The spirit of this age says that true love encourages others to “do what you want,” not “do what is right.” God’s Word and God’s Spirit, however, warn us that this former kind of love—a love divorced from God’s truth—isn’t love at all, but merely deceitful kisses. True love is the love that Jesus Christ came to show: a love full of grace and truth. This love both calls us to true repentance and calls us, as reconciled ambassadors of Christ, to call others to the same.
- Read 2 Timothy 3:16–17, John 16:7–10, and 1 Thessalonians 5:14. What do these passages say? Do the Word of God and the Spirit of God give the same testimony? Is it possible for someone to follow God if they reject His Word and/or His Spirit?
- Read Matthew 18:15–18 and 2 Corinthians 7:8–10. What do these passages inform us about church discipline? What does it mean to treat someone as a “pagan or a tax collector”? (Hint: See Mark 2:13–17.)
- George Orwell once said that “The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” In view of this, read 2 Corinthians 5:17–6:18. What does it mean to be an ambassador of Christ? Should the church draw a distinction between truth and error? What is the authority for doing this?
- Todd talked about the three arteries of God’s grace: God’s Word, prayer, and community. Are you suffering from a clot in any one of these arteries? If so, how? Given that living authentically is a sign of humility, who is a trusted friend that can you share this struggle with (James 5:16)? What are other necessary next steps you can take to unclog this artery?
- Many have a poor view of the church because they say that it is full of hypocrites. What is a hypocrite? Is it possible to sin and not be a hypocrite? What distinguishes hypocrites from believers who struggle with sin? (Hint: Look at 2 Corinthians 7:8–11.)