ICE BREAKER: Have you ever had someone break into your house, or car and steal something? How did you react? Title: “Grace at its Finest Hour”
Text: Philemon 10,11
CONNECTING TO THE TEXT:
1. Who wrote Philemon? Where was he? and Who was he with? vss. 1 -Background
2. To whom was Philemon written? vs. 2 (Think about all who are mentioned and the stated point of the letter. Can you imagine the level of stress or awkwardness as this letter is read before the entire church?)
3. What kind of activity did Paul think would seem to help them have a "full understanding of every good think we have in Christ?" vs 6
4. Read through verses 8 - 17. Notice the contrasts between words that indicate a harsh demanding tone (circle - "order") and words that indicate an encouraging emotional tone (underline- "appeal" ) .
CONNECTING TO OUR LIVES:
5. How do disagreements at home or work change when one or both move from a "demanding" tone to an "appealing" tone?
6. It's one thing to hear an apology and extend forgiveness, but how difficult is it to extend an invitation for someone to become "a dear brother?"
7. What do other Scriptures say about forgiveness?
8. Read this article and explain how the following statement could be true. "The shooting changed that. I feel close to heaven today in a way I never knew before, and it makes me very happy. I know it may be hard to understand, but I would rather be like this and feel the way I do, than go on living like I was before."
CONNECTING TO THE CHURCH:
9. How insistent should the church be on the issue of others?
[ ] If people refuse to forgive others they can't serve in public worship?
[ ] If people refuse to forgive others they are confronted by leaders in the church privately?
[ ] If people refuse to forgive others in the church they are confronted by leaders with the church shepherding publicly?
10. How can a person apply this "Test of Love" in their life? How can a church help with it?
This Sunday's Songs
- Come, People of the Risen King
- Our God
- Famous One
- He Knows My Name
- Once Again
- How Great Thou Art
Title: Philemon and Slavery
Text: Philemon 15,16
- How important is Paul's perspective of Onesimus becoming "better than a slave" but rather as "a dear brother" to the argument of abolitionism?