Message: Breaking the Cycles
Speaker: Greg Holder
The message talked about the two main aspects of our lives:
- The internal (interior life)
- The external (exterior life)
Take a few minutes in the group to list words/concepts that describe or apply to each of these two areas.
- How do our internal and external lives connect/affect each other?
- How are they each important?
Read aloud the passage in Matthew. (for rest of this discussion, focus on how Jesus connects each of these two areas)
Scot McKnight's definition of adultery: "Adultery in Jesus' world was sexual relations with someone other than one's spouse and, in particular, with someone else's spouse."
We can call out that these teachings of Jesus are counter-cultural. What other Christian faith values/principles besides these Biblical sexual ethics go against culture?
· Hebrew meaning of Echad. How does adultery fly in the face of this principle of “oneness?”
It has been said that the Sermon on the Mount shows us a better way of life, a Kingdom way of life which involves sex occurring within the public, spiritually binding, life-long covenant of marriage. As memory and notes allow you- discuss the neurochemistry that supports God’s original plan.
o Role of oxytocin and vasopressin
o “’Casual sex’ is a contradiction in terms” Lauren Winner
o “A girl can tuck a Trojan in her purse on Saturday night, but there is no such device to protect her heart.” Lauren Sessions Stepp
· Discuss why slavery is wrong.
· How do these same arguments also pertain to pornography?
o 9 out of 10 children ages 8-16 are exposed to pornography online.
o 47% of school-age children receive pornographic spam on a daily basis.
· What is the internal effect and cost of pornography to one’s mind and soul? To those involved in its production as well as consumption?
· What is your response to the above statistics?
Jesus’ words in response to our thought-life (gouge the eye, cut off the hand) were a rabbinical style of making a point. But we may need to do something costly before this issue costs us everything. Here is a list- discuss anything else to add:
· Seek out a counselor or pastor
· Load software filters and/or protection
· Seek out an accountability person and give them permission to ask the hard questions.
· Find books and other resources. (our Bookstores have help)
· Memorize Scripture. “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
Singleness-“If you are single right now, you are called to be single—called to live single life as robustly, and gospel-conformingly as you possibly can.” Lauren Winner
· Discuss what that could look like.
Shame works to keep things hidden. God wants to heal us. Isaiah 1:18 Read Scripture and close in prayer.
"The history of the impact of the Sermon on the Mount can largely be described in terms of an attempt to domesticate everything in it that is shocking, demanding and uncompromising, and render it harmless."
Internal and External parts of our lives.
If you have children, figure out ways to have these discussions that are counter-cultural.