I Believe Sunday School Lesson Topic Discussion

1.In what ways do you think our future, eternal dwelling places will contrast with our cur-rent, earthly homes?
It’s tempting to focus on the physical as we imagine no more leaky pipes or balky furnaces to repair! The most important contrast, however, will be our new honors’ nearness to the presence of God. God is ever with us now, of course. But His presence and nearness in eternity probably cannot be described!
2.What was a time in your life that you showed a lack of spiritual discernment? How did you grow from this experience?
The greatest challenge for most of us probably is realizing, on a continuous basis, that there is a spiritual reality that is more enduring than our current physical reality. If Satan can’t get us to forget about the spiritual reality entirely, his other tactic is to get us to “compartmentalize” areas of our lives: spiritual stuff is for Sunday morning and grace before meals, while regular life is for all the other limes.
When we slip into this kind of compartmentalizing, we do not allow Jesus to lead us in all areas. Which movies we watch, where we surf on the Internet, what kind of cars we buy—Jesus is interested in all of these areas. Our choices indicate spiritual discernment. Wouldn’t it be great if we always knew for sure that we were making the choices that Christ snouts us to make? Confusion in these areas may be reduced by greater attention to Bible study and prayer.
3. Suppose that you share John 14:6 with a skeptic. In response he or she says, “You’re just being narrow-minded. Surely a loving God would make a way for those who have never heard of Jesus!” How do you prepare yourself in advance for this kind of reaction?
You may or may not be able to persuade the skeptic. Remember that even Jesus himself did not persuade everyone.
What is most important is that your own faith remain unwavering when you hear such arguments. Was Jesus himself narrow-minded? See Matthew 7:14: “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there
be that find it.” Does God have any plan other than Jesus? See Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
God sent His Son to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16). You can’t get more loving than that!
4.Make a list of some out-of-the-ordinary things that Jesus did in front of His disciples. Despite the miraculous things on this list, what made His disciples linger in their uncertainty about Jesus’ identity and authority? How are your own doubts similar?
One reason for the disciples’ wavering was that Jesus didn’t fit their preconceived ideas about the Messiah. We see their misconception pop up again in the question that they ask right before His ascension (see Acts 1:6). Undoubtedly our own misconceptions also serve as roadblocks to unconditional acceptance of Jesus’ authority. Perhaps a doubt that lingers in the back of our minds is, “Where is the promise of his coming?”This doubt is not new – see 2 Peter 3:4.
Doubts also arise because of our focus on the physical. The disciples could see the power of Rome all around them. But to realize that God’s spiritual forces were more powerful required the eye of faith that they didn’t quite have (compare2 Kings 6:15-17). Similarly our vision often is limited only to the moment. We too quickly for-get about God’s power and what long-term benefits we can gain if we heed the teachings of His Word.
5.Jesus talked about others doing things even greater than He had done. How do you apply Jesus’ expectations in your own life?
Jesus has general expectations of all believers(see Matthew 28:19, 20). Jesus also has expectations that tie in to our individual spiritual gifts(Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; and Ephesians 4).We learn of His expectations when we meditate on His Word. As we do we take care to notice that His promise to the disciples gave a purpose for their actions: “that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (v. 13). This is our motive as well.