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The Power of Story: Sermon Guide

The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our December 30, 2018 message: The Power of Story.

Summary

in 1955, George A. Buttrick, the Harvard Chaplain was known for saying to students, “sit down and tell me what kind of god you don’t believe in. I probably don’t believe in that god either.” Along those same lines, Nathan Wagnon walks us through the story of the entire Bible and teaches us what role Scripture—and a right understanding of God—plays in spiritual formation.

Key Takeaways

Four common misconceptions about Scripture. It is NOT..

  1. A rule book. People use Scripture as a transaction.
  2. A textbook. They freak out at the tiniest of things that might be wrong.
  3. A self-help and sentimentality book.
  4. A utility. Like it’s something to be used. People take verses and throw them like Bible ninja throwing stars.

Keys to understanding Scripture

  • Scripture was written for you, but it was not written to you.
  • You are not the main character in the story of the Bible. God is!
  • Satan is the father of deception. It is his native tongue.
  • God lets people come as they are, but it would not be loving of Him to let them stay that way.
  • Summary of the prophets: 1) You’ve gone the wrong way, 2) Turn around, 3) I (God) will save you.

What is true?

  • God is present
  • God is a God of promise
  • God is powerful
  • God is a God who pursues
  • God is personal
  • God is patient

What is deception?

  • God will punish you
  • God has abandoned you
  • God is powerful but not good
  • God is not trustworthy
  • God is weak
  • God is done with you

Questions for Reflection & Discussion

  • Do you believe in God? Do you have questions about God? About the Bible? Join us for Great Questions on Monday nights; we’d love to talk to you about God and any questions you may have about Him, the Bible, or the world we live in.
  • Which of the four common misconceptions about Scripture—rule book, text book, self-help book, utility book—are you most prone to believe? How can you focus on the truth of Scripture and your relationship with God rather than believing that lie?
  • Which of the six truths about God are most encouraging to you? Which of the six deceptions about God are you most prone to believe? Share each of your answers with your community group and ask them to help you focus on the truth!

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