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Incarnate Community – Session III: Following Christ as the Community of Faith

Session I

Session I - Designed for Community - Incarnate Bible Study

Session II

Session II - Community Around Christ - Incarnate Bible Study

Session III

Session III - Following Christ as the Community of Faith - Incarnate Bible Study

Session IV

Session IV - The Body of Christ Incarnational Community - Incarnate Bible Study

Session III: Following Christ as the Community of Faith

 

Session III - Leader GuideSession III - Participant Guide

As Jesus brings us into a relationship with Him in turn He brings us into relationship with others in His fallen, yet loved and redeemed by Him world. His purpose is merci-ful. He has had compassion on us, and freely given us the gifts of His grace where He forgives, creates in us living faith, and begins to fashion us in His own image. Yet, our Lord is a journeyman on the move. He continues to seek out the wounded of His world who’ve been left for dead by the robbers of sin, death, and Satan. In love, He brings us along and gives us a heart for our fellow wounded. He also gives us a place, the local gathering of fellow followers of Jesus…in the parable it was called the Inn, we more commonly call it the congregation…where He brings the fellow wounded, along with us…often by means of us…to care for our every need! And if it costs us fellow “inn keepers” more than we think Jesus has provided, when He returns, He will pay us back in full!

Focus Text:

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so, I am sending you.’” – John 20:21

Focus Verses:

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so, I am sending you.’” – John 20:21

Session III Following Christ as the Community of Faith

Opening Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son, our Savior, Jesus, into the world. In His incarnate ministry, He brought the touch of Your compassion to the needy. He cared for the least and the downtrodden with Your love. He proclaimed the good news of Your kingdom come in Himself and gave the gift of forgiveness, ultimately accomplishing the salvation of the world by His sacrifice on the cross and His glorious resurrection! He sends us, as His Church, Your community of faith, into the world, as You sent Him. By Your Spirit, Lord, equip us with Your love, Your compassion, Your forgiving grace, and Your Holy Word, to proclaim the good news of what Christ has accomplished for us and for our neighbor. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Me and All My Members We live in it…move and have our being in it…In fact, we do not know ourselves apart from it. We are creatures endowed with our God-given bodies! The parts of our bodies do not live in some disconnected, isolated ways. You’ve likely not experienced your ear or one of your toes taking leave of your body, perhaps to take a break from being a part of you, and then choosing to come back and reattach to your body at some later point. Our body lives as a collective whole, down to each cell which through DNA is marked as uniquely you, and every part of the body works with the whole of our bodies to maintain the life and health of the whole. In I Corinthians 12:27 the Apostle Paul writes, “Now you [plural] are the body of Christ and each individually members of it.”

  1. In what ways do you find Paul’s identifying the Church as “the body of Christ” compelling or effective?
  2. Why do you think he identifies us collectively and individually as members of the body of Christ?

Video Segment

  1. Share a way that you’ve been blessed by your community of faith?
  2. How have you been a blessing to others by being part of your community of faith?

“Even so I am sending you…”

Jesus is the image of the invisible God! [Colossians 1:15] He revealed His Father’s perfect love for us, His perfect grace to us, His perfect plan of redemption of us, in His perfect life, death, and resurrection. Our Lord, in grace, goes even further. He also forms and fashions His Church and honors us to journey with Him, following Him as His new creation, in the joyful work of sharing His Good News.

John 20:19-23

  1. How does John “set the scene” for Jesus’ work among His disciples in this text? What might be the significance of noting that it is the “first day of the week?”
  2. Why do you think Jesus connects revealing His hands and side with His Shalom greeting?
  3. What does it mean for Jesus to send His followers even as the Father sent Jesus?
  4. What might be the significance of Jesus breathing on His followers? [compare Genesis 2:7]
  5. With Jesus’ breath, what great gift do His followers receive? In relationship with our neighbor, what great gift do we have to give to anyone? How does our service together as His people help to bring this gift to anyone?

Doing Likewise

As the Lord blesses us to follow Him as His redeemed people, He blesses us to do similarly to His own work as He has done in our lives. Discuss how this is played out in one of Jesus’ most famous stories.

Luke 10:25-37

  1. What is the lawyer’s motive as this encounter with Jesus begins? What is his central question and what does it reveal about his own thoughts on eternity?
  2. To what does Jesus direct him and how does the lawyer further respond?
  3. When Jesus states that if the lawyer loves both God and neighbor he will live [eternally], why do you think the lawyer asks only for clarification regarding love for the neighbor?
  4. How does Jesus describe the man who fell among the robbers? Why is this description significant?
  5. How do the religious leaders in the story act toward the man who fell among the robbers?
  6. How does Jesus describe the response of the Samaritan?
  7. What is Jesus’ final question to the lawyer? What is his response and Jesus’ command?
  8. How do you believe the lawyer heard Jesus’ story? In other words, if the lawyer were to cast himself in the story, with which person would he believe Jesus was directing him to identify?
  9. As a follower of Jesus is there another way to hear the story? How does Jesus fulfill the Samaritan role in our lives?
  10. If Jesus is in the Samaritan’s role, with whom else might we identify in the story?
  11. How does seeing Jesus as the Samaritan move us to “go and do likewise” in our lives?

Final Thought

As Jesus brings us into a relationship with Him in turn He brings us into relationship with others in His fallen, yet loved and redeemed by Him world. His purpose is merciful. He has had compassion on us, and freely given us the gifts of His grace where He forgives, creates in us living faith, and begins to fashion us in His own image. Yet, our Lord is a journeyman on the move. He continues to seek out the wounded of His world who’ve been left for dead by the robbers of sin, death, and Satan. In love, He brings us along and gives us a heart for our fellow wounded. He also gives us a place, the local gathering of fellow followers of Jesus…in the parable it was called the Inn, we more commonly call it the congregation…where He brings the fellow wounded, along with us…often by means of us…to care for our every need! And if it costs us fellow “inn keepers” more than we think Jesus has provided, when He returns, He will pay us back in full!

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