What’s the most important question you’ve ever asked? Should I go to college? Who should I marry? Should I quit my job? Should I have that dessert or stick to my diet?
Often when we think of life’s most important questions, we tend to think “horizontally.” We tend to think of the events, the things and the people around us. We live in a culture that’s very horizontally oriented, don’t we? Even “spiritual” questions tend to focus on our “inner peace,” our relationships with our fellow human beings, or even our treatment of creation. Good things to think about, but very temporal, very horizontal.
But aren’t life’s most important questions actually “vertical,” dealing with eternal concerns and our relationship with the God who made us?
So, what is life’s most important question? How about this one: “What must I do to be saved?” That was the refreshingly direct question coming from a rough-edged prison warden who was on the verge of suicide. Now that’s an eternity-oriented question. That’s a vertical question.
Join us as we look at this gripping story, the story of the Philippian Jailer, in Acts 16.
1. One very notable feature of Acts 16 is the variety of people who came to faith in Christ. Same gospel. Different life situations. Lydia was upper class and religious. The slave girl was lower class and demon possessed. (She was also a victim of a form of human trafficking). The jailer was blue collar, rough around the edges. Okay, more than the edges. What are the salvation stories of the people in your life group? Has everyone had an opportunity to share his/her story? Maybe take a major portion of time to hear the stories of God’s grace and then take time to thank God together for his saving grace.
2. Another item of discussion may be those unsaved friends, co-workers and relatives of your group members. Who are your group members reaching out to with the gospel? Might your group “share” that ministry with them through prayer support?
3. How clear are we on the essence of the gospel? Many church-goers in our culture think of spirituality in primarily “horizontal” forms. “Receiving Jesus” becomes more of a “quality of life” decision instead of an issue of (eternal) life itself. Adding Jesus to your life brings a sort of happiness or personal peace. But, are we clear that salvation is first of all “vertical?” It has to do with being right with the holy God through the person and work of Jesus Christ in our place. Talk as a group, looking for clarity in understanding of the gospel and a clarity in being able to simply communicate it to those we’re around in everyday life. What Bible verses should people in our groups be familiar with that clearly explain the gospel of God’s saving grace?