Journey to the Cross

Small Group Discussion Guide

Sermon Series: Stand Alone
Sermon Title:
Journey to the Cross

Break the Ice:
  • Andy opened the message talking about how the decision to run a 1/2 marathon in the future brought life-change in the present. Have you ever made a decision about your future that changed the way you live today?
  • The passage in John 15 we’re going to read together takes place after the foot washing, but before Peter’s denial of Christ. Before Jesus heads to the cross, he tells his disciples to remain in Him.
Bring the Word: 
  • Read John 15:1-8
    • Who is the vine, and who is the Gardener? (verse 1)
    • What does the Gardener do to the branches that don’t produce fruit? (He removes them.)
    • What does the Gardener do the branches that produce fruit? (He prunes them.)
    • Why does the Gardener prune the branches with fruit? (“so that it will produce more fruit.”)
    • Notice that Jesus never tells us to produce fruit. He tells us to remain in Him. What happens when we remain in Him? (“We produce much fruit.”)
    • According to verse 8, what glorifies the Father? (“that you produce much fruit.”)
    • Anything else speak to you from these 8 verses?
  • Read John 15:9-17
    • According to verse 9, what does Jesus tell us to remain in? (“Remain in my love.”)
    • How are we supposed to remain in His love?
    • What is the greatest demonstration of love? (To lay down your life for someone.)
    • What does it mean to you that Jesus calls us his friends?
Bring it Home:

If we aren’t careful, our relationship with Christ can turn into legalism–purely doing our best to follow a set of rules. On the other end of the spectrum, if we toss out all the rules, it’s every man for himself. The Scripture clearly teaches that we are called to a higher standard, and our motivation is love.

  • Why do you think it’s dangerous to serve the Lord out of obligation vs. serve Him out of love?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 13.
  • What’s the result of someone who does the right things without love?
  • Verses 4-7 lists very practical components of love. Which one do you struggle with the most?
  • What do you think verse 10 means by, “when the perfect comes?” (Some say this refers to the Bible, while others say it refers to Christ. It seems more likely this is referring to the perfect Christ. 1 John 3:2 says, “But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” Again, the idea is that we cannot become who we were meant to become outside of remaining in Christ.)

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