Community | 1 Peter 4:7-11

Sermon | Week 4

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:7-11)

A new command I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)

OPENING THOUGHT

Through the Western Meadows Values Series, we are studying the biblical values that we hold as a church. Jesus’ Great Commission is our foundation. With those final words, Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples of all nations. Our Lord calls us to fill the earth with His disciples, His image-bearers, so refusing to do so is disobedience.

Knowing Jesus’ command is important, but it is also necessary that we know how to make disciples. Like our Christian walk, disciples are made on two levels: individually and communally. Individually, we make disciples through witnessing about Christ with our lives, sharing the gospel with our words, and teaching one another to obey everything that He has commanded us. Communally, we make disciples as the church through the proclamation of the Scriptures, praying together, and loving one another in community.

Since we have addressed the importance of Scripture and prayer, we will now study the necessity of community. Though there are many texts that describe Christian community, Peter writes one of the best. He emphasizes that godly love must be earnest, and it will display itself through hospitality and using our gifts to serve one another. While this type of community is evangelistic, it is predominately a means of discipleship, building one another further in their walk with Christ.

GROUP DISCUSSION

Read verse 7 and discuss the following.

  1. Peter states that we are living in the last days. How does this fact connect to both prayer and community? How does Jesus’ coming impact how we live now?

Read verse 8 and discuss the following.

  1. Why is it important that our love for one another be earnest? How does love cover a multitude of sins?

Read verses 9-11 and discuss the following.

  1. Peter describes two ways that we love one another: by showing hospitality and by serving. Why should our hospitality be free from grumbling? Are you hospitable? What things typically cause you to grumble?
  2. What gift has God given you to serve the church? How can we speak “as one who speaks oracles of God”? How can we serve in the strength God provides?

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions.

  • What has God taught you through this text (about Himself, sin, humanity, etc.)?
  • What sin has God convicted or reproved you of through this text?
  • How has God corrected you (i.e. your theology, thinking, lifestyle, etc.) through this text?
  • Pray through the text, asking God to train you toward righteousness by conforming you to His Word.
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The Man of Faith

Abraham Eats With God (Genesis 18:1-15)

Abraham Study Guide (Week 8)

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. (Genesis 18:1)

Is there anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son. (Genesis 18:14)

And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, Then who can be saved? Jesus looked at them and said, With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:26-27)

OPENING THOUGHT

After thirteen years of God being silent, God spoke to Abram once again last week. Though he was ninety-nine years old and content with finally having a son, the LORD shook Abram’s world. First, God emphasized to Abram again that many nations would descend from him. To drive this point home, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (which means “father of a multitude”). Second, the LORD re-established His covenant promise with Abraham. In order to give Abraham a physical reminder of this covenant, God commanded him to be circumcised. Third, God clarified that Ishmael would not be Abraham’s heir; rather, Sarah would bear him a son.

Though chapter 17 ended with Abraham obeying God and showing his faith, we did not see Sarah’s response to being told that she would have a child at the age of ninety. In this section of Scripture, that is exactly what we see. Three mysterious men appear before Abraham in the middle of the afternoon, and Abraham shows hospitality by treating them to lunch. Abraham quickly realizes that they are not ordinary men, but that he is being visited by God. However, in verse 9, we learn that Sarah is the focus of this lunch, not Abraham. The LORD declares that she will bear a son within a year.

The centerpiece of this section is upon Sarah’s reaction to God’s words, and God response to her. At hearing that she will have a child, Sarah erupts into incredulous laughter to herself; however, God asks if her laughter is justified. God asks Sarah, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” This question brings God’s omnipotence to the forefront. If He is truly all-powerful, then the LORD is able to give Sarah a child, regardless of her age. For us today, there is an important correlation between Isaac’s birth and our salvation—namely that both are equally impossible. But thanks be to God, nothing is too hard for the LORD.

Read verses 1-5 and discuss the following.

  1. The chapter begins by saying that the LORD appeared to Abraham. What does this say about the nature and character of God?
  2. When Abraham saw the three men appear, he greeted them and showed great hospitality. Why is hospitality so emphasized here? What is the importance of being hospitable today?

Read verses 6-8 and discuss the following.

  1. The LORD has lunch with Abraham. In the Bible, what is the significance of sharing a meal with someone? What does this say about Abraham’s relationship with God?

Read verses 9-12 and discuss the following.

  1. God turns His attention to Sarah and proclaims that she will have a son in one year. Sarah simply laughs at the ridiculousness of God’s declaration. What did Sarah’s reaction reveal about her understanding of God? Have you ever wrestled to believe something that you know to be true of God?

Read verses 13-14 and discuss the following.

  1. In response to Sarah, the LORD asks if there is anything too hard for Him, assuring her that He can perform the impossible. How is Sarah’s situation similar to our salvation?

Read verse 15 and discuss the following.

  1. Sarah lies that she did not laughed at God’s promise because she is afraid, but God rebukes her. Though fear itself is not sinful, can fear naturally lead to sin?

ACTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • Reflect upon your hospitality and generosity towards others along with Paul’s words in Philippians 2:3.
  • Prayerfully think of any fearfulness or insecurity in your heart. Consider then the all-sufficiency and omnipotence of God. Bring yours fears and insecurities before the LORD in prayer.