Sermon Questions

Post sermon discussion questions for further reflection…
Sunday 28th May – 2 Timothy 3:1-17
The Sufficiency of the Bible
What will the days in which Timothy lives be like?
(assuming ‘the last days’ stretch from Jesus’ ascension to Jesus’ return)
How would you summarise why they are as they are?
How do our days reflect those same things?
What does Timothy need to know about Christian life and ministry in that setting?
What does Timothy need to do in that setting? Why?
From v.15-17, how would you describe…
– the purpose of the Bible?
– the nature of the Bible?
– the experience of reading the Bible?
– the provision of the Bible?
From these verses, what should the Christian’s relationship to the Bible be like?
What might it look like in the life of the Christian?
What can we thank God for here?
What convictions about the Bible should we pray for?


Sunday 21sy May 2023 – Global Church Sunday – Revelation 7:7-19
When, if ever, have you felt in the minority as a Christian?
Read v.7-19
What would you say is the centre point of what John sees? (which word/words are repeated)
What makes this multitude so ‘great’? (cf.Gen.16:10, 32:16)
What is the multitude doing?
How is it possible for the multitude to be where they are and do what they are doing?
Scanning chapter 6, what sort of things have they ‘come out of’ (v.14)?
What sort of life are the multitude experiencing?
Looking back to 1:9, what does John say is involved in being a Christian?
How does sight of this multitude in Chapter 7 help us with those?
what can we thank God for in this chapter and what might we ask him for?
Sunday 14th May 2023 – The Clarity of the Bible
How do you react when someone says, “It’s all a matter of interpretation!”?
Hebrews 1:1-4
What have v.1 and v.2 got in common and what does that say about God?
When you compare v.1 and v.2, what are the differences and what does that say about God?
Why is Jesus God’s final communication?
Psalm 19:1-7
In what ways is God’s communication clear?
For whom is it clear?
When we get stuck understanding a verse in the Bible, what might be better to say than, “I’m not sure what it is trying to say!”?
In the following verses, what does Jesus assume about why we don’t understand the Bible? Matthew 9:13, 12:3, 12:5, 12:7, 19:4, 22:29,22:31.
What might that mean about what’s involved in reading the Bible?
2 Timothy 2:7
What confidence can we have in understanding the Bible?
What does this verse mean for what’s involved in reading the Bible?
How does the clarity of the Bible change our attitude and expectations as we come to read it?
Sunday 7th May – 2 Peter 1:12-21
King Charles III is told that the Bible is ‘the most valuable think this world affords’.
Do you agree? Why? Why not?
What does Peter want for his readers and why?
How does Peter reassure his readers about what he has taught them?
What are we reminded of about God?
How does what He’s like show God’s uniqueness amongst other ‘gods’?
(see one or two of Psalm 115:3-8, Isaiah 41:21-24, Hab. 2:18-20)
What is Peter’s role in this event? Why is that significant for us?
How does Jesus say the same thing about the apostles in John 15:27?
What is Jesus saying about our NT’s in John 14:27 and John 16:13?
What is Peter’s view of the OT?
How is that confirmed by Jesus in Matt.19:4-5? (see his quotation from Genesis 2:24)
What would it look like if someone believed not just that the Bible contains God’s Word or reveals God’s Word, but that the Bible actually is God’s word?
Sunday 30th April -Mark 5:1-20
1. How is evil viewed in society; by the media, by family and friends. Do people think it’s just harmless fun or something to be avoided?
2. In Mark 5:1-20 how did evil affect the man v3-5? What was its eventual demise v13?
3. What does Jesus demonstrate in this passage? In going to the man? In dealing with the evil?
4. How do different people respond to Jesus in this passage?
5. Do you still seek to tell family & friends about Jesus and the certain hope you have in Him? Are there some people you have given up on because their lives appear too chaotic? Are there things in this passage you need to be reminded of? Why not share things that you’d like God to grow you in with respect to personal evangelism and pray about these as a group?
6. Share your story about how you came to repent and believe in Jesus. Pray giving thanks for Jesus’ grace in rescuing you.
Sunday 23rd April – Luke 24:36-53
What would you say is the main effect of Jesus’ Resurrection on our lives now as Christians?
How does that compare with what Jesus wants for the disciples here?
How does Jesus reassure the disciples that He is alive?
Why are Jesus’ hands and feet important for this group of disciples to see?
How is it good for us that this group are reassured Jesus is physically alive?
How does Jesus reassure the disciples that He is alive?
To what extent should they have known He would rise?
Compared to previous explanations from Jesus (see Luke 9:22, 18:31-33), what is new here?
In what way do vv.46-47 brig peace to us?
What does a person need to know Jesus has risen and to know peace?
What might you notice in a church where they have forgotten the proclamation is…
– of repentance?
– of the forgiveness of sins?
– in Jesus’ name?
– to all nations?
– empowered by the Spirit?
How do we know the disciples finally understand who Jesus is?
What do these verses suggest about how true Christian joy comes?
For the Christian who longs for more joy and peace in their life, what could they be praying for from these verses?


Sunday 16th April – Luke 24:13-35

Big idea: God opens our eyes to see Jesus is the suffering Messiah foretold by the prophets.

Aim: That we would recognise the necessity of Christ’s suffering and know he walks with us along the way.
1: Where are these two disciples heading? Where are the other disciples and the eleven apostles? (See v.33) Is this a good thing?

This doesn’t look good really, they seem to be like sheep without a shepherd. The disciples are slowly scattering.

2: The disciples are walking and talking about “these things”. What do you suppose they are talking about?

3: Jesus draws near and walks with the disciples? What is the problem and who is responsible for it?

The disciples’ eyes are kept from recognising Jesus which suggests it is the Lord who is keeping them from seeing this new reality.

4: Why would God keep them from recognising the risen Lord Jesus?

I think this is happening for our benefit. This story is here for us. It is a story about Jesus opening blind eyes. But before the disciples see and recognise Jesus they need to realise this is all grounded in scripture. Scripture grounds reality. Jesus being raised is not a “new thing” that changes the way we read Scripture it is what Scripture has always spoken about.

5: Jesus asks the disciples what they are speaking about how does Cleopas respond? What is the irony here?

6: List all the “things” that the disciples say about Jesus of Nazareth in vv.19-21. Compare their list to Luke 9:22 and Luke 18:33. What is the missing element?

7: List what has happened on this day from vv.22-25. What is comical about v.24?

The disciples at the tomb do not see Jesus and this is taken to be a disappointment but here these two disciples have Jesus standing right in front of them and they do not see him either.

Evidence for the resurrection clearly does not depend on whether you see Jesus raised from the dead! We’ll need to pay attention to where Jesus says evidence is to be found.

8: Why does Jesus call the disciples “foolish” and “slow of heart”?

9: What does Jesus speak to the disciples about vv.26-27? What do ALL of the Old Testament prophets speak about?

10: Can you read and understand the Old Testament correctly without knowing it points to a suffering Messiah and his glory to come? (Consider how Jews and Muslims read the Old Testament)

11: V.28 The disciples extend hospitality to Jesus urging him to stay with them but who ends up becoming the host vv.28-30?

12: What happens in v.31? Who is responsible for it?

13: The disciples have their eyes opened and it is clearly the Lord who opens their eyes. The Lord opens the disciples eyes at this point why did the Lord delay it until now?

I think what is happening here is that Jesus wants us to see that evidence for his death and resurrection comes primarily from the Scriptures. A great deal of time and patience has gone into making this clear in vv.13-27.

Now turn to Luke 16:19-31 and have a look at the conclusion of Jesus story about the rich man and Lazarus.

14: What is the conclusion to Luke 16:19-31? Putting that together with Luke 24, do you think these two disciples believe in Jesus’ resurrection because they have seen him or because they have believed Moses and the Prophets?
What do they say to each other vv.32?



15: If we are confused about the Lord Jesus and the gospel where will clarity come from?

16: Where should we direct people to if we want them to understand who Jesus is? How can we best help facilitate this?

Is it not a great comfort to know that the Lord Jesus walks with those who are confused and blind to his reality and slowly and patiently opens their eyes? Trust in Jesus. He is the one who opens blind eyes and quickens our slow hearts.

Sunday 2nd April 2023 – Luke 8:40-56

Big idea: Do not fear death, believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

Aim: Is that we walk away having this truth rooted in personal relationship with Jesus.
Opening Question:

What is the danger of knowing biblical truths without having a personal relationship with Jesus?


As you glance over 8:22-39 take note of all the references to the themes of fear, death and faith. 

Take note of Jesus question in v.25

We begin the study just highlighting the fact that fear, death and faith are prominent themes in v.22-39 and it seems to be the case that fear, and fear of death stands in contrast to faith in Jesus. The passage we are diving into will bring these themes to a conclusion in an imperative given by Jesus in v.50 “Do not fear; just believe”

1: How is Jesus received by the crowd in v.40? How is this a contrast to v.37?
2: What happens in v.41? Do you see the similarity to v.27-28? What is the desperate circumstance presented to Jesus?
3: Jesus begins to make his was to the synagogue rulers house. How is the crowd’s activity described? Does Luke present them as being an aid or a hindrance to Jesus progress?
4: What happens in v.43-44? Do you think this was easily accomplished given the crowds presence?
5: What is the result of the woman’s actions? V.44
6: Why does Jesus’ question in v.45 sound like a ridiculous question to ask?
  • How do the crowd respond?
  • How does Peter respond?
  • How does the woman initially respond? (Remember she is part of this crowd)
    • Why would this woman hesitate to respond to this question?

This woman was bleeding which would have made her impure and unclean. No one would have wanted to touch her and no one would want her to touch them because she would have made them unclean. She has probably not been touched and not touched anyone for the last 12 years! This would have been a bold action to take given the context.

7: What does Jesus recognise in v.46? What does the woman realise in v.47? What does the woman tell everyone v.47?
8: How does Jesus respond to her? Take a careful look at how he addresses her and the words that follow.
  • Do you remember these same words from a previous chapter?
    • Take a look at 7:48-50
    • What is it about these verses that show us this woman has received more than healing?

The woman in chapter 7 was in no need of healing it is her sins that have been forgiven and Jesus tells her she has been saved! This woman in chapter 8 receives the same words. This is more than a healing it is her being saved through faith in Jesus!

10: What happens as Jesus is speaking?
  • How does Jesus respond to the news?
  • Read v.25 again. What is Jesus answer to fear of death? What does he ask us to do when we are afraid of death.
11: How does Jesus interpret the girls state? V.52 How do the crowds respond v.53?
12: How does Jesus’ miracle give us confidence in his words to Jairus? V.50


In v.56 Jesus tells the parents not to tell anyone. This has been raised as a question in this passage a number of times. It might come up in your groups. You might remember that in Marks gospel there are a number of occasions where Jesus tells people not to share what had happened so this is consistent what we now see in Luke. In chapter 8:39 Jesus asks the healed man to “go” and tell everyone. So, it seems strange here that Jesus asks the parent not to tell. I think there are two reasons here. 1) Jesus seems to tell people in Jewish territory not to tell others about his miracles (the demon possessed man was in gentile territory). This is I think because of Jewish expectations of who the Messiah is and what he has come to do. The miracles could point to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah the trouble is that everyone has their own understanding of who the Messiah and what he ought to be doing. Jesus is not the Messiah they are expecting, and I think he does not want more people being won over by miracles in place of his words. 2) Remember we are surrounded by a crowd who welcomed Jesus and yet they do not seem to have faith, in fact they seem to be a hindrance. The last thing Jesus wants is more people attracted to him because of his miracles and having the wrong expectations of the Messiah. (Jesus tells the parents not to tell anyone what happened in the room. The people outside know something happened in the room but only the parents, Peter, James, and John actually saw what happened. They are asked not to tell anyone what happened between Jesus and the child.)

Getting Personal:

13: Why do you think Jesus stopped in the middle of the crowd to ask who touched him?


I think Jesus wants us to know that he takes notice of those who reach out to him in faith. This woman realises that she cannot go “unnoticed”. Jesus does not want us to know only of his power he wants to meet us face to face and call us his children

Sunday 26th March 2023 – Luke 8:22-39
1. What are some of the things people trust in for life? What are some of the things we trust in?
Verses 22-25:
2.What is the crisis and how serious is it?
3.How does Jesus deal with it?
4. Why do you think Jesus says v.25? What might he be teaching the disciples?
5.What does this episode reveal about Jesus?
6. As we look forward to Jesus’ return, how does this passage expand our understanding of the the salvation Jesus brings (what God’s kingdom will be like)
Verses 26-38:
7. What is the crisis and how serious is it?
8.How does Jesus deal with it?
9. In verses 34-38 there are two main reactions to Jesus. Why do you think they react in the ways they do?
10. As we look forward to Jesus’ return, how does this passage expand our understanding of the the salvation Jesus brings (what God’s kingdom will be like)
11. In ch.7 1-16 Luke records the two saving miracles of the Centurion’s servant and the widow of Nain’s son. In ch.8:22-39 we have another two saving miracles (from the storm and the demon possessed man). Between these two sections comes Jesus’ encounter with the sinful woman at Simon the Pharisee’s home. What does this teach us is at the heart of Jesus’ salvation and what his priority was in his first coming?
12. How does knowing who Jesus is from chapter 8:25-39 and knowing the rescue he has already achieved for us at the cross help us to place our trust in him in the present?
Sunday 12th March 2023 – Luke 7:36-50
If you were to pick a key verse that summarises the principle, which would it be?
The Host
What do we know about him?
    – What does Luke underline?
    – What does he think about Jesus?
    – For whom does he seem to think Jesus has come? 
    – What does Jesus say about his response?
How could we end up thinking the same way Simon thinks?
What might we not appreciate in Jesus’ illustration in v.41-42?
The Woman
What are we told about who the woman is?
    – In what way is her response costly?
    – What is Jesus highlighting about her response?
    – How do we know this isn’t forgiveness because of her love, but forgiveness displayed in her love?
Jesus calls her response ‘faith’. What has faith involved here?
    – What is the result of faith here?
    – So how would you disciple someone/yourself who seemed to lack love for Jesus? Or lack peace in life?
Sunday 5th March 2023 – Luke 7:18-35
Big Idea: Jesus is the one who brings salvation, opening blind eyes to God’s righteous purpose for us.
Aim: Repent of your own ideas of salvation and see Jesus as the one who brings salvation according to God’s will and wisdom.
1: What are the “these things” that were reported to John? (Read Luke 7:1-17 as a reminder.)
2: When John hears of “these things” what do they prompt him to think? What is the question on John’s lips?
3: What happens when John’s disciples ask Jesus their question? (Luke 7:21). What does Jesus tell them to report to John? (Luke 7:22)
Look at the following passages speaking about the coming of salvation.
Isaiah 29:18
Isaiah 35:5
Isaiah 61:1
4: What miracle is repeated twice in the list of Jesus’s deeds? Why do you think this particular miracle is reported twice?
Leaders aid: I think Jesus miracles and his teaching is pointing those who hear and see to his true identity. Jesus is “opening blind eyes” to the reality of who he is. He is the one!
5: Why is John not already 100% confident that Jesus is the one?
What might he have been expecting (See Luke 3:16-17)
Where is John now? (See Luke 3:18-19)
6: What is Jesus last word to John? How is this a warning to us about the reality of Christ and our expectations?
7: When people went out to the wilderness what did they go out to see? (Luke 7:24-27)
8: What was John’s prophetic message to those who went out to him? (See Luke 3:3, 8)
9: There are two groups of people in 7:28-30. How does their response to John the Baptist shape their response to Jesus words? (See v.29 and 30). What does this suggest is the reason for either accepting or rejecting Jesus?
Leaders aid: Both groups response to Jesus is rooted in their response to John. Those who were willing to repent and accept John’s Baptism receive Jesus words and see the righteousness of God’s wisdom. Those who were not willing to listen to John and repent end up “rejecting God’s purpose for themselves.” Our willingness to repent is the heart of the issue. If we are willing to repent – We see God as being just. If we are not willing to repent we reject God’s purpose.
10: In v.31-32 what does Jesus liken the generation to? What is he saying about the people?
11: How does the illustration in vv.31-33 map on to the ministry of Jesus and John the Baptist? Will those who refuse to repent ever be satisfied with God’s efforts?
12: People might have all sorts of doubts about the way God brings salvation but how is God’s way going to be vindicated (v.35)? How is this already proving to be the case (look at v.29)

Leaders aid: in both v.29 and 35 we see God’s wisdom being “justified” or “declared right” by repentant sinners. God’s way of salvation is not to be doubted at all we see the fruit of his wisdom in every repentant sinner.

Application Questions:
Have you ever been tempted to think God should have done things differently? In this situation who needs to repent you or God? Look at v.23 again.
When people don’t accept Christ as their saviour there could be many compelling reasons but what does this passage suggest is the heart of the issue?
Is there an aspect to the gospel that surprises you beyond your expectations? How has God demonstrated a mercy far greater than you could have ever imagined?
Remind yourselves of these incredible truths about God and his loving ways the next time begin to weigh your expectations against the gospel reality.
Closing note: God doesn’t dance to our tune. He doesn’t try to fit in with our expectations he does things his way, but his ways are always better! His wisdom will prevail.
Sunday 26th February 2023 – Luke 7:1-17
Jesus and Faith
Read Luke 7:1-10.
1. What is the problem and why do the Jewish elders think Jesus should help? (v1-6)
2. Do you ever find yourself praying and asking God to do something because you think you deserve His help? Do you know people who do things to try and earn God’s favour?
3. The second group of people expresses the centurion’s thoughts. How does he view himself? How does he view Jesus? What’s his logic on how he thinks Jesus operates? What does Jesus commend? (v7-9)
4. What is the even more amazing news from how the servant is healed? (v10)
Read Luke 7:11-17
5. What problem greets Jesus as he draws near the city? (v11 – 12)
6. Why does Jesus help and why is this such wonderful news? (v13)
7. How does Jesus help and what do the people fail to fully understand (v14-17)
8. Taking the passage as a whole why then does God bring salvation?
9. Spend time looking over the passage as a whole and think through all the ways people are blessed by Jesus. Which truth about Jesus do you most need to hear today? Spend time praising Him for this.
Sunday 19th February 2023 – Luke 6:37-49
How would you describe the attitude followers of Jesus are to have to others?
What has Jesus already said about ‘the measure’ to use? (see v.35-36)
Bearing in mind 6:1-11, what do you think is Jesus’ point here about who we follow?
To what extent are you quicker to admit your mistakes than to spot others’ mistakes?
Why is observing another person’s behaviour (as in v.41-42) not the issue?
Where does the real difference between followers and others lie?
What does Jesus imply about what is needed to be a real disciple of his?
What do the two people have in common here?
What is the difference and when do you notice it?
How much can you tell who the real disciples are on a Sunday morning?
Which kind of people are especially prone to the danger of only hearing Jesus words?
What, practically, would help you put Jesus’ words into practice?
Sunday 12th February 2023 – Luke 6:17-36
Big Idea: Jesus calls us to be a new people, with a new understanding of the world and a new way of life.
Application: Listen to Jesus, trust his judgement, obey his words and in so doing bear witness to the Father’s mercy.
Discussion Question
Why is it tempting to believe that Jesus came to bring unqualified peace and unity?
(Read Luke 12:51 What does Jesus say he came to bring?)
New People
1. Luke tells us Jesus came down from the mountain. What had he been doing while on top of the mountain?
2. How does Luke describe the crowd gathered around Jesus? Is it large or small? Why are they gathered? (v.17-18)
3. What does Jesus do for those who have gathered to be healed? (v.18-19)
The crowd gathered to hear Jesus (v.18). We now get to hear what they heard all those years ago. We get to hear the same words!
Pray that we would have hearts to hear and obey.
New Understanding
4. Who are Jesus’ words spoken to? (v.20)
(Pay careful attention to who is included in this category. See 6:16)
5. It is easy to think the blessings are directed to us and the woe to others, but here the blessings and woes are directed to disciples. What effect ought this to have on us?
6. Who are the blessed? Who are to be pitied? Is this how we naturally think about the world around us?
7. It is easy to think that these blessings idealise poverty, hunger and mourning. How does v.22 help us to understand that blessing comes through a relationship rather than our circumstances?
8. It is not easy being a follower of Jesus. It means needing to become dependent on Christ for everything and a whole lot of sacrifice.
Read Luke 5:8-11 and Luke 5:27-28. What do the disciples give up to follow Jesus?
Can you think of anything you have given up to follow Jesus? (Relationships, roles, friendships, pleasures, desires, ways of life?)
Read 18:28-30. what is the comfort?
New Way of Life
9. Jesus gives us a new way of understanding who is blessed and who is to be pitied.
If we follow him he gives us a new way to understand how to live in v.27-36. How is this a radical standard to live by?
10. If we live like this what would the world see in us? (See Luke 6:36.) What effect might it have on them?
Jesus divides the world by his word so that the church might stand out as a distinctive witness to God’s love in Christ.
11. The only way we would be be willing to obey this incredibly high standard is if we recognise how merciful the Lord has been to us in the first place. Do you recognise the mercy you have received from the Lord?


Sunday 4th December 2022 – Ecclesiastes 12:9-14
What does each verse in this section say about the book as a whole?
How does each verse affect how we approach and (re-)read the book?
In line with v.11, what does 2 Timothy 3:16 imply about the experience of reading the Bible?
What do you think ‘fearing God’ does and doesn’t mean?
Look up one or both of Exodus 20:18-21 and Luke 12:4-9.
How do these verses shed light on what it means?
Why is v.14 reassuring, given some of the things we have seen in the book (e.g. 1:2, 7:20, 8:14)?
Why is v.14 terrifying, given what you know of your own life?
What does the coming of Jesus mean for the Christian reading v.13-14?
(see Romans 8:1 and/or 2 Corinthians 5:21)
How has Ecclesiastes changed you view….
…of God?
…of the the Christian life?
Sunday 27th November 2022 – Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8
Temperamentally, are you more of a risk taker or a play-it-safe person? Why do you think that is?
What is the Teacher telling his readers to do?
In what was are we to do it? For what reason are we to do it? (v.1,2,6)
In what ways can we ‘cast’, ‘give’ and ‘sow’ what we have? Which of those ways will you pray about next?
How does what we know about God here encourage us to give generously?
We have had the theme of rejoicing and enjoying God’s gifts before in Ecclesiastes (2:24-25, 3:12-13, 5:18-20, 8:15, 9:7-10).
What, if anything, is new about the enjoyment of God’s gifts here in chapter 11?
12 v.1-8
When must we remember our creator?
What is it about God here that reminds us to remember Him before death comes?
How does the resurrection of Jesus strengthen the Teacher’s instructions in this section?
Sunday 20th November – Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:20
Study Option 1
1. 9v13-16 & 10v1
What evidence does Solomon put forward to show that the world is strange and incomprehensible?
2. 9v17-18, 10v4-7, 10v16-19
You would hope that those whose job it is to lead and rule people would have wisdom. what does Solomon say we should expect?
3. 10v2-3
What do the pictures in these verses communicate?
4. 10v4-7
What kind of situation do these verses address?
Why should we not surprised by the “evil” laid out here, according to all we’ve read so far in Ecclesiastes?
What is the recommendation to the wise in these verses?
What do verses 16-17 add to the subject?
How might these verses support the point made back in 2v13-14?
5. 10v8-15&18-19
What warnings to the foolish do we find here?
6. 10v12-14&20
What wise observations concerning our words do we find here?
What experience have you had on the weighty consequences of words described in these verses?
7. From all you have seen:
How are we more like this than we admit?
How might you learn from the wisdom in this passage?
Pray for God’s help.
Study Option 2
From the passage….
– How does a fool behave?
– What happens to him?
– How are we more like this than we like to admit?
– How does a wise person behave?
– How might you learn from this?
Pray for God’s help.
Sunday 13th October 2022 – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:12
“What is God up to?” – What causes you to have that thought?
What do we not  know in this world?
What do we know in this world?
Why is death so much worse than life?
If life is better than death, how should we live now?
Which of the areas mentioned by the Teacher are current features of your life? Which may be lacking?
Have a brief look at the following verses; Isa.25:6-8, Luke 14:16, Rev.19:9. 
Why else should we, ‘eat food with gladness and drink wine with a joyful heart’ (Ecclesiastes.9:7)?
How does that help us live in this world of unknowns?
Even as we enjoy God’s daily gifts, what do we need to remember about life?
Sunday 30th October 2022 -Ecclesiastes 8:1-17
Are you someone who loves to keep rules or more usually struggle to keep rules?
How do you find submitting to and obeying those over you?
What is the value of wisdom in v.1?
Why should people obey their rulers?
What different situations of injustice does the Teacher outline?
What are his instructions for living wisely in those situations?
Why is it still worth fearing the LORD in this unfair world?
What are you enjoying from God at the moment?
How successful is the Teacher’s quest for understanding the world?
How does his conclusion help us live for Christ in the unjust world?

Sunday 23rd October 2022 – Ecclesiastes 7

Big idea: God gives us wisdom as we confront the crooked reality of death

Aim: Know that great wisdom leads to trusting the Lord with crooked realities


It is hard to pin down a unifying theme in Ecclesiastes 7. I have structured the flow of thought as being

7:1-4    – Wisdom gained from recognising the reality of death

7:5-10  – Threats to wisdom

7:11-12 – The benefit of Wisdom

7:13-14 – God’s sovereignty over everything

7:15-22 – Wisdom for a crooked world

7:23-24 – Wisdom beyond us requiring trust

I think the key to this passage is focusing in on what God has done. God has control over the crooked things in this world and he has made the good as well as the bad days. True wisdom then depends on trusting God in everything.


1) Why does the Preacher say the day of death is better than the day of birth? (V.2)
Notes: I think what the preacher is saying is that death is a better teacher than birth. I get this from v.2, 3 and 4. In v.2 does not refer to the day of an individual’s death but the experience of mourning a death. V.3 the living have something to learn from death. V.4 The wise are found in the house of mourning. So it seems the preacher is saying we have something to learn from death not that our death is better than the day we were born.
2) There are two responses to the reality of death. Learn its lesson or find a form of escapism. What do the wise do? What do the foolish do? (v.2-4)
3) Death teaches the wise but wisdom can be lost. What are some of the ways wisdom comes under threat in vv.5-10?
Notes: You could explore a few of these and discuss how and why they might threaten wisdom

4) What is the benefit of wisdom vv.11-12?

5) v.13-14 acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all experiences. How does this perspective aid wisdom and understanding?

6) What does being overighteous v.16 look like? What does being overwicked mean? What is the Preacher asking us to do v.18

Notes: The preacher is not allowing for us bring just a little wicked or just a little righteous. He wants us to be balanced. Don’t pretend to be so holy that you suck the joy out of life. Don’t give yourself over to wickedness and become consumed by it. Avoid all extremes know that even as someone striving for righteousness you will still inevitably sin. Have a balanced perspective.
7) How does vv.21-22 encourage a wise and balanced perspective with regards to matters under the sun?

8) The preacher has a great amount of wisdom, and he is determined to “be wise”. What is his confession in v.23 and 24?

Notes: Even with all his wisdom – and perhaps because of it – the preacher recognises there are things he just does not and will not understand.

9) The Lord knows that we will not understand everything. How might this be a comfort and a relief to us?

I ended the sermon with the cross of Christ reminding us all that the Lord made sense of that terrible day. If he is able to turn such a crooked day into a beautiful saving reality then we can trust him with our crooked realities. This is true wisdom.
Sunday 9th October – Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
What setting does the Teacher have in mind?
Read John 4:21-26
What does Jesus say about true worship today?
How is that different from the worship in Ecclesiastes 5?
What is the sacrifice of fools? Why is it dangerous?
Why are we to listen to God more than speak to God when we gather?
How are dreams and ‘many words’ similar? (See also v.7)
In what ways might we think of and relate to God inadequately?
How can your mouth lead you into sin in corporate worship, according to the Teacher? (cf. Matt. 21:28-32)
Why is that serious, according to the Teacher? (cf. Acts 5:1-11)
When are we most in danger of our mouths leading us into sin?
Read Hebrews 10:19-25 & 12:28-29
How should our worship today be different from Ecclesiastes 5 and how should it be the same?
How practically could we ‘guard our steps’ when we come?


Sunday 2nd October 2022 – Ecclesiastes 4:1-16
v. 1-3
What makes oppression so awful for people?
When have you been closest to agreeing with v.2-3?
v. 4-6
How does your heart react when you hear of friends’ success?
How would you put v.6 into your own words?
v. 7-8
How would you describe this man’s life?
v. 9-12
Why is two better than one?
How have you experienced these verses?
v. 13-16
Why does each king end up isolated?
In which area of life might you still be trying to be ‘king’?
How in church do we display ‘me’ not ‘we’ thinking…?
– on Sundays?
– in small groups?
– in our prayers?
– in our evangelism?


Sunday 25th September 2022 – Ecclesiastes 3:1-22
1) The Lord governs all times and seasons and everything is beautiful in its time (3:11). How is this theological truth helpful in times of joy, sorrow and uncertainty?
2) How does the reality of God’s judgement to come satisfy our longing for justice in the world?
3) Have you seen evidence of people striving to achieve lasting significance through their efforts?
4) How does Christ’s work on the Cross free us from the meaningless pursuit of striving for eternal significance through our own works?
Sunday 18th September 2022 – Ecclesiastes – 1:12-2:26
1 v.12-18
Where does the Teacher’s search for meaning begin?
How does our experience confirm his concluding thoughts in v.15 and v.18?
2 v.1-11
Which areas of life does he turn to next?
v.1-3, v.4-6, v.7-9
In what ways might you be trying to look in the same place for meaning/satisfaction?
How do we know the Teacher is serious about his search? What is his conclusion throughout?
2 v.12-16
As the Teacher re-looks into wisdom, why is it still ‘meaningless’?
2 v.17-26
Why is work meaningless?
Why does mankind feel life in this way? (see also 1:13)
What do you think it means, and doesn’t mean, to ‘please God’ (v.26) in this context?
How can we become better at v.24-25?
Sunday 11th September 2022 – Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:26
Introductory study
Split into twos or threes. Pick a section of Ecclesiastes.
Think through the question to get a flavour of the book.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-26
Ecclesiastes 3:1-5:7
Ecclesiastes 5:8-8:17
Ecclesiastes 9:1-12:14
Which areas of the life does the Teacher describe?
What response does the Teacher make to his exploration?
Where does God fit into the Teacher’s conclusions?
In one sense, our response to Ecclesiastes may depend on our current circumstances and our personal predisposition.
How would you describe your life currently?
How would you place yourself on this spectrum?
And where would you place the Teacher in Ecclesiastes?
Happy Optimist                             Miserable Pessimist
Read Ecclesiastes 12:8-14
What do we learn about the book as the Teacher concludes?
What should that lead us to pray as we start looking at Ecclesiastes?
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 study
Given who the Teacher is, what might we expect his book to be like?
“Meaningless!” may not be the best translation. It is better to think of that which is fleeting and futile.
How would you explain those terms (“fleeting” and “futile”) to a child?
What is the Teacher’s implied point in v.3?
What are the different ways he justifies his claim in v.4-11?
For each of these verses, does Jesus reject or reinforce what the Teacher says? In what way?
Mark 8:36
Matthew 6:25-34
How might you still live as if you gain something from this world?
In your family life?
In your working life?
In your church serving and involvement?


Sunday 24th July 2022 – 1 Peter 4:7-11
Why do you think ‘the end’ needs a ‘clear mind’ and ‘self-control’?
Given what is required, what is implied about what praying is like?
How are Christians to live with each other?
Why do you think Peter mentions this after talking about our suffering in the world?
How does Peter expect God’s grace to be given to the church family?
What is the goal of God’s grace being given to the church?
Where are you most challenged over your involvement in church life?
Sunday 17th July 2022 – 1 Peter 4:1-16
When do you feel the most pressure to join in the world’s behaviour?
What opposition were Christians facing? Why is it so pressurising to join the world?
What motivations does Peter give to live for the will of God?
What reassurance is there for Christians living differently?
How can we keep the perspective of v.1 and vv.5-6 as we live in the world?
What are some of the costs you may face as you decide to be ‘doe with sin’?
Sunday 10th July 2022 – 1 Peter 3:13-22
Peter has talked a lot in his letter about suffering for being a believer in Jesus.
How close is that to your experience of being a Christian?
1 Peter 3:13-17
What are Peter’s readers to do?
Why is that important for Christians suffering unfairly?
What is the reaction of the world when Christians suffer unfairly?
Why do you think Peter specifies ‘gentleness and respect’ for our response?
What challenges you from v.15-16?
1 Peter 3:18-22
How do we know it’s better to suffer for doing good?
What is the good that comes from the cross here?
What else did Christ do?
How is Noah’s experience like Peter’s readers’ experience?
Although these are tricky verses, how does Christ’s work provide encouragement for suffering believers?
Sunday 3rd July 2022 – 1 Peter 3:8-12
Recap 2:9-12
What is our identity and role as Christians?
What are the principles for living in the world?
What is the key distinctive behaviour that runs through these verses?
What are the distinctive features of v.8 ways of living compared to the world’s living?
Which parts of v.8 do you think churches are weak on?
Can you think of an example of repaying evil with blessing in one of these areas….
with neighbours?
in the work place?
with unbelieving family?
Why are we to live this way?
What has Peter said already in the letter about what we will inherit?
What does Peter say here about the blessing we enjoy now?
How will you think differently about days you may suffer unjustly for being a Christian?
Why are they ‘good’?
Sunday 12th June 2022 – 1 Peter 2:18-25
Recap v.9-12
How are Christians to think of themselves?
What is our purpose in the world?
What must accompany that purpose?
What is hard about this instruction?`
What reasons does Peter give to follow this instruction?
Why do you think Peter adds vv.24-25?
How do the different descriptions of salvation add to our appreciation of the cross?
Sunday 5th June 2022 – 1 Peter 2:11-17
What two things does Peter urge Christians to do in light of being foreigners and exiles v11 & 12?
Are you aware of the battle for abstinence and actively engaged in it?
How does knowing what God has done, (Recap over Ch 1 – 2:10) to make us His citizens, help us in the battle?
Are you seeking to do good deeds & how might it help unbelievers who watch you? v12
What else are we instructed to do and why v13 & 14?
Why are authorities in power over us v14 & 15?
How free are we as God’s citizens v16?
What is the caveat v17?
How does this passage challenge the mindset of those without Christ?
Sunday 29th May 2022 – 1 Peter 2:4-10
What is the main image used by Peter?
What is Peter saying about Jesus?
What is Peter saying about Christians?
Read Exodus 19:5-6
What are God’s people to be and how are they to be it?
Which phrases have a link with 1 Peter 2:9?
How are Christians to be those things?
What will it mean in practice for you to live out what you are?
How will you remember who you are, as a Christian, and what your job is?
Sunday 22nd May 2022 – 1 Peter 1:22-2:3
1. How does this passage show us the priority of loving our brothers and sisters?
2. How do you think vs. 23-24 motivate us to love one another?
3. Work through the list of things in 2:1. How does each one undermine love?
4. How would you characterise your own attitude to God’s word at the moment?
5. Do you see sermons / Bible studies / personal reading time as a chance to ‘taste that the Lord is good’? What gets in the way of that happening for you, do you think?
6. In the light of this passage, how might we ask God to help us and change us?
Sunday 15th May 2022 – 1 Peter 1:13-21
How do these verses link to v.1-12?
What is involved in setting your hope on the grace to be given?
– What things distract you from the future grace to be given when Jesus is revealed?
What reason does Peter give for believers to be holy?
For each reason (at least 4?), what are you reminded of about God?
Is there a particular way in which you are struggling to be ‘set apart’ for God and different from the world?
Pick one of Peter’s motivations for holiness to pray in for yourself and each other.
Sunday 1st May 2022 – 1 Peter 1:1-12
What are you currently looking forward to?
What are you currently finding a trial?
What situation are Peter’s readers in? (see also v.6)
How are they to think of themselves?
How does v.2 reassure them?
Why can they praise God even in their suffering?
Why is their future certain?
What is God’s purpose in our trials?
What are the signs of faith, even in suffering?
What point is Peter making about ‘this salvation’? How does he make it?
Peter seems to expect believers to be fully confident of the future and rejoice in it even in the midst of trials.
To what extent are you rejoicing in your inheritance, even in trials?
If not, or not much, which words do you need to return to here?
Sunday 10th April 2022 – Mark10:32-52
Jesus has predicted his death twice before in Mark; 8:31 and 9:31
What are the new features of this prediction of Jesus’ death?
How do the disciples show the wrong way to follow Jesus?
How do they misunderstand Jesus?
What do they not understand about themselves?
How might you have become like the disciples here? Why might that be?
What is the essence of Christian greatness and why?
How does Bartimaeus show the right way to follow Jesus?
What do we know about Bartimaeus?
What does he know about Jesus?
Why is it significant that Bartimaeus follows Jesus ‘along the road’?
The cross is both the example to follow and essential to receive (Mark 10:45)
Which do you need to hear at the moment?
How can you keep the cross in view more, as you follow Jesus?
Sunday 3rd April 2022 – Mark 10:1-30
A. 3 Question Study
Ask of each section – v.1-12, v.13-16, v.17-31 – the following questions
What is the wrong thinking here about salvation (pleasing God/the kingdom of God/eternal life)?
How does Jesus show the need for the Son of Man to be a ransom for sinners (10.45)?
How do these verses convict you and encourage you?
B. Section Study
How would you describe the Pharisees attitude to the law?
How would you define marriage according to Jesus?
How does Jesus correct contemporary thinking about divorce?
What characteristic of children does Jesus draw out?
What stops us having that characteristic?
How is this man unlike a child (and unlike us so often!)?
What is the man’s problem and how does Jesus uncover it?
What are you in danger of not leaving for Jesus?
How can mankind be saved?
What is Peter’s concern and how does Jesus reassure him?
What is each character in v.1-31 denying/forgetting?
Sum up from v.1-31 what it means to follow Jesus
Sunday 27th March 2022 – Mark 9:30-50
How are the disciples expected to embrace the following teaching?
For each of the next sections, v.33-37, v.38-42 and v.43-50,….
– …what sinful attitude are disciples to deny?
– …what cross shaped action are disciples to take up?
Supplementary Questions
What kind of service is Jesus talking about?
Who do you think are the insignificant ‘children’ today?
Why do you think John feels this (v.38), given what’s happened?
Why does Jesus say John should not stop the man?
In which situations do you need to be better at welcoming the ministry of others?
How might not welcoming the least of other Christians cause them to sin?
How could you deal radically with the sin of excluding other Christians?
If one characteristic of salt is its distinctiveness, what is the distinctive Christian behaviour being talked about?
There will be many ‘please’ prayers arising from this passage.
What might be your ‘thank you’ response? (v.31)
Sunday 20th March 2022 – Mark 9:2-29
What has Jesus just said about what it means to follow him?
How does the transfiguration reassure the disciples about the demands of following Jesus?
What can be learnt about Jesus from…
– where they are (v.2)?
– the appearance of Jesus (v.3)?
– the appearance, and then disappearance of Moses and Elijah (v.4, 8)?
 -the cloud and the voice (v.7)?
‘This kind’ (v.29)
How does Mark show the seriousness of the evil spirit?
How does Mark show the supreme power of Jesus?
‘only by prayer’ (v.29)
Looking at Jesus’ conversation with the father (v.21-24), how would you define ‘prayer’ from this incident?
How might disciples today make the same mistake as the disciples then?
Taking the whole passage together, what are we learning about what it means to follow Jesus?
Sunday 13th March 2022 – Mark 8:31-9:1
What does the cross mean to you?
Why did Christ come?
In the following conversation, how do you explain the reactions of Peter and then Jesus?
What will it mean to follow this Christ?
Why is it worth paying the cost of following Christ?
How and why do we shy away from this pattern of discipleship?
Sunday 6th March 2022 – Mark 8:11-33
What is Jesus’ attitude to those who want “proof” for him?
Why do you think that is? (cf. what we saw about humanity in ch. 7)
How does Jesus say the disciples are failing?
Why does Jesus say they are failing?
What are we learning about both religious authorities and friends of Jesus?
Why does Mark put v.22-26 next?
What part does the blind man play in his healing?
What is Mark saying about how Peter has come to see who Jesus is?
How does that affect
– how we see our own coming to faith?
– how we approach our speaking to others of Christ?
– how we relate to other believers?
What is unusual about this miracle?
What is Mark saying about Peter’s understanding of Jesus?
How is this confirmed as you read to v.33?
How might we be clear on Jesus being the Christ, but not on what he has come to do for us?
Sunday 27th February 2022 – Mark: 7:24-8:10
Chapter 7: verses 24-30:
1. What do we learn about Jesus’ movements and what is their significance? 
2. Why do you think Jesus answers the Syrian Phoenician woman in the way he does? 
3. What is it about her attitude to Jesus that he so commends? 
4. The Syrian Phoenician woman was perhaps a very unlikely outsider, what does this teach us about who the gospel is for? 
verses 31-37:
5. What is the significance of the healing of the deaf and mute man in verses 31-37? 
6. Read Isaiah 35:1-10. How does this inform our understanding of what Jesus has come to do? 
Chapter 8: verses 8:1-10:
7. What are the similarities and differences between the feeding of the 5000 and the feeding of the 4000 here in 8:1-10? 
8. How are we to understand this feeding miracle? How does Exodus ch.16 (specifically 16:31-32) and the Exodus itself influence how we should understand what Jesus is revealing about himself and what he has come to do? 
9. How does the context of ch.7:20-23 suggest what Jesus’ rescue will deal with? 
10. How does this passage give us a greater appreciation of what Jesus came to do? 
10. How has this passage made you thankful for the gospel coming to you? 
11. How does this passage encourage us in our evangelism? 
Sunday 20th February 2022 – Mark 7:1-23
What are the Pharisees concerned about?
What is Jesus’ assessment of what they are doing?
What are the consequences of what they are doing for….
– their worship?
– a concern for the needy?
What might a wrong concern for tradition (or a way of doing things) look like in evangelical churches (like ours) today?
How can we tell if a ‘way of doing things” is becoming too important or is a good tradition?
How would you summarise Jesus’ main point?
How does that compare with what the world says is wrong with the world?
What is surprising about the list of sins in v.21-22?
About whom might we not believe what Jesus says here?
In what situations might we need to rehearse this truth to ourselves?
Read Ezekiel 36:24-26
Bearing in mind what God has promised he will do, why do you think Jesus tells us this sobering truth?
Sunday 13th February 2022 – Mark 6:30-56
Having just seen the cost of “going out” for Jesus (v.12-29), what might readers of Mark be wondering about Jesus?
What makes Jesus’ compassion striking here?
Read Ezekiel 34:7-16
What is Mark saying about Jesus in Mark 6?
How do the details of this event make it clear it is a miracle and not a grand ‘bring and share’ exercise?
If Jesus could do such a miracle, why do you think he tells the disciples to give the crowd food?
What will the crowd be expecting of Jesus now?
How does that help explain why Jesus prayed? (cf.1:35, 14:35)
What is the situation for the disciples and how long have they been in it?
Read Exodus 33:12-23, 34:5-7
What is revealed as God passes Moses by?
What is Jesus showing the disciples about himself?
How does that fit with what Jesus then does?
What do you think of the disciples reaction here?
To what extent would you say you know that Jesus is the glorious LORD God?
What would be a good prayer next time you find yourself ‘straining…against the wind’?
Sunday 30th January 2022 – Mark 4:35-5:43
1. Discuss the state of the world today. Is it improving? What do people trust in to try to improve things?
2. God promises a better world, the Kingdom of God. What does Mark 4:1-34 teach us about that Kingdom? How do people enter it? What is like now and what is promised for the future?
3. In Mark 4:35 – 5:43 we are shown 4 accounts of Jesus taking people to a better place. For each account discuss the eyewitness evidence that describes the difficult situation the people are in before Jesus intervenes. In each case, how does Jesus help them?
4. How does Jesus treat the people He helps?
5. In each scenario there are people who are either helped by Jesus or who observe what Jesus is doing. Discuss how each reacts.
6. How does Jesus prompt people to react? 4v40, 5v34, 5v36
Life may be tough now. The kingdom may appear insignificant now. What do the passages we’ve studied today encourage us to do?
Sunday 16th January 2022 – Mark 3:7-35
To what extent do you think you’re an obvious choice to be a Christian?!
Judging by the previous section and esp. 3v.6, what could you think about the progress of the kingdom of God?
As the Pharisees (‘old Israel’/people of God) reject Jesus, what are the signs of a new people of God?
What are the marks of an apostle?
What sort of people does Jesus call?
Who are the insiders here? How are they each responding to Jesus?
How does Jesus answer the claim of the teachers of the law?
What does Jesus say he has come to do?
What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Who should/shouldn’t be concerned about it?
How does Jesus answer the claim of his family?
How are the family and the crowd contrasted?
Who does Jesus say are his family?
Do you count yourself as a natural ‘insider’ or ‘outsider’? Why?
What is the warning to the ‘insider’?
What is the wonderful news for the ‘outsider’?
Sunday 9th January 2022 – Mark 1:1-15
What do the voices of the world say about Jesus?
What is your instinctive thought about Jesus?
What does Mark say about Jesus?
What does the Old Testament say about Jesus?
Who is promising to do what in Malachi 2:17-3:5 and Isaiah 40:1-5?
What does John the Baptist say about Jesus?
What does John’s preparation for Jesus tell us about Jesus?
What does God say about Jesus?
Looking at Psalm 2 and Isaiah 42:1-5, what is being said about Jesus?
What does Jesus say about himself?
Why does it matter for Christians to know who Jesus is?
What do these verses say about the appropriate response to Him?
What will it mean for us as Christians to do that?
Sunday 5th December 2021 – 2 Corinthians 12:11-13:14
What is the last exam you took?! Did you pass?
What do some of the Corinthians evidently think about Paul?
How does Paul reassure them about his visit?
How does his ministry to them reflect his Lord?
When might we find it hard to embrace a cross shape in the ministry we receive?
How might our lives reflect the cross in the ministry we do?
What does he fear about their lives?
What sin might you be in danger of “allowing” and not repenting of?
How does the cross of Christ help you to repent of it?
What is Paul’s warning?
How will his possible action reflect Christ?
What must they do and what’s the incentive to do it?
From the passage so far, what is it about Paul that we need to test in ourselves?
How are they going to pass the test? What will they enjoy if they do?
What have been some of the main lessons for you from 2 Corinthians? Which verses will you return to?


Sunday 28th November 2021 – 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
What makes you feel weak?
What do we know about Paul’s strange experience?
Why does he not tell all the details?
What do we learn about a right attitude to extraordinary spiritual experiences?
What does Paul understand about his ‘thorn in the flesh’?
What is his attitude to it?
What weaknesses do you experience that have not been taken away yet?
What is the reassurance when they remain?
How is God’s ‘power in weakness’ demonstrated in the cross of Christ?
Where and how could we better embrace weakness…
…in our speaking to others about Jesus?
…in our church life together?
…in our personal lives?
How will you remember Christ’s promise for our weaknesses?
Sunday 21st November 2021 – 2 Corinthians 11:16-33
Do you think it’s good or bad to boast?
Why do the Corinthians think Paul is a fool? (v.5)
What is Paul conceding to do and why?
How does he feel about it?
How have the Corinthians shown themselves to be foolish and not wise?
Can you think why on earth a Christian might put up with leaders like those in v.20?
At what point in Paul’s list of boasting will the Corinthians be surprised?
What kind of sufferings does Paul boast about?
Why is Paul boasting like this? (v.12)
v.30-33. (See also Acts 9:1-2, 19b-25)
In Acts, how does Paul come across as a person on his way to Damascus? v.1-2
And what sort of person does he seem to be on his departure from Damascus? v.19b-25
So why do you think Paul includes this incident in 2 Cor 11?
What can we learn from Paul in his undermining of the Corinthians worldly thinking?
Thinking in the bigger picture, why shouldn’t it surprise us that he boasts in weakness?
Sunday 14th November 2021 –  2 Corinthians 11:1-15
What picture of being a Christian does Paul use?
What is Paul’s longing?
And what is his concern?
What might be an example today of a different Jesus/Spirit/gospel?
To what extent do you think our marriage to Jesus is under threat?
What does Paul point to to reassure the Corinthians that he is genuine?
Why is he so keen not to be a burden to them?
How can we collectively focus better on the content and conduct of Christian work and not the style or communication?
What is Satan’s method?
Why is it so dangerous?
What is our reassurance?
Are we as a church more likely to put all teachers on trial or put up with (v.4) any Christ?
What might it mean practically not to put up with any Christ?
Sunday 7th November 2021 – 2 Corinthians 10:1-18
If you asked a non Christian you know, ‘what makes a genuine Christian church?’, what might they say?
What are the accusations against Paul? 
What is Paul’s appeal to the Corinthians? Why do you think he emphasises the meekness and gentleness of Christ?
What might the weapons of the world be in Paul’s mind (v.3)?
What are Paul’s weapons? (see 2 Cor. 4:2-5)
What does the military metaphor say about what’s needed for someone to become a Christian?
What is the evidence for Paul’s weapons being effective?
How are we in danger of trusting the weapons of the world?
How do the false teachers in Corinth seem to be commending themselves?
How is Paul so different from that?
When and why might you assess a Christian work (whether in a church or an individual) by comparison?
As you think of Christian work (in an individual or a church) what will help you to boast in the Lord?
Sunday 31st October 2021 – 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
How are the Corinthians to give and why?
How are they not to give and why?
Currently, honestly, how do you give?
How can anyone contemplate giving generously and joyfully?
What is God’s like in v.8?
What is Paul saying is one of the ‘good works’ Christians will abound in?
What is the psalm saying about how a person’s righteousness is displayed?
What is the character and purpose of God’s giving?
Why might we not think of God in terms of v.8 and v.10?
What would help us know God as the generous supplier of all grace?
What are the results of the Corinthians giving? (can you spot 3?)
How does CCW experience those results as we give to mission partners and others?
Having looked at these chapters on Christian giving, decide for yourself what you will do differently,
but even more importantly, how will you think about God differently?
Sunday 24th October 2021 – 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5
What do you understand by integrity?
How much do you think it matters and why?
How does Paul prove his integrity in his handling of the gift?
– In the couriers?
– In his motives?
– In his concerns?
How should a normal church member respond to the need for integrity in the handling of money?
How does Paul want the Corinthians to show their integrity in the giving of money? (see also 8:6-7,11)
Why are the Corinthians to be commended?
What is Paul trying to avoid?
How might we be quick to respond to money issues in word only and not deed?
If we give grudgingly, why might that be?
What would it mean practically for us to be ready and prepared to give?
Sunday 26th September 2021 – 1 Timothy
Questions for further reflection on Ordered Leadership
1 Timothy
Off the top of your head, what makes a good church leader?
Read 1:3 and 6:20-21
What situation does Timothy face and what is he to do?
Read 3:14-15
Why is Paul writing the letter?
From the letter as a whole, why is the organisation of church leadership so vital?
Read 3:1-13
What do you think of the list of requirements as a job description?
What is the difference between elders and deacons in what they must do?
How must overseers be in their…
– sex life?
– family life?
– social life?
– speech?
– finances?
How do you explain all the things he must ‘not’ be? Why might a leader be those things?
What is Timothy alerted to in v.6-7?
Why would anyone want to be a deacon?
what does Paul value most in good leadership?
How and why might we value gifts over godliness or competence over character?
If these are the requirements for church leaders, what does that say about…
– the best way to grow new leaders?
– where leaders will be under spiritual attack?
– what we pray for church leaders?
Which area of godliness from here will you pray for yourself?
Sunday 19th September 2021 – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Questions for further reflection on Relational Leadership
How would you describe Paul’s relationship with God?
What are the signs that Paul is living to please God?
Who else might a leader/any Christian be tempted to please? Why?
What are the signs of Paul’s motherly care?
What is the goal of motherly care?
What might it look like today for a leader to burden people?
What could we pray for leaders from these verses?
What are the signs of fatherly encouragement?
What is the goal of fatherly encouragement?
To what extent does our encouragement of others have the same goal?
What could we pray from these verses for those who are led?
Sunday 12th September 2021 – Mark 10:35-45
Questions for further reflection on Servant Leadership
What has been your experience of Christian leadership so far?
Read Mark 10:35-45
What is the danger even for close followers of Jesus?
How do you see that in church leaders/in yourself?
What does Jesus say about how his way is different from the world’s way?
Why is it different?
Read Daniel 7:13-14
What sort of status does the Son of Man figure have and how does he get it?
Why would that be a comfort to Daniel, given his circumstances?
Re-Read Mark 10:45
What does Jesus’ service mean for him?
What does Jesus’ service mean for others?
Thank the LORD Jesus for his service of us, paying for our self-centred discipleship.
How does remembering Jesus help you as you lead/are led?
What can we pray for ourselves and others as leaders?
Sunday 25th July 2021 – Isaiah 60:1-22
There are only two commands in this passage (verses 1 and 4), and a lot of promises!  
1. The command to “Arise, shine…” in v. 1 would be very daunting, if it meant shining forth the light of our own brilliance.  But if Jesus is the true Light and glory of the LORD, how does that change things?  
2. If vv. 3-9 speak of the nations coming to Zion, where do se see that being fulfilled today?  How will we see it fulfilled one day?  How might that encourage us to arise and shine this week?
3. If vv. 10-14 speak of the LORD’s enemies being humbled, how does Jesus confirm that this will happen?  We might instantly feel concerned about family members who don’t know the LORD, but is Isaiah writing to concern us or comfort us? How might that encourage us to arise and shine this week?
4. If vv. 15-18 speak of the LORD transforming Zion, what do you find most intriguing and exciting? What picture is being painted of the New Heavens and the New Earth? How might that encourage us to arise and shine this week?
5. If vv. 19-22 speak of the LORD lighting up Zion with his presence. Even if it’s hard (or rather, impossible) to imagine what this will be like, what signs are there that it will be good?    How might that encourage us to arise and shine this week?
Sunday 11th July 2021 – Isaiah 58
How do we know this is a vital message?
Fasting was a solemn, serious act which showed a humble, repentant heart.
What has it become?
When is our Christianity in danger of becoming the same?
What does God require of his people?
How would you sum up the life God wants for us?
What does God promise for his people as they give themselves to his concerns?
How are those things brought by Christ? And experienced by Christians?
How might we seek those things elsewhere, apart from our relationship with God through Christ?
Sunday 4th July 2021 – Isaiah 56-57
1. Treating chapter 57:13 as something of a summary verse, what’s the warning it contains?  And what’s the promise? How would you fill out those thoughts, given the fuller revelation of the New Testament?
2. Chapter 56:9 suggests danger is approaching Israel.  Why aren’t the leaders any help? (56:10-12)
3. Chapter 57:1-2 suggests that death is a blessing in this context.  Why?
4. Chapter 57:3-13a is a grim picture of Israel’s idol-worship.  Do you think we view idolatry in the same way?  Why or why not?
5. Chapter 57:13b-19 are a great encouragement to keep trusting the LORD.  
a) What do we see of his love and grace? How is that displayed in Jesus?
b)What do we see of his intentions for those who are ‘contrite and lowly in spirit’?
c) How have these intentions been fulfilled already for those trusting in Jesus?
d) How will these intentions been fulfilled completely at Jesus’ return?
6. When you’re next convicted of sin in an uncomfortable way, how will this passage help?
Sunday 27th June 2021 – Isaiah 56:1-8
1. What promises does the LORD make in these verses?
2. Read Isaiah 61:1-3.  How do you think these verses (which are about Jesus, according to Luke 4:14-21) relate to Isaiah 56:1-8, do you think?
3. If foreigners and eunuchs were usually barred from the corporate worship of God’s people (Deuteronomy 23), how would they have felt hearing Isaiah 56:1-8 for the first time?
4. What do these verses teach us about God’s character and purposes?  Does that correct the way we think of him at all?
5. Looking at vv. 1, 2, 4, 6, how do you think those commands/expectations apply to us as Christians today?  How would you sum up what God requires of us?
Sunday 20th June 2021 – Matthew 25:31-46
How do you react to these verses initially?
How will Jesus come again?
What will happen?
Compare the destinies in v.34 and v.41.
What makes eternal life so wonderful and eternal punishment so dreadful?
What is Jesus looking for?
Who are the people in  v.40? (see Matthew 12:46-50)
What do we learn about the deeds required?
(Why is Jesus NOT encouraging salvation by works?)
Think of at least 3 ways you could practically help a fellow believer in need. Be specific!
If you’re reassured by these verses, how does Galatians 6:9-10 encourage you?
If you’re alarmed by these verses, how does Matthew 26:1-2 encourage you?
Sunday 13th June 2021 – Matthew 25:14-30
As Jesus continues to teach about the coming of the Son of Man (24:39b), what has been the main application so far? (see 24:42, 25:13)
What do we know about the master?
How would you describe the response of the first two servants?
Why are the first two servants commended?
What is their reward?
What does it mean to “keep watch”?
How are the different amounts entrusted to the servants reflected in followers of Jesus today?
With whom might you compare yourself as you serve Jesus?
What is the reassurance for our serving the LORD?
What is the attitude of the third servant to the Master?
What mistakes has he made?
In which area of life might you do the least to serve Jesus rather than the best?
What, from the passage, will set you going again to do your best to serve him?
Sunday 6th June 2021 – Matthew 25:1-13
1. What jumps out at you from this parable?  Is there anything you find confusing?
2. Until the bridegroom arrived, all ten virgins must have looked very  similar.  When were their differences exposed?  So how does the passage warn us about Jesus’ coming?
3. Why don’t you think the foolish virgins took oil with them?  How does v. 13 help you answer?
4. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus gives a similar warning. Matthew 7:21-23 is followed by the parable of the wise and foolish builder, in which the wise builder represents everyone who “hears these words of mine and puts them into practice”.  Do you think that might help us obey the command of Matthew 25:13?
5. In Matthew 24 we learnt that Jesus’ return will be sudden and unexpected.  Here in chapter 25:1-13 we learn that we need to prepare for a long delay.  How do  both of those realities help us as we think about this coming week?
6. Is there any area of your life where you feel a particular gap between your appearance as a Christian and your reality as a Christian? 
7. If the vital thing is to know Jesus (the true bridegroom) and be known by him, how do we do that?  Why does that look like on a day to day basis?  Think through what that would look like in some different scenarios…
Sunday 30th May 2021 – Psalm 30
Main point from the sermon:
Sing praise to the Lord who turns wailing into dancing….
And trust in Him alone.
Questions for study:
How would you describe David’s initial experience?
How bad was it?
Can you think of similar experiences in your life of being “in the depths”?
What was the extent of the change that the LORD brought about in David’s life?
Do you have any similar testimonies of deliverance or change in circumstances as a result of calling out to the LORD?
How is David’s experience an anticipation of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
How can Jesus also sing this Psalm?
How is it that we who are in Christ can share in this experience of being brought from death to life?
What should our response be to the truths in this Psalm?
What does David call God’s people to do?
What reasons are we given to praise and exalt God, even when our present experience might be weeping and wailing?
What lessons did David learn in v.6-10?
When might we need to remember such lessons?
What will it look like for you to sing this Psalm in your life?
What things can we thank God for, and continue to thank God for forever?
What are the things for which you cry out to God?
How does our solid future hope in Jesus and his resurrection help us when life is hard?
Sunday 23rd May 2021 – Matthew 24:36-51
How often do you think of Jesus’ return?
What does Jesus say about his return?
What does it say about Jesus that he does not know “the day”?
How does it help us that no one knows “the day”?
What makes the servant “faithful and wise”?
What makes the servant “wicked”?
When might you put following Jesus “on hold”?
Which horizons might distract you from the horizon of Jesus’ return?
Sunday 9th May 2021 – 2 Corinthians 7:2-16
When was the last time you were told off? How did you react?
How is Paul encouraged by the Corinthians?
What kind of letter has Paul evidently written?
Why do we find it hard to receive words which may “hurt”?
What does the combination of Paul’s loving concern for them (v.2-4) and his hard words to them (v.8) teach us?
What has made Paul happy?
How have they shown godly sorrow? Is there a particular response in v.11 that challenges you personally?
How might you tend to show worldly sorrow?
In what ways can you be better at responding to sin with godly sorrow?
Why did Paul write the letter? (see also 2:3-4)
What should be the outcome of godly sorry and real repentance?
What things does this passage prompt us to pray for CCW?


Sunday 2nd May 2021 – 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1
1. Where do you sometimes find yourself longing for Jesus to “fit better” with the world in which we live?
2. Looking at 6:3-13, how would you describe Paul’s ministry? Why do you think he commends himself in this way to the Corinthians?
3. Thinking about the gospel hope as spelt out in chapter 5, what evidence is there that Paul himself is sustained by that hope?
4. Paul is sometimes imagined to be a detached teacher of dry doctrinal truth.  How do these verses challenge that view?
5. How do 6:3-13 help to set our expectations for authentic Christian ministry (at a church level and/or a personal level)?  
6. Thinking about 6:14-7:1, Paul is not calling for believers to keep away from unbelievers (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-10). What is he calling for?  
7. What is the motivation, according to Paul (see OT quotations)?
8. Where do you need to hear the call Paul gives in 6:14-7:1?
Sunday 25th April 2021 – 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2
What motivates you to keep living and speaking as a Christian?
Why does Paul fear the Lord? (see also v.9-10)
What does Paul say about why he is writing?
How might we take pride in what is seen more than what is in the heart?
What would change in your life if you lived for God alone, not for others?
How does the love of Christ motivate Paul?
How does that change how he sees people? What will that mean in practice?
What is the big theme of these verses?
What do we learn about…
– how it starts?
– how it works?
– how it is applied?
What might it look like to receive God’s grace in vain?
Which motivation from this passage do you need to hear most?
Sunday 18th April 2021 – 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Do you tend to think more of the journey of life or the destination of life?
v. 1-5
How does Paul describe the future for the Christian?
How can we be sure of the future? (see also 4 v.14)
How is the image of v.1 encouraging?
What does that future mean for now?
When do you most know that experience?
v. 6-8
How does Paul describe the future for the Christian?
What does the future mean for now?
When do you most need confidence to live by faith?
v. 9-10
How would you describe the judgement to come for Christians?
In which areas of life do you need to change your “goal” to pleasing Jesus?
What practically will help keep the destination of life in mind?
Sunday 28th March 2021 – Matthew 26:30-46
What is Jesus saying about his death here?
What do we learn about humanity here?
Why do the disciples fail Jesus?
How is Jesus in the face of his death? (v.38, 39, 42, 45)
What do the last two verses say about Jesus?
How, from these verses, have you been…
– Taught?
– Rebuked?
– Encouraged?
– Trained to live for Jesus?
Sunday 21st March 2021 – Matthew 26:17-29
“Jesus dies for me!” – what does that phrase conjure up for you?
What impression of Jesus do we get here?
What was so treacherous about this betrayal?
What is so serious about this betrayal?
What impression of Jesus do we get here?
Look up Exodus 24:4-11
What does Moses do with blood?
What is the result?
Look up Jeremiah 31:31-34
What are the features of the new covenant?
What is Jesus saying about himself?
How do you tend to measure the state of your relationship with God?
What might you notice about the person who truly understands the wonder of the forgiveness of sins?
How do these verses fill out the phrase, “Jesus dies for me”?


Sunday 14th March 2021 – Matthew 26:1-16
What is Jesus worth?
How does Jesus want us to think of him?
To what extent is that how you think of him day by day?
What is Jesus to the chief priests? For whom are they living?
In what ways does this woman show the value of Jesus and his death?
Why does Jesus say the woman’s deed isn’t a waste?
What might it mean if I sympathise with the disciples?
v. 14-16
What is Jesus to Judas? Why is that alarming?
What might be a rival to Jesus as the most precious thing in your life?
What about Jesus from these verses will keep that thing in place?


Sunday 7th March 2021 – 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
The purpose of this chapter is to make sure Christians do not lose heart in Christ proclaiming ministry (see v.1 and v.16). So you could use just one question for the whole chapter.
Why does Paul, and why should we, not lose heart?
Otherwise questions for each section:-
v. 7-12
What is the treasure? What are the jars of clay?
What is the purpose of weakness in Christ proclaiming ministry? (see v.7 and 10-12)
How does that help you to embrace your weakness in ministry?
Why does Paul not lose heart here?
How is God glorified in ministry?
How can you tell if you truly believe in the Resurrection to come?
Why does Paul not lose heart?
How can Paul call his troubles ‘light and momentary’ given 6:4-5?
How does the world celebrate the visible and temporary?
What will it mean for us to celebrate the invisible and eternal?


Sunday 28th February 2021 – 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
What is the danger for us when the work of proclaiming Christ is not going well?
How might we be tempted to deceive people or distort the Word of God?
What is it about this ministry that keeps Paul from losing heart? (see 3:9, 17-18)
Why is it merciful of God to give this ministry?
What is Satan’s concern? What is Satan’s tactic?
Why are v.3-4 so vital to have when proclaiming Christ?
What’s the answer to the problem of v.3-4?
In whom has v.6 happened?
Why does Paul preach Christ as Lord?
In what ways might we be tempted to preach ourselves?
What will it mean for us to adopt Paul’s attitude to his hearers?
Choose one thing from these verses which will help you reset your life to proclaim Christ again?


Sunday 21st February 2021 – 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
What, in your mind, would glorious Christian ministry look like?
In what ways was the ministry of Moses glorious?
How and when do you sense the condemnation of the 10 commandments?
What does it mean to receive God’s righteousness? (see Cor 5:21)
What kind of veil does Paul mention? How id the veil taken away?
What then happens in a Christian? How does this happen in practice?
What application does Paul make in the passage? What will that mean for you?
Sunday 14th February 2021 – 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6

How is your witness to the world going at the moment?

What kind of smell does Paul spread?

How does he feel about that ministry?

How is Paul different from the “super apostles”?

How does this image of Christian ministry both sober you and reassure you?

What does Paul seem to be saying about the “super apostles”?

How does Paul get his recommendation for ministry?

What kind of letter are Christians?

How do you think you and Christians in your group have been changed by the Spirit in recent years?

How do you feel about being a letter of recommendation for Christ?

In what way does Paul reassure you?

Sunday 7th February 2021 – 2 Corinthians 2:5-13
Paul had written before to urge them to deal with sin in the church. It now seems that they have, and the offender has repented.
In what way does one person’s sin “grieve/pain” the whole church?
Why do we find correcting conversations so difficult?
What would help us to consider those more? (Col.3:16)
What is Paul’s concern now? For whom is he concerned?
Why is forgiveness so vital in church life? (see also Matt. 6:14-15)
What will help you to give forgiveness?
What will help you to receive forgiveness?
Sunday 31st January 2021 – 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4


What seems to be the accusation against Paul?

How does Paul defend himself?


What does Paul long for?

In what situations might we struggle to ‘boast’ in Paul?

We know we are not perfect, as Paul was not perfect.

But what makes it possible for us to live transparent lives in the world as he did?



What seems to be accusation against Paul?

How does Paul defend himself?

In what ways has God been faithful?

How does the faithfulness of God encourage you at the moment?


v.23 – 2 v.4

How would you describe the state of the relationship between Paul and the Corinthians here?

What are his motivations in ministry? For whose joy is Paul concerned?

How does this Paul compare with your thoughts about him otherwise?

How might these verses help when we find Paul’s teaching tough to hear?

Sunday 24th January 2021 – 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
1.     Where do we long to feel stronger, personally?
2. Where do we long for a church that feels stronger, more successful, more secure? What’s behind those longings?
3.     If we do long for a church to look stronger, more successful, more secure… how does that sit with the gospel of Christ crucified?
4.     How do we view afflictions and weakness? In ourselves?  In our leaders?  Purely as a problem, or as an opportunity for praise and growth and thanksgiving? 
5.     Where do I look for comfort when I suffer?  To the comfort that comes through Christ (v. 5), or somewhere else?
6. Can you think of a time when you were encouraged by a suffering Christian?  How did they encourage you?  How did you “share in” the comfort they received through Christ?
7.     According to vv. 8-11, what effect did Paul’s suffering have on him?  How is that an encouragement to is in our suffering?
8.     What would a church look like which cherished strength? Brainstorm what church life might be like – small group leaders, conversations over coffee, website, makeup of staff team, local reputation, finances, PCC meetings, attitude to church planting etc.?

9.     How different would that church look  if it cherished Jesus more than its own strength and success and security?  

Some questions are taken or adapted from this study guide produced by St Helen’s Bishopsgate:

Sunday 10th January 2021 – Matthew 28:16-20
1. Looking at the world outside our window, why might we doubt that the Father has given “all authority” to his risen Son? 
2. If the Father really has given “all authority” to his risen Son, why is making disciples of Jesus a right thing to be doing?  
3. Still, why do we feel nervous about the thought of “making disciples?”  
4. How does “making disciples” differ from “making converts” (clue: v. 20!)?
5. Where is God giving you opportunities to make new disciples of Jesus?  How could partnership with others at CCW help?  And how does 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 encourage us, if we are feeling nervous and overwhelmed?!
6. Where is God giving you opportunity to teach existing disciples of Jesus, in a way that helps them to obey him? How could partnership with others at CCW help?
7. As you seek to make disciples, where do you need to remember that Jesus himself is with you (v. 20)?   What small step could you take beyond your comfort zone, trusting that Jesus is with you as go?
Sunday 13th December -Matthew 1:1-12
What is Matthew saying about what kind of King Jesus is?
– In v.1?
– In v.2?
– In v.6?
– In v.11?
How would you describe the response to God’s King?
– Of Herod?
– Of the religious leaders?
– Of the Magi?
How might your worship be in danger of drifting from Jesus?
Which aspect of Jesus’ kingship here will keep you worshiping Him truly?



Sunday 6th December – Matthew 1:18-25
1. What is Joseph’s dilemma?
2. How is he reassured?
3. ‘You are to give him the name Jesus because he will save people from their sins.’ (v.21)
When might you seek from Jesus something other than his stated agenda?
4. What is the significance of Joseph’s response to the angel in v.24-25?
(Bear in mind how the angel describes him in v.20)
5. Matthew has been telling us ‘how the birth of Jesus came about’. (v.18)
How has it come about, in terms of what God is like?
6. Why is it so important to remember how God works in this year of all years?
Sunday 29th November – Matthew 1:1-12
v.1 gives the headlines about Jesus.
What are the promises God made to Abraham and David?
Read Genesis 12:1-3 and 2 Samuel 7:11b-16 respectively.
Read Matt.1 v.2-6a
Where is the pattern interrupted?
Where are Tamar, Rahab and Ruth from? (see respectively Genesis 38:1-6, Joshua 6:25, Ruth 1:1-5)
What point is being made about the line of Jesus?
Read v.6b-11
Where is the pattern interrupted?
What point is being made about David as king?
Read v.12-16
Where is the pattern interrupted?
How would you describe Jesus’ birth from that interruption?
What conspires to make you doubt that Jesus is both Ruler for all time and Saviour for all nations?
What in your life would demonstrate ongoing faith that Jesus is both eternal Ruler and Rescuer for all nations?


Sunday 22nd November
Baptism – questions for further reflection
1. What is the work of God associated with baptism in the following verses?
a. Romans 6:3-4
b. Acts 2:38
c. Acts 22:16
2. How does baptism seem to function in the Christian life according to these verses?
a. Romans 6:1-11
b. Galatians 3:26-29
3. To what extent does your baptism function in your Christian life?
How could you make it have a more prominent, encouraging role?


Sunday 15th November – Luke 22:14-20
1. Jesus is sharing a Passover meal.  How does that help us understand the significance of the last supper (which becomes the Lord’s Supper)?
2. Jesus links the bread and the wine to his own death.  
How does the Lord’s Supper encourage us to look back, and rejoice?
How does the Lord’s Supper encourage us to look forwards, and rejoice?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:16
3. The word ‘participation’ could be translated communion or close fellowship.  If we are not feeding on Jesus physically at the Lord’s Supper, how are we having communion with him?
Read 1 Corinthians 11:20-32
4. What’s the problem in Corinth? What might that look like today?
5. If we are to ‘examine’ ourselves (. 28) before sharing the Lord’s Supper, what questions should we be asking ourselves?  What kind of conversations might we need to have with one another, from time to time?
Spend some time giving thanks for the gift of the Lord’s Supper. 
Sunday 8th November – Psalm 139:19-24
1. Against whom are the wicked acting?
2. What are the wicked doing?
3. What do you notice about what David does and doesn’t do?
4. How does David’s strength of feeling compare to your strength of feeling when people do v.20?
How concerned are you for God’s honour?
5. What attitude do v.23-24 reveal in David?
6. How willing are we to have God search us?
Sunday 1st November – Psalm 139:13-18
1. How would you describe God’s creation of a human being?
2. More than understanding God’s creative work, to what extent do you echo v.14? Why/Why not?
3. “Any assault on another person (including yourself) is an assault on God!”
How does society assault the people God has made?
How do you assault the people God has made?
In what ways does the coming of Christ meet us in our need?
4. How does it make you feel that God has planned your every day (v.16)?
5. How does that compare to David in v.17-18?
Sunday 25th October – Psalm 139:7-12

1.     As followers of Jesus in whom the Holy Spirit lives, we can echo the words of vv. 7-10.  Where is that a particular relief to you?

2.     Are there any areas of life where you live as a “closet atheist”?  How does that show itself?

3.     Can you look back and see how God has guided and kept you during a difficult season?  How does that reassure you, looking forward?

4.     If you were conscious of God being with you everywhere, how might that change your… 
a.     … feelings of anxiety or being overwhelmed?
b.     … battling for godliness?
c.      …  expectations in dark days? (vv. 11-12)
Sunday 18th October – Psalm 139:1-6
1. What makes God’s knowledge in these verses different from human knowledge?
2. How does the psalmist feel about God’s knowledge? How should we feel?
3. ‘You know me’: what difference does it make that God knows us intimately?
4. This is a psalm ‘of David’: how does belonging to Jesus, the true and better David, change how we experience God’s knowledge of us?
5. If we are transparent to God, how would that shape our prayers?
Sunday 11th October – Matthew 11:25-30
1. What gives Jesus the right to invite people to Himself?
2. What wonderful things about Christ mean we should come to HIM?
3. Where else do you go for rest? Why?
4. Why should we take Jesus’ yoke upon us?
5. What will it mean to take His yoke upon us? And what will it be like?
Sunday 4th October – Matthew 9:35-38
1. How does Jesus see people?  How is that different to the way that we often see/categorise people?
2. How does Jesus’ compassion comfort us?  How does it challenge us?
3. In vv. 37-8, what’s the problem and what solution does Jesus give?
4. How might we live differently, if we trusted that the harvest was plentiful?
5. Where do you see a need for more workers? 
6. How does the command of v. 38 liberate us from…   
    a) frantic and self-sufficient activism?
    b) despair?
    c) pride?
After your discussions, do obey the command of v. 38 together!
Sunday 27th September – Matthew 9:18-34
NB – There are more questions here than you will probably have time for. Do select!
You want to ask a fellow believer how they are Christian-wise.
What would be a good question to ask?
Matthew’s record of these miracles is much briefer than Mark or Luke.
What do you think he is showing about Jesus in these chapters?
See 9:35; 11:2-6 and Isaiah 35:3-6
How are the situations of the ruler and woman similar?
What is clear about Jesus?
How does their faith seem to be different? And how is it the same?
What do the blind men see? How would you describe their faith?
What do you think Jesus is checking with them?
No recorded conversation and no details with this healing.
Where is the attention in this miracle?
How does that prepare us as we speak and live for Christ?
25% extra free! – Chapter 8-9
How has people’s faith varied over these chapters?
(see 8:2, 8:8+10, 8:25-26, 9:2, 9:18, 9:20-21, 9:28-29)
And what do these expressions of faith have in common?
How is this a great encouragement to us?
Rather than asking a fellow Christian, “How is your faith?”, what would be a better question?


Sunday 20th September  – Matthew 9:1-14
vv. 1-8:
1. What do we learn of Jesus’ priority and power?
2.  How does this add further reassurance, after the challenging call we heard in vv. 18-22?
vv. 9-13:
3. Why are the Pharisees so annoyed?
4. What does that teach us about how they view themselves?
5. What have they failed to understand about what God requires? (v. 13a)
6. What have they failed to understand about Jesus’ mission?
7. How does this comfort us, as we feel our failure/sinfulness?
8. Where do we live as if Jesus came for the righteous?
Sunday 13th September – Matthew 8:18-27
v. 18-22
The teacher of the law seems to be a great fan of Jesus.  But if he’s going to follow Jesus, what does he need to understand?  Where do we need that same reminder?
The second man seems to have a good reason for not following Jesus immediately.  But what does he need to understand? Where do we need that same reminder?
v. 23-27
What do the disciples get right in the storm?  But what do they still need to learn?
If vv. 18-22 leave you feeling daunted about following Jesus, how do vv. 23-27 leave you feeling?
“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  What’s making you afraid at the moment?  Do you need to be afraid? 
“Following Jesus wholeheartedly feels far too risky; I’d rather keep playing it safe.”  How does the calming of the storm address that kind of thinking?
Sunday 6th September – Matthew 8:1-17
The sermon focused on the willingness of Jesus with the leper. What else is clear about Jesus?
What is it that makes up “great faith” according to Jesus?
How should Jesus’ welcome of all kinds (v.11) affect us, the church?
How does Jesus’ warning (v.12) “speak” to the church today?
How do you tend to talk to Jesus? What do you tend to ask of Jesus?
How do they compare with the centurion in v.8?
Sunday 9th August – Isaiah 54
What are Israel instructed to do and why?
How do we see this fulfilled in the gospel of Christ? (Galatians 4:27-29)
What are Israel instructed to do and why?
What is this new relationship like?
How is this possible? (note context of the chapter)
How do you instinctively think God is disposed towards you?
How do these verses confirm or correct that thinking?
How does God confirm the reality of this wonderful new relationship?
What are the features of the new city that God promises?
Which of these blessings do we enjoy now as believers in Christ and which are yet to come?
Sunday 2nd August – Isaiah 53:10-12
1. What is the Lord’s attitude to his servant’s suffering? (v.10)
2. What is unusual about this guilt offering? How does that thought continue in v.11?
3. What does the servant’s suffering achieve, which satisfies him? (v.11)
4. What will help you to take that in for yourself?
5. How does God respond to the servant’s suffering? (v.12)
(‘the great’ can also mean ‘the many’)
6. How are these images of victory fulfilled in Christ?
(see for example John 6:39, 17:6, Eph.1:19b-21, 2:6)
How do those references reassure believers living for Christ in this world?
Sunday 26th July – Isaiah 53:7-9
1. How is Jesus like a lamb/sleep?
2. What does Jesus’ silence mean for us? (See 1 Peter 2:21-23)
3. What makes us slow to follow Christ’s example?
4. What is so unusual and amazing about Jesus’ suffering? (v.8)
5. How is v.9 fulfilled? (see Matthew 27:38, 57-60)
6. Why does it matter that Jesus was innocent?
Sunday 19th July – Isaiah 53:4-6
1. Try and imagine reading Isaiah 53:4-6 for the first time, without having heard of Jesus.  What would you conclude about the Servant figure?  What questions might you be left with?
2. Looking at v. 5 in particular, 
a) What happened to the servant?
b) Why did it happen?
c) What happens to us, as a result? 
3. Relating these specifics to Jesus’ crucifixion, how does v.5 teach the meaning of his death?
4. How do these verses help us understand ourselves?
5. How do these verses help us understand our rescue?
6. How do these verses build our trust in the LORD for the future?
Questions adapted from David Jackman, Teaching Isaiah (Proclamation Trust 2010)
Sunday 12th July – Isaiah 53:1-3
1. What does ‘The arm of the LORD’ (v.1) represent in Isaiah? See for example: 40:10, 51:5, 52:10
2. Why then is verse 2 so surprising? Why is it difficult to believe (v.1) that the servant is the arm of the LORD?
3. Using the details in v.2 and 3 try to relate them to their fulfillment in the life of Jesus.

For help see: Luke 2:4-7, Matt 2:13-17, Luke 4:22-30, Mark 3:20-21, John 11:45-54, John 13:27-30, John 18:25-27 (You don’t have to look them all up! Maybe in a group chose one or two each).

4. In what ways might our attitude to Jesus still resemble the rejection portrayed in v.3?
5. How does that further highlight God’s grace to us in sending us his servant?
Sunday 5th July – Mark 4:21-25
1. If Jesus is the lamp who sheds light on God and his kingdom, what will it mean in practice to keep letting Jesus light up our knowledge and understanding of God?
2. How do Jesus’ words in verses 24-25 challenge you?
3. How do Jesus’ words in verses 24-25 encourage you?
Sunday 28th June – Psalm 145
1. In verse 3 David declares, “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no-one can fathom.” How do verses 13-16 demonstrate that greatness?
2. We might expect that such a great God would be uninterested in us.  But how do verses 17-20 show that this it not true?
3. How do these verses prod you to praise God?
4. How do these verses remind you of the privilege of our mission partnerships?
5. With whom do you find it easiest to praise the LORD?  With whom do you find it the hardest?  Why not pray about that?
Sunday 21st June – Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Verse 13: 
Who is that God wants us to look to as we read this section (52:13-53:12)? 
What will this servant do?
Can this Servant be any ordinary person? (second half of verse 13. Maybe compare 6:1) 
Who is this Servant? (It might seem obvious, but just to be clear! See Acts 8:26-35, for one of several links to the New Testament.) 
Verse 14: 
How surprising is this verse, following on from verse 13?
Why does verse 14 say many will be appalled? Where do we see this fulfilled?
How might people be “appalled” by Jesus today? Does Jesus ever seem weak to us? Why? What should we then do?
Verse 15:
What does “sprinkle many nations” mean?* (Some examples of people or things being sprinkled in the Old Testament: Exodus 29:21, Lev 4:6, 14:7, 16:14, but it might be easier to get the sense from 1 Peter 1:2, Hebrews 9:13-14, 10:22, 12:24)
What reaction is there to the wisdom of this servant? Are we amazed at God’s saving wisdom shown in Jesus?
Back to the headline in verse 13 – how can we make sure we keep looking to Jesus and what He has done to save us? What might stop us from doing that? What does God give us to help us?
Sunday 14th June – Isaiah 51:1 – 52:12
51 v.17-20
What state are God’s people in and why?
We are not in exile because of our sin, as they were. But why might we be in a similar state? (see v. 12-16 for help)
51 v.21-23
What is the big news the people need to wake up to?
Read Luke 22:39-44
What do we learn about Jesus here?
When might we find it hard to trust that Jesus has taken the cup of God’s wrath for us?
52 v.1-2, 11-12
What is the privilege of being God’s people?
What is the responsibility of being God’s people?
52 v.3-10
Why is God going to bring redemption?
What are the features of the coming salvation?
Jesus has fulfilled this coming salvation (see Romans 10:15), but, like the people then, we now wait for the Lord’s return.
What will it mean, while we wait, to wake up to the fact that
– God has made us holy?
– God calls us to be holy?
Sunday 7th June – Isaiah 50: 4-11
1. Why can the Servant’s words sustain the weary? How is this fulfilled in Jesus?
2. What does the Servant’s obedience cost him? How is this fulfilled in Jesus?
3a. What assurances strengthen the Servant to persist with his obedience to the Lord’s will, whatever the personal cost?
How is this fulfilled in Jesus?
3b. Looking at Romans 8:31-38, how can the Servant’s assurances be ours as well?
4. How does this description of the Servant enable us to keep walking in the darkness?
5. Thinking about v.10-11, what would it mean for us to walk by the light of our own fires, rather than trusting in God?
NB Some questions are taken from this Bible Study resource: Jackman, D. 2014, Teaching Isaiah: Unlocking Isaiah for the Bible Teacher, Proclamation Trust.
Sunday 31st May  – Isaiah 49:14-50:3
Which grand promise of God is in view in these verses? (Isaiah 49:6, 11-12)
49 v.14-21
What is the people’s reaction to God (v.14)?
How does God reassure them?
How does God reiterate his promise?
49 v.22-26
What does God promise to do for his people?
What is the people’s reaction (v.24)?
What is God’s purpose in all he does?
50 v.1-3
What is the people’s implied reaction in v.1?
Why is the exile not proof of God’s deserting them?
What does God remind them of?
How do we echo the people’s reactions?
How does God reassure and rebuke us?
Sunday 24th May – Isaiah 49:1-13
verse 1-6
What do we know about the servant’s
– identity? (v.1-3)
– experience? (v.4)
– ministry? (v.2, 5-6)
How does v.6b correct our thinking about Jesus?
How does it spur us on to serve Jesus?
verse 7-13
What does God promise the servant? (v.7-9a)
What does God promise the servant’s people? (v.9b-12)
What is the spiritual substance of the metaphors used?
To what extent is our response the same as v.13?
Which verses will make it more so?
Sunday 17th May – John 11
verse 1-16
How would you describe the relationship between Jesus and this family?
What is strange about what Jesus does/doesn’t do? What is his explanation?
verse 17-27
What does Martha know?
How does Jesus’ claim fit into what she knows?
verse 28-37
How is Jesus’ response to death reassuring for us?
How would you answer the question in v.37?
verse 38-44
What does Jesus pray here? How does it fit with John’s purpose in writing the gospel in 20:31?
Why is Jesus trustworthy for all of life and death?


Sunday 10th May – Luke 19:11-27
1. Why does Jesus tell this parable?
2. How does the parable correct the people listening?
3. What was the master looking for in his servants?
4. How would you describe the character of the master?
5. How and why might you be tempted to think like the third servant?
6. When living in the delay, in what ways does this parable encourage us to keep serving King Jesus with all that he has given us?
Sunday 3rd May – Luke 19:1-10
1. How are the rich ruler and Zacchaeus similar?  And how are they different? 
2. How does 18:27 help us understand what happens to Zacchaeus?
3. How do you think Zacchaeus felt as Jesus summoned him down?
4. How would you describe his attitude to Jesus in v. 8?  And his transformed attitude to money?
5. When you idolise money, what do you think the “deep idols” are underneath?
6. How does knowing (and being known by) Jesus loosen the grip of those “deep idols”?  
7. What does 19:10 say about our situation and Jesus’ purpose? Why is it important to understand this? 
Sunday 26th April – Luke 16:1-15
1. In 16:1-9, what does Jesus say is the main lesson of the parable?  How is the manager, in the parable, putting into practice the principle of v9?
2. How can we imitate the shrewdness of the steward?  How does that excite you?!
3. What kind of things does the world count as a wise investment?  What would Jesus say?
4. What is the principle Jesus is teaching in 16:10-12? 
5.  Do you see money as your own, or as a resource entrusted to you by God?  How would your spending habits change, if you saw yourself as a steward, not an owner?
6. Where might we be justifying ourselves in the eyes of men, when it comes to money?
7. Where do you need to ask God for help, in your attitude to money?
NB Some questions are taken from this Bible Study resource resources/study/46/
Sunday 19th April – Luke 12:13-21
1. When and how are you most likely to be tempted to greed?
2. Which one ‘top tip’ will you work on in the next few weeks? Admit the danger, beware of browsing or grow in gratitude?
3. What do you tend to forget more; that life is more than this life or that life is more than your life?
4. Reflect on Hebrews 13:5 and the wealth of riches we have in God himself being with us and never leaving us.
Sunday 5th April – Isaiah 48
1. In what areas of life might you still be refusing to submit to the Lord (an iron neck) or change your mind (bronze forehead) (v.4)?
2. What is it about God in v.12-22 that will encourage you to keep trusting and obeying Him?
3. Read Romans 5:1-2 and Philippians 4:4-7
Christ has secured our peace that can guard our hearts and minds.
What are we to trust and obey in the Philippians verses so that we know that guarding more and more?

Sunday 29th March – Isaiah 46-47

1. Which idols are you still attracted to? Are there any which surface because of the current lockdown?
2. How have you experienced the burden of idolatry (46:1-2) and why is it so foolish? (47)
3. What is it about God from Isa.46 that will keep you trusting Him and not idols?


Sunday 22nd March – John 18: 1-27

1. Jesus said to Peter, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”  What was he talking about? 
2. Given how much we try and avoid suffering, how do verses 1-11 make you feel about Jesus?
3. Do you ever feel like you’re a failed disciple?  How does it help to to see Jesus going to his death while Peter is disowning him outside, just as Jesus knew he would?
4. How does this passage prompt you to thank and praise the Lord Jesus?