Pastor Bryan's Blog

Small Group Discussion Guide

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Real Righteousness

Icebreaker:

Share an example of how you (or someone you know) have turned a virtue (Bible reading, prayer, following God’s laws) into a legalistic vice (something that is hurtful to you and possibly others).

Discussion:

1. Read Matthew 5:17-20; Matthew 5:48.

  • What does Jesus say regarding the Old Testament Law and the Prophets?
  • The Pharisees were a sect that defined righteousness in terms of strict observance of God’s law. Why did Jesus say that our righteousness needs to surpass those of the Pharisees? Why did Jesus set the bar impossibly high in Matthew 5:48?

2. Read Romans 3:20-28. What is the difference between every other religion in the world and Christianity, according to this passage?

3. Matthew 23:25-28.

  • What do the metaphors Jesus uses in this passage communicate?
  • How might the description of ‘whitewashed tombs’ describe church-goers today?

4. Read Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:1; Matthew 5:20. Why does law without grace cause sin to increase, and even become a ‘yoke of slavery’?

5. John 10:10; John 15:5. Pastor Bryan made this comment: The failure to attain a deeply satisfying spiritual life will always result in temptation looking good, and eventually in sin. Why is that the case?

6. Read Colossians 3: 23-24. What does the Apostle Paul say about the attitude you should have towards all your activities at work, home, school, etc.?

APPLICATION...

This week, rather than avoiding sin by trying to avoid sin, how can you be free from rigid laws and pursue a life of grace, goodness, and service toward others?
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