Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Forsaking the Flesh" - Doug Rehberg

This week we come to the sixth and final teaching in our series, “Flourish”. Let’s review where we’ve been.
  • Week #1 – We were made in God’s image
  • Week #2 – God made you to enjoy Him
  • Week #3 – God made you to follow Jesus
  • Week #4 – God made you to love others
  • Week #5 – God made us (His body) for each other
  • Week #6 – God made you to be you

Now these are the six lessons that will capture the time this coming week in Vacation Bible School and throughout the summer in Children’s Ministry. As you know, each of these themes/lessons is connected to a main biblical text each week. These texts have been the focus of our preaching. This week’s text is I Samuel 17:4-11, 32-50 and the story of David and Goliath. 

Tony Payne has said, “God uses two great methods for achieving His Christ-centered plans for the world: redirecting and renewing minds/hearts.” He does this through His Word preached and taught, through the fellowship of His Body the Church, and through His indwelling Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who redirects and renews us. He is the One who changes and keeps changing us into conformity to Christ.

Back to Tony Payne, “There is a Latin phrase that describes the essential place of God’s Spirit in bringing change to people’s lives: sine qua non.  It means, literally, ‘without which not’…so, as patience is sine qua non for raising children or playing golf, the internal work of God’s Spirit is sine qua non for the progress of God’s agenda in us and in the world.”

Now all of this is terribly relevant to our study this Communion Sunday, because the story of David and Goliath screams of the necessity of walking in the Spirit. The truth is the essence of the story of I Samuel 17 has much more to do with the battle between King Saul and the young man David, than the one between David and Goliath.

By this time in Saul’s life, he has come to rely completely on himself and his unrenewed mind. This is why he is so hopeless in the face of the giant. This is why he has to be convinced to send David into battle. And this is certainly why he seeks to protect him by every means he values, like armor and spear.

The story of David and Goliath is the story of a battle every one of us faces. Will we follow our flesh, listening to its fears, its allurements, and its deceptions, or will we submit to the ways of God’s Spirit? This Sunday we will dive into this text and see the contrast between the flesh and the Spirit in four stark ways.

In preparation for Sunday, you may wish to consider the following:
  1. What facts does the writer give us in Sunday’s text?
  2. What change can you see in King Saul from his anointing in chapter 10 to his description in chapter 17?
  3. How does he go from courage to fear in a few short chapters?
  4. What happens in chapter 16 that makes him behave the way he does in the Valley of Elah?
  5. Do the words of Psalm 51 resonate with what’s happening here?
  6. What is the key difference between Saul’s perspective and David’s?
  7. What does Saul mean in verse 37 when he sends David out with the words, “The Lord be with you”?
  8. What does David mean in verse 39 when he says, “for I have not tested them”?
  9. What does David reveal about living by the Spirit in verse 45 and following?
  10. How is “God made you to be you” explained from this story?
See you Sunday at the Table.