Sep 6, 2020
Resetting Your Focus on Jesus – Deric Bartlett
Series: Reset 2020
This week, Pastor Deric concludes the series 'Reset' with a message titled 'Resetting Your Focus on Jesus' from Revelation 1:9-20
 
John was “in the Spirit” (v. 10) John “heard a loud voice” (v. 10,12,15) John “turned to see” (v. 12) John “saw the son of man” (v. 12-16) John “fell at His feet” (v. 17-18)
 
ICEBREAKER:
In your opinion, when was the most interesting period in history?
 
1. According to the Apostle John, what are the expected costs involved with following Jesus faithfully [Revelation 1:9]? Consider also Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 9:23-26; and 2 Timothy 3:12.
 
2. What life-altering event occurred on “the Lord’s Day” [Revelation 1:10] that is commemorated every Sunday? Why is it so important to never overlook or disregard this special day? What does that day mean to you [cf. Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; and Acts 20:7]?
 
3. What is the relationship between the voice of God and the written Word of God [cf. Revelation 1:10-11]? How signifi cant is that relationship [cf. Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; and 2 Peter 1:20-21]?
 
4. John wrote one book to seven churches [Revelation 1:11]. What does this teach us about the need to specifi cally apply the Word of God to our particular time and our cultural context of Mississauga [cf. Jeremiah 29:7; Luke 10:13-15; and Luke 13:34-35]?
 
5. The One who spoke to John in a loud voice appeared “like a son of man” [Revelation 1:13]. Who was this, and what is the signifi cance of this title? Consult also Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 9:6; and Matthew 25:31.
 
6. The Apostle John arguably enjoyed the closest relationship with Jesus during His earthly ministry [cf. John 13:23-25]. Yet, when John saw Jesus in this vision, he is completely overcome [Revelation 1:17]. What do these differing views of Jesus tell you about His identity [cf. Isaiah 6:5-7; Luke 5:5-11; and Revelation 22:12-13]?
 
7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
 
“On Christ’s glory I would fi x all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucifi ed to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.” (John Owen)
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  • Sep 6, 2020Resetting Your Focus on Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    Sep 6, 2020
    Resetting Your Focus on Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Deric concludes the series 'Reset' with a message titled 'Resetting Your Focus on Jesus' from Revelation 1:9-20
     
    John was “in the Spirit” (v. 10) John “heard a loud voice” (v. 10,12,15) John “turned to see” (v. 12) John “saw the son of man” (v. 12-16) John “fell at His feet” (v. 17-18)
     
    ICEBREAKER:
    In your opinion, when was the most interesting period in history?
     
    1. According to the Apostle John, what are the expected costs involved with following Jesus faithfully [Revelation 1:9]? Consider also Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 9:23-26; and 2 Timothy 3:12.
     
    2. What life-altering event occurred on “the Lord’s Day” [Revelation 1:10] that is commemorated every Sunday? Why is it so important to never overlook or disregard this special day? What does that day mean to you [cf. Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; and Acts 20:7]?
     
    3. What is the relationship between the voice of God and the written Word of God [cf. Revelation 1:10-11]? How signifi cant is that relationship [cf. Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; and 2 Peter 1:20-21]?
     
    4. John wrote one book to seven churches [Revelation 1:11]. What does this teach us about the need to specifi cally apply the Word of God to our particular time and our cultural context of Mississauga [cf. Jeremiah 29:7; Luke 10:13-15; and Luke 13:34-35]?
     
    5. The One who spoke to John in a loud voice appeared “like a son of man” [Revelation 1:13]. Who was this, and what is the signifi cance of this title? Consult also Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 9:6; and Matthew 25:31.
     
    6. The Apostle John arguably enjoyed the closest relationship with Jesus during His earthly ministry [cf. John 13:23-25]. Yet, when John saw Jesus in this vision, he is completely overcome [Revelation 1:17]. What do these differing views of Jesus tell you about His identity [cf. Isaiah 6:5-7; Luke 5:5-11; and Revelation 22:12-13]?
     
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
     
    “On Christ’s glory I would fi x all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucifi ed to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.” (John Owen)
  • Aug 30, 2020Resetting Your TROUBLED Heart – Deric Bartlett
    Aug 30, 2020
    Resetting Your TROUBLED Heart – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series 'Reset' with a message titled 'Resetting Your Troubled Heart', based on John 14.
    TURMOIL & ANXIETY are a universal human EXPERIENCE RELATIONSHIP is the universal human NEED BELONGING is a universal human LONGING ASSURANCE AND HOPE are a universal GIFT
    ICEBREAKER:
     
    What kind of challenges are you facing these days?
     
    1. According to John 13:31-38, what were some of the reasons for the disciples’ troubled hearts [John 14:1]? What lay ahead that would be even more troubling? What is troubling your heart today that Jesus is able to calm [cf. Psalm 42:5; John 14:27; and John 16:22]?
     
    2. What remedy did Jesus prescribe to His disciples for their troubled hearts that is just as effective for us today [John 14:1]? How are you practicing this? Consider also Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 43:1-3; and John 16:33.
     
    3. Since the disciples were troubled in heart in their present circumstances, Jesus reassured them with their future destiny [John 14:2]. How is Jesus’ promise of preparing a place for believers in the Father’s house reassuring you today [cf. Psalm 23:6; 2 Corinthians 5:1; and Hebrews 11:16]?
     
    4. How are you using the promised return of Christ [John 14:3] to quell the fear, anxiety, and confusion that is raging in our present world [cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; and Titus 2:11-14]?
     
    5. Based on Jesus’ declaration in John 14:6 that He is the only way to the Father, how would you counter the false idea that all religious beliefs lead to God [cf. John 1:14; John 11:25; and Acts 4:12]?
     
    6. Jesus made the astonishing claim that to see Him was to see the Father [John 14:7-11]. How do you know He was telling the truth? What do Jesus’ life and teachings reveal about the Father? Consult Isaiah 9:6-7; Colossians 1:15-20; and Hebrews 1:1-3 as well.
     
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
     
    “Down through the centuries in times of trouble and trial God has brought courage to the hearts of those who love Him. The Bible is filled with assurances of God’s help and comfort in every kind of trouble which might cause fears to arise in the human heart. You can look ahead with promise, hope, and joy.” (Billy Graham)
  • Aug 23, 2020RESET:Worship – Part 2 – Max Oates
    Aug 23, 2020
    RESET:Worship – Part 2 – Max Oates
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Max shares Part 2 of his message 'RESET: Worship', based on Acts 2:42-47

    1. The Church Needs to Stand Out (v. 42-43)

    2. The Church Needs to Do Life Together (v. 44-46)

    3. The Church Needs to Reach the Lost (v. 47)

    ICEBREAKER:

    Do you think you have a pretty good work-life balance? Why or why not?

    1. The term translated “devoting” [Acts 2:42] contains the ideas of continually holding to, persisting in, and persevering in the apostles’ teaching. What does this look like today? What are you currently doing to devote yourself to sound teaching [cf. Ezra 7:10; Matthew 7:24-27; and Acts 17:11]?

    2. The early Christians’ key activities are recorded in Acts 2:42. What are modern parallels to these spiritual practices that you can participate in at CCBC [cf. Acts 1:14; Acts 20:7; and Hebrews 10:24-25]?

    3. It is noteworthy that when the early believers lived out their beliefs, awe and miracles followed. How can today’s church recapture the infl uence and impact of the early church [cf. Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 5:8-10; Philippians 2:14-16; and 1 Peter 2:11-12]?

    4. Does Acts 2:44-45 indicate the early Christians believed and behaved as “socialists”? Why or why not [cf. Luke 18:22; Acts 4:32-37; and Acts 6:1-6]?

    5. What do you learn about hospitality and true Christian fellowship from Acts 4:46 that can be put into action today [cf. Acts 16:32-34; Romans 12:9-13; and 1 Peter 4:9]?

    6. When the early church focused on its spiritual priorities, something amazing happened. What did the Lord do that shows us how to go on mission today [cf. John 15:4-5; Acts 6:7; and 2 Peter 3:18]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Without doubt the emphasis in Christian teaching today should be on worship. There is little danger that we shall become merely worshipers and neglect the practical implications of the gospel. No one can long worship God in spirit and in truth before the obligation to holy service becomes too strong to resist. Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works. That is the divine order and it can never be reversed.” (A.W. Tozer)

  • Aug 16, 2020RESET:Worship Part 1 – Max Oates
    Aug 16, 2020
    RESET:Worship Part 1 – Max Oates
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Max continues the series 'Reset' with a message titled 'RESET:Worship' from Hebrews 13:7-16. This is part 1 of 2.

    1. Worship means being led (v. 7)

    2. Worship means staying faithful and focused (v. 8-10)

    3. Worship means stepping forward (v. 11-14)

    4. Worship means making a sacrifice. (v.15-16)

     

    ICEBREAKER:

    What is your favorite method of worshipping God? What do you find most challenging about worship?

    1. In verse 7, the author seems to be prescribing that we should look to spiritual leaders who have completed their years of service and passed on to their reward. Who would you look to that could fi ll this role? Why would it be helpful to study these kinds of leaders and in what ways might we imitate their faith? What does this verse imply about how we, as Christian leaders in the church today, live our lives in the world?

    2. How is Jesus an even better example of a leader we can follow? How does Jesus’ example of life and leadership contrast and compare to the examples of historical leaders you might look to? (v.8)

    3. What warning does the author plainly state? How would you apply that warning to our present world, community and society? How do you guard your body, mind and soul so as not to be tripped up by these things? (v.11-13)

    4. What 3 features in our lives should others see as the evidence of our commitment to Jesus and a response to His love for us? (v.14-16)

    5. What is the right response to our Christian church leaders of today? (v.17) What qualities in them are worth imitating? In what ways are you submitting to their authority?

    6. What did you find particularly helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honour and worth to their Creator- God precisely because He is worthy, delightfully so.” – D.A. Carson

  • Aug 9, 2020God’s View of Justice – Deric Bartlett
    Aug 9, 2020
    God’s View of Justice – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series 'Reset' woth a messgae titled ' God's View on Justice' from Micah 6:8.

    1. Justice is a core mandate in the Bible
    2. Justice is consistent with living by faith

     

    ICEBREAKER:

    What was the last thing you were really excited about?

    1. On the final day of Moses’ life, he composed a song as a witness against the waywardness of the Israelites [Deuteronomy 32:1-43]. Verses 3-4 extol God’s character. How does this description of God impact our Christian understanding of justice issues? Consult also Genesis 18:25; Psalm 99:4; and Jeremiah 9:23-24.

    2. Why do you think the wise sage of Proverbs exalted showing justice above showy religious performance [Proverbs 21:3]? What would this look like in our current cultural context [cf. Deuteronomy 16:18-20; Isaiah 56:1; and Mark 12:32-33]?

    3. Isaiah confronted his people with the hypocrisy of practicing religious rituals without treating others justly [Isaiah 1:10-15]. He then called for repentance and righteous living. Where could believers put into practice God’s expectations listed in Isaiah 1:16-17 [cf. Psalm 82:2-4; Jeremiah 22:3; and James 1:27]?

    4. Micah 6:6-7 posed a worshiper’s question about what religious activities would satisfy God. What was the prophet’s response in verse 8? How are we to approach people, and how are we to approach God? Consider also 1 Samuel 15:22-23; Psalm 51:16-17; and Zechariah 7:8-10.

    5. Jesus’ half-brother, James, exposed the prejudicial attitudes of the people of his day [James 2:1-13]. How is this inequitable scene repeated today, and how should believers address it [cf. Leviticus 19:15-16; Proverbs 14:31; and Matthew 7:1-5]?

    6. The sins of injustice, inequality, and prejudice all stem from the hatred of others. How do Christians counter these social evils according to 1 John 2:9-11; 3:10-18; and 4:20-21?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “The incentive to peacemaking is love, but it degenerates into appeasement whenever justice is ignored. To forgive and to ask for forgiveness are both costly exercises. All authentic Christian peacemaking exhibits the love and justice - and so the pain - of the cross.” (John Stott)

  • Aug 4, 2020Living as a Christian in a World of Confusion – Deric Bartlett
    Aug 4, 2020
    Living as a Christian in a World of Confusion – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020

    1. Keep your shoes on (v. 21-22)

    2. Keep your shield up (v. 23-27)

    3. Keep your ego in check (v. 26-28)

    4. Keep your mind clear (v. 28-34)

    5. Keep your faith focused (v.35-41)

    ICEBREAKER:

    What do you highly recommend to most people you meet?

    1. The early Christian movement was called “The Way” by Luke, the writer of Acts [cf. Acts 9:2; 18:25-26; 19:23; 22:4; 24:14, 22]. Where do you think this phrase originated, and what does it say about the nature of the Christian faith [cf. John 14:6; Romans 13:11-14; and Philippians 3:17-21]?

    2. Paul was accused by his opponents of “persuading” and “turning away” many people from the old pagan superstitions. What do you learn about Paul’s methods that help you share Christ today [cf. Acts 14:15-17; Acts 17:22-32; and 1 Peter 3:13-16]?

    3. Paul’s message to the pagan world of his day was that idols were not gods at all [Acts 19:26]. Is idolatry still present today? What would qualify as idolatry in our current culture? How would you address it? Consider Isaiah 44:9-20; 1 Corinthians 8:1-6; and 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 in your response.

    4. The two accusations levelled at Paul by his adversaries dealt with loss of income and loss of honour for their goddess, Artemis. This revealed an underlying cosmic conflict between deities alongside an economic conflict. Is this also true today [cf. Deuteronomy 6:4; Ephesians 4:4-6; and 1 Timothy 2:5-6]?

    5. Acts 19:28-29, 32, 34 describe a scene that is moment by moment played out in modern times on social media, with outrage, virtue signalling, and mass confusion rampant. How might a follower of Jesus bring calm to an out-of-control situation? Consult also Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:15-20; and 2 Peter 1:5-7 for more insights.

    6. Acts 19:35 recorded the Ephesian superstitious belief in a stone that fell from heaven, giving rise to the pagan cult of Artemis. What superstitions persist today, and how can believers counter them [cf. Psalm 19:1-6; Acts 14:11-17; and Romans 1:18-23]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” (A. W. Tozer)

  • Jul 26, 2020The Riots in Ephesus – Deric Bartlett
    Jul 26, 2020
    The Riots in Ephesus – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020

    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series 'Reset 2020' with a message titled 'The Riots in Ephesus" from Acts 19.

     

    1. The danger of _________________________ Christianity: v. 1-12

     

    1. The danger of _________________________ Christianity: v. 13-20

     

    1. The danger of __________________________ Christianity: v. 21-41

     

    QUESTIONS

    ICEBREAKER: What is your favourite type of day (weather, temperature, etc.)?

     

    1. The Holy Spirit is indispensable for a Christian’s identity and ministry [Acts 19:1-7]. What is the Holy Spirit’s role in the Christian life according to this text, as well as Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; and Ephesians 1:13-14?

     

    1. What principles of mission do you see illustrated in Paul’s gospel activities in Acts 19:8-10? Why is the message “about the kingdom of God” still so critical to our presentation of the gospel today [cf. Acts 17:17; Acts 28:23, 31; and 2 Corinthians 5:11-15]?

     

    1. What do you learn from the contrasts between God’s unlimited power, demonic limited power, and the powerlessness of the 7 sons of Sceva as highlighted in Acts 19:11-20? Consult also Luke 8:26-31; Acts 16:16-18; and James 2:19 for further insights.

     

    1. How did the gospel transform the Ephesian society [Acts 19:17-20, 23-27]? What does this teach us about how to best transform our current godless culture? Consider also Matthew 5:13-16; Philippians 1:12-14; and Colossians 4:5-6.

     

    1. Riots, mobs, political upheavals, and social unrest are nothing new [Acts 19:28-34]. What prompted this particular riot? Was it justifi ed? What were the real reasons for the disturbance that are eerily similar to much of what we see in the news today [cf. Acts 17:5-9; Romans 1:28-32; and Galatians 5:19-21]?

     

    1. The unnamed town clerk of Ephesus needs to be commended for his courage and common sense in addressing the unruly crowd [Acts 19:35-41]. What did he appeal to in order to diffuse this volatile situation? What is a better way to resolve human disagreements [cf. Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8; 2 Timothy 2:23-26; and James 1:19-20]?

     

    1. What did you fi nd helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

     

    “What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance, and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God?” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God)

  • Jul 19, 2020Resetting Your Priorities (in light of Biblical Prophecy) Pt 2 – Deric Bartlett
    Jul 19, 2020
    Resetting Your Priorities (in light of Biblical Prophecy) Pt 2 – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series 'Reset 2020' with part 2 of a message titled 'Resetting Your Priorities (in light of Biblical Prophecy)" based on 2 Peter 3.
     
    SATURATE (your mind with God’s Word) (v. 1-7) SHARE (the good news with all who will listen) v. 8-10 SEPARATE (yourself for the Lord) v. 11ff STRETCH (yourself in grace & knowledge) v. 15-18
     
    ICEBREAKER:
     
    What’s the biggest vehicle you’ve driven?
     
    1. Peter reminded his readers of the authoritative nature of God’s Word through the prophets and apostles [2 Peter 3:1-2]. What are some of the benefi ts of prioritizing the Bible? How much time and energy are you personally putting into studying and obeying it [cf. John 14:26; Acts 3:17-26; and Ephesians 2:19-22]?
     
    2. Skeptics have always scoffed at the supernatural [2 Peter 3:3-4]. How do you keep skepticism from infecting your faith in the promises of God [cf. Jeremiah 5:10-13; Matthew 24:48-51; and 1 Timothy 4:1-5]?
     
    3. Peter countered the skeptics by reviewing the Genesis accounts of creation and the fl ood [2 Peter 3:5-6]. How do these historical events rebuke the anti-supernatural claims of skeptics [cf. Genesis 1:9-10; Hebrews 11:3; and 2 Peter 2:5]?
     
    4. Peter informed his readers that everything in existence will be burned with fire on the day of judgment [2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12]. If this is true, what should we prioritize: the material, earthly, temporal things of this world, or the spiritual, heavenly, eternal things of the world to come? How do we do this? Consult also Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:13-21; and Colossians 3:1-4.
     
    5. Two reasons are given in 2 Peter 3:8-9 for the perceived delay in Christ’s return. What are these 2 reasons, and what do they reveal about God’s character and heart for people [cf. Ezekiel 18:30-32; Romans 2:1-11; and 1 Timothy 2:3-7]?
     
    6. In light of the certain coming judgment of God at Christ’s promised return [2 Peter 3:14-18], how are believers to live? Consider also Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; and 1 Timothy 6:11-16.
     
    7. What did you fi nd helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
     
    “The ways, and fashions, and amusements, and recreations of the world have a continually decreasing place in the heart of a growing Christian. He does not condemn them as downright sinful, nor say that those who have anything to do with them are going to hell. He only feels they have a constantly diminishing hold on his own affections and gradually seem smaller and more trifl ing in his eyes.” (J. C. Ryle)
  • Jul 12, 2020Resetting Your Priorities (in light of Biblical Prophecy) – Deric Bartlett
    Jul 12, 2020
    Resetting Your Priorities (in light of Biblical Prophecy) – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series 'Reset 2020' with a messaged titled 'Resetting Your Priorities (in light of Biblical Prophecy)' based on 2 Peter 3.

    The Bible is clear that we are living in “the last days” (v. 3)
    The Bible is clear that there is a coming “day of judgment” (v.7)
    The Bible is clear that the “day of the Lord” will come like a “thief in the night” (v.10)
    The Bible is clear that the world as we know it will end with “the day of God” (v.12)

    ICEBREAKER:

    What is something that was once important to you but is now becoming less and less relevant?

    1. In Acts 2:16-21, Peter referred to an Old Testament prophecy. According to Joel 2:28-32, what is to be expected “in the last days”? What happened on the Day of Pentecost that indicated a new day had dawned [cf. Isaiah 44:3-5; Ezekiel 36:26-27; and Acts 10:44-46]?

    2. The description of the last days by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 accurately reflects our modern times. How does this motivate you to reject the world’s ways while reaching out to those drowning in their sin? Consider Romans 1:28-32; Ephesians 5:6-14; Colossians 3:5-11; and Colossians 4:5-6 in your response.

    3. Hebrews 1:1-3 speak of God’s greatest revelation of Himself that has come to us in these last days. Who is the writer talking about, and why is He worthy of all our devotion and service [cf. John 1:1-5; John 1:14-18; and Colossians 1:15-20]?

    4. James had a warning for people in James 5:1-6 living in the last days. Who was he addressing, and what was the issue? How can we avoid their mistake? Consult also Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; and Revelation 3:17-20.

    5. Peter warned believers that blatant scoffers were going to appear in the last days to ridicule Christ’s promised return [2 Peter 3:1-12]. Do you see this happening today? In what contexts? How do you counter skepticism of this kind? Examine Psalm 1:1-6; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 Peter 3:13-16; and Jude 1:17-23 for more insights.

    6. In light of 1 John 3:2-3, how should we then live until Jesus returns as promised [cf. Philippians 2:14-16; Colossians 3:1-4; and 1 Peter 2:11-12]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Let us be alert to the season in which we are living. It is the season of the Blessed Hope, calling for us to cut our ties with the world and build ourselves on this One who will soon appear. He is our hope—a Blessed Hope enabling us to rise above our times and fi x our gaze upon Him.” (A.W. Tozer)
  • Jul 5, 2020Mission Reset – Deric Bartlett
    Jul 5, 2020
    Mission Reset – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Reset 2020
    This week, Pastor Deric starts a new series 'Reset 2020' with a messaged titled 'Mission RESET' based on Matthew 16:13-23

    1. The leader of the mission is Jesus Christ (v. 13ff)
    2. The goal of the mission is building His church (v. 18)
    3. The foundation of the mission is confessing Jesus as Lord (v.16, 17)
    4. The courage to engage the mission is bold (v.13, 18, 19-20, 23)
    5. The keys that unlock the mission are shared with the church (v. 19-20)  
    6. The threat to the mission is from within its ranks: (v.21 - 23)

    ICEBREAKER:

    Do you think you rely too heavily on your phone? Why or why not?

    1. If Jesus was to ask His question recorded in Matthew 16:13 today, what answers do you think He would receive [cf. Matthew 12:22-32; Matthew 27:62-66; and John 10:30-33]?

    2. In response to Jesus’ question, the disciples reported the popular perceptions of Jesus’ identity [Matthew 16:14]. What do these opinions reveal about Jesus, and about the crowds? How accurate were the crowds’ opinions? [cf. Matthew 17:9-13; Luke 9:7-9; and John 1:19-28]?

    3. The disciples had been eyewitnesses to Jesus’ teaching and miracles for many months. Now, Jesus posed a question: “Who do you say that I am?” Why is this such a key question? What does it reveal about a true believer’s heart [cf. John 20:26-29; Romans 10:9-10; and Philippians 2:9-11]?

    4. Peter’s confession of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” [Matthew 16:16] showed he was beginning to grasp Jesus’ true identity. Do you agree with Peter’s assessment? What difference does Jesus’ identity make in life [cf. Matthew 14:28-33; John 6:66-69; and John 11:25-27]?

    5. Jesus promised to build His church [Matthew 16:18], and not even the powers of death and darkness would overcome it. How is this promise giving you hope and encouragement in these difficult days [cf. Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 3:14-16; and 1 Peter 2:4-12]?

    6. Matthew 16:18-19 are a challenge. Is Peter the preeminent apostle? What are “the keys of the kingdom”, and how do we make sense of “binding” and “loosing”? Jesus was emphasizing the early apostles’ historical significance in founding His church, as clearly portrayed in the book of Acts. As followers of Jesus, what is our role today to continue advancing His church [cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; and 2 Corinthians 5:17-21]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “The glory of the gospel is that when the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it.” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones)