Mark 2:1-12

1. Describe a time you felt paralyzed and desperate for healing? How does the concept of forgiveness play a role in your story and need for healing? 

2. In many ways, this passage could be the summary of Jesus’ life. Describe the different elements of the story and how they are representative of the experiences Jesus would continue to face. 

3. The author of Mark’s Gospel introduces the phrase “Son of Man” in chapter 2. Daniel 7 is likely the referent to that language. Read Daniel 7 and describe what you think the phrase “Son of Man” means. Why do you think Mark is using that word in this passage?

4. Who do you find yourself relating to more often: the teachers of the law who question Jesus ability to actually forgive sins, the crowd looking on in amazement at the authority Jesus is living with, the friends who are desperately hoping Jesus has something good to offer, or the paralyzed man who is helpless and almost a bystander in the unfolding drama?

5. What is your personal takeaway from the declarations that Jesus makes in both words and actions? How can your community or small group, similar to the friends of the paralyzed man, help you in experiencing Jesus in that way?

Mark 2:23-28

1. What has been your experience, growing up or recently, with the Sabbath?

2. How do you currently keep the Sabbath, and what challenges do you face in keeping the Sabbath?

3. Moving forward, how do you plan to keep the Sabbath? If you don’t intend to keep the Sabbath, why not?

4. What core issue did Jesus seem to be confronting in this passage, and how do they relate to your life?

5. What bigger picture do you think Jesus was inviting people to see and participate in?

6. Why do you think we so often put on the burden of religiosity? What’s at stake for us if we miss the message of Jesus in this passage?

Genesis 2:18-2 | What was God’s purpose in creating sexuality?

1. How do you feel the American church has done, or is doing, at handling the topic of sexuality? Do you feel sexuality is an important topic for the church to address? Why or why not?

2. Considering human sexuality, what are some topics that you would like to hear addressed, whether in the pulpit or on the podcast? (text your topics/questions to 630-474-6164)

3. What evidence do you see within broader culture that an “inner voice” ethic is the primary guide for sexual behavior? What difficulties does this type of ethic present for society? What difficulties does an “external” Scriptural ethic present for society?

4. What do you believe it means to be made in the “image” of God? How do you believe that both male and female genders reflect God’s image? (Genesis 1:27)

5. How is God’s design and purpose for sexuality revealed in both marriage and singleness? (Genesis 2:18-25, 1 Corinthians 7: 1-7, Ephesians 5:31-32)

Genesis 3:10-24 | What’s gone wrong with our sexuality?

1. What parts of the narrative in Genesis 3 are easy for you to relate with? What elements are more challenging to relate to? 

2. How do you see the story of Genesis 3 continuing to play itself out in our world today?

3. How do perceive Genesis 3 and Romans 1:24-27 connect with one another? What are the implications of those connections?

4. Many of us have encountered sexual brokenness in either our own life or the lives of others. What are some examples of healing and hope that you’ve observed? What contributed to those experiences of healing?

5. How can the church take steps towards trusting God’s goodness and promises related to sexuality? What are some of the barriers to trusting God’s goodness and promises related to sexuality?

1 Corinthians 7:1-10 | How are we to live in a fallen world?

1. How is the growth of the family of God different today than it was during the Old Testament? (Genesis 15:5, John 1:12) What are the implications for those who are single and married?

2. Consider Tom Cruise’s famous line, “You complete me.” in the movie Jerry McGuire, how common do you believe it is for people to feel they need to be married in order to be whole and/or used by God?

3. Considering that the number of single adults in America outnumbers the number of married adults, do you believe that the Church is doing a good job creating community for those who are single?

4. What is the primary point of application for both the unmarried and the married from 1 Corinthians 7:32-35?

5. Considering 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, what is the primary reason given by Paul for one to consider marriage?

6. Give examples of how Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 7 are countercultural?

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 | What is sexually permissible for Christians?

1. Sexual sin is often a symptom of a misunderstanding about the goodness of God and the depths of his love for us. What are some ways that you’ve found helpful to better understand, or be regularly reminded of God’s trustworthiness and love?

2. Jesus astutely recognizes our tendency to live as if our needs and desires may not be met. Read Matthew 6:25-34. How do Jesus’ words in verses 33 and 34 impact your understanding of sexual appetite and sexual sin?

3. What role do you think people and community can play in helping you combat temptation and sin?

4. Sexual sin is a distortion and violation of God creating humans in his image. Read Genesis 1:26-28. How could the concept of image bearers influence your interaction with sexual sin?

5. What is one step you can take this week to experience the sanctification, God working to bring health and restoration, to your sexuality?

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 | How can I grow in sexual purity?

1. What did you think of the story Kelly read form the book titled, The Great Divorce? What could you relate to within the story? What was challenging about the story?

2. How would you define lust? At its core, what is the problem with lust? 

3. What is it about lust that is in opposition to God’s intent for humanity? Left unaddressed, what are the outcomes of lust? 

4. What fruits of the spirit seem to be the opposite of lust? How would you go about attempting to cultivate more of that fruit in your own life?

5. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12. Based on that passage, describe your vision of a community that is successfully battling lust. What are two or three practical markers that would indicate your group is living out a Christ-like love for one another?

6. What are some ways you can rely on God’s strength when seeking to live out chastity, fidelity, and purity? How can your group actively pursue sexual purity?

Hosea 3:1-5 | How do I heal from sexual brokenness?

1. As we close the series on sexuality, what was valuable for you personally? What was not discussed that you wish was discussed?

2. What did you think/feel about the story of Gomer’s sin and her redemption through Hosea’s care?

3. Considering Hosea’s redemption of Gomer (Hosea 3:1-5), how is this similar to God’s redemption of humanity through Jesus’s death and resurrection?

4. As you consider the broader American culture, what evidence do you see that healing is needed? As you consider the church, what evidence do you see that God is healing people?

5. What have you historically thought about whether God heals people? Do you currently believe that God heals people? If so, when/how? When have you experienced God’s healing? In what respects do you need God’s healing?

6. How might you seek God’s healing in the days ahead? (Acts 4:29-30, 1 Corinthians 12:9, James 5:14-16)