SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In Paul’s confrontation of Peter found in this week’s passage, we learn that the gospel not only frees us to confront and speak up for truth, but we also learn that it frees us from judgmentalism, people-pleasing, conviction-less civility, hypocrisy, racism, and cultural imperialism.
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
1. Briefly share about a recent disagreement or conflict you had with a friend or a family member. How do you generally respond to disagreement or conflict?
2. What kind of peer pressure did you experience growing up? When was the last time you gave in to peer pressure? Why do you think peer pressure is such a strong force?
3. In your own words, define “hypocrisy.”
4. Have you ever confronted someone who was obviously doing something wrong (e.g. bad life decisions, harmful behaviors, hurting others, etc.)? What was that experience like? How did you respond? What did you learn from the experience? Briefly share.
5. Has someone ever confronted you about something you were doing wrong? What was that experience like? How did you respond? What did you learn from the experience? Briefly share.
6. What are some things that Jesus confronted you with when you became a Christian?
INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
1. Briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
2. Read 2 Timothy 2:22-26
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
• What is the background of this passage? (2 Timothy)
• What do we know about Timothy?
• What do you think Paul was addressing when he writes about the “evil desires of youth” (v. 22)? What does Paul encourage Timothy to pursue instead?
• Paul exhorts Timothy to not engage in “foolish and stupid arguments” (v. 23) because they produce quarrels. What are some “foolish and stupid arguments” we sometimes engage in that lead to quarrels?
• What are the qualities to be displayed by the “Lord’s servant” (v. 24)? As you examine your own life, which of these qualities do you possess? Which of these qualities do you find most difficult to display in your life?
• Who are the “opponents” that Paul is addressing in verse 25? How should we deal with opponents (v. 25)? What should we hope for would be the result of confronting opponents (v. 25)?
• In your own words, define “repentance” (v. 25).
• What do you think is the “knowledge of the truth” (v. 25)? Would you consider yourself as someone who has been lead to this “knowledge of truth”? Why or why not? Briefly explain.
• Why do you think Paul brings up “the devil” in this passage (v. 26)? Does that affect the way we deal with opponents? Why or why not? Briefly explain.
3. Rich began his sermon by sharing a testimony from a church member who, while attending nursing school, experienced tremendous opposition from the school administrators when she had prayed for a patient.
• Have you ever personally experienced opposition regarding your faith? What happened? How did you respond? What did you learn from the experience? Briefly share.
• If someone you know is currently in such a situation, please set aside time during small group to pray together.