READ & ANSWER: “Humiliation and humility” questions... select a few (or do all) and simply chat through people’s honest answers.
READ: last portion of the page begins...” Humility is nothing more...”
Question moving toward the FCF: Why do we habitually drift toward performance and/or pride?
FCF: We minimize the power of the cross by believing God is less than he is and we are more than we are.
READ: Philippians 3:1-11
Q: v.1-3—What contrast do you observe in these first few verses? (mutilators of the flesh—judaizers seeking to put Gentile believers under the law for salvation and real circumcision—Paul and his crew teaching justification by grace through faith=the Gospel)
Q: Why do you think Paul sets up this contrast? (show the contrast between earning God’s acceptance and approval versus Christ granting us God’s acceptance and approval)
Q: v.4-6—Why do you think Paul chooses to share his spiritual resume? (set up the contrast of v.7 to show that even the greatest of spiritual resumes is rubbish next to knowing Christ)
Q: v.7-8—How does Paul shift his thoughts in v. 7-8, and why is it so significant?
Q: v.9—Here Paul says he has something not from obedience to the law, but through faith in Christ, what is that something? (righteousness)
Q: How would you define it? (upright, perfect, holy)
Q: Why is it important? (it is tied to our salvation—our position before God and our living out that position now, thus we have been declared it through Christ, and we are growing in it through the Spirit)
Q: How do we attain it? (faith in Christ)
Q: If this be true, why do we often live by faith in our spiritual resume? (ask for them to share what they had written down to this question in ‘Thirsty’...)
MENTION: We will return to some of these questions, but let’s take a look at a diagram that helps us to understand how we minimize the Gospel and move toward performance and pride.
READ: “Shrinking the Cross: Performance and Pride” (see attachment)
Q: How do you find yourself falling back into performing for God?
Q: In what ways do you try to keep up appearances or spend energy on image management?
Q: When you feel you are not measuring up to the standards of the Christian life, do you... ? (refer to the 5 options in Thirsty devotional)
Q: In what ways do you fantasize about people seeing you as better than you really are? (refer to the 3 yes/no questions in Thristy)
Q: Why do you think you would respond ‘yes’ to any of these? What is going on here—or why do we value these things so highly?
Q: So, how do we make our way back to truth, back into God’s presence and under the Spirit’s influence where we are growing in and walking by faith in the gospel? (humble belief in the gospel—His holiness, our sin, Christ’s righteousness)
“Christ’s gospel removes the weight of performance and rags of pride to clothe us in his righteousness.”
READ: 2 Corinthians 5:21 Romans 3: 21-22 Philippians 3:8-9
Q: How does it feel to be declared righteous by God?
Q: How is this better by far than being praised by people?
Q: What might it take for you to honestly say (and have your life reflect) “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...”? (need to more fully embrace the gospel—thus Christ—through growing in the Gospel by believing it through seeing God’s holiness, our sin, and Christ’s righteousness to us in the cross.)
READ: 1st full paragraph of “Humbling Ourselves” begins... “To humble oneself is to...” ending after 2nd paragraph “...your kindness and mercy.”
Q: Would you join me in wallowing? (spend some time in prayerful honest confession of sin and prayerful honest praise to the Lord for His righteousness to you.)
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