The following are suggested answers to the Message Based Discussion Questions from the message presented on December 1, 2013. The answers are suggested as a stimulus to thinking, not a prevention of it.
How did the joy of the promise happen?
1) God provides everything perfect 2:15-24
2) Man often chooses outside of God’s perfect will 3:1-6
3) God provides the joy of a promise 3:15
- God curses the serpent 3:14
- God promises great joy 3:15
- 1 John 3:12 ; Rev. 20:10
In any situation, Jesus gives the joy of promise in hope of deliverance.
- This hope is confident expectation of how He will deliver. Rom. 15:13
- This joy is inexpressible. 1 Pet. 1:3-9
- This promise is fixed, firm and from the Father of lights. Jam. 1:17
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) What activities bring you the most joy in life?
- Reading Scripture in a quiet place.
- Visiting with people in their home.
- Singing with people in church.
- Watching people respond to the Word in home group and discipleship.
- Casting vision for people and watching them pursue the vision.
2) When God creates, how does He describe it (Gen. 1:31)? __Very good_____ What are the things that can and cannot damage what God creates?
- Sin damages what God creates (God cursed the ground).
- Disobedience (which is sin) to God’s will.
- Sin in relationships damages the picture of love God intends in relationships.
- Personal ambition, self-centeredness and indifference.
- Sin cannot damage the spiritual creation of a new creation, only the human outward manifestations.
- Someone else’s sin cannot damage what God wants me to do.
- Someone else’s sin cannot damage my relationship with God or others.
3) When man doubts God, what is that called (Rom. 14:23)? __sin______-What leads up to doubting and what are some of the results of doubting based on the following passages? (Matt. 14:31; 21:21; 28:17; Luke 24:38; 1 Tim. 2:8; Jam. 1:6)
- Matt. 14:31 seeing the circumstances as more real than His command, promise, or will.
- Matt. 21:21 seeing impossibilities from man’s view as not possible even when they are in God’s will.
- Matt. 28:17 some would not believe that Jesus was resurrected and doubted what they saw.
- Luke 24:38 the disciples were startled when they saw Jesus, thinking He was dead.
- 1 Tim. 2:8 Men are to pray without doubting God’s purposes
- Jam. 1:6 we are to ask in faith without doubting, or we are merely tossed about like waves.
4) Was Jesus, in His humanity, always filled with the Holy Spirit (see Luke 4:1, 14, 18)? _yes__ Is the believer in Jesus always filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18)? Why or why not? Does filling affect God’s promise of joy (Rom. 15:13)?
- The believer in Jesus is not always filled with the Spirit or there would not have been a command to be filled in Eph. 5:18. One Christian claims that the believer already has all the filling of the Spirit he can have and that is an incorrect interpretation of the passage. Every believer has all the indwelling of the Spirit he will ever have.
- The filling of the Spirit does not affect the promise of God’s joy, but filling affects how one experiences the reality of that joy. If the person is not filled with the Spirit, he will only experience worldly type joy, but the Spirit-filled believer will experience God’s joy and be a vessel to carry joy to others.
Making application to life:
5) Upon what do you have confident expectation for joy in life? Does your daily life affect that?
- That I’ll be face to face with Jesus in heaven at death 2 Cor. 5:8.
- That He will fill me with joy and peace in believing Rom. 15:13.
- That He will sustain me by His empowerment Eph. 5:18-20.
- My daily life of surrender completely determines whether or not I will experience His joy in life.
6) What kinds of things or circumstances cause people to doubt or question God’s joy of promise and then end up being discouraged? How would you disciple that person?
- Circumstances that seem beyond human ability – help him to trust God in greater ways Matt. 14:31
- Relationships that don’t seem to get any better – help him to become God’s servant and pray for the person who is caught in Satan’s snare 2 Tim. 2:24-26.
- Trials (health, finance) that don’t get any better – help him to trust in God’s purifying process Rom. 8:28; 1 Pet. 4:12-13.
- Human inadequacy – help him to see he is complete in Christ and the Word is sufficient Col. 2:9-10, 2 Cor. 3:5-6.
7) What different areas of life would be affected if a disciple believed the joy of God’s promise? How would you share your journey and how would you describe what the disciple can/should do in order to seize it for himself?
- A troubled marriage would have hope.
- A troubled job situation would have hope or there would be hope for provision from another avenue.
- A troubled child would be given hope.
- There have been many ups and downs in life, but when Jesus became more real than anything else this last summer, joy has been something of greater focus.
- I would describe that joy will never come from circumstances, only happiness will come. Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control and I can trust Him for the outcome and journey. If the disciple is disappointed, it is because he is focused on his circumstances rather than on Jesus. He also is not looking forward with hope in the promise.