The Ultimate Gift

God STILL So Loves | John 3:1-17 |April 2nd - 8th, 2017

Warm Up: We’ve all heard it said that familiarity breeds contempt. Perhaps that’s not entirely true when it comes to John 3:16, yet we can easily take this simple, life-altering Scripture for granted because it is so well known. What are some areas of life where over-familiarity can actually be a dangerous thing?

  • The purpose of the Book of John is given clearly at the end of the book: “…so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.” - John 20:31
  • As you grow in your faith (whether just beginning or far along down the road), how do John’s words strike you? 
  • How do you think a person resists what is, perhaps, the natural tendency to take the simple gospel message for granted? 
  • The big idea that Pastor Seth shared on Sunday was this: When we truly receive God’s gift (the free gift of salvation), our response is to fully surrender to the life and love He offers through Jesus Messiah. What did he mean by this? Is full surrender to his life different from full surrender to his love? Discuss. 
  • Read John 3:1-17 aloud as a group. Seek to get into the shoes of Nicodemus. Try to imagine what he may have been thinking and feeling through this encounter.
  • Why do you think Jesus “responds” to Nicodemus’ opening remarks the way he does? (Specifically, his comments about being “born again” in v. 3, 7)
  • Matt Chandler says, “Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.” What does he mean? How have you seen this to be the case?  
  • The first half of John 3:16 says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son…” From this we learned three important points about the ultimate Gift that God gave: 1.) God’s gift extends to the whole world 2.) God’s gift flows from His very nature (He’s a God who GIVES) and 3.) God’s gift is ultimate (His One and only Son). What part this powerful truth touches you most deeply? Why? 

Wrap Up: Close by praying through the following questions self-reflectively: What aspect of true life am I missing out on? (Victory over a particular sin, an area of unbelief, a broken or strained relationship?) What would surrendering to God’s love in this particular area look like for me?  In what ways do I need to surrender to the life of Jesus right now? In what ways do I need to embrace the Father’s love?