The Cruciform Life | Week 6

The Cruciform Life
May 10, 2015
The Way to Life 
Ephesians 2v1-10

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Connect

  1. What are some images of God common to our broader culture? How might those who don’t profess faith imagine God? How do you think they differ from God as he truly is? How might they have developed such an image of God? 
  2. Compare the image of God among various church-cultures and Christian movements. Contrast the images of God in different religions. How might these variant visions of God reflect the worshipers themselves?

Engage

“A king who dies on the Cross must be the king of a rather strange kingdom.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Essence of Christianity)

“God is like Jesus. God has always been like Jesus. We haven’t always know this, but now we do!”

  1. Read Ephesians 2v1-10. What are your thoughts, observations or questions from the text or this weekend’s sermon?
  2. Some preachers imply that Jesus saved us from God. But if Jesus was not saving us from God, rather, Jesus was saving us from Satan, sin and death how might that affect your image of God? Your trust in God?
  3. What does Jesus show us about the nature of God? 
  4. What does the Cross demonstrate about the nature of God?
  5. How do we understand God’s ‘wrath’ in light of the Christlike and cruciform God. Does God have a dark and wrathful side that balances out his goodness and love? If not, then how shall we understand the biblical language of wrath?
  6. What if the judgment for turning from God is nothing other than turning from God? Turning away is itself the disaster that bears horrid and painful results. What if wrath is not as the active vengeance of an angry God, but the process of perishing under the curse and decay of sin? And what if God’s response to our turning away is not to turn away also, but to launch the rescue mission that will save us from ourselves?
  7. If we ‘unwrath’ God, how do we understand the Cross and how do we present the gospel?

Apply

  1. What’s your story? Does God have a track record of seeking you out? When has he found you?
  2. In light of the cruciform God revealed through Jesus of Nazareth, how might his character transfigure those who worship him (through the grace of the Holy Spirit)? If we become like the God we worship, could we anticipate becoming a more Christlike people?
  3. Partnering with the cruciform God means taking up our own cross. What might that look like for you?

Pray

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” – Psalm 103v2-4