Elephant In The Church – Race • Politics • Middle East


Sermon Notes & Group Questions

The Middle East

1 Timothy 1:12-13 – “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief...”

1 Timothy 1:16 – “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

1 Timothy 2:3-4 – “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Romans 15:27 – For they (the gentile churches) were pleased to do it (to give, sacrificially), and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.

Race

“Where pride holds sway, there is no hope for the kind of listening and patience and understanding and openness to correction that relationships require.” -John Piper

Revelation 7:9 – “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.”

Mark 11:17 – “And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?”

1 John 4:20 – “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

Politics

Titus 3:1-2 – “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Titus 2:11 – “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people...”

Titus 3:8-11 – “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him...”

Romans 13:1-2 – “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

1 Peter 2:13-14 – “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.”

1 Corinthians 2:2 – “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

Psalm 20:7-8 – “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.”

Q1: The church’s voice is diminishing in the Middle East. The Christian community is shrinking. How do you think we should specifically pray for the church in the Middle East?

Read 1 Tim. 1:13 and 16

Q2: Have you ever thought about the fact that Paul was a man who hated and terrorized people just because they were followers of Christianity? How does this encourage us as we pray for those persecuting people for their Christian faith in the Middle East?

Read Romans 12:2

Q3: Our tendencies are often to revert to our own thinking and reactions rather than to consider how the Spirit of God is leading us to think and feel. When dealing with issues of race do you pause to listen to God’s heart in these matters? Explain your answer.

Q4: How do you think the church can be the change agent in the issues of race in our community?

Read 1 Corinthians 2:2

Q5: How do you think can we discuss things that we might not agree on and still stay focused completely on “Jesus Christ and him crucified”?

Read Romans 13:1-2, 1 Peter 2:13-14

Q6: Both Paul and Peter instruct their readers to “be subject” to the authorities in their lives. Paul was beaten, jailed, whipped by those authorities. Peter was ultimately crucified upside down at their command. What do you think motivated them to be committed to obedience of those in authority?

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Elephant In The Church – Race • Politics • Middle East
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