The Savior and Our Need for Saving

The Savior and Our Need for Saving

December 7, 2020

Advent Theme: PEACE

Icebreakers:

  • What is one Christmas tradition you fondly remember from your childhood?
  • What is your favorite holiday food?
  • What is the best holiday movie of all time?

Optional Activity:

Christmas Trivia Questions – You can come up with your own or choose from a list on the following website.  Consider coming up with a fun, virtual prize for the winner.

Watch Video: (11:20) Opening prayer included in the video.

Discussion:

1. Pastor Adam mentions that some people find the phrase “being saved” uncomfortable.  Have you heard that phrase before?  What do you interpret the phrase to mean?

2. Pastor Adam says that the word ‘sin’ is most commonly translated to mean to stray from the path or to miss the mark.  “This implies that there is a right path, a mark, or an ideal that we’re meant to follow as human beings-a path, target, or mark we routinely struggle to remain upon or to hit.” (p.52)  How is this imagery helpful to you?  How do you think about sin in your own life?

3.  We see Jesus as Savior in the ways He helps us avoid straying from the ideal path.  Pastor Adam says, “the more we seek to grow in him, follow him, love him, and serve him, the more we recognize the tempter and his fast-talking ways.”  Whether you view the devil as “a metaphor or personification of temptation and evil” or as a “literal spiritual being”, how does Jesus help you resist the temptation to stray from the path?

4. While Christians believe Jesus saves us from sin, Pastor Adam asserts that we need to also understand how He saves us in different ways.  Read the two passages from the Incarnation book which are found on page 63.

“Some see his redemptive work mechanistically, transactionally, or juridically: Jesus, God in the flesh, the one holy and righteous man who ever lived, died in our place for our sins…His death was a full and sufficient payment….

Others see Jesus’s death on the cross…less in transactional terms and more in terms of God’s attempt to speak to us about sin, mercy, and love.”

Which of the passages do you find most appealing and why?  Do you agree with Pastor Adam when he says, “He has saved me from my sin and he is saving me from my sin?” What do you think Pastor Adam means when he makes that statement?

5. In forgiving our sins, Jesus saves us from the “guilt, shame, and sense of alienation from God that we feel when we sin.” (p.62)  Moreover, Pastor Adam says, “He saves us from lovelessness.  You are loved regardless of what anyone else might say.  You are loved regardless of how unloved you may feel at this particular moment.  You are loved.”(p.77) During this unprecedented season that has led many of us to feel isolated and alone, what does that statement mean to you?

6.  The advent theme for this week is Peace.  How might loving others help bring peace to our communities that are feeling so divided?  What is one tangible way you can display love to someone this week?

Closing Prayer: “Jesus, we need you to save, rescue, deliver, and heal us.  We trust in you as our Savior. Save us from our sin and from ourselves.  Save us for you and your purposes.  Save us by your love and for your love.  Save us from despair and give us hope.  Help us to trust in your resurrection, that we might face death, not with fear, but with hope.  Amen.” (adapted from prayer on p.81)[CF1] 

Suggested Spiritual Practices:

Worship: This week choose a favorite hymn or Christmas carol and reflect on the lyrics during your prayer time. 

Study:  Read the foundational passages that go along with this week’s chapter and reflect on them in light of our group discussion this week. Matthew 1:18-21, Luke 2:8-14, Genesis 3:1-13, & Romans 7:18-25
Serve: Many of our Silver Link members are still feeling very isolated.  Contact Claire Clough at Claire.clough@cor.org to receive a list of people you can write Christmas cards to.
Give: Holidays are difficult times for those that have experienced the loss of loved ones in this year.  Initiate a “I Am Loved” campaign and send a card to family members to let them know they are loved and that their loved one is remembered. An additional act of generosity may be to provide a gift to a charity in their memory.
Share: Host a Zoom watch party or just invite others to view, “Christmas at Resurrection” online. Available December 10-13 at 7:30pm with the addition of matinees on Saturday at 10:00am and Sunday at 1:30pm.  All performances are online at cor.org/live

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