LIFEGROUPS: WEEKLY DISCUSSION GUIDE
Week of June 27, 2021
SERIES: The Gospel of Mark
TITLE: Week #7 – Jesus on Sin
This Sunday, Pastor Brian will continue our series in the Gospel of Mark. He will share with us a
message titled, “Jesus on Sin”. Let’s take a look at a preview of this weekend’s message on Mark
A. The passage for this week actually has its roots in an argument among the disciples about
“who is the greatest?”
- Mark 9:33-35 ESV “ 33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he
asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the
way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down
and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of
all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them,
and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my
name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
B. Pride: the root of all sin.
A. Cornelius Plantinga in his book, Not the Way it is Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin says
that “sin is the vandalism of shalom.” And, this is true.
- Shalom in the Bible means universal flourishing, wholeness, delight, and peace.
Shalom is the way things ought to be.
B. What is sin?
- Sin is a culpable and personal affront to God and a spoiler of shalom.
- “All sin has first and finally a Godward force. Let us say that a sin is any act – any
thought, desire, emotion, word, or deed – or particular absence, that displeases God
and deserves blame. Let us add that the disposition to commit sins also displeases
God and deserves blame, and let us therefore use the word sin to refer to such
instances both of act and disposition. Sin is a culpable and personal affront to God.” –
- Psalm 51:3-4 ESV “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you
may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
- Romans 3:21-23 ESV “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart
from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the
righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no
distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
THREE INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISCIPLES OF JESUS
A. Do not be the cause of someone’s spiritual shipwreck. (Mark 9:42)
- “Little ones” here are common, ordinary disciples. The poor in spirit from Matthew 5:3.
- Leading people astray comes with great recompense. It would be better to have a great
millstone hung around your neck and be thrown into the sea.
- This is a sober warning against inhibiting, injuring, or destroying the faith of simple, ordinary
disciples. A fellow believer causing another believer to fall away from God.
- This could happen in a myriad of ways. Not one way is specified. (Abuse, racism, etc.)
B. Amputate the causes of sin in your life. (Mark 9:43-48)
- Jesus uses a hyperbole to accentuate the seriousness of avoiding sin.
- We must be conscious of sin because it is an affront to God and robs us of shalom.
a. “For slippage in our consciousness of sin, like most fashionable follies, may be pleasant
but it is also devastating.” -Plantinga
- What are we to do?
a. Cut your hand off – what we touch.
b. Cut your foot off – where we go.
c. Tear out your eye – what we fix out gaze on.
- According to Jesus, sin paves a slippery slope to Hell.
a. Where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.
C. Be salted with fire. (Mark 9:49-50)
- We are to be a burnt offering for God. (Leviticus 2:13)
- We are to be a preserver, healer in the world as a disciple.
- We are to be at peace with each other (Shalom).
A. Where is the hope?
- God is restoring Shalom through his Son, Jesus, by His grace.
a. Ephesians 2:4-10 ESV “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love
with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us
alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up
with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in
the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness
toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And
this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no
one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good
works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
- Allister Begg – speaking of the thief on the cross: “The man on the middle cross said I
could come.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_ReeJZtjyM
B. This is the magnificence of grace.
C. Turn to Jesus or return to Jesus today.
ICEBREAKER QUESTIONS & DISCUSSION
Begin your discussion this week by encouraging group members to share how God has been
speaking and working in their lives and families over this past week. The practice of sharing these
“God Moments” is something to encourage your members to not only practice here, but to also
incorporate in their family rhythms as they lead spiritually. Capturing and sharing God moments is
one of the ways we can disciple our kids, grandkids, and others we are leading and influencing.
(For more on discipling your family, check out www.legacymilestones.com.)
- What are the “God moments” from this past week? How have you seen God at work
that is unmistakably Him?
a. How has He been working not just in your life personally, but in the lives of your
family (spouse, kids, grandkids)?
- How did God speak to you through His Word this past week?
a. How are you hearing and obeying?
- How can we specifically pray for you this week?
Pray as a group – thanking God for how He is at work and asking Him to answer the requests that
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss the following questions.
Q: Read Mark 9:33-37. What had the disciples been arguing about according to the
passage? How can pride lead to sin? How do we resist being prideful?
Q: What did Jesus say about being great in the Kingdom of God? How do we pursue this
way of living?
Q: What does the idea of “Shalom” mean in the Bible? How does sin spoil Shalom in our
lives and the world?
Q: Read Mark 9:42. How is it possible to cause others to sin? What does Jesus say about
those who do?
Q: Read Mark 9:43-48. How serious does Jesus take the issue of sin in our lives?
Q: What does Jesus say about how we should respond to temptation and sin in our lives?
What might it look like to practically live out His words?
Q: Why do we sometimes not view or take sin as seriously as Jesus does?
Q: What are the consequences of sin in our lives?
Q: Read Mark 9:49-50. What does it mean to “be salted with fire?”
Q: How can we practically live at peace with one another? Why is this so challenging in
Q: Read Ephesians 2:4-10. As people who sin, what hope can we have for our lives past,
present, and future?
Jesus takes sin seriously. We should do the same. God created us for Shalom, but sin in our lives
and in our world spoils what God intended. Where is our hope in all of this? It rests solely in the
work of Jesus to bring salvation and restoration in our lives and to our world. Let’s turn or return to
the One who has the power to bring us what we most desperately need in these days!
Use the following questions to wrap-up your discussion of today’s message and talk more about
how we can apply it to our lives.
- What did you hear?
a. What is your one “take-away” from this week?
b. How did God speak specifically to you through this passage and study?
- What do you think?
a. How did this passage and study affirm, challenge, or change the way you think about
the love of God?
- What will you do?
a. What is your next step? How will you take the truth of God’s Word and apply it to your
life this week?
b. Are there any temptations or sins in your life that you need to approach differently?
c. What steps do you need to take this week to begin to view your sin as seriously as
Jesus does? Do you need to turn or return to Him?
SCRIPTURES FROM THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
Mark 9:42-50, Mark 9:33-35, Psalm 51:3-4, Romans 3:21-23, Leviticus 2:13, Ephesians 2:4-
UPCOMING MESSAGES: “The Gospel of Mark”
June 27 – Mark 9:42-50
July 4 – Mark 10:17-31
July 11- Mark 11:1-11
July 18 – Mark 13:1-37
July 25 – Mark 14:53-65
August 1 – Mark 15:21-39
August 8- Mark 16:1-8