Small Group Discussion Guide
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. - Proverbs 4:23
Share a time when you proudly trusted in your own ability to pull something off and it all went south. What did you learn from this experience?
1. Read Luke 18:9-14
- What was the core problem of the Pharisee?
- Most people have a little ‘Pharisee’ in their life. In what ways are you like the Pharisee?
- Why did the Tax Collector walk away justified before God?
2. Tax collectors betrayed their fellow Jews by working for the Roman government. They made a conscious decision to deny God in order to chase after all the pleasures of this life - power, money, worldly pleasures, etc. In the message, Pastor Bryan made the point that “only God can truly fill us and fulfill us.” Read Ecclesiastes 2:1-16, and consider the questions below...
- Why do people choose to chase after worldly pleasures, rather than God?
- In what ways do worldly pleasures satisfy us, and in what ways do they not satisfy us?
- In what ways does God fill and fulfill us?
3. Read Luke 18:11. The Pharisee thanks God for making him so righteous (that is, he gives credit to God). Yet he still was not justified before God for bragging about his righteous deeds.
- Some people say that “true” Christians prove they are Christians by living a righteous life, and if somebody is not living right they’re probably not a “real” Christian. How does this passage speak to that particular theological claim?
- Should we look to our own righteous deeds to prove that we are Christians?
- If not, what should we lean on for assurance of being a Christian?
4. Read Romans 1:17; Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 4:5
- Why do you think God justifies (saves) people by faith alone, apart from any type of works?
Evaluate the health of your heart. In what ways are you...
- Humble and Repentant?