03 Mar Sermon Discussion – “Changes” – Philemon 1-25
Groups Discussion Sheet for “Changes” • Philemon 1-25
To Leaders – In these discussion sheets that will be provided for the next three months, feel free to use whatever questions you want. Don’t feel obligated to use them all. As you get to know your group, you’ll get a sense for what kinds of questions generate good discussion and which don’t. So be free to personalize the material as suits your group.
We will usually start off with some general questions that most if not all can answer because they require little Bible knowledge. This is to get the group to open up & share. They will usually relate to the study in some way (but not always). Then we’ll move into more interpretive questions & ask how points can be applied to our lives today.
I recommend you pick up one of the discussion sheets as you come to service on Sunday and as you hear the message, jot down notes and potential questions you can share with your group. Okay, here we go …
Do you write letters? When was the last letter you wrote & to whom?
Do you use email? What’s the difference between email & letters?
The message Sunday was more of a survey study than a typical Sunday Sermon (we covered all 25 verses of Philemon). Which kind of study do you prefer; sermon or survey?
Paul was a prisoner in Rome arrested for preaching the Gospel.
Have you ever been in jail? What for & for how long?
Though Paul was under the custody of Rome, he calls himself the prisoner of Jesus Christ.
How did this shape his attitude & outlook?
How can you apply this to your circumstance today?
The church at Colossae met in Philemon’s home.
Why are small groups crucial to a healthy church?
What do home groups provide that ‘big church’ can’t?
Onesimus didn’t come to faith under Philemon’s roof. It took his running away to Rome to find God. Philemon could have been bummed by that; maybe a bit resentful that Paul got to lead Onesimus to Christ, instead of himself.
Is there someone you know you ache to come to Christ, but doesn’t? Like Onesimus, they’re a knucklehead and keep doing “unprofitable” things? Onesimus (name means Profitable) became useful to Paul when he came to faith in Jesus. So, what are you willing to let happen to your “Onesimus” if it will lead to his/her salvation? Philemon had to lose his servant in order to gain him as a brother.
Philemon’s forgiving Onesimus wasn’t so simple since the officials were watching him to see how he’d handle this case of a runaway slave. Remember that the Romans were real twitchy about all this. Living out the Christian life in the world can be a challenge, in the confusion & hostility it can bring our way.
What are some of the areas in which living out a Christian ethic & morality can cause tension with the world?