What A Joy Inspired Life Looks Like
I. The GOSPEL shapes all of LIFE. (1:27-2:4)
A. STANDING firm…whatever HAPPENS. (v.27-29)
B. CONNECTED and COURAGEOUS. (v.27-38)
C. Two GRACIOUSLY given GIFTS. (v.29-30)
As Jake reminded us last week, Paul’s joy is shaped by the way Jesus is exalted through the gospel. He can trust that God will accomplish the good that God intends no matter the situation we find ourselves in. This is how the gospel shapes us…often in ways that we don’t expect or even desire.
1. Kid’s Question: When has something hard happened that you weren’t expecting? What was that like?
2. When has God given you “gifts” that didn’t seem like gifts at the time.
II. “CONFORMED to the IMAGE of His Son.” (Rom. 8:29; 2:5-11)
A. The IDENTITY of JESUS. (2:6; Jn 13:1-4)
B. HUMBLE downward MOBILITY. (2:6-8)
C. Ultimate TRUST in God’s FAITHFULNESS. (1:19; 2:9-11)
The goal of this gospel shaping of our lives is to make us like Jesus. Paul describes Jesus in what has often been understood to be a hymn or poem of the early church. We see that Jesus has set an example for us in his downward acts of service to you and I.
3. What is your identity? How do you see yourself especially in regards to what gives you value and purpose?
4. What might be some ways to practice “downward mobility” in your own life this week?
5. When do you find it hardest to trust in God’s faithfulness? What are the factors that make it hard?
III. Working OUT what God has WORKED in. (2:12-17)
A. PARTICIPATING with God’s WORK in us. (2:12-13; Eph. 4:22-24)
B. LIVING out of our true IDENTITY. (2:13; 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:21)
C. SMALL choices have big RESULTS. (2:14-16; Zech. 4:10)
D. Once again, a JOY that TRANSCENDS circumstances. (2:17-18; Jas. 1:2; Jn 16:33)
The call for us then becomes responding to the love and grace given us by Christ. To root ourselves in our true identity as God sees and knows us, which frees us to slowly make the small, spirit empowered changes that will conform us to the image of Jesus over time. As we see this happening in our lives… joy is the ultimate by product.
6. How do you understand the partnership that we have with the Holy Spirit in working towards our own transformation? How is that working for you?
7. What does 2 Cor. 5:21 say about your identity? How does that relate to or challenge your answer to question #3?
8. What is a small choice you can make this week with the help of the Spirit that might bring about big results in the Kingdom over time?