Jesus tells us that the Christian Life is as simple as loving God and loving people. But what does that mean in our daily lives? Let’s paint a portrait of a fully-formed follower of Jesus. (Matt 22:34-40, Deut 6:5, Lev 19:18, 2 Cor 5:14-15, Eph 2:8-9, Matt 28:20, I Peter 2:9, Matt 28:19, Eph 2:10, I Jn 4:19, Heb 4:12, Matt 6:6, Gal 6:2, I Ptr 3:15, Eph 3:14-19)
Jesus pulls from Deut 19 when he helps his followers understand how to handle conflict with others. The promise of 2 or 3 believers comes into sharper focus in this passage. How do we live out the practice of handling conflict with each other?
In Jesus’ most famous sermon, he connects our words to our actions, reminding us that our words have meaning and carry power. (Matt 5:33-37, Num 30:2, Ex 5:4, Deut 23:21-23, Ps 76:11, Ps 50:14, James 1:17, Heb 13:8, Jer 1:9, Jn 16:13, Matt 12:34)
Jesus taught in parables so those of us who choose to follow Him would have a deeper and simpler way of understanding of the life that He is leading us through. The Bible also calls us as believers to have childlike faith and to approach Jesus and His gospel like a child.
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus breaks our preconceived notions of God and His rules. In doing so, He moves us from the comfortable land of the law into the complex inner workings of grace.
(Matt 5:21-30, Ex 20:13-14, Deut 5:17-18, Rom 12:18, Matt 23:25, Gal 3:10, Rom 3:10, Eph 2:4-5, Is 29:13)
Jesus lets people in on his mission early on – to proclaim good news, liberty to the oppressed, the Lord’s favor. (show how Isaiah predicted Christ’s mission and his suffering long before Jesus was ever on the scene)
1 Peter 4:12-19
How do we accept suffering and face it head on in a culture that does everything it can to avoid pain? There will be things in our lives that happen to us as believers that we’d classify as unfair, but we should have a posture of being ready to face them for the sake of Christ.
Peter gives us Christ as the ultimate example of lowering ourselves on behalf of others. When everything in us wants to climb the ladder, Jesus sends us the opposite way.
(I Peter 2:21-24, I Peter 3:18-22, Prov 18:2, Prov 15:32, Prov 19:27, James 1:19, Philemon 1:7-20, Phil 2:3-8, Heb 4:15, Matt 20:26-28, James 4:6)
We live in a broken and unfair world, where race, gender, and economic oppression are everyday headlines. As exiles, how do followers of Jesus live inside that brokenness? (I Peter 2:13-3:12, Gal 3:26-28, Jn 18:36, Matt 4:23, John 3:3, Matt 20:16, Rev 11:15b, Acts 5:29, Philemon 1:7-21)