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INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
Pastor Rich posed this question to the church – “have you ever deliberately sinned, deliberately said or did something that you knew was wrong at the time, but you did it anyway, because you said, “It doesn’t really matter. God will always forgive me.” This is one of the myths that the enemy has used for 2000 years to derail Christians and to make Christians unhappy, ineffective, and absolutely unfruitful. Paul responds to the objection of “easy grace” in Romans 6, but not how we think he might. Paul doesn’t say, “Really salvation is a mixture of Grace and works”. Rather, Paul says “God forbid” you would ever think that is what I meant. We must remember that we have died to sin and know that God’s grace changes us; we must remember who we are and walk in the newness of life; we must offer our bodies to God; and we must consider the payment for sin and from obedience.
In 5 minutes or less, 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.
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.
•From the series of “Myths Christians believe”, have any of the topics so far been helpful, or enlightening? Please share briefly.
•Based on this week’s explanation of Grace, how would you talk with someone who has an addiction, or some kind of repetitive sin? Would you differentiate between someone who says they are a Christian or not? What would you say or do?
•Why is it that we as Christians (or humans for that matter) always seek the “bottom line?” For example, we may think “how long should my quiet times last,” or “how many times should I forgive,” or “how many repeated sins are too many”…Have you ever thought this way? What might that say about you? Please share briefly.
Read 2 Samuel 12:1-20:
1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ 11 “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.”15 After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate. 19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
•Read 2 Samuel 11 and set the context for your group.
•In verses 1 through 4, the prophet Nathan tells David a story that infuriates him, unaware that the story was really about him. How is it possible that David’s reaction to the story was such, yet he was able to do what he did to Uriah just a few days before? Why is it sometimes so hard to see the sin in our own lives? Have you ever been in a similar situation in which you had been unaware of your own wrongdoing? What made you aware of it? What was your reaction to being confronted with the truth? Briefly share.
•Have you ever been in Nathan’s position of having to confront a friend with their sin? Why is it valuable to have friends like Nathan? Why is it valuable to be a friend like Nathan was to David?
•Once King David recognizes his sin and repents, what does the prophet Nathan tell him (v. 13)? What is the significance of that truth for our lives? Does that give us the right to do whatever we want? Briefly share.
•How do verses 13 and 14 relate to each other? What should our lives look like in light of God’s grace for us? Briefly share.
•What is David’s suggested punishment for the man in the story (v. 5)? What was God’s punishment for David’s sin (v.v. 7-12, 14)? Can you recognize both the long-term and short-term elements in the consequences of David’s sin? Can you recognize those same elements in the consequences of your own sin or the sin of your family before you? Briefly share.
•As a result of David’s sin, a lot of people suffered. Can you identify them? Are you aware of how your sin affects other people? Has your sin as an individual ever affected those around you? Briefly share.
•Even after stories like this, David is still known as a “man after God’s own heart” (Read Acts 13:22). What are some of the reasons you think make him worthy of this recognition? In verse 20 we read that even after the loss of his son, “he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.” Why do you think David did this? What does that tell you not only of his relationship with God, but also of his knowledge of God? Briefly share.
Below you’ll see some options for ministry time with your group. We always encourage you to reserve time in your group to pray for one another and wait on the Holy Spirit.
•Take time to wait on the Holy Spirit and ask people to share their hearts with the group. Make sure you create a safe environment for people to confess their sins if they feel moved to do so, or to share about past hurts in their lives due to someone else’s sin. (Please take the appropriate measures to ensure a safe and appropriate environment for this activity, such as asking the group to separate by gender, etc.)
•Encourage people to ask for forgiveness of those that have been hurt because of their sin, as well as to forgive those who have hurt them as a result of their sin.
•Take time to pray for one another and ask the Holy Spirit to come into those places of shame and hurt in our lives. Encourage them to maintain an attitude of worship such as David did, and remind them of the hope we have in Christ Jesus.