Tempted

PART 3

Apr 6-7, 2019

Discussion Questions

INTRODUCE: What passage of Scripture do you quote when you are facing temptation?

READ: Gen 3:1-5; Matthew 4:1-11

WATCH:  Tempted (Part 3)

DISCUSSBegin the time by praying together.

1. We know that the serpent/Satan is crafty. How do we see Satan using confusion, restriction, negativity, and lies to distort the truth for Eve?

2. What are some of the questions you have seen Satan use to distort the truth and the beauty that God has for us?

3. Satan used both confusion and lies to tempt Eve. What areas of your life are you more prone to sin as a result of confusion? What areas of your life does Satan use lies and distortion to lead you to sin?

4. Lisa Terkuerst writes, “Temptation only works if our enemy keeps the consequences hidden from us”. How has Satan minimized and withheld the consequences or impact of sin from you in order to tempt you and move you toward sin?

5. What do we learn about Satan’s tactics from Matthew 4:1-11 in the following three temptations:

     – God will not provide for you

     – God does not love, care for, or protect you

     – You can be a better god without it costing you anything

6. Which tactic do you struggle with the most?

7. Why is Scripture so powerful when it comes to fighting against temptation?

8. How have you used Scripture to fight against temptation?  

9. How have you experienced Satan twisting and distorting Scripture in order to tempt you?

10. Where is God calling you to grow in your knowledge, understanding, and application of Scripture so that you are prepared to “stand”?

PRAY: Take some time to summarize what you have heard your group share and how we can pray for one another.

  • What are some themes you have heard others share about using the Bible to withstand temptation? How does that lead us to praise Him? What are some needs and concerns that were shared?
  • How can we pray specifically for you this week?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: The following is not meant for large group discussion but can be done as an individual study to grow in your understanding of Scripture and the way it transforms our lives.

Read Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. As you read these two separate accounts, make a list of what you observe about the temptations of Jesus. Then, reflect on how Satan tends to use similar tactics to move you toward sin.

Read the beginning of the following article by Amy Simpson that describes our proclivity toward managing sin vs. mastering sin using the analogy of a garden: http://blackchristiannews.com/2019/03/amy-simpson-when-moral-boundaries-around-christian-ministries-become-incubators-for-sin/

  • While this article is speaking about Christian pastors and leaders, we can all relate to the ways we set up boundaries and walls in order to manage our sin without actually dealing with it. What are some of the boundaries you have set up that might have initially been healthy but are currently keeping you from dealing with the heart issue?
  • What are some of the next steps you sense God calling you to in order to experience freedom from this area of sin?
  • Who do you need to invite into this process to pray with and encourage you as you take the next steps to mastering sin?

One unique, helpful resource that can help challenge our thinking on the ways Satan tempts us is a book by C.S. Lewis called The Screwtape Letters. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, consider some of these quotes from the book that can challenge the ways we view Satan’s tactics and schemes: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2920952-the-screwtape-letters

  • If you wrote a fictional story about how Satan tempts you, what would be some of the primary tactics he would use?
  • Examples could include: Minimizing sin, busyness, divisiveness in relationships, shame, twisting truth in Scripture, “coasting” in your relationship with God, comparison with others, etc.

Tempted

PART 2

Mar 30-31, 2019

Discussion Questions

INTRODUCE: What is one of your earliest memories of “peer pressure”?

READ: James 1:13-15; Luke 4:1-4

WATCH:  Tempted (Part 2)

DISCUSSBegin the time by praying together

  1. What is the difference between managing sin and being set free from sin? What difference does it make our lives?
  2. Share an experience in your life where you moved from managing your sin to finding freedom (not necessarily perfection) from your sin.
  3. What do we learn about temptation from James 1:13-15?
  4. Where does temptation come from?  How have you experienced the “unholy trinity” in your own life?
  5. How have you wrestled with seeing your desires as a bad or sinful thing needing to be suppressed?
  6. “Am I allowing my desire to be fulfilled by the good thing God is giving me and only the good thing?” How does this understanding of desires differ from the way you have previously seen it in regard to sin and temptation?
  7. Have you ever confessed your temptations to someone? How did that impact your decision to move forward in sin?
  8. What is it that tends to keep us from moving to sin when we first confess our temptations?
  9. Why is it so important to have people in our lives that we can call on when we face temptation or need to confess our sins? Why do you think Scripture commands us to do this?
  10. Who is someone you can call on in a crossroads between facing temptation and moving toward sin?

PRAY: Take some time to summarize what you have heard your group share and how we can pray for one another.

  • What are some themes you have heard others share about temptation? How does that lead us to praise Him? What are some needs and concerns that were shared?
  • How can we pray specifically for you this week?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: The following is not meant for large group discussion but can be done as an individual study to grow in your understanding of Scripture and the way it transforms our lives.

Here are some verses that speak about temptation: https://www.christianity.com/bible/bible-verses-about-temptation-26

  • What do you learn about temptation from these passages?
  • How does this shift your understanding about the difference between sin and temptation?
  • What do we learn from Jesus about how to walk through temptation without sinning?

List 4-5 areas of sin that you struggle with the most. Next to those sins, write what your underlying, Godly desire is.

  • What does it look like to give that desire to God recognizing that He is the one that gave it to you in the first place?
  • Are there ways God is calling you to fulfill that desire that follow Scripture and his leading?
  • Ex: Success at my job that leads to overworking, ignoring my relationship with God, others, and physical health → A desire to do well at the space God has given me to work in order to seek transformation of my city and the family God has called me → It can look like working hard while setting boundaries that do not allow for my job to take the place of desiring God more than my success and sharing my temptation to make success my end goal and identity with a close friend or mentor

We have been given brothers and sisters in Christ to help us navigate our journey through temptation and away from sin. Who do you have in your life that you can honestly and safely share your own temptations? Here is a helpful article to give some ideas of things to look for: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-accountability-matters

Tempted

PART 1

Mar 23-24, 2019

Discussion Questions

INTRODUCE: Do you have a “junk drawer” (or two) at your house? How often does it get cleaned out?

READ: Genesis 4:1-7

WATCH:  Tempted (Part 1)

DISCUSSBegin the time by praying together

  1. How have you heard “sin” explained? How has your understanding of sin changed over time?
  2. What difference does it make in our lives when we rule over sin versus sin ruling over us?
  3. What is a sin in your life that you have seen freedom from? How did that happen?
  4. What is the difference between managing sin and mastering sin?
  5. Why do we tend to manage sin versus mastering sin?
  6. What are some of the “restrictions” we place around our sin? How do these restrictions keep us from pursuing a change in our heart and desires?
  7. How do these examples shift the way you understand temptation?
  8. How have you experienced temptation as a “traumatic experience”?
  9. What does it look like to prepare for temptation?  What would be a vision to overcome temptation?
  10. What might need to shift in your use of time, technology, relationships, and schedule in order to have the capacity to move toward mastering your sin?

PRAY: Take some time to summarize what you have heard your group share and how we can pray for one another.

  • What are some themes you have heard others share about temptation? How does that lead us to praise Him? What are some needs and concerns that were shared?
  • How can we pray for you this week?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: The following is not meant for large group discussion but can be done as an individual study to grow in your understanding of Scripture and the way it transforms our lives.

Using the following article, reflect on the questions below: https://tifwe.org/the-gospel-of-sin-management-distorts-the-good-news/

  • How does our incorrect view of sin impact our view of the Gospel and of Scripture?
  • How does a correct view of sin impact the way you view God and His grace?

Reflect on the pace in which you are living life currently. When we begin to recognize that “temptation is a traumatic experience” it often means that we have to leave more time, energy, and capacity in order to not just manage it but to master it.  How are you creating space in order to have a rhythm of retreating, resting, and then re-engaging physically, emotionally, relationally, vocationally, and spiritually? In this current season, what does it look like to tend to your own soul? What needs to shift in your relationships, time management, and schedule to create this space for soul care so that you might be able to “bear up under” temptation when it occurs?
One helpful tool that you might consider using is an app called “Abide”. This gives some helpful tools and direction as you learn to dwell in the presence of God learn from the Master.