LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of May 16, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
END OF QUARTER / FALL QUARTER PLANS
After this week, there will be two remaining meetings left before the end of the quarter. If you know of potential changes in the leadership or hosting of your group for the fall, please begin to process that with your group this week. Also, make sure your Campus Pastor/Station-in-Life-Pastor knows about the changes.
See the bottom of the Life Group Study Questions for information on our volunteer needs for weekend services and how to join a team.
DIGITAL FEEDBACK FORMS COMING NEXT WEEK
End of the quarter Feedback Forms will be emailed to each person in your group on Sunday, May 16. Please have your group fill them out at one of your two final meetings for the quarter if they haven’t done so already on their own.
Submit your group’s attendance online at northcoastchurch.com/attendance. If you’re not sure how to post attendance, you can check out the guide here: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/how-to-post-attendance
27: The Letters That Define Us – To help you make the most of this series through the books of the New Testament in the order they appear in the Bible, we encourage you to mark up your Bible and read each book along with us the week it is covered in the sermon.
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. Christopher talked about the five different lenses we can use to view life. Which one of those did you identify with the most?
- Which lens do you think you use the most?
- What helps you to consistently choose Lasik?
- How successful are you at consistently using Lasik as your lens of choice?
Can you think of a time when you were using one of these lenses to view an area of your life? How did that affect how you lived?
Not everyone will have an answer for this question.
2. We heard this weekend that Gospel living will always seem foolish to our old way of living. Are there any attitudes or actions that are a part of your life now that you would have thought were foolish in the past?
Not everyone will have an answer to this question, but enough should for your group to be able to have a good discussion about how many changes happen in our lives when we let the Gospel saturate our lives.
Additional Question: Are there any attitudes or actions in your life now that you’re holding on to from your past that need to be done away with?
1. The Apostle Paul knew the Gospel was great news when it comes to life after death for the believer, which is why he wrote so much about it in 1 Corinthians 15. While there is a lot we still don’t know about eternity (How can finite minds ever fully understand eternity?), there is much in the Bible to give us great hope regarding it. What hope or confidence does 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 give to you?
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 New International Version (NIV)
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 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.
How could looking at our lives through the lens of eternity affect our priorities, our time and our relationships?
Additional Passage: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 gives Paul’s perspective on living in light of eternity.
How has your understanding of Heaven and eternity changed over time?
Good question to have everyone answer.
The gateway to eternity for everyone is death. Despite the fact that “nothing is certain but death and taxes,” we generally don’t talk much about it. How could a person’s understanding about Heaven and eternity shape how they view and approach death?
Facilitation Tip: Death can be a difficult topic for some people, so be sensitive to anyone in your group who has recently lost a loved one. Paul writes quite a bit about life after death in 1 Corinthians 15, so you may want to have your group read more of that chapter.
- As a child or adolescent, what was your understanding and/or experience with death?
- Can you remember when the reality of death first impacted you?
Paul concludes his discussion of Christ’s resurrection and the eternal life it provides for believers with a call to action in 1 Corinthians 15:58. What catches your attention most about his concluding instructions?
1 Corinthians 15:58 New International Version (NIV)
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.
Note: This verse begins with the word “therefore,” which tells us that we’re supposed to do what follows because of what has come before it. So, because of the eternal life we have in Jesus, we are to be strong and get busy serving the Lord. The promise of eternal life is not just to give us hope, but also to motivate us for service.
Additional Question: Why do you think Paul concludes this long chapter with these instructions?
Thoughts on Life After Death
For the believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that after death believers’ souls/spirits are taken to Heaven, because their sins are forgiven by having received Christ as Savior (John 3:16, 18, 36). For believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). However, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. If believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping.” At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22). www.gotquestions.org
A good resource for questions people have about death or anything about Christianity is www.gotquestions.org.
2. In 1 Corinthians, Paul calls out the church members as people who weren’t allowing the Gospel to saturate every part of their lives. He identifies problem issues in the church such as divisions, sexual immorality, lawsuits among believers and the lack of love, to name just a few. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, he has strong words about their spiritual immaturity. How would you describe their spiritual immaturity in your own words?
1 Corinthians 3:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
- When you hear the terms “infants,” “worldly,” and “mere human,” what thoughts come to mind?
- What attitudes and actions would you think could accompany someone who is worldly and a spiritual infant?
- What do you think Paul is trying to communicate with his term “mere human?”
How would you describe what spiritual maturity looks like?
Note: This is a big topic that a lot of books have been written about. Simply put, spiritual maturity is a process rather than a destination. To mature spiritually is to become more like Jesus. It is a partnership between us and God – He supplies the Spirit, and we cooperate with His Spirit. Lots of people have come up with lists of behaviors that supposedly show what it means to be spiritually mature, but the best list was given to us by Jesus – love God and love others (Matthew 22:34-40). You can know you are growing if you have a growing love for God and others.
Additional Question: How do you think spiritual maturity relates to the five lenses Christopher talked about this weekend?
Are there any situations you can think of where you’ve seen yourself acting worldly or as a spiritual infant?
Facilitation Tip: We all have times when we act worldly or as spiritual infants. The big question is how quickly we recognize we’ve been acting that way and confess to God and others and make amends for anyone we’ve hurt.
What do you think keeps people from moving on from acting worldly and like infants?
- What has kept you from moving on?
- What helps you move on from acting like a spiritual infant?
- Do you find that there are areas that you consistently struggle with acting worldly?
Note: Paul knew that the only way we could consistently move on from worldly behavior is if we are filled with the Spirit. Here is a good article on what it means to be filled with the Spirit, www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/transferable-concepts/be-filled-with-the-holy-spirit.4.html
Paul understood that the path to spiritual maturity takes a partnership between God’s Spirit working in our lives and us doing our part. He often used the analogy of athletic competition to help us understand our part in growing to maturity. How does 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 increase or affirm your understanding of what it takes to develop spiritual maturity?
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 New International Version (NIV)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
- Paul uses an athletic metaphor to describe the discipline needed to develop spiritual maturity. What is most challenging to you about comparing athletic competition with spiritual growth?
- How similar is your pursuit of maturity with Paul’s description in this passage?
Additional Passages: Here are some other passages in which Paul uses an athletic analogy.
Which point from this weekend’s message or Life Group study is most important for you to remember?
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! JOIN A TEAM!
It takes hundreds of volunteers to make the weekend services happen on our campuses. If you’re interested in joining one of our amazing serving teams that make church possible, there are a variety of ways to help! Head to myncc.info/, choose your campus and click on “Get Involved” to fill out a volunteer interest form for your campus.