NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow (Dec. 2). This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon tomorrow morning entitled Devoted: Keep It Zipped! The sermon will be taken exclusively from 1 Thes. 4.3-8. Look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous discussion guides. All Scripture texts reproduced below are from the CEB.
To consider what it means to devote our private parts to God.
Don’t be deceived. Those who are sexually immoral … adulterers, both participants in same-sex intercourse … won’t inherit God’s kingdom. That is what some of you used to be! But you were washed clean, you were made holy to God, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. … Flee immorality! (1 Cor. 6.9b-11,18a)
Sexual immorality, and any kind of impurity or greed, shouldn’t even be mentioned among you, which is right for holy persons. Obscene language, silly talk, or vulgar jokes aren’t acceptable for believers. Instead, there should be thanksgiving. Because you know for sure that persons who are sexually immoral, impure, or greedy—which happens when things become gods—those persons won’t inherit the kingdom of Christ and God. (Eph. 5.3-5)
God’s will is that your lives are dedicated to him. This means that you stay away from sexual immorality and learn how to control your own body in a pure and respectable way. Don’t be controlled by your sexual urges like the Gentiles who don’t know God. No one should mistreat or take advantage of their brother or sister in this issue. The Lord punishes people for all these things, as we told you before and sternly warned you. God didn’t call us to be immoral but to be dedicated to him. Therefore, whoever rejects these instructions isn’t rejecting a human authority. They are rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (1 Thes. 4.3-8)
… you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. (1 Pet. 1.15)
Marriage must be honored in every respect, with no cheating on the relationship, because God will judge the sexually immoral person and the person who commits adultery. (Heb. 13.4)
… Sodom and Gomorrah … practiced immoral sexual relations and pursued other sexual urges. By undergoing the punishment of eternal fire, they serve as a warning. (Jude 7)
Favored are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right of access to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are … those who commit sexual immorality … and all who love and practice deception. (Rev. 22.14-15)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.
1. Complete this sentence: “I feel like my privacy is being violated whenever __________.”
2. Zippers don’t always work like they’re supposed to work. Tell us of a funny (and of course, clean) broken or stuck zipper experience you’ve had.
These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose one.
1. Consider Eph. 5.3-5. How is it that loose living (vs. 3,5) often arises out of loose speech (vs. 4)?
2. Work through all of the preceding passages, compiling a list of other points of darkness with which sexual immorality often keeps company (i.e. – “deception” [Rev. 22.15b]).
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. What evidence would you offer that sex is the “Lord” or “God” of many today?
2. Describe specific points of emotional anguish, mental pain, and relationship trauma that commonly follow immorality.
3. Brainstorm a list of the advantages and benefits that can be had from living a life of sexual purity.
4. What specific action steps would you offer a friend or your child to take to maintain sexual purity?