‘There is a hard law….that when deep injury is done to us, we can never recover until we forgive’ (Alan Paton). Looking around the world, at the bitterness and the strife, this is undoubtedly true. It might also be said that until we surrender and receive forgiveness, we can never recover from the deep injury that sin has caused us. Let’s continue to explore how we can communicate this message of hope.
Who do you find it hardest to forgive, or what do you find hardest to surrender?
Use some worship music for a reflective time of coming before God.
word and witness
What is the content of the Gospel?
Ask a few people to say what they think it is.
This is a story of non-judgmentalism and forgiveness. Jesus isn’t fearful of being contaminated by the sin of those present, he doesn’t accuse, he just loves and protects.
What can we learn from the attitude of Jesus for our evangelism? Do we ever play the role of Pharisees and religious teachers?
To be radical in a pagan culture, you need a radical message. The apostle Paul was the apostle to the pagans and he has a lot to say to us as we seek to reach a postmodern generation.
How does this verse have relevance to ourselves and our society?
In light of your discussions, what now would you say is the content of the Gospel? Again, ask a couple of people to say what they think.
Give people a piece of paper each and ask them to write down all the main things that make up their lives (eg. Family, university, possessions, partner etc).
Then take some time in silence for people to think through those aspects, asking themselves if Christ is at the centre of each of these things and what it means for that to be the case. Are there areas or things that need to be surrendered again?
Finish by asking one person to pray for the group.
In summary, one of the ways to be most effective in our evangelism is to be part of a small group of people who will put it on the agenda every time they meet. We hold ourselves accountable to pray for our friends and to live differently so that our words and our life say the same thing. If we do this, we will build real community, and if we do this, maybe we will see a breakthrough where many of the lost will be won.
Finish by asking a couple of people to summarise what has been looked at over the last four weeks; what they have learnt and what they want to take with them when they leave university.
Then pray together.