This blog is based on Rev. Kim's sermon "Jesus Took My Place", preached on Sunday, January 7th, 2024:
Readings: Matthew 3:1-2, 11-17 Acts 19:1-7
1. Read Matthew 3:1-17. Why did Jesus tell John to baptize him, saying, “We must do this to fulfill all righteousness”? The sermon title is “Jesus took our place.” In what sense do you personally understand Jesus taking your place before God?
2. As John the Baptizer was baptizing Jesus, after he came up from the water the Holy Spirit came down on him, and the Father said from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, I am delighted in him.” Why, then, did Jesus go immediately into the desert to be tempted by Satan? Why did this have to happen right away?
3. What may happen to a church that mainly teaches repentance from sin, but doesn’t teach what comes after repentance? What steps come after repentance?
4. Read Acts 19:1-7. In this encounter, Paul meets disciples in Ephesus whose only baptism was a baptism of repentance from John. They haven’t even heard of the Holy Spirit. So, Paul baptizes them, and they are filled with the Spirit and manifest his gifts. If you met some Christians who had not heard of the Holy Spirit, what could you or your church do about it? What would you say?
5. Why do some people resist change with every fiber of their being? Do you ever see that tendency in yourself? When?
6. Can you name a specific and concrete move of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life that brough about concrete and specific change in their behavior?
In 2024, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.