Living on the front line

Study 5: The choice is yours

Railway trackWhen you leave the building what do you take with you?

I’m not talking umbrellas on rainy days here nor smart suits for job interviews. It’s more of an attitude thing: what are we like and what values do we take into everyday life.

Leaving a building is more than simply going out the door. It’s a step into a different world often far removed from our place of safety (home or church). We may be going out like lambs amongst wolves (Luke 10:3) but, whatever the circumstances, it will mean that our values will be on the line if we are to remain true to ourselves.

We choose what we take or rather, as Christians, we choose who we take.  We cannot begin to make Christ known unless we know Him for ourselves. The choice on who we take with us, begins with the decision over who we will commit to following.  

Every choice you make has an end result (Zig Ziglar)

A lot of people say, well how can a loving God send anyone to hell? First of all, God doesn't send anyone to hell. If we go to hell, it's by our own choice. But when somebody says to me, how can a loving God allow anyone to go to hell, I'll turn around and say, "Well how can a holy, just, righteous God allow sin into His presence?" (Josh McDowell)

To think about

  1. What kind of things do we take into account when making conscious choices?
  2. Where might faith have an impact on those choices?
  3. How would you define “the Gospel”?
  4. What part does choice play in the Gospel – from Jesus’ perspective and from ours?

Whilst God gives us total freedom, our choice in response has far reaching consequences whatever the direction we go in. God, though, sees us as we are, and he knows our hearts for what they might become.

What’s unclear to us now will always be in sharp focus to him. What we do won’t save us but the way we express our relationship with God – living out our faith – makes all the difference. We’ll be looking at two bible passages today to help us understand both the nature of the gospel and the importance of our personal response to it.

Please read Romans 1: 14 – 17 and John 3: 1 - 21

Why God? Why me?

  1. How would you define “righteousness?” What relation does this have to sin?
  2. What does Romans 1 verse 16 to 17 teach us about the nature of the gospel?
  3. In John 3 verses 3 to 7, Jesus describes the entry conditions for the Kingdom of God. How would you use these verses to outline God’s plan of salvation?
  4. The spirit of God is often compared to the wind or breath of life. How does Jesus’ illustration in verse 8 help us to understand the nature of God’s work?
  5. What encouragement do we find in John 3 verses 14 to 18?

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council visits Jesus at night. Whilst it’s entirely possible that Nicodemus was busy during the day and could only find time to visit after his work was done, it’s more likely that he was afraid of who might see him. He was looking for answers – then, as now, the best way to get that clarity was to engage face to face and really find out for yourself.

What must I do to be saved?

  1. Do I choose God or did he choose me? Explain your answer (You may wish to look at Ephesians 2: 1 – 10, John 15:16 and other passages of your own)
  2. What does Nicodemus recognise in Jesus? How does that help to set the scene for the conversation that follows?
  3. Please reread John 3 verses 18 to 21. What choices do we have according to these verses?
  4. What are the consequences from making right choices?
  5. You’re meeting a friend over coffee who knows you are a Christian. Would the way you share the gospel with him/her be any different from doing the same thing with someone you’ve just met? If there’s a difference, then why is that?

Prayer

  • give thanks that Christ has called and equipped you
  • pray for opportunities to share your story: be ready to leave the building
  • remember the wider work at GHBC and pray for those called into or considering leadership and other roles at the AGM