Pursuit of Perfection
SERMON DISCUSSION GUIDE
No Perfect people allowed - Week 1
Goals for this Week’s Study:
- Review Sunday Morning’s Sermon.
- Challenge every to “get past their past” by learning about and discussing Paul’s story. Help group members take a next step of salvation, baptism, or serving.
- Encourage people in your group to invite people back to Week 2 of No Perfect People Allowed.
- Open your group with a prayer.
We all have something in common. We all have a past!
Pastor Daniel shared his story about trying to be a “perfect husband” and wash dishes for his wife in the dishwasher. However, he put the wrong dish detergent in the dishwasher and suds flooded the whole house!
- Share a story when you tried to do something right and it went completely wrong!
Most people struggle with their past.
- How does it make you feel knowing that God used imperfect people in the Bible to do extraordinary things?
Here are a few examples:
- Moses – fugitive on the run; stuttering problem
- Rahab – prostitute; hooker
- Jonah – ran from God
- How has your past affected you from following or being used by Jesus?
Our past failures AND successes can be a hindrance to living the best life God has for us. Let’s study the scripture to see these examples in Paul’s life: Philippians 3:5-6
Paul’s Past Success - v.5
I was circumcised when I was eight days old.
- Fact: Born Jew
- Reality: Salvation is not by Ritual
I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel
- Fact: By birth God’s chosen people – Race
- Reality: Salvation is not by Race
A member of the tribe of Benjamin—
- Fact: I can trace my genealogy
- Reality: Salvation is not by Rank
a real Hebrew if there ever was one!
- Reality: Salvation is not by Tradition
I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
- Reality: Salvation is not by Religion
6b …and as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
- Reality: Salvation is not by being good/righteous
Paul’s Past Failure
Phil. 3:6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church
Gal. 1:13 You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it.
ACTS 7 – Stephen stoned to death
ACTS 8 – House to House rounding up Christians to be killed
ACTS 9 – Encounters Jesus on Damascus Road and life is changed forever
Phil.3:7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; 9 rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
Paul said I count everything as garbage just to know Jesus.
Pastor Daniel shared the word “knowing” means to experience.
- What steps are you taking to know or experience Christ in your life?
Phil. 3:12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
Paul said I am not perfect yet but there is one thing I do to get past my past.
1. Forget the past
- Why is it hard to forget the past?
Pastor Daniel mention the word “forget” means to no longer be influenced by or affected by something.
- Even though you may never forget the incident, how do you stop allowing your past to influence your future?
2. Look forward to the future
- Why is it so hard to look forward to what lies ahead of you?
- Are you excited about your future or worried about your future?
3. Press on to the end
Phil. 3:14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Everyone likes to win! Everyone likes a prize!
- How does keeping your eyes on Jesus help you press on until the end?
4. Hold on to the progress
15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
Pastor Daniel, said when you fall you need to get up! When you sin, then just confess it!
- How do we “hold on to the progress” we have made in our walk with Jesus?
- Why is it so hard to get back up?
The closer to Jesus Paul got the more imperfect he realized he was. He said he was the:
- Least of the apostles
- Least of the saints
- Chief of all sinners
Pastor Daniel said that no matter if we felt PERFECT (lie) or if we felt to IMPERFECT (lie) to come to Jesus, the remedy was to:
- Get close to Jesus!
He said the closer we get to Jesus we will:
- Realize just how imperfect we are, AND
- Realize that He accepts us anyway…just the way we are!!!!
Is there anything else from the sermon that stood out to you?