Coastline Bible Church is doing a five-week sermon series called: "Flawed but Faithful." This is going to be a unique sermon series because typically when we read the Bible we are looking for the text to be God-centric; meaning we put God at the center of our focus. But for five weeks we’re going to focus on the life of Peter. We’re going to see that Peter is a human just like us. We’re going to learn that Peter followed Jesus, stepped out in faith, tried to justify himself, and had wild ideas. We’re going to see that Peter is a flawed man who was faithful to God. Peter played a key role in building the local church and because of his faithfulness to Jesus we have the local church. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions ::: The response of forgiveness ::: Matthew 18
Peter seems to have learned the lessons that Jesus has taught he and the other disciples. The story in Matthew 18:21-35 is the fifth and last account that is unique to the life of Peter. Peter was the most outspoken of all the disciples. You could even call Peter the leader or spokesman of the disciples. Peter asks Jesus a question that seems very generous for this time period. It was significantly over the cultural norm of the boundaries of forgiveness but it wasn’t enough for Jesus. The topic of forgiveness can be a painful subject for many. We have all been hurt at some time in our life. Many of us bear the scars of those painful situations. Be encouraged to start your time in prayer, asking Jesus to guide your conversation on forgiveness and power of forgiveness.
1) Share about a time when you were hurt by someone and extended forgiveness to that person. Recount what it felt like to offer forgiveness. Did you feel better about the interaction or do you wish you didn’t offer forgiveness?
2) Read Matthew 18:21-22. Rabbinical law says that you are to forgive a person three times when they have wronged you so Peter looked very generous. What do you think about Jesus telling us to forgive a person so many times?
3) Neal taught us that forgiveness isn’t: making excuses, forgetting, or reconciliation. Read Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 64:9, and 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. What one of these was most helpful for you to learn/understand about forgiveness?
4) To illustrate extravagant forgiveness, Jesus told a story (read Matthew 18:23-27). What do you think it would have felt like to have that large of a debt forgiven? Share about a time someone extended wild forgiveness to you.
5) Immediately after being forgiven such a large debt, the servant acted wickedly (read Matthew 18:28-31). Why do you think this servant in acted in such a wicked manner after being forgiven? Read Luke 7:47 and talk about the response of forgiveness.
6) The next move in the story brings up back to the two original characters (read Matthew 18:32-35). How has God shown us great mercy and we have failed to show that same mercy to others?
7) Many people think that getting revenge will make them feel better. Studies show that the opposite is true. Read Matthew 5:38-48. How will you act on offering and asking for forgiveness this week?
Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline Online?