Week 2 | Sin
Take some time to discuss the previous week’s daily readings and/or Challenges. Here are some things to discuss:
- Celebrate a “win” that you had in Forgiving Challenge over the past week.
- Share a struggle.
- What did God reveal to you during the readings and/or Challenges this past week?
Share an invention or a particular ingenuity of humankind that is the most fascinating to you, and explain why.
- Do you believe we live in a culture that is addicted to becoming offended? Explain.
- Sin is defined as missing the mark. Any missing of the mark would be considered sin. Do you feel like some sin gets elevated in our culture and other sin gets minimized? If so, which ones get elevated and minimized, and is it ever okay to categorize sins in this manner? Explain.
- Even in a nation where the majority of Americans still claim a faith in Jesus, Lifeway Research tells us that only 22% of men and 33% of women in America depend on Jesus to overcome sin. On top of that, 1/3 of people don’t even confess to being a sinner. Zach says, “You will never be free if you cannot admit you are a sinner.” Agree or disagree. Explain.
Read: Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Based on this passage, what is the consequence of sin?
Say: Forgiving Challenge will largely focus on the story of how Jesus forgives Peter. Peter is the only other fully developed character in the 4 Gospels outside of Jesus. By exploring how Jesus will forgive Peter, we will begin to better understand how Jesus forgives each one of us. In our small group study for today, we will examine parts of Peter’s story and the events leading up to Peter’s sin that he is most known for.
Read Luke 5:1-11 Jesus Chooses Peter to be His Disciple and answer the following questions:
- Had Peter done anything up to this point to earn a front-row-seat to doing ministry with Jesus?
- What was Peter’s response to Jesus choosing him to be a disciple?
- What can we learn from Peter and about Peter with this response?
Read Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus Appoints Peter to Lead the Church
Not only did Jesus call Peter to be one of His 12 disciples, but He entrusted to Peter the keys to the church to Peter’s leadership. What made Jesus choose Peter for such a high honor?
Read Matthew 26:31-35 Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
At the Last Supper, Jesus predicted all of the disciples would deny Him. But Peter stood up and boldly professed that he would be faithful all the way until the end. In your faith journey, have you ever, even with good intentions, professed something that later you couldn’t live up to? Explain.
Read John 18:15-18, 25-27 Peter Denies Jesus Three Times
Even though Jesus had not only called Peter as one of the 12, but also entrusted to him the keys to the church, Peter badly failed Jesus. How do you think Peter felt after hearing the rooster crow knowing that he had denied Jesus three times?
How do you feel, especially knowing how much God has done for you, when you fail to live up to God’s will?
Zach says, “Sin is strong, but Jesus’s grace is stronger.” Do you really believe this? If so, are you willing to let the grace of Jesus cover your sin(s)?
Say: Failure is typically the end of someone’s story in this world. But in God’s story, any failure is an opportunity to fall into the grace and forgiveness of Jesus.
Read: Romans 3:23-24 “23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Challenge for the Week
There are two types of sin. 1) Sins of commission are things we do, say, or think that we ought not. 2) Sins of omission are things that we have been called to do, say, or think that we leave undone.
Use the attached handout to take the following omission and commission sin tests. These tests are highly confidential. My hope is that after taking these sin tests that you would be vulnerable and honest with your accountability partner with the results.
Spend time praying and asking God to reveal the sin in your life that you want to be freed from. Spend time also thanking God that His grace is big enough to cover all of the sin in the group.
*For a deeper, daily experience to go alongside of the weekly small group experience, read days 6-12 of Forgiving Challenge: A 40-Day Journey Leading to Freedom.