Bible Reading Plan
Monday, May 11th John 21:4-14
Tuesday, May 12th John 21:15-23
Wednesday, May 13th Matthew 16:13-24
Thursday, May 14th Deuteronomy 4:9-14
Friday, May 15th Matthew 25:31-46
Saturday, May 16th Luke 21:31-34, 54-62
Sunday, May 17 John 21:4-23
Sermon Discussion Questions:
- How does knowing our identity and purpose in Christ give us confidence in the future? Is there something wrong with me if I know my status as a child of God but still have strong anxiety about the present and future? Explain your answer.
- A half-truth is a whole lie. “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” “God helps those who help themselves.” “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” How did we get these popular phrases and why are they so dangerous? Is there any wisdom at all to be had in these common phrases attributed to the bible? If so, is it harmful to use them?
- In John 8:32, it says, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” What does it mean to be set free by the truth? How would you answer this question: “I know that truth of the word of God but am wrecked constantly by worry, guilt, doubt, anxiety, etc. I want freedom but can’t seem to find it.” So many religions claim that they have the truth. How can Christians know that they hold the only truth? Isn’t it imperious to state that Jesus is the only way to salvation? Can we truly ever know who’s right? If so, how can I hold this confidence? See Answering Skeptics - Josh McDowell for a great resource on defending the truth of the Word of God.
- What is doubt? Is it unhealthy to doubt? Does doubt speak to the weakness of my faith? Why or why not? Ironically, doubt draws us closer to Christ. How does doubt do this? How can it possibly be good to be insecure in what I once thought I knew to be true?
- Does God ever cause your doubt?
- Is it ever a sin to doubt? Explain your answer.
- If I cannot be secure about what I believe, what business do I have sharing Christ with others?
- Doubt is often accompanied by shame. Shame often leads to isolation. Isolation is a dangerous place. Read John 3:19-20. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. What consequences can come from wrestling with doubt in isolation? Discuss this quote from Robert Mounce. “Evil thrives in a world of moral darkness. Like the fish in underground caverns whose eyes have gradually disappeared, leaving only sockets, so those who live in moral darkness have lost their ability to perceive the difference between good and evil.” Can you relate to Mounce? Why or why not?
Confidence in the Truth
- Why is it so difficult and yet so good to share our doubts with others? How does sharing your doubt lead to community? Minnesota’s former governor Jessie Venture said, "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.” Prove him wrong. (Hint: It’s easy.)
- How does the resurrection of Jesus change everything about our identity and doubt?
- How does the great commandment help us with our doubts? Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Isn’t it a fool’s errand to worship the one in whom you have a doubt? Why or why not?
- Why is Deuteronomy 29:29 is a comfort for some and a terror for others? “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” How can this text bring comfort to our doubts?
 Robert H. Mounce, “John,” in Luke–Acts, vol. 10 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition. ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland; Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), 401.