Finding Joy in Death
April 11, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: Sermon Questions
PARTICIPANT'S GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP GATHERINGS
Message: Phil. 1:20-25—“Finding Joy in Death”
Series: Philippians – Finding Joy in the Circumstances of Life
Speaker: Pastor Anthony Orzo
April 10, 2016
Sermon Questions Prepared by: Dave Maniquis
Primary Passage: Philippians 1:20-25
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,”
Launching question: How often do you think about death--often, very often, hardly ever?
Sermon Questions: The sermon proposed that, “Death is pretty much one of the most common occurrences on Earth. Yet, despite its commonality, and the fact that we know it’s going to happen, we still struggle with it. And some people are absolutely wrecked by it when faced with it.”
1. Has one of your close friends or family members died and your grief was so great to the point where you questioned God’s goodness?
- How did you come out of that experience as a Christian or, non-believer, in terms of Paul’s treatment of death? Did you think of it as gain or loss for the deceased?
The sermon emphasized that God created us to live forever. However, one of the consequences of sin was that humanity would be subject to death and separation from God and each other.*
2. We are millennia away from the first two human beings. Do you think it’s unfair that you and I should be subject to death and its consequences, alienation from God and others, without Christ? Explain your response.
Anthony stated, “Most people would have a hard time believing that they matter that little. There’s something that just doesn’t sit well with the legacy of our lives just being a number on the CDC’s website. We want to believe we have meaning and significance in life beyond that.”
3. Share how the love of Jesus Christ has given meaning and significance to your life now and how the eternal reality of it helps you face present struggles.
The sermon emphasized a key aspect of the Gospel: “When you no longer fear death it leads you to Jesus’ peace. When you have Jesus’ peace you can live with His joy at the center of your heart, because He has brought you to a place of utter freedom. To the place where you experience life to the full!”
There is an undeniable reality that there’s an awareness that physical death comes to us all and that suffering in one form or another comes to us all as well.
4. In what ways has freedom in Christ brought overriding joy in your life? If it hasn’t also explain.
Speaking of Paul, Anthony showcased Paul as a “....guy who gets the Gospel. That’s a guy who truly lives for Christ. The question we must now ask ourselves is do we get the Gospel like that? (Phil. 1:21) Are we thinking about life and death, and everything in between those end caps, through the lens of Jesus; through the lens of an eternity with Him? Are we seeing him as our ultimate prize in life? Or does something else have that title?”
So, the sermon posed a profoundly critical question for the Christian and non-Christian alike since each has an ultimate destination with an eternal presence with Jesus or without Him:
5. “Do you live as if you will live forever?” If yes, explain how you do. If not, explain why you don’t?
Cross Referenced Passages:
1 Corinthians 15:54-58 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
2 Corinthians 1:8-10 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,