Posts tagged Steve Stanton
Confidence in Our Weakness

Luke 6:12–19

Sermon Notes

  1. Jesus doesn’t call the great, he calls the ordinary (v.12–16)
  2. And not based on their qualifications, but on his calling (v.12–19)
  3. It’s not our ability that makes us useful to him but instead our dependency (v.17–19)

Discussion questions

  1. Do you fear that your weaknesses are too great and that the get in the way of being best used by God?
  2. In what ways does current church culture in America give special attention to the “great”?
  3. How could an emphasis on “the greatest of these” in the church steal glory from God?
  4. Have you ever felt disqualified to serve God?
  5. How does this self-disqualification run in contradiction to God calling all of us to serve him (Romans 12, Eph. 4, 1 Cor. 12)?
  6. How could self-confidence keep us away from being dependent on God?
  7. If your prayer life was a measurement of your reliance on God, would you say you were more God-dependent or more self-sufficient?
  8. Explain to someone how your weakness could actually be an asset to God?
  9. How might a tendency to boast in our weakness affect our witness to not-yet- Christians?
Jesus, son of David, of Abraham, of Adam, of God

Luke 3:23–38

Sermon Notes

Questions to ask of the text:

  • Why is this Genealogy included?
  • Why is it included in this specific part of Luke's Gospel?
  • What are Luke's unique purposes including it (i.e. how is it different than Matthew's list and purposes)?

Conclusion: Luke's main point is to show his audience that Jesus is both the son of Mary and Joseph AND the son of God. He is both God and Man.

Discussion Questions & Further Study

  1. What are some other parts of the Bible that are hard for you to get through when reading?
  2. How can slowing down and asking questions of hard texts help you find meaning from them?
  3. Why was it important that Jesus was born in the lineage of David? Why was it also important that Jesus not be born of "ordinary generation"?
  4. Why is it important that Jesus was fully Divine? Why was it also important that Jesus was fully Human?
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:21–22. How does being born of Adam bring death? How does being "in" Christ bring life?
  6. Do any of these questions mean anything (or matter) to you? (Read Hebrews Chapter 2 for help)
Repentance Leads to Change

Luke 3:7–17

Sermon Notes

  1. Repentance Changes Us: Through Reconciliation

    • Reconciled to God (Saved from his wrath by Repentance: v.7–9, 17)
    • Reconciled to Others (The Fruit of Repentance is loving others: v.10–14)
  2. Repentance Changes the World: Through us being Salt and Light

    • Salt to the World (What a repentant life looks like at work: v.12–14)
    • Light to the World (How a repentant life affects our witness: v.7, 12–14)
  3. Conclusion (v.15–16)

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you think of God more in terms of his love or his wrath? How are both true of him?

  2. How would full, honest repentance (open acknowledgment of our sin) lead us to trust more in the work of Christ?

  3. What is an example where you can be outwardly obedient, but inwardly you have the wrong (perhaps selfish) motives?

  4. John the Baptist doesn't call people out of the service of Rome, instead, he tells them to stay and to do their work ethically. As Christians, we have multiple areas of "work" (in our home, with our children, at our church, at our employment). For your particular responsibilities, what would it look like to serve un-ethically? What would it look like to serve sacrificially for the good of others in that area?

  5. Why should Christians be people who are the most comfortable with receiving criticism?

Further Thought: John the Baptist preaches a message of Repentance, that others needed to be honest about admitting their sin, even publicly through baptism. God uses others to reveal to us our sin. Being scared to receive criticism can sometimes reveal we don't fully believe that we are completely forgiven in Christ. If you are willing, ask someone you trust to be honest about your sin, and how it has hurt them. As those feelings of condemnation, guilt, and defensiveness come, remember that, if you are in Christ, you don't need to defend, you're free to acknowledge the sin, safely resting in Christ's record and not your own.

What Jesus Came to Do

Luke 2:21–37

Sermon Notes

Jesus came to:

  1. Fulfill the Law (v. 21–24)
  2. Save (vv. 21, 30)
  3. Give consolation and comfort (v. 25)
  4. Be a light to the Gentiles (v. 32)
  5. Be the glory to Israel (vv. 26, 32)
  6. Cause the rise and fall of many (v.34)
  7. Die (v. 35)
  8. To reveal the hearts of mankind (v. 35)

Reflection Questions

  1. What are some common misconceptions and wrong beliefs about who Jesus was and what he came to do?
  2. What are some different names and titles for Jesus Christ? (A quick google search can help you out here) How do their meanings help us understand what Jesus came to do?
  3. If you were to summarize the mission of Jesus, what would you say it was? What steps were taken in his life to accomplish it? How does it connect/apply to us?
  4. Our text said Jesus was appointed for the rise and fall of many, and the scriptures describe Jesus as either a cornerstone or a stumbling block. Why is this? Some people seem to be rather unaffected Jesus, but how does a proper understanding of him prevent us from being “neutral” about Jesus?
God is at Work

Luke 1:57–66

Sermon Notes

  1. God has removed our Shame (vv.57–58)
  2. God has changed our Faith (vv.59–64)
  3. God draws a response from Us (vv.65–66)

Questions for Reflection

  1. What are some traditions you have that make this time of year feel like “Christmas?”
  2. How does the “messaging” of Christmas (from commercials, signs, radio) distract us from the center of the reason for celebrating this holiday?
  3. What are some things you are commonly asking God for in prayer? Are you looking more often for comfort and therapy from God or healing of our core problem of sin?
  4. Why do we become complacent or afraid of sharing this good news that Jesus came to earth to save us from our sin?
  5. What are some challenges you have faced in your evangelism?
Trusting in Our Faithful God

Luke 1:5-25

Sermon Notes

  1. Silence doesn't change his faithfulness v .5–17
  2. Your wavering faith doesn't change his faithfulness v. 18–24
  3. Therefore, trust that he will faithfully fulfill his promises v. 22–25

Reflection questions:

  1. What are some reasons that we can trust God?
  2. What is something in your life that currently feels like silence from God?
  3. How have you waivered in your faith? How has that changed God's faithfulness toward you? (Hint: for those of you in Christ, it hasn't... Zep 3:17, Gal 3:3–5, Gal 4:4–7)
What Kind of CELEBRATION Will God's People Have?

Esther 9:20–10:3

Sermon Notes

  1. A celebration of rest and reversal
  2. A celebration so we remember
  3. A greater celebration they awaited and we have

Reflection Questions:

  1. What is something in your life right now that you are looking forward to finding some rest and relief from?
  2. What is a situation in the past in which you did receive rest and relief from it?
  3. How have you seen God provide for you in the past in a hard or trying time?
  4. Why are we so prone to forget the ways God has provided for us in the past?
  5. How has Christ guaranteed for us eventual freedom from our present struggles and trials?