Session 11: Know Christ – Following by Losing

Summary: Up to this week we have seen Peter’s salvation in Christ and his new identity in Christ. That was directly followed by Peter trying to rebuke Jesus for saying Jesus had to die, because Jesus’ death did not align with what Peter thought was good or right. Jesus then gives Peter a rebuke stating that Peter is only concerned with what seems good to himself, and not what is good to God. Jesus then goes on to explain how we are to deny ourselves(our will) just as Jesus denied his own will (to not drink from the cup), take up our cross(God’s will) just as Jesus took up his cross literally(which was God’s will), and we are to follow him in willingly giving up our own lives.  This week we explore Jesus’ teaching as he explains why we deny ourselves and take up our cross and give up our own lifes.  As we  examine what Jesus says here there are a few important things to note. 1) Salvation has already been secured, losing your soul is not the same as losing your salvation.  2) we have 2 lifes. Temporary vs. eternal/ flesh vs. spirit  3.

In Matthew 16:25-26 the terms soul and life are both translated from one word in the original Greek, psychē (psoo_khay’) Follow the link  to see the meaning.

  4) As believers we can still cling to this life and define ourselves by the temporary things we find here. We see this In Romans 8 when Paul talks about believers living by the flesh or the spirit


Break the Ice

  • What are the first three things you say when asked to tell about yourself?

Bring the Word

Read Matthew 16:24-27

  • What is the soul?
  • Think of the things that define you. Which of those things will lose their meaning when this world no longer exist? (e.g. football no longer exist so defining yourself as a fan of a certain team will be meaningless)
  • If we continue to seek the temporary things of this life to define us, what does that mean for our soul in eternity?
  • What does it mean to find or lose our life or soul?
  • How do we lose our life for Jesus?

Read Luke 16:1-12

Cultural note: It was common in this time that someone in this man’s position was not payed a set salary but was allowed to collect extra or charge extra to make his living, similar to the way a bank charges people interest to use other peoples money. So, by reducing the dept these people owed he was more than likely removing what he had charged over the amount actually owed to his employer. 

  • Once removed from his position, does he still have a right to any of the money owed his employer?
  • How does his termination parallel our death?
  • What other parallels can we draw?
  • What are the things we are trusted with in this world?
  • How can we leverage those things for eternity?
  • How does using everything in this life to advance God’s will fit Jesus’ statement of “whoever loses their life for me will find it”?
  • What are true riches and property in eternity? 
  • How do they compare to anything we can attain in this world?

Bring it Home

Read 1 Peter 4:1-2

  • Why does our choice to follow God’s will cause suffering in this life?
  • What should be our attitude about that suffering?
  • How can we pray for you?

Begin a Discipline

Continue practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading, reflection, and journaling. This week use those disciplines to answer the question, “Why do we pray?”

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