Sermon Questions

Questions for sermon on 30th June 2024 – Song of Songs 1:1-2:7

How do you feel about looking at the Song of Songs on Sundays/in small groups?

Why do you think you feel that?

————————————-

  • How would you describe the mood of these verses?
  • What is the young woman wanting?
  • How does the young man respond to the woman?
  • What can we learn about sexual desire and love?
  • Why is it difficult for Christians to keep believing what we learn?
  • How does the experience of this couple compare to our experience of relationships (whether we’re married or single)?
  • How does the fulfilment of this couple’s relationship (the relationship of Christ and his people) reassure us and comfort us?
  • Why might we find it hard to hear Christ’s love for us in the terms of this song?
  • How could we hear his love in the song more?

Questions for sermon on 23rd June 2024 – Romans 5:12-21

Opener:
In what ways do we feel the pain of a world under death?

What does it say & what does it mean:

  • What are the consequences of the first man’s sin? (v12)
  • What difference does it make whether or not people know God’s commands? (v13-14)
  • In what way was Adam ‘a pattern’ of Jesus (v14)?
  • What words are used (in the whole passage) to describe the one thing Adam did, and the one thing Jesus did?
  • How does Paul signal (in the whole passage) that the grace of Jesus is stronger than the sin of Adam?
  • How does the one thing Jesus did affect all Christians?
  • In verse 17, who or what are the two alternative rulers of the world?
  • How did God’s law make things worse (v20)?

So what:

  • The Bible teaches that all the pain in the world is the result of being in a world under sin. How do our responses to pain and death often ignore this, and how can we help one another to respond in a way that takes account of needing rescue from sin?
  • How is it different to say, ‘I sometimes commit sins’ from saying, ‘I am a sinner’? Why is the latter so much deeper and more serious?
  • As you look at your own life and history, in what ways can you see that Adam was a good and fair representative for you?
  • Why do we find it hard to believe that Jesus’ one act of obedience can change us from sinners to righteous? Why would our pride prefer this change to be done in some other way?
  • What difference does this teaching about a new humanity make to the way we treat one another in the church?
  • How does overflowing grace change the way we think about those outside the church?

Pray:
How precious is Christ’s active obedience to you? How have these verses caused you to love the Lord Jesus more?

Questions for sermon on 9th June 2024 – Romans 5:1-11

Intro

What do you love to talk about?


v.1-2a

How would you explain ‘justified through faith in Christ’ in v.1? (see 4:5, 7-8 for ideas!)

What are the great blessings that come from justification?

How does the Bible understand those things differently from the world?

 

v.2b-4

What does it mean/not mean to rejoice in sufferings?

How is it even possible to do that?

Which words or phrases here might help you to rejoice in suffering?

 

v.5-8

How can we know our hope won’t disappoint us?

How can we be sure of God’s love today? How do we normally measure God’s love for us?

What is different about God’s love?

 

v.9-11

How can we be reassured about the future day of judgement? Why is it important to be sure?

If we find ourselves rejoicing in other things apart from God and our hope, what could we do?

How does this passage help you to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God?

If everyone in a church rejoiced in God more than anything else, what difference would that make to church life and witness?

Questions for sermon on 2nd June 2024 – Mark 10:32-45

v.32-34

Jesus has predicted his death twice before in 8:31-32 and 9:30-32.

What do the disciples learn newly here?

 

v.35-40

How are the disciples thinking wrongly about what it means to follow Jesus?

What is the answer to Jesus’ question in v.38?

Whose decision is the seating plan in Jesus’ glory?

In what ways do we think similarly wrongly about following Jesus? How might it show itself in our lives?

 

v.41-45

Why do you think the 10 others reacted as they did?

How does Jesus describe worldly greatness? How might that infect our thinking/church life?

How is Christian greatness different? And why?

Read Daniel 7:13-14. Why is what Jesus did remarkable?

 

What can I do if I find it hard to accept what it means to follow Jesus?

What might the Christian look like who forgets what it means to follow Jesus? What will they prize and what will they despise?

What might the church look like that understands what it means to follow Jesus?

Which verses here are ‘the engine’ for following Jesus the right way?

Questions for sermon on 12th May 2024 – Romans 3:21-31

Intro
What is Paul’s main point in the letter back in 1:16-17?

What has he just been showing in 1:18-3:20?

The words ‘righteous’ and ‘justify’ and associated adjective and verbs are the same word group in the original language. How many times does that word appear in this paragraph?

 

v.21-26
How does Paul show this righteousness is publicly revealed?

Why is trust in Jesus the only way to be rescued?

What does the death of Jesus achieve for us?

How?

What does the death of Jesus prove about God?

What reason is normally given for God sending his Son? How does that compare with the reason here?


v.27-31
What application does Paul draw? Why is that the application?


What is right/wrong about these statements?

  • On the cross, God forgave our sin
  • Jesus took our sins away
  • At the cross, God overcame his justice with his love

Questions for sermon on 5th May 2024 – Romans 4:1-25

Intro
What does the world think faith is?

v.1-8

How does Paul show that Abraham was not justified by works?

How does David say the same thing?

What is astonishing about God here?

 

v.9-12
How does Paul show that Abraham was not justified by circumcision?

Why was Abraham not made righteous by circumcision?

How does that help us think rightly about our involvement in church life?

 

v.13-17a
How does Paul show Abraham was not justified by obedience to the Law?

What were the promises made to Abraham? Why did they not come by works of the Law?

In each case above, what is Paul saying about how we are justified before God?

How would you explain that to a non Christian?

 

v.17b-25
How could you define faith from these verses?

How was Abraham able to have faith in his impossible circumstances?

When might we doubt our justification?

What can we hold on to about God, from these verses, that will strengthen our faith?

Robert Murray McCheyne – “For every one look to yourself, take ten looks at Christ!

Questions for sermon on 28th April 2024 – Romans 3:1-20

Intro
‘I just can’t believe in a God who would judge’
How might someone justify that view today?

 

v.1-8
What is the advantage for being a Jew?

What advantage did the unconverted Jew think they had?

What did they seem to think God’s faithfulness meant?

How does quoting Psalm 51 (v.4) help answer them?

Why does the argument in v.5 not work?

Why does the argument in v.7 not work?

How might we paint God in a bad/false light when it comes to his judgement of people?

How might someone today think it unreasonable of God to punish people?

 

v.9-18
What has Paul been trying to establish?

What do these verses say about
– the root of sin?
– the scope of sin?
– the signs of sin?

Even as Christians, how do these expressions of sin show themselves in us?

 

v.19-20
What is the point of all the quotations?

What does the Bible do and what can’t it do?

 

If no one is right with God without Christ, how does that shape our attitude to:-

– God?
– ourselves?
– the world around?
– other Christians?

Questions for sermon on 10th March 2024 – Romans 2:1-29

Intro
What kind of people has Paul been talking about in chapter 1?

v.1-5
What kind of people is Paul now addressing in chapter 2?
What does Paul say about the current experience and future prospects of those people?
How can we be like these people?


v.6-11
What is the basis of God’s judgement? Who will be judged this way?
How are the two groups of people described? How does that help to identify them?
What does God’s judgement say about the importance of living the Christian life?


v.12-24
What is Paul’s message to the religious person?
Why might we need to hear that message too?
What happens when professing believers are not real believers?


v.25-29
What is needed for someone to be in the real people of God?
What outward and physical things might we wrongly rely on?


How can we avoid becoming unrepentant for our sin?
How does this chapter help grow the church in unity and harmony?
How does this chapter help grow our compassion for the world?

Questions for sermon on 25th February 2024 – Romans 1:8-17

Think of an example use of the phrase, ‘you’re preaching to the converted!’


v.8-15
What does Paul want and why?

What does he evidently believe about who needs the gospel?

How does that compare to what we tend to think?

If we are to bear more fruit in our lives, what is needed according to Paul?

v.16-17
Why is Paul unashamed of the gospel?

What is it about the gospel that means it can save?

How do the truths of v.16-17 encourage humility and unity in the local church?

In what ways could we increasingly proclaim the gospel to each other?

What, from these verses, should motivate us to do that more?

Questions for sermon on 18th February 2024 – Romans 1:1-7

How does Paul describe himself? How does affect how we hear the letter?

What does Paul say about the gospel?

How does Paul make clear who Jesus is?

What does Paul say about the recipients of the gospel?

And the response to the gospel?

To what extent does your understanding of the gospel match Paul’s?
Where are you adrift? What might you underplay?

How are Christians described? How does that affect how we hear the letter?

Questions for sermon on 7th January 2024 – Philemon

Read the whole letter.

What do we learn about the relationships between

  • Paul and Philemon?
  • Paul and Onesimus?
  • Philemon and Onesimus?

v.1-7

What does Paul value in Philemon?

How does that compare with we value in other believers?

What does Paul want for Philemon? Why does he want that?

As we pray v.6 for each other this year, what can we be doing to make v.6b happen?

 

v.8-16

What change has happened in Onesimus?

What does Paul want in the situation?

How does that explain Paul’s manner in the letter?

What does Philemon need to understand about the situation?

 

v.17-25

How should Philemon welcome Onesimus?

How can Philemon be expected to welcome Onesimus back like that?

How might the world tell Philemon to treat Onesimus? And so what will Philemon need to set aside to welcome Onesimus?

Why is it so important then that Philemon welcomes him back the right way? What is at stake?

If we’re to ‘welcome’ other Christians, including those who may have wronged us, what do we need to remember?

What did Christ need to set aside to welcome us?

What will happen as we ‘welcome’ even those who have wronged us? (v.6)

Questions for sermon on 3rd December 2023 – Titus 1-8

Introduction

Who would you say is a ‘good’ person?

 

Read Titus 3:1-8

How does God want Christians to live?

How do you react to what God wants?

Why can’t a non-Christian live a good life?

How can a person get out of that position?

Who takes action?

Why do they take action?

How do they take action? Why is it more than just turning over a new leaf?

What exactly does Titus need to do so that people devote themselves to doing what is good?

What might it be like to live by faith in what God has done in us?

Questions for sermon on 26th November 2023 – Romans 3:9-26

The Cross – Justification

Introduction

How confident are you about God’s final day verdict?

Why do you have that much/little confidence?

 

Read Romans 3:9-20

What is mankind’s position before God?

What response can be given to this position?

 

Read Romans 3:21-26

(the words ‘justify’/’justice’ are the same word group in the original language as the words ‘righteousness’/’righteous’. So in some form the word comes 7 times in this paragraph.)

Where does justification come from?

How does justification happen?

Who is justification for?

Why is justification still fair?

_____________

Whose verdict and approval are you tempted to live for?

What is life like when you do that?

What would it take for you to enjoy God’s verdict of the last day now? What in these verses reassures you?

Questions for sermon on 19th November 2023 – Romans 6:1-14

Many Christians know the feeling of giving in to temptation because ‘God will forgive me anyway!’ Or as Paul puts it in v.1, the thought that says, ‘Shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound?’

How does Paul answer that thought?

How does baptism display what’s happened to a Christian?

How has a Christian’s relationship to sin changed?

How would you put v.11 in your own words?

What response is Paul calling for in v.12-14? How is it different from telling people to do their best and turn over a new leaf?

What is a common temptation to sin for you?

What, from these verses, can you say to yourself at that moment?

Questions for sermon on 12th November 2023 – Isaiah 52:13-53:12

52 v.13-15
What will the servant accomplish despite appearances?

53 v.1-3
How do verses 1-3 explain why people reject Jesus today?

53 v.4-6
How is sin described here?
How is the cross explained here?

Who is at work in the cross?
How would you explain to a non Christian from these verses what is happening on the cross?

53 v.7-9
How did Jesus approach the cross?

53 v.10-12
What is the result of the cross in these verses?

How does this passage help your understanding of the cross?
How does this passage make you feel about the cross?

Questions for sermon on 5th November 2023 – John 17:1-26

Big Idea: Jesus prays for glory in God’s continued mission to the world.

Aim: Recognise Jesus has sent us out into the world to bring him glory by making the Father known.

Potential Structure

Prayer 1 – Glorification in mission vv.1-3
Prayer 2 – Return to Glory vv.4-8
Prayer 3 – Protection for disciples vv.9-15
Prayer 4 – Sanctification in Truth vv.16-19
Prayer 5 – Unity in Mission vv.20-23
Prayer 6 – Destiny of Disciples v.24
Prayer 7 – Perseverance through the Spirit vv.25-26

Introduction Question:

Where and when do people receive glory and honour?


Questions

1. Jesus prays to be glorified. How does Jesus’ reference to “the hour” help us understand where he and the Father will be glorified? (See John 12:27; 13:1).


2. What has the Father given Jesus?

Authority over all flesh (v.2)
Authority to give eternal life (v.2)
People (v.2, 6×2, 9, 24)
Work (v.4)
Everything (v.7)
Words (v.8)
Name (v.11, 12)
Glory (v.22)

3. What has Jesus given to others?

Eternal life (v.2)
Words (v.8, 14)
Glory (v.22)
Jesus prays for the Fathers name to protect the disciples (v.11)
Jesus will pray for the disciples’ work (v.17)

The Question of Mission

5. Where is Jesus going? Where are Jesus disciples going to be? (See vv. 11, 13, 15, 18)

6. What are the disciples going to need in the world? (v.12, 15, 17)

(Aside) Question of Judas .
Take a look at the following references to Judas in John’s gospel how is he described?
John 6:64 – Judas is known by Jesus as being an unbeliever
John 6:70 – Judas is said to be a devil
John 13:18 – Jesus knows Judas is going to betray him (Scriptures fulfilled)
John 13:27 – Satan enters into Judas
John 17 – Son of destruction (the one destined to be lost)
John 17 – This happens that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.

How is Jesus’ prayer in v.15 a comfort to us?

7. Jesus prays that the disciples are sanctified (Set apart to serve). What service do you think we might be called to?

8.
a) How does Jesus define eternal life? (V.3)
b) How does this help us understand where Muslim’s, Jehovah Witnesses, other religions, and the secular world stands with regard to eternal life?
c) What or who does the world need to know to receive eternal life?
d) How do you suppose those outside of Christ might come to this knowledge?

9. How did the disciples receive eternal life? (v.6)

10. How does v.20 expand on how people might come to know about the Father and receive eternal life?

11. In v.8 what is it that disciples believe and know?

12. In v.21-23 what is the purpose of unity among disciples? Why might this be the highest call on our lives? (See v.6 and 8 what is it that Jesus did?)

13. What is our future hope (v.24)? And what help have we got until we reach that destination (v.26)?


Important verses to consider and highlight – v.13, 23, 26

Questions for sermon on 29th October 2023 – John 16:17-33

Big Idea: Jesus’ death and resurrection establishes a personal relationship with the Father and a joy that cannot be taken away.

Application: Pray that the Father would sustain you in times of trouble with an inexpressible joy.

Q.1 What is the confusion about in vv.16-18? What do you think Jesus is referring to?

Q.2 In vv.19-22 Jesus tells the disciples what they are going to go through in the near future. How will the disciples experience in the near future contrast with that of the world?

Q.3 What hope is held out for the disciples and is it worth the pain, anguish, and grief? (vv.20-22)

Q.4 What two blessings will the disciples receive in “that day” and how will they make up for their confusion and grief? (v.23-24)

Confusion gives way to clarity v.23
In vv.23 the disciples will have clarity and will not need to ask Jesus anything. This is in contrast to their current situation where everyone is confused and wants to ask Jesus. It is also the situation the disciples think they have gained in v.30.

Grief gives way to joy with an intimate relationship with the Father v.24
Important to notice that the prayer life we have with the Father is the source of complete joy!

Q.5 How do vv.25-28 reinforce the blessings to be received in vv.23-27?

Q.6 In vv.29-32 the disciples now claim to know what Jesus is talking about. What does Jesus say that makes us realise the disciples are not quite on the same page?

Q.7 Why has Jesus told the disciples “These things” v.33?

Q.8 What is the warning and comfort of v.33?

 

Application

Q.1 To whom does Jesus direct us for a secure and lasting source of joy?

Q.2 Jesus says that when he sees the disciples again they will have rejoice and their sorrow will be turned to joy. Why is it important to realise this joy is a joy to be had now and not simply when Jesus returns in judgement?

The joy that Jesus is speaking about is a joy that the disciples will have after they have seen him resurrected from the dead. This is a joy to be had in the world before the second coming. The world will still provide trials and tribulation v.33 but in the midst of that there is a joy and peace to be had!

Trials are not evidence of God’s hand against us. They are part and parcel of what living in the world brings. The Father loves us v.27 and he does not abandon his children in trials v.32.

Q.3 Who could you run to when you find yourself in times of trouble? What is the comforting truth that we can hold onto when times are tough? How might v.33 bring us peace?

Questions for sermon on 8th October 2023 – John 15:18–16:4

Which relationships for the believer has Jesus dealt with in John 15:1-17?
Which relationship does he turn to now?

What does Jesus say about why the world will hate his disciples?

What do we learn about the status of Jesus’ disciples?

What do we learn about the nature of the world?

What are disciples supposed to do in the world?

How are they able to do that?

What would the Christian look like who forgot….

          …the hatred of the world?

          …the help of the Holy Spirit?

What might/might not be happening in the Christian who never experiences any adverse reaction from the world?

Which relationships for the believer has Jesus dealt with in John 15:1-17?
Which relationship does he turn to now?

What does Jesus say about why the world will hate his disciples?

What do we learn about the status of Jesus’ disciples?

What do we learn about the nature of the world?

What are disciples supposed to do in the world?

How are they able to do that?

What would the Christian look like who forgot….

          …the hatred of the world?

          …the help of the Holy Spirit?

What might/might not be happening in the Christian who never experiences any adverse reaction from the world?

Questions for sermon on 1st October 2023 – John 15:1-17

Intro
What do you find most encouraging to hear at Christian funerals?

v.1-8

How do we know fruit is important to God?

How does that affect how we manage trials?

What does the believer do to bear fruit?

What does Jesus say about what it means to do that?

How practically can we remember that remaining in Jesus is relational?

v.9-17

What does it mean to remain in Jesus’ love (v.9)?

In Jesus instructions to disciples, what analogy does he use?

What does obedience show about a person?

How does that highlight the privilege of being a disciple?

How are you already loving each other as a group (which is a great sign of being Jesus’ disciples)?

What more could you do to love each other and the wider church family as Jesus loves?

Summary

What is vital to remember is the source of all fruit?

What can you keep doing/do for the first time…

…to remain in Jesus’ words?

…to remain in Jesus’ love?

Questions for sermon on 24th September 2023 – John 14:15-31

Intro
What has been your greatest experience of God?

v.15-24

What does Jesus say about…

  • who the Holy Spirit is?
  • what the Holy Spirit does?

How will it be better for the disciples to receive the Holy Spirit than to be with Jesus?

How can you tell a person who has and who hasn’t received the Holy Spirit?

According to Jesus, what’s the link between love and obedience in the Christian life?

What would you say from these verses to the person who says, ‘I really want to experience God in my life’?

v.25-31

How does Jesus prepare his disciples for his departure?

Why is the Spirit’s help for them so important for us?

When Jesus speaks of ‘peace’, what is he stating and what is he commanding them? Why does that distinction matter for the Christian life?

What does Jesus say are and are not the reasons for him going to the cross?

Why does he tell the disciples that? How does that help us?

Give thanks for the work of the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ provision for disciples.

Questions for sermon on 17th September 2023 –John 14:5-14

v.5-7

Looking at chapter 13 and esp. v.8b, how is Jesus the way?

Looking at 7:16 and 12:29, in what sense is Jesus the truth?

Looking at 1:4, 3:36, 5:26, in what sense is Jesus the life?

When might you be ashamed of Jesus’ words in v.6?

How do Jesus’ words in v.6…

          – humble you?

          – comfort you?

          – motivate you?

v.8-11

What is Philip not understanding?

Why at is Jesus saying about how we ‘see’ God?

What do Jesus’ words say to the person who wants an experience of God?

What would you say to the person, ‘it’s ok for Philip. He saw Jesus face to face’? (see also John 20:30-31)

v.12-14

What does Jesus promise his disciples?

  • Read John 5:20-24
    How does Jesus help us understand the promise in 14:12?

Why does Jesus say believers will do ‘greater things’?

How does that help us understand when and how the ‘greater things’ will happen?

How do the ‘greater things’ help us understand what it means to ask Jesus for anything ‘in his name’?

How do these verses help with Philip’s question in v.8?

How do these verses change how we think about sharing Jesus words and praying in Jesus’ name?