Below is the outline and suggested answers for the Message Based Discussion Questions from the message presented on Sept. 28, 2014. The answers are designed to stimulate thinking, not hinder it.
What is God’s model for you to make decisions?
1) Make decisions according to God’s holy will Rom. 1:8-13
- 1 Thes. 4:3; Eph. 5:18
- Rom. 1:8-13
2) Make decisions based on your relationship to the holiness of God 2 Cor. 5:7
3) Trust God’s wisdom in making decisions Eph. 5:15-17
4) Search for objectivity, because that is measurable
- Do what is best Josh 9:25; 1 Sam. 1:23; 2 Sam. 18:4; 1 Ch. 13:2; 2 Ch. 30:23; Acts 15:22; 20:16
Decide based on God’s wisdom instead of personal subjectivity!
- Don’t fall for the spiritually sounding declarations about God’s will.
- Run to Scripture and make wise choices in wisdom.
- Objective decisions most closely reflect God’s eternal decree.
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) What are the best conditions for you in order to make good decisions?
- When the concerns of this world are in check.
- When I’m well rested, fed and cool.
- When I’m trusting the Lord is the only real issue.
2) Are there any indications that Paul performed certain practices in order to determine God’s will? __no__ What was the basis upon which Paul made decisions according to 1 Thessalonians 3:1-2 and Philippians 2:25-26?
- He made a choice based on wisdom, rather than an impression or hunch. He was objective when he made decisions.
- He considered it best.
3) Should a Christian make decisions based on what he can see or by faith? _by faith__ How are the senses useful or not useful? How can they hinder your spiritual growth?
- The senses are useful, because they connect us to this world and our bodies, as well as other people. They give us awareness of our surroundings, which can influence our choices for His grace.
- They can hinder, because we might depend on them, rather than by faith in what is right regardless of our senses or how we feel. They can dampen spiritual growth.
4) How restrictive is God in who you can marry? _only to a believer___ Is happiness permitted for marriage? __yes, of course___ As you might look at 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 and 7:39-40, what can you learn about “good” “better” and “happier”?
- God allows choices and preferences to favor happiness, but holiness is the real issue.
- It is good for widows to remain unmarried, but better to marry than to burn. A widow is happier if she remains single to serve the Lord.
Making application from the message to life:
5) How would you disciple someone to understand how to make decisions according to God’s holy will? What passages and principles would you use?
- Guide them to mandates of Scripture
- John 14:15 – If we love the Lord, we’ll obey Him.
- Gal. 5:22-23 – If we are filled with the Spirit, we experience the fruit of the Spirit
- Rom. 7: 12 – His commandments are holy, just and good
- Pro 3:17 – Wisdom ways are pleasantness
- Matt. 11:28-30 – He desires for us to submit to Him for rest
- 1 John 5:3 – His commandments are not burdensome.
- Jam. 1:23-25 – If we study the Word, we’ll be transformed by it in obedience.
6) How do you trust God’s guidance in Scripture?
- He has proven Himself faithful (Lam. 3:23; 2 Thes. 3:3)
- His faithfulness in the past is an indication of the future.
- Trust God’s guidance by faith and trust Him with the results.
7) Why is subjectivity, in contrast to objectivity, a weak basis for making decisions in God’s will?
- It is weak, because there is no way to measure what is right and what is someone’s preference. It’s how many spiritual leaders have duped followers to making poor decisions, like those followers of Jim Jones.
- Subjectivity is so personal and can vary from person to person. Scripture is consistent and not dependent on any person, except the Lord.