Spiritual Life (part 4) Sermon Questions

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This morning’s message at Wildwood Community Church from Kevin Bradford came from Romans 8:12-17, the fourth in our current “Spiritual Life” series. Below you will find questions related to the message for further reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 8:12-17
  2. Paul builds this section on the foundation of the previous passage. Since the believer no longer faces condemnation for sin (8:1), but is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (8:11), Paul says that we are “under obligation” (8:12). What does this mean, and what is the difference between this and legalism?
  3. In verses 13 and 14, Paul emphasizes that it is only by the work of the Holy Spirit that a believer can “put to death” the deeds of the body, and be led to walk with God. We affirm that only by trusting Jesus can a person be saved, but why is hard to trust God for our sanctification?
  4. The latter verses of this section have several references to the believers’ relationship as “sons of God”. Reflect upon the influence that earthly fathers have on our knowledge of God. Do you believe that the institution of fatherhood is in decline in our society? If so, how can Christians seek to correct this?
  5. Stu Weber writes about the need for a human father to serve his children as would a King, Warrior, Mentor, and Friend. Which of these roles are portrayed in this passage? Is any missing? If so, can you think of another Biblical passage that portrays God in this light?
  6. Finally, the following link connects to brief video displaying the care of Jim Redmond for his son Derek in the 1992 Olympics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2G8KVzTwfw Millions of people have commented that this was one of the most emotional sports scenes they had ever watched. What connections do you see with this passage?
  7. What is the main application you derive from this passage?

For a pdf copy of these questions, click here.

Spiritual Life (part 4) Preview

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by Kevin Bradford

Fathers are not only important members of a family, but the institution itself can provide us with special insight into the character of God. The Bible tells us that God is not only a Father for Jesus Christ, but also for those who believe in Him.

But what does it mean for God to be our “Father”? We don’t want to be guilty of that which some non-believers claim, that Christians are merely “projecting” a collection of preferences (and prejudices) onto God (i.e. making God in our image).

One of the obvious difficulties with such an approach is that people have such a wide range of experiences with the fathers of their own family–from good, to bad, to even ugly.

Thankfully, God’s revealed Word fills out the meaning of the concept. And few passages of Scripture provide as much as insight into the character and actions of our Heavenly Father as the one which will be explored this Sunday: Romans 8:12-17 at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 worship services.

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that God, our Father:

  • Makes it possible for us to say “No” to sin;
  • Enables us to draw close to Himself;
  • And provides hope for a better future.

What a privilege it is to be able to call God, the Creator of the Universe, our Father!

NOTE:  Kevin Bradford (Wildwood’s Director of Global Outreach) will be preaching on Sunday at Wildwood as we continue our series on the Spiritual Life from Romans 7-8.

Spiritual Life (part 3) Sermon Audio/Video

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On Sunday, April 17, 2016 I preached a message at Wildwood Community Church based on Romans 8:1-11.  The sermon was part 3 in the “Spiritual Life” series.  Below the audio and video have been posted for you to watch/listen or share.

 

To download the audio to listen to offline, click on the link below:

Spiritual Life (part 3)

 

To Listen to the audio online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the sermon video, use the Vimeo video below:

Spiritual Life (part 3) Sermon Questions

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On Sunday, April 17, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 8:1-11.  This message was part 3 of the “Spiritual Life” series.  Below are a set of questions for further reflection or group discussion related to the message.

 

Sermon Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 8:1-11
  2. At the end of LAST WEEK’s sermon, we looked at Romans 7:24-25 and saw Paul crying out for Jesus to save him from his struggle with sin in this life.  What is a current area of your life where you are “crying out to Jesus” to save you from an ongoing struggle with sin?
  3. In 8:1, Paul says that there is “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ Jesus.  The passage does NOT say, there are “no sins” among the Christians, or “no temptation” among the Christians, but “no condemnation.”  What does it mean for there to be “no condemnation” for tempted/sinful people like you and me?
  4. In 8:4 we see that we are saved in order that “the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us.”  This is a statement promising our sanctification and progress in holy living.  God has secured this by giving us His Spirit to empower us in this direction.  This is a commitment God has for every Christian.  What evidence have you had in your Christian life that God has been maturing you in your faith?
  5. How does someone live their life “according to” the power of the Holy Spirit and not “according to” the flesh?
  6. What stood out to you most from this message/passage?

To download a pdf copy of these questions, click here.

Spiritual Life (part 3) Preview

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Have you ever started a home repair project?  Do you remember the feelings of exhilaration as you drew up the plans, or how you couldn’t wait to tear down that first cabinet or put the first strokes of a new paint color on the wall?  Yeah, most of us have been there.

I remember one of the first home improvement projects I ever undertook was redoing some kitchen cabinets in our home.  Kimberly and I had decided to take down a set of cabinets that interrupted site lines into the kitchen in our old house.  Rather than hire someone to do the work for us, I decided to tackle this project on my own.  Boy, was that a mistake.  I lacked the skill and tools to do the job correctly.  Though I was able to demolish a poor unsuspecting cabinet with ease, I was unable to rebuild it into anything beautiful or useable on my own.  I realized my limits and cried out to a skilled friend who helped me correct my errors and build the cabinet system we desired.

I share this story with you today because our home is not the only thing we want to renovate.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we all have received His Word through the Bible and have a new desires to see our lives remodeled in His image.  With great gusto and enthusiasm, most of us have left church camp, a worship service, or a quiet time committed to life change.  After a period of time, however, we find ourselves stuck in the same patterns of disobedience and destruction.  We need help if we are ever to see our lives evoke their true beauty and be used in God’s plans.  Realizing our limits, we must cry out to our Savior — the most skilled Friend — to do through us what we are unable to do on our own.  We need His work to sanctify us, to make us holy.

When we cry out, Jesus responds.  In fact, it is exactly what He WANTS to do.  He is responsive to our cries for help and comes with the skill and knowledge necessary to perfect us in grace.  How does He do this?  We will see that this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church as we continue our sermon series, “Spiritual Life,” together in our 8:15, 9:30 and 11:00 service.  This week we will be in Romans 8:1-11 together.  We hope to see you there!

Spiritual Life (part 2) Sermon Audio/Video

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On Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 7:7-25.  This message was part 2 of the “Spiritual Life” series.  Below is the sermon audio/video to listen or watch on or offline.

 

To download the audio to listen to offline, click on the link below:

The Spiritual Life #2

 

To listen to the message online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the sermon video, use the Vimeo video below:

Spiritual Life (part 2) Sermon Questions

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On Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Romans 7:7-25.  This message was part two in the “Spiritual Life” series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for further reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 7:7-25
  2. Over the past few weeks in our study of Romans, we have talked about being “Set Free” from sin (Romans 6:1-23) or free to live in the “newness of the Spirit” (Romans 7:1-6).  As we have talked about that, have you ever wanted to stand up and shout, “I don’t feel FREE!  I still struggle with sin in a mighty way!  Am I the only one!?!?”  How does reading this week’s verses help you understand the struggle you experience with sin in your Christian life?
  3. No matter who you are, no matter what sin you commit; ALL our sins originate from the same place . . . the flesh (that part of us that desires to sin and rebel against God.)  How does understanding WHERE our sin comes from help us in our struggle with sin?  How does it help us relate to others who are struggling with sin?
  4. In this section, hope is not found in the Law (righteous though it is), but in Jesus Christ (7:24-25).  The Law makes us smarter, but Jesus delivers us from our body of death.  Though we will talk about this concept more in depth next week, what are some practical ways you can call out to Jesus THIS WEEK, to save you from the “body of death” in which we live?
  5. What stood out to you most from this message/passage?

To download a copy of these questions in pdf form, click here.

Spiritual Life (part 2) Preview

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Last Sunday, we began a new sermon series that will walk us through Romans 7-8.  This series, titled “Spiritual Life” will help us to navigate life in the Spirit’s power.

At the end of last Sunday’s sermon, we looked at Romans 7:6, which says:

“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not the old way of the written code.”

This verse points us in a triumphant direction, reminding us of the victory Jesus has provided by setting us free from the things that once held us captive.  However, do we always feel free?  Even Christians can find themselves struggling with addictions, treating those around us with contempt, taking things that are not ours, etc — things that they do not really want, but seem chained to nonetheless.  Is the Bible REALLY correct when it says that Jesus has set us free from that which held us captive?  How do we make sense of the sin struggles in our lives?  Have you ever had these questions?

God knew we would have these questions.  That is why He inspired the Apostle Paul to follow Romans 7:6 with Romans 7:7-25!  And that is why we are going to look at it together on Sunday in our 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 worship services at Wildwood Community Church.  I hope you can join us this Sunday!

In the meantime, listen to my friend Kent Bowles (with the WIN Foundation) sharing a brief testimony in the Oklahoma capital this week about how Jesus has seen him through times of struggle in his own life.  Though our sin issues may be different, we all need to hear Kent’s honest message of hope and life in Jesus — as all of us struggle with something.  (*I am sharing this with Kent’s permission.  He said that I could show it if I thought it would help others and give glory to God.  I believe both will be true!)

 

Spiritual Life (part 1): Sermon Audio/Video

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This morning at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Romans 7:1-6.  This message was part one of the “Spiritual Life” series.  The audio and video from this message are posted below for you to listen to or watch on 0r offline.

 

To download the audio to listen to later, click on the link below:

The Spiritual Life #1

 

To listen to the message online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the sermon video, use the Vimeo video below:

Spiritual Life (Part 1) Sermon Questions

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On Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Romans 7:1-6.  This message was part 1 in the “Spiritual Life” series.  Below are a set of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 7:1-6
  2. What makes the Christian life different from all other religious systems?  (NOTE:  Don’t think only of a Christian’s understanding of salvation . . . think about the nature of the life we live out compared to the life people from other religion’s live out.)
  3. In this letter, humanity is pictured as “married to the law.”  What do you think that means?  (NOTE:  For help here, look back at what Paul has said about the Law in the first 6 chapters of Romans – 3:19, 20; 4:15, 5:20.)
  4. In Christ, however, humanity has a chance to “die with Jesus” and “be raised with Jesus.”  By having our identity die and resurrect again in Christ, we are freed up from being bound to the Law.  Instead, we can belong to another . . . namely Jesus Christ!  Belonging to Jesus changes our identity.  What does it mean for you to “belong to Christ?”
  5. Jesus has given us new life so that we might bear fruit for Him.  God does not want to merely save us, He is committed to transforming us and bringing us into holiness!  What are some of the current renovation/fruit bearing projects God is working on in your life right now?
  6. How does the presence of the Holy Spirit impact your daily Christian life?
  7. What stood out to you most from this message/passage?

To download a copy of these questions in pdf format, click here.