his circumstances?
What does this chapter tell us about the providence of God?
Imagine that you don't know the end of Joseph's story. What might Joseph be feeling in the midst of being sold into slavery and then thrown into prison?
How can you trust God and his providence this week?
SOVEREIGN: THE GOD-MADE MAN || SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2018
Recap the Joseph narrative thus far. What sticks out to you?
It can be easy to read about slavery and prison and not realize the gravity of Joseph's circumstances. Take a few moments to discuss what life would be like under his circumstances.
Read verses 1-6, and then 21-23. What similarities do we see? How does this help us see the point of this text?
As you read the narrative again, look for all the times God is mentioned. What do we see?
Think about your own life and circumstances. How do you need to remember God's presence with you this week?
SOVEREIGN: Don’t try this at home || SEPTEMBER 16th, 2018
Who is Judah? What do we know about him at this point in the story?
What do we know about Judah from later in Genesis?
What does it mean that God is sovereign?
Think about the fact that these characters are in the family line of Jesus. Is this frustrating to you? Comforting? Explain.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. How can you respond to God's work this week?
SOVEREIGN: The Rest of the Story… || SEPTEMBER 9th, 2018
Give a few examples of click bait. How has that shaped our current world?
Think back to previous chapters. Who is Jacob? What do we know about he and his family? And how does that shape our reading of this narrative?
How do we see the sinfulness of man in these verses? Be specific.
Try to put yourself in Joseph's shoes. How would you respond to these circumstances? How would you view God's providence in these times?
What are the headlines in your life? How can you make sure to see the entire story?
Sovereign: scene change || september 2nd, 2018
What stands out from our previous series in Genesis?
Go back and read Genesis 28. What does this tell us about Jacob's relationship with God, and how does this help us with today's text?
Why does God change Jacob's name to Israel? What did Israel go on to become?
What is the promise of God? Have we heard this promise before?
What does Jacob's family history about them, God, and this promise?
What does it mean for God to be sovereign? How can you respond to God's sovereignty today?
Psalms: The Enemies || August 26th, 2018
Define "Imprecatory Psalms." (Use a search engine if necessary).
What do we know about the situation this Psalm is written in, and how does that help us understand it?
As Jake said, we see two fulfillments of this Psalm. Explain and discuss both, and how we see them.
How should we respond to our enemies today?
What is the difference between "our enemy" and "enemies of God's kingdom?"
As it relates to this, are there areas where you need to repent and forgive?
Psalms: Waiting Well || August 19th, 2018 || East vancouver campus
In your group, recap David's life. Then read Psalm 40. What sticks out?
Think about the idea of "waiting" in Western civilization. How do or don't we wait well?
In reading Psalm 40, what is clear about David's relationship with God?
Think about your upcoming week. How can you wait on God this week?
Psalms: Oh, Taste and See! || August 19th, 2018 || Camas/Washougal campus
Read 1 Samuel 21 and 22. How does this background knowledge help us understand this text?
What does it mean to "bless the Lord at all times?"
How does David respond when his circumstances are less than ideal?
In your group, discuss your life circumstances. Brainstorm ways that you can remember to taste and see God's goodness this week.
PSALMS: Off roading || AUGUST 12th, 2018
Re-read the first three stanzas of this poem. What have we learned thus far?
These verses are about responding to our sin. How does what we know about David's life help us understand these verses?
How does the Psalmist respond to their sin?
How does the Psalmist respond after repenting?
What blueprint do we find in these verses regarding our response to our sin?
PSALMS: I NEED IT || AUGUST 5th, 2018
What do we know about the form of this long poem, and how can this help us understand its meaning?
Go back and read the first 16 verses of Psalm 119 (and feel free to revisit Sam's sermon notes on these texts). What is the theme of this chapter?
In his introduction, Sam talked about the difference between a want and a need. Give some examples of both wants and needs. How do we see wants and needs in this text?
Define "sojourner." Do you ever feel like a sojourner? Why or why not?
We need God's word. How can you show your need for God's word, and respond to God's word, this week?
PSALMS: WHO IS THIS KING OF GLORY? || JULY 29th, 2018
What do we know about the context of this Psalm? Who wrote it, and when did he write it?
Define "glory." How does this help us understand this text?
Read the question in verse 3, and then the answer in verse 4. How does this answer make you feel? Adequate? Inadequate? Why?
Go through the New Testament verses in the sermon notes. How do these change your perspective of the answer to the previous question?
How can you respond to this text this week?
Psalms: The Gracious Guardrail || july 22nd, 2018 || East vancouver campus
Re-read verses 1-8. What truths found in these verses have you reflected on and responded to these past few weeks?
What are the guardrails found in verses 1-8?
According to verses 9-16, in what three ways should we respond to these guardrails?
How have you exhibited the character found in these verses, specifically as it relates to these three ways?
In what ways can you grow in these three ways? Be specific about steps you can take to remind yourself of the truth of these verses.
Psalms: Why Joy? || july 22nd, 2018 || camas/washougal campus
Re-read Psalm 30. What circumstances in life likely caused King David to pen these words?
Find all the things in this Psalm that cause the Psalmist joy. Discuss.
Gavin mentioned "fake joy" or "Christianese joy." How can we guard against these?
According to John Piper, “The reason we can always rejoice in God is not because the Christian life is an easy life. It isn’t. The reason is that the glory of God is great beyond all imagining, and in Jesus Christ it is rock sure.” How can we respond to this truth this week?
Psalms: His Presence = My Assurance || july 15th, 2018
What do you know about being a shepherd? How does this knowledge inform our reading of Psalm 23?
Think about the life of David. How does his biography inform our reading of Psalm 23?
What does this text have to say about fear? How can you apply this?
Though this text was written long before Jesus walked the earth, it is important to read this text in light of Jesus' work. How does doing this shape our understanding of the passage?
How can you rest in his assurance this week?
Psalms: THE GOD WHO CARES || july 8th, 2018 || East vancouver campus
Questions Coming Soon
Psalms: IT's all about perspective || july 8th, 2018 || camas/washougal campus
Read the entire chapter of Psalm 37 together. What are the main themes?
How have you seen the wicked prosper?
When you have seen the wicked prosper, what has been your response?
Think of the ways mentioned that we can change our perspective. How can you implement them this week?
Psalms: A Walk on the way || july 1st, 2018
Read all of Psalm 119 together. What major themes do you see?
What comes to mind when you hear "God's law?" What do you think would've come to the minds of the original Hebrew audience?
What is the blameless way?
What can we learn from the Psalmist regarding a longing for the law of the Lord? Do you have this longing?
How can you walk in the law of the Lord this week?
the sexual ethic: Living in Denial || june 24th, 2018
How does Romans 1:16-17 help frame the verses of today's text?
Define "righteousness." Use Old Testament examples, a dictionary, and your previous knowledge to discuss this term.
Multiple times in this text, people "exchange" something from God for something else. Look through these exchanges. What similarities do you see?
How does this text fly in the face of the views of our current culture?
How should we love those in our lives who practice homosexuality
the sexual ethic: god's story || june 17th, 2018
Where do we first see marriage in the Bible?
What does it mean for two to become one?
How was marriage originally broken? How is it broken today?
What is God's design for marriage today?
If you're married, how can you respond to today's message?
If you're not married, how can you respond?
the sexual ethic: Fig Leaves and Animal Skins || june 10th, 2018
Think back to last week. How does Genesis 1 give us a framework for sexuality?
Read Genesis 2:25. Can you imagine such a world? Why or why not?
After the "fall" scene at the beginning of chapter 3, Adam and Eve suddenly feel shame. How do you relate to their response?
What is God's response to Adam and Eve? What does this tell us about God's character?
How can our sexuality be redeemed? Pray together that God would continue his redeeming work in the lives of those who are his church.
the sexual ethic: The Beauty and the Blessing || june 3rd, 2018
How does our modern culture define sex and sexuality? Discuss the framework behind these definitions.
How does Genesis 1 inform our understanding of sex and sexuality?
How does the creation account affect how you live out your sexuality?
In your own circles, how have you seen a biblical sexual ethic play out? How have you seen deviation from it?
How can we effectively love those whose sexual ethic differs from our own?
Prophets & The voice of god: Haggai || MAY 27th, 2018
Discuss the moment in history of this story. How does this knowledge help us understand the message?
What is the message of the prophet in these texts?
How were the Israelites responding to the call to rebuild the temple?
As Jake said, is what you are putting your tears and sweat and life and work into- is it something that is going to disappear?
Take stock of your own life, with the help of the community around you. Are you laboring in vain or for glorious gain?
Prophets & The voice of god: In The Valley of Dry Bones || MAY 20th, 2018
Where was Ezekiel when God gives him this vision? Where are God's people? And why is this important?
Look at chapters 34-36. How do they help us understand this text?
What do the dry bones signify?
What does God's Spirit do to these dry bones?
What does this Old Testament text mean for us today?
Prophets & The voice of god: The Call || MAY 13th, 2018
What was the role of the Old Testament prophets?
What do we know about the circumstances in which Jeremiah lived?
Think about Jeremiah's age. What is your response to God calling such a young man?
What is Jeremiah's response to God?
dWhat is God's response back to Jeremiah? What does this show us about the character of God?
What is our response to this text? How can you live out the call to proclaim God's word?
Prophets & The voice of god: MOTIVATED || MAY 6th, 2018
What was the role of the Old Testament prophets?
In this passage, Isaiah sees a vision of God. What do we learn about God from this vision?
What is Isaiah's response to this vision?
Why does the seraphim touch Isaiah's mouth with the burning coal?
Read verse 8. What should our response be to this text?
Prophets & The voice of god: the center of it all || APRIL 29th, 2018
Why is this book called Hebrews? What does this knowledge tell us about the original audience of the book?
Who were the prophets? What was their message?
Think like the author: why would he begin his book declaring the supremacy of Christ?
Look again at our main idea. What does this mean for us today?
JAMES: THE REFLEX OF A HUMBLE HEART || APRIL 22ND, 2018
Think about James as a whole. What have been his main themes?
According to this text, why is the church community important?
What is the correlation between prayer and faith?
How can you respond to the call to humble yourself and pray?
JAMES: Patience: Waiting for the King || APRIL 15th, 2018
What three examples of patience are given, and how do these examples show us a different aspect of faithful perseverance and endurance?
In what ways and for what reasons does James explain Jesus' second coming as a comfort and a caution?
How can we personally grow in our patient endurance and faith in the face of suffering?
JAMES: WHO ARE YOU? || APRIL 8th, 2018
What did we learn about humility from our last passage in James (March 25th)?
What does James say about judging each other?
Verses 13-17 fly in the face of what our modern culture sees as the norm. Discuss this tension.
What does this passage say about our money?
This is a very convicting passage. Discuss the ways you can grow from examining these words.
EASTER SUNDAY: THE END OF THE STORY || APRIL 1ST, 2018
Reflect on Good Friday. Why does the church refer to this brutally violent day as "good?"
What is the promise in 2 Corinthians 4:13-15?
What hope can those suffering find in this passage?
What is the "eternal" hope talked about in verse 18?
The message of Easter found in 2 Corinthians 4 demands a response. How will you respond today?
JAMES: GRACE ON A DONKEY || MARCH 25th, 2018
Who comes to mind when you think of humility?
How is worldly humility different than biblical humility?
Reread the six ways we resist the devil (from the sermon notes). Which of these is a struggle for you?
Knowing yourself and your tendencies, take a few minutes to think through how you could pray for more humility.
JAMES: LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG GOD || MARCH 18th, 2018
Think about James so far. How have we seen humanity's sinfulness in this letter?
Along the same lines, how have we seen God's grace?
What caused James writes out the list of sins in verses 1-4?
How does God remedy our inability to live sinless?
This week, how should you pray? Think about specific ways you can ask God's spirit to give you grace for holy living.
JAMES: WISDOM || MARCH 11th, 2018
Why would James follow a passage about the tongue with a call to wisdom?
What does earthly wisdom look like according to this text? How does this translate to 2018?
What does this text have to say about the presence of God?
How should we, as followers of Jesus, seek wisdom?
JAMES: THE TEACHER AND THE TONGUE || MARCH 4th, 2018
Think about James 1 and 2. Why might the author begin talking about the tongue now?
Look at James 3:2. Does this "perfect man" seem obtainable? Why or why not?
What do all the examples in 3:3-5. What do each of these examples have in common?
Define "duplicity." How do we see this with our speech? Do you see this in your speech?
Think about the past seven days. Are there ways that you've glorified God with your tongue? Are there ways you have sinned?
JAMES: true faith (part two) || February 25th, 2018
What did we learn last week about faith and works?
Why would James bring up Abraham and Rahab in a discussion about faith and works?
Does there need to be a dichotomy between faith and works? Why or why not?
How can you respond to this text? Do you have a need? Can you meet a need?
JAMES: true faith (part one) || February 18th, 2018
Think about our study of James thus far. What have we learned about faith?
Discuss the question raised in verse 14: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Based on this text, what is true faith?
How does this text call us to respond? Think about real actions you can take this week in response to God's word.
JAMES: Lord, have mercy || February 11th, 2018
Look at last week's text (the beginning of James 2). How is this week's text a continuation of last week?
According to this text, how does our salvation affect the way we treat people?
What is judgment? How does this play out under the New Covenant?
What does this text have to say about the way we interact with those around us?
JAMES: keep the faith, lose the folly || February 4th, 2018
Read the end of James 1. Is there a correlation between the orphans and widows in chapter 1 and the passage on favoritism in chapter 2?
What does this passage say about the image of God as seen in humanity?
How can we fight against favoritism in the local church today?
Reflect on your own life. Do you find favoritism/discrimination? If so, how can you pray? What steps can you take rid your life of this sin?
James: To Be The Church || january 28th, 2018
What role does the Word of God play in our pursuit of being the church?
How can we faithfully “receive” the Word of God?
What does it look like to faithfully live out the Word of God?
Think about your every day life; how can you spread the Word this week?
James: For Us or Against Us || january 21st, 2018
Read verses 1-12 again. How does James see temptation in light of trial?
What pattern do we see in this text as it relates to temptation?
According to this text, what is the source of temptation? What is our hope in light of temptation?
How can you fight temptation in your life this week?
James: From Lack to Life || january 14th, 2018
Take stock of your own life. Who directs your life? What defines your life? How do you endure?
What does it look like to lack wisdom?
How can we boast in God’s economy?
Taking stock of your life again, how can you more fully rely on God?
James: CUT TO THE CHASE || january 28th, 2018
How does knowing that James was Jesus’ half-brother shape the way we read this book?
Look at the greeting in verse 1. Who is this letter written to? And what is their circumstance?
What can we learn about true faith from these verses?
Seeing joy in our trials is extremely counter-cultural. How can we persevere and find the joy in the midst of the hard things in life?