DISCUSS the disciple’s experience with Inductive Bible Study. What were the key insights the disciple gained from studying 1 John 1?
Then spend time together working through the discussion questions for Fall below:
THE POINT OF THE VIDEO: Sin makes us slaves, spreads chaos, and causes us to be alone.
FIRST, let’s carry a sense of sorrow for our sin. Remember, sin infects everything: it makes us slaves, spreads chaos, and causes us to be alone.
SECOND, let’s remember the cure: Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, sin has lost its power. We’ll learn more about that next meeting.
FINALLY, perhaps this prayer could be something you use this week:
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
And each time you pray this prayer of repentance, remember the truth of 1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
ASSIGNMENT: Read the Introduction to Lectio Divina. Pick one of the recommended scriptures to practice Lectio with this week. Also, watch the video, Redemption, in preparation for the next meeting.
Introduction to Lectio Divina
By Megan Koch
Lectio divina, which is Latin for “divine reading,” is an ancient method of reading Scripture that began with St. Benedict. Lectio divina includes four distinct “movements:”
The purpose of this practice is not simply to know more of God’s Word or to memorize it (though that will happen as you practice), nor is it to study the context and make complex observations and connections as we do when in Inductive Bible Study. The purpose of lectio divina is to position yourself for an encounter with the Living God by slowly and methodically dwelling on one small passage of scripture. Eugene Peterson would tell you to eat it—to devour it intentionally, to savor it bite by bite, as if you were eating the best meal of your life.
In lectio divina we stop on just one verse, or a very small group of verses, for a sustained pause. This does not seem productive, nor does it promise a particular outcome or “application.” That is the point. Divine reading is a kind of “holy leisure” you can enjoy with God. You’re not in a hurry, and you don’t have to force this exercise to be meaningful. This is a practice. The only goal is to make room to be with God, and goes great alongside the contemplative prayer practices in Module 1 on Prayer. This might be very new to you, but go all in anyway. Think of this as an experiment in faith.
Set aside 20 minutes for this exercise.
1. Have your journal ready. Choose one of the suggested passages, or select your own, and locate it in your Bible:
Proverbs 19:21. John 3:16. Romans 8:38-39. Joshua 1:9. Jeremiah 29:11. Ephesians 2:8-9. Psalm 77:26. Isaiah 40:31. John 14:27. Matthew 5:6.
2. READ. Start by reading through the passage once, then again, and finally a third time. Read it out loud if you can, nice and slowly. Stretch out with it, get to know it a little. You might notice a few things as you do, but resist the urge to pull much from it right now; you’re just warming up. Which words stick out to you as you read? If something resonates with you, stop on it before moving on. Chew on it for a little while.
3. MEDITATE. Now begin again, this time even more slowly. Do something different this time. Follow the words with your eyes, but imagine God reading the passage to you, word by word. Listen as he does. Hear his voice, how it rises and falls as he speaks. This might sound strange to you, but try it anyway. Close your eyes, and dwell on the words and phrases bit by bit. Perhaps you’ll see something new you didn’t expect. What do you feel? What’s going on in your heart? Engage your imagination: what do you see?
4. PRAY. What do you need to say to God? Say it, then listen for his response. Give God room to answer. Sit in the pleasant silence. Talk back and forth together. Interact with God. Don’t rush.
5. CONTEMPLATE. Now tie a bow on what just happened. Take out your journal and write out the verse you’ve meditated on, then write down what God has been saying. Record the conversation so you can return to it later. Perhaps God is prompting you to do something: to send someone an encouraging text, to make something right, or a particular truth you need to sit on for awhile. Let what just happened in this practice move you to action today. God has spoken. What now? This is where the mysterious interaction of lectio divina gets practical. Take what God is doing and make it concrete somehow.
Discipleship : Meeting 3
Redemption video: written by Phil Wiseman. Videography by Jay Wilde
1. What is your initial reaction to the word “sin”?
2. Do you think that our culture has an increasing dislike for the word sin? If so, why do you suppose this is?
3. Last week, we learned that God created us as royalty, gave us responsibility, and invites us into relationship. This week, we’re seeing how sin wrecks each of those categories:
Sin moves us from royalty to slavery.
Sin distorts our God-given responsibilities and spreads chaos instead.
Sin destroys relationships and causes us to be alone.
However, this is not all that sin does. What are some other consequences of sin?
4. What are some specific ways that sin makes us slaves?
5. We often think of sin as just a personal thing. The truth is, sin spreads. It corrupts systems, cultures, and institutions. In the early chapters of Genesis, one sin led to another, getting worse every time—until all of humanity was caught up in the chaos. Yet, we are often told that something is OK as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
What’s wrong with this logic? In other words, how do even the most private sins threaten to affect those around us?
6. Recent research has shown that many people believe in a God who “exists, created the world, and defines our general moral order, but not one who is particularly personally involved in our affairs—especially affairs where we would prefer not to have God involved. Most of the time, the God of this faith keeps a safe distance.”
How does this view of God differ from the infinitely relational, covenant-making God we learned about last week?
7. If it is true that God is relational—and is therefore near, not far—then how might this change our view of even the most private sins?
8. The Bible says that we’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23). But what are some of the root causes of those sins? Read the following 3 passages out loud and discuss what they say are some dangerous sin-starters: Proverbs 16:18, 1 Timothy 6:10, and James 3:6.
9. Which of the causes of sin from the previous question tempts you the most?
10. Any discussion of sin must end with hope. God has provided the cure to sin in Jesus Christ, and as you’ll discuss next time, Jesus defeats sin in our lives. But for now, let’s take 3 things away from this meeting:
Review the practices you experimented with this week. What did you do?
What surprised you the most about these practices?
What was the hardest part about these practices? For example: Was there a recurring distraction? Did you feel uncomfortable sitting still for a couple minutes? Were you discouraged that you didn’t meet God in a way you were expecting?