Life after Salvation: Where's the Effort?

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Three Parts to Salvation (2 Peter 1:3-10)

  • Justification: Past
  • Sanctification: Present
  • Glorification: Future

Results When Every Effort is Made:

  1. Making every effort results in Spiritual Maturity. (2 Pet 1:8)
  2. Jeremiah 29:13 - "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."

  3. Making every effort keeps us from Habitual Sin. (2 Pet 1:9)
  4. Making every effort produces Confidence in our salvation. (2 Pet 1:10)
 Ryan Stroupe - Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North Small Groups Ministry Leader

Ryan Stroupe - Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North Small Groups Ministry Leader

Sermon Notes (PDF): BLANK
 Highlight blanks above for answers!

Small Group Questions (Whole Group):
Read 2 Peter 1:3-10

  1. Why should we want to do more than just "punch our ticket to Heaven"? What would you say to someone that doesn't want to do more than the bare minimum to get to Heaven?

  2. Why do we as Christians ignore Sanctification and focus on Justification and Glorification?

  3. As Small Groups what are some practical ways we can assist a fellow Christian or Small Group Member get past a habitual sin? 

  4. What are ways we can teach our children to start making every effort at a young age, i.e. teenagers?

  5. How much effort do you put into your relationship with God compared to other areas of your life? Would you say God is outside your house, in your "Good Room", or is running your entire house?

Breakout Questions:
Pray for one another.

Taking the Test

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Intro: Mark 12:30-31 | 1 John 3:10-24

  1. Study Failure: Heart of Cain (1 John 3:10-15)
  2. Study Success: The Heart of Christ (1 John 3:16-18)

      3 Aspects to Loving Like Christ

    1. The Love of Christ is Willing (1 John 3:16)
    2. The Love of Christ is Fueled by Compassion (1 John 3:17)
    3. The Love of Christ is Driven to Action (1 John 3:18)
  3. Take the Test: Is My Heart like Cain or Christ (1 JOhn 3:19-24)
  4. Pass the Test: Gain a Heart of Confidence (1 John 3:23-24)
  5. Galatians 5:14 - For sthe whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Sermon Notes (PDF): BLANK
 Highlight blanks above for answers!

Small Group Questions (Whole Group):
Read 1 John 3:10-24

  1. How can we guard ourselves against falling into the spiral of jealousy*/resentment/hatred?
  2. What challenges do we face in loving others the way that Christ does?
  3. How can we build the habit of testing our hearts in order to avoid bitterness?
  4. Beyond assurance of our own faith, what benefits can we gain from complete confidence in our relationship with God?

Pray for each other

Seeking Wisdom During Trials

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Introduction (Job 28:20-28)

Seeking Wisdom

  1. Wisdom cannot be found Apart from God. (Job 28:20-27)
  2. Wisdom is found with God. (Job 28:28a)

Proverbs 9:10 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight"

James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him"

2 Ways to Fellow with God and His Word during Trials

  1. Utilize Small Groups
  2. Pray the Bible
  3. Seeking Wisdom

  4. Wisdom brings us Closer to God. (Job 28:28b)
 Michael Wolski - Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North A/V Ministry Leader

Michael Wolski - Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North A/V Ministry Leader

Sermon Notes (PDF): BLANK
 Highlight blanks above for answers!

Small Group Questions (Whole Group):
Read Job 28:20-28

  1. Where do you typically go first for your 'wisdom' during a trial?

  2. Why do you think Christians struggle with seeking God for wisdom first?

  3. What’s the worst advice you’ve received? Now applying biblical wisdom, how would that advice change [i.e. slight alteration, 180-degrees]?

  4. What has been the most difficult piece of biblical wisdom you’ve received? [i.e. forgiveness, just waiting, etc.]

  5. What is your go-to verse, chapter, book, etc. in God’s Word that has helped you out the most during a trial? What about that particular passage gives you comfort, guidance, etc.?

  6. What fellowship activities with God and His word have worked best for you during a trial?

  7. (For the sliding scale fans) On a scale of 1 <-> 10, how much do you enjoy sliding scale questions?

Breakout Questions:
Pray for one another.

The Last Jesus

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Introduction (Mark 10:31, 35-45)

"But many who are first will be last, and the last first." - (Mark 10:31)

  1. Only One can be First (Mark 9:33-35 | Luke 22:24-27).
  2. The First are Killers (Luke 9:52-55 | Matt 5:21-22).
  3. The Last are Servants .
    1. The Transforming power of being last.
    2. First, Adjust our Attitudes (Phil 2:3-11).
    3. Second, Adjust our Actions (John 13:1-5, 15-17).

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. - (John 13:1-5 NIV)

"For I have given you an example..." - (John 13:15)

 Rich Sprunk - Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North (Elder)

Rich Sprunk - Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North (Elder)

Sermon Notes (PDF): BLANK
 Highlight blanks above for answers!

Small Group Questions (Whole Group):
Read a selection of the passenges above...

  1. Why was it necessary for Jesus to come in poverty rather than power in His first advent?

  2. In what ways do we seek to be first in the world?  In the Church?

  3. If we should not seek to be first in the Church, how should one lead?

  4. Is it an exaggeration to say those who seek to be first are killers?
    Consider these verses:

    1. Luke 9:53-55
    2. John 8:44

    3. Genesis 4:3-8

    4. Genesis 4:23-24

    5. Exodus 2:11-15a

    6. 1 Samuel 25:10-13, 21-22

    7. 2 Samuel 11:14-17

    8. James 4:1-4

    9. Matt 5:21-22

    10. Luke 22:36-38, 49-51

    11. Mark 10:33-34

  5. What are some ways people serve?  Are we susceptible to involving ourselves in “activities” as a substitute for serving?
  6. Why, in God’s economy, are the last not losers?  Why, in the world’s eyes, might we look like losers?

    1. What are some ways we can adjust our attitudes?  About who and what do we need to adjust our attitudes?

    2. What are some ways we can adjust our actions?

    3. Will our actions matter if we have not first adjusted our attitudes, i.e., the motives of our hearts?

“For I have given you an example….”

Breakout Questions:
Pray for one another.

Questions from the Congregation - Part 9

Note: The time signatures [00:00] below indicate the start of a question if you'd like to skip to a particular one of interest in the audio file.

  1. [02:50] - Q: What's the point of praying for something if God is going to do what he wants either way?
    A: See James 5:16 - The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  |  Matthew 7:7-11   | Hezekiah in Isaiah 38
  2. [06:55] - Q: What is your view on the teaching of Joel Osteen?
    A: Acts 4:12
  3. [11:00] - Q: "Racial and cultural differences (and subsequent discrimination) seem to be becoming an increasingly important and controversial topic in our world. As a church body and as individuals, how can we show and share Christ's love (race doesn't matter) in a region and church body that lacks diversity?"
  4. [16:04] - LIVE TXT Q: In the Bible it talks about the four corners of the Earth (Isaiah 11:2 and Revelation 7:1), what exactly are the four corners of the Earth? What does that resemble?
  5. [18:01] - LIVE TXT Q: What does the Bible say about what our political response to "illegal" immigration should be?
  6. [20:23] - Q: Can you give me some background re-Hezekiah's tunnel (2 Kings 20:20)?
    A: 2 Chronicles 32  |  John 9 (the pool of Siloam)
  7. [25:51] - Q: Is there a difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire?
    A: See Luke 16:23-24   |  Revelation 20:15
  8. [27:23] - Q: Rev 20:12 - "And I saw the dead, great and small standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books." Besides the "Book of Life", what are the names of the other "Books" being referred to?
    A: See: Daniel 7:10  |  Romans 8
  9. [29:31] - Q: If people kill themselves, do they go to hell? Explain the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
    A: The only sin that sends anyone to Hell (condemn a person), is to reject Jesus Christ
  10. [32:52] - LIVE AUDIENCE Q: I have friends that are constantly on social media and claim to be Christians but are in an open same sex marriage situation. What does the bible say about that and how should we respond to them when talking to them about that and their life choices?
    A: 1 Cor 6  |  As Christians, we need to speak the truth in love, and that applies to any type of sin. Re-listen to Jeremiah Canfield's message from last summer, The Bible's and My Response to Homosexuality.
  11. [36:05] - Q: In Ezekiel 9, what is the significance of the writer's case? And the man carrying it? Thank you. It is interesting how God says "son of man" and "this is what the sovereign Lord says..." very interesting book. Very very deep.
    A: Romans 1:18-32
  12. [38:30] - Q: What is the motivation to joining the church, as opposed to just regularly attending?
    A: It says that I belong here and that I'm responsible for what happens here. It says that this is a place of accountability for you and that you're committed. For a pastor it means that you want to serve the Lord and His Kingdom.
  13. [39:52] - Q: Could you please address Prov. 26:4-5?
  14. [41:56] - Q: What if you accepted Jesus but you still sin. You try your best not to but you're still doing it. What does God think about it?
    A: See: Romans 7:15-20  |  1 John 1:9  |  2 Cor 5:21

    Any question that was missed due to time constraints during the service Pastor Jeff will address the answer in a blog posting on the website.

Sermon Notes (PDF): BLANK
Hint: Highlight blanks above for answers!

Small Group Questions (Whole Group):

Review the questions submitted above. Discuss any of these that stuck out to you, or that maybe your group finds particularly interesting.

Breakout Questions:
Pray for one another!