Updated: Feb 7
TEXTS: Exo. 14:13-14; Col. 2:1-5; 1 Pet. 3
1. Our Heavenly Father considers our personal holiness to be more important than our personal happiness. But we also need to remember that the two are deeply connected. We will only experience joy and contentment to the degree that we have obeyed the Word of God. Even when obedience requires sacrifice, pain, and effort, we can trust that obeying the Word of God will ultimately result in our joy, contentment, and growth (even if we don't feel happy during the exact moment of obedience).
2. God’s deliverance of His people from captivity in Egypt is full of symbolism. Pharaoh is a type of Satan, and the army he commands symbolizes the spiritual realm of darkness that consists of evil and fallen beings. Understanding the symbolism in the Exodus account helps us contextualize the truths that are revealed in the story while gleaning some valuable principles that help us stand firm while in the 'trenches' of spiritual warfare.
3. There are many destructive belief systems present in the minds of humanity. These false belief systems encourage people to adhere to specific spiritual actions and beliefs–not because of their affection for Christ–but rather so they can receive the temporary treasures that they are inordinately desiring. The Old Testament repeatedly details the process (and the tragic end result) of God’s people wrongly incorporating these belief systems into their Christian faith and worldview.
4. The Bible encourages believers to “stand firm in the faith.” The exact phrasing and words may vary depending on the context of the verses, but the call to endure, persevere, and stand firm is a command that God repeatedly gives His children. In fact, it is mentioned so frequently that it should steer us towards placing a high priority on understanding how believers should prepare themselves to stand firm. Every believer walks through seasons of life that feel as if the world, the flesh, and the devil are attacking and seeking to destroy their faith and life. We will need to be ready to stand firm and endure in Jesus’ name.
5. Circumcision was a ‘sign’ declaring that someone was a child of God and that the enemy no longer had ‘rights’ over their life. Circumcision symbolized that a person/family had willingly entered into a covenant with God. This past Sunday morning we examined the biblical texts that detail how the sign has now (in the Church Age) shifted from circumcision to water baptism.
6. God calls His children to be peacemakers. Additionally, He expects men to “lead the charge” and strive for peace at all costs (in both their families and local communities of faith).
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How are happiness and holiness connected? How have you observed their connection in your own life and spiritual growth?
2. What are some examples of the common, cultural, and ultimately, false belief systems that we are tempted to 'mix' in with our Christian faith (Truth 3)?
3. Think of and name the critically important truths/realities that we need to remember if we are desiring to endure and stand firm. In other words, what is necessary to do or believe to ensure that we are prepared and equipped to stand firm?
4. What are some practical 'tips' that could perhaps help the people of God live out the command to be peacemakers?
5. What principles (or timeless truths associated with spiritual warfare) are revealed as we read and study the Exodus of God's people from their captivity in Egypt?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- Standing firm and trusting the Lord
- Covering the people who were baptized this past Sunday with prayer
- The future missions' trip in which a team from our church will be serving King's Castle (El Salvador)