Generous Orthodoxy is our current Sunday morning study living on the foundation of the Great Commission. The mandate of the Church is to carry out the Great Commission. At Sanctuary the Great Commission is primary to everything we do and say. It’s the cornerstone of our church. It’s elemental in our orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The most powerful dynamic of expressing our orthodoxy is through our generosity. Generosity at it’s finest and deepest core is expressed in Biblical love. It’s Biblical love, a love rooted in orthodoxy that permeates the hate, darkness, indifference, and dryness in our neighborhood and the nations. Join us as we continue to follow Jesus in learning how to participate in fulfilling His call.

DISCUSSION GUIDES

Week 1

By Generous Orthodoxy, Uncategorized

10.28.18 Not about Preference (1 Corinthians 13)

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 13 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in the text?
  2. In your own words define the Great Commission. In what specific ways is the Great Commission being lived out in your life today?
  3. We have been freed from exile. What’s the greatest temptation in creating your own Promise Land existence? How are you learning to let go of your desire to control your own Promise Land?
  4. Read and reflect Eugene Peterson’s comments about consumeristic Christianity.
    “A consumeristic church is a church without Christ.
     “A consumeristic church is an anti-Christ church.”
    In what ways do you agree with Peterson? How do we ensure Sanctuary doesn’t become consumeristic? Is it a leadership issue, a staff issue, or a people issue, or something else? Describe.
  5. 1 Corinthians 13 is a livable reality. In what relationships do you fully live into the reality of 1 Corinthians 13?
  6. Where do you struggle most in receiving this livable reality of 1 Corinthians 13?
  7. What does Generous Orthodoxy look like in your everyday, ordinary life?
  8. L. Johnson said, “The observance of the truths of this chapter (1 Corinthians 13)….would have solved all their (the Corinthians’) problems.” What’s the hardest part of believing that statement? What do you do with the tension this raises?
  9. D. Walt said, So why do our missional activities in the world lack the irresistible magnetism of Jesus? In a word: love. It’s easy enough to love helping people. It’s another thing to love people…Helping people tends to make us feel worthwhile. Loving people makes them feel worthwhile. We all know we can help people without truly loving them, but it’s impossible to love them without helping them.
    Describe a time when you fell into this kind of dynamic. What was the outcome of helping people vs. loving them? As a first step in loving, what is one belief that you might need to change or let go?
  10. Read Galatians 6.2. How is this text livable reality in your life today? Whose burdens are you carrying? Who is carrying yours? Describe the beauty of the mutuality you are experiencing.
  11. Learn the context of Galatians 5.6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. How might your life be enriched of this Biblical love was the only thing that counted?
  12. What’s a next step from working through this study? Where might God be calling you to express His love?

 

Week 2

By Generous Orthodoxy, Uncategorized
11.4.18 Preference or Presence
1. Jesus says, “all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.” Do you believe that God has all authority? When have you questioned God’s authority?
2. Why do you think it is important for our generosity flow from our orthodoxy instead of the other way around?
3. How has a greater understanding of who God is grown your gratitude for what He has done and, in turn, resulted in you living more generously?
4. Are you motivated by satisfying your preference or by experiencing God’s presence?
5. Os Guinnes writes, “Our modern world has shifted us from a stance under authority to one of preference. Or, expressed more carefully, our modern world tends to undermine all forms of authority other than its own and replaces them with the sense that all responses are merely a matter of preference.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
6. Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-26. How have you seen differences in the body lead to divisions in the church?
7. How have you seen the differences in the body Christ work together in a beautiful way to give glory to God?
8. 1 Corinthians 13 comes right after Paul talks about the different parts of the body of Christ. Why is love so important in light of the differences highlighted in 1 Corinthians 12?
9. Do you believe in a world of scarcity or a world of abundance? How does your perspective of the world affect your generosity?
10. Which of the three reasons discussed that can keep us from living out generous orthodoxy resonated with you?
1. Seeking Preferences Instead of Presence
2. Causing Division Because of Differences
3. Believing in Scarcity Rather than Abundance
11. Read Ephesians 3:14-21 and reflect on the incredibly abundant generosity of our God.

Week 3

By Generous Orthodoxy

11.11.18 Money (1 Chronicles 29)

1. Read 1 Chronicles 29 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in the story? How do you see this text as livable reality?
2. In what ways do you see God as your Provider? In what ways do you feel like you have to provide?
3. Read Malachi 3:10. How were the Israelites “robbing God”? If you are not currently tithing, are you “robbing God?”
4. Describe a Biblical perspective on tithing. Is tithing only an Old Testament teaching? Where in the New Testament do we see the practice of tithing?
5. Using the example of King David in 1 Chronicles 29, differentiate between a tithe and an offering.
6. Is tithing the goal or is transformation the goal? How does giving impact your personal transformation?
7. In the text, King David is advocating for the building of the Temple. Yet, the New Testament teaches us that we are His Temple. Read 1 Corinthians 6.19-20. How does this passage challenge you to view your body – what you see, what you hear, how you care for it, how you give it away, etc.?
8. What’s the absolute principle being taught in 1 Corinthians 6? How have you experienced this truth in the last two weeks?
9. David leads the way in tithes and offerings and the people respond enthusiastically. What’s your greatest hesitation or greatest joy in giving your tithes and offerings? How have you experienced blessing in giving?
10. As you think about this text, describe “generous orthodoxy”. As you think about your own finances, how could you take a step toward “generous orthodoxy?”
11. How are you encouraged by the life change that is happening at Sanctuary? Describe.
12. What’s the significance of these being some of King David’s final public words?
13. How are you responding to the Invitation to Transformation as it relates to the Seed Offering?

Week 4

By Generous Orthodoxy

1. Read Genesis 2.1-3. Why does God bless the 7th day? What does God cease from doing? What’s your immediate reaction to Sabbath?
2. How have you seen Sabbath been religiously abused? What kind of Sabbath is God inviting us into?
3. What is your primary motive when you invite people to follow Jesus? In what ways do you “teach them everything I have commanded”? Matthew 28.20.
4. When reading the 10 commandments how often do you bypass the command of honoring the Sabbath? Are certain commands more important to God, or less important? How important is the Sabbath to God? How important is it to you?
5. In what ways did God provide and protect the Israelites on the Sabbath? What can we learn from this example?
6. Read and reflect on the following statements regarding Sabbath. Which do you resonate with most? Why? John Ortberg, “For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.” The Life You’ve Always Wanted
Carl Jung said, “Hurry is not of the devil, hurry is the devil.”
Wayne Muller writes a lot about Sabbath.
He says, “We are blessed with inner rhythms that tell us where we are, and where we are going. No matter, then, our fifty and sixty-hour work weeks, the refusing to stop for lunch, the bypassing sleep and working deep into the darkness. If we stop, if we return to rest, our natural state reassess itself. Our natural wisdom and balance come to our aid, and we find our way to what is good, necessary and true.” Sabbath
7. What are some of the Biblical promises associated with honoring the Sabbath?
8. How did the Israelites put themselves in God’s Great Story? When you read Scripture how do you see your story in the context of His Story? Give a recent example.
9. What would it look like for you to practice Sabbath? What would it feel like or sound like or not sound like if you set one day aside a week to rest and remember?
10. How do you see Sabbath as a way of life vs. an Old Testament teaching?
11. How could you incorporate Thanksgiving with honoring the Sabbath?
12. Read Jesus’ invitation to come and rest in Matthew 11.28-30 (MSG). How can you move toward this rest and rhythm as livable reality?

Week 5

By Generous Orthodoxy

1. Read Luke 24.13-53 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in the story?
2. Describe the most recent time when your heart “burned.” What was the outcome of that season?
3. The disciples on the road to Emmaus received this great revelation. What was their immediate response?
4. How does the community in Jerusalem encourage the experience of these disciples?
5. How is your personal relationship with Jesus affirmed by your relationship with other believers? Describe recent experience.
6. Whom was the primary sower of seeds in your life? How did God use that person to begin producing spiritual fruit in you?
7. Read 2 Corinthians 5.17-21. How do you see yourself as a new creation in Christ? What’s new about you?
8. In what way do you see yourself as an ambassador for Christ? How does that calling encourage you?
9. What’s the ultimate purpose of transformation? How does your transformational journey effect those around you? Describe.
10. 2 Peter 1.3-4, Ephesians 3.17-19 describe the believer as participating in the “Divine nature.” What does that mean to you? How does the divine nature get lived out in you? What does it mean to be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God?”
11. How are you learning to embrace the truth that you are a partaker of the Divine Nature? Be specific.
12. Read and reflect on words of Teresa of Avila and then answer the questions below.
“Christ has no body now by yours, no hand, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He looks with compassion on the world, yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the ands with which He blesses the world…Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
How does this truth translate into your everyday ordinary life?
13. Read 1 John 4.13-17. It concludes with this phrase, “In this world we are like Jesus.” What does that phrase mean to you? Name any hesitation you have regarding the implication of God’s Word.
14. Read Acts 1.8, and 1 John 1.-4. Where is your “Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth?” How is your joy being made complete as you share His story with those around you?
15. Read Luke 24.45-53. How does this passage encourage you to be a “real Christian” in your home, with your neighbor and the nations?

Week 6

By Generous Orthodoxy, Uncategorized

1. Read John 3.16. What does this verse mean to you?
2. Do you believe you were created “in love, for love?”
3. How do you see Generous Orthodoxy at work in John 3.16?
4. How do you see Love as Orthodoxy? How does God express His Generosity in Orthodoxy?
5. What’s been the greatest challenge in this Generous Orthodoxy study? What’s been the biggest breakthrough?
6. Read Romans 5.8-11. Where do you see generosity and orthodoxy collide? What does it mean to you that are saved through His life?
7. In your own words describe the “gift” of salvation.
8. In your own words describe reconciliation with God.
9. When you think about eternal life, what do you think about?
10. How does eternal life begin today?
11. Read and reflect on 1 John 3.16. How is God inviting you to lay down your life as He laid down His life? What does that actually look like for you? Explain.
12. How God might be calling you to further lay down your life for others?
13. Today we celebrate by giving and receiving. Describe your journey with giving. Describe your journey with receiving.
14. How are you praying for our Faith Family as we seek to follow Jesus one step at a time?