Weekly Review - Week of February 22, 2016

Series: The Grace of God has Appeared
Scripture Passage: Titus 2:7-8
Supplemental Reading: Galatians 5:1; 2 Peter 1:5-9; Philippians 3:17; 1 Timothy 4:12; Hebrews 13:7; 
1 Peter 5:2-3
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Goal: Paul’s letter to Titus is an urgent call to the young pastor to organize the church in Crete by centering everything on the gospel. He reminds Titus of the grace of God—the gospel truth for real growth and change—and the expectation he had for this good news to change lives in a country caught up in empty, selfish pursuits. “The grace of God has appeared!” This glorious grace changes everything. May we know it, be trained by it and show it off to the watching world. 

Guidance: Two big issues that this letter to Titus address are legalism and licentiousness as they were both present in Crete. Titus was instructed to not only teach the gospel as a correction to these ways of living but also to be an example of living life in the gospel. We need examples if we are to find our way in our faith. We need to not only hear the good news but also to see the implications of the good news worked out in life. How do we find these examples and what do we measure them by? And how do we grow in the gospel to become examples worthy of following?

Additional resources: a few items of interest to take a deeper look this week: 

“Is ‘License’ really the opposite of ‘Legalism?’” by JD Greear
“What does it mean to be a gospel centered church?” by Ray Ortlund
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Suggested discovery/discussion questions: 

1. The back and forth between legalism and licentiousness is an age old dilemma. Legalism is expecting to find fulfillment in our attempts to keep the law. License is expecting to find fulfillment in doing whatever we want. Do you see your heart and life leaning in one of these directions more than the other? In what way(s) does it affect the way you live? 

2. The gospel frees us from the pressure to find fulfillment in our own strength, it is good news that tells us we are gifted fulfillment from God through Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfills us by giving us his righteousness. We can stop trying to earn our own in legalism. He fulfills us by giving us his standing before God. We can cease looking to “things” to satisfy us. What are some ways that your heart is grasping the gospel? How is this difficult to grasp, believe and hold on to? 

3. Examples are those who live out gospel changed lives before us because they love and have been changed by Jesus. Name some ways that people who love Jesus are an example to you. 

4. There is an expectation in the letter to Titus that people will become spiritually and emotionally healthy as they are taught and shown the gospel. In what ways does believing the gospel lead to spiritual health? In what ways does it lead to emotional health?   

5. How does seeing emotional and spiritual health change the minds of those who oppose Jesus and the gospel? How is your life and the life of our church making people take notice of Jesus?

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You can view and download this guide in .pdf form.