The Necessity and Definition of Love (1 Corinthians 13:1–8a)

sermon photoYesterday, Ben Purves, pastor for student ministries at our church, preached a tremendous message on 1 Corinthians 13. Let me encourage you to listen to his message, “The Necessity and Definition of Love,” as he unpacks Paul’s explanation of love in the context of spiritual gifts. Even more, Ben also showed us how Christ fulfilled the qualities of love and how we can look to Christ to find his love, and then how we can love one another more effectively.

Below you will also find discussion questions on 1 Corinthians 13 and a few resources on 1 Corinthians 13, including a five-part series on 1 Corinthians 13 that I preached a number of years ago.  Continue reading

Seeking God in His Word (Psalm 119:9–16)

rhythms-of-holinessYesterday, Ben Purves, our Pastor for Student Ministries at Occoquan Bible Church, continued our series on spiritual disciplines. What follows are some discussion questions and resources to go deeper in Psalm 119.

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Psalm 119 is one of my favorite Psalms. Both the longest chapter and prayer in the Bible, this 22 stanza psalm is a literary masterpiece. Written as an alphabetic acrostic, it is a beautiful celebration of God’s Word. The psalmist calls the reader to delight and rejoice in God. This last Sunday we looked at the second stanza (vv. 9-16) and considered how we might treasure God’s Word as we head into the New Year. You can listen to the sermon here.

Psalm 119:9-16

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10  With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11  I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12  Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13  With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14  In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15  I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16  I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

Discussion Questions

  1. What words are used to describe the Scriptures, and how do they open up different dimensions of God’s Word?
  2. What attributes of God are revealed in the text?
  3. What are the two petitions of the psalmist in vv. 9-16? What does each petition reveal about the psalmist?
  4. Practically — what does it look like to guard our hearts with the Word of God?
  5. What should the relationship be between our love for God, his word, and sharing the gospel?
  6. How would you characterize the heart of the psalmist?
  7. How does one get his heart to be like that of the psalmist?
  8. How might your heart become a treasure storehouse of the Word of God?
  9. What steps might you take to increase your joy in God and His Word in 2017?

Further Resources

Articles

Books

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

Discipling Every Nation (Matthew 28:18–20): Sermon Notes by Ben Purves

sowingThis morning Ben Purves, our pastor for student ministers, preached a thorough message on the Great Commission. He began by showing the biblical-theological links from Psalm 2 and 2 Chronicles 36 to Matthew 28, then moved to explain how the grammar of the passaged emphasizes the command to ‘disciple’ the nations, and finished with a practical exhortation for how we can enlarge our hearts for the work of making disciples near and far.

Below you can find discussion questions to his sermon and further resources on the subject of discipleship. You can also sign up for our upcoming EQUIP Conference (September 23–25), where we will consider how marriage and evangelism work together to bolster discipleship in the church. Continue reading

Tell the Coming Generation (Psalm 78:1–8): Sermon Notes by Ben Purves

equipToday, Ben Purves our pastor for student ministries delivered a faithful word from Psalm 78:1-8. His message reminded us of the joyous responsibility we have to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole counsel of God with the coming generation. His call to make disciples of the next generation also lays the groundwork for the upcoming EQUIP Conference that Occoquan Bible Church is hosting on September 23–25. If you are in the Northern Virginia area, we’d love for you to join us.

In what follows, Ben has given us a number of resources and discussion questions to dive deeper into Psalm 78 and into the lives of the next generation.

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by Ben Purves

In the Great Commission, Jesus commanded his disciples to take the gospel to all nations (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). But not only must the gospel travel to the ends of the earth, it must also travel down through time from one generation to another. In Psalm 78, Asaph calls for God’s people to teach the wonders of God to each successive generation so that they would put their faith in God. Each generation’s faithfulness with this task is critical, so that each generation should “set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (v. 4).

As we think about this responsibility, how might we be faithful?

Psalm 78:1-8

1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,
6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
8 and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are “the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders he has done” which we must tell to the coming generation?
  2. How might Paul’s faithfulness as a teacher be a template for us? (Acts 20:17-27)
  3. Read the following passages: Genesis 18:17-19; Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Ephesians 6:4. What bearing do they have on telling the good news to the next generation?
  4. Where does this work of teaching the next generation begin, and how does it move outward? (see again Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
  5. What is the danger of neglecting the next generation? (Judges 2:6-11)
  6. What is the danger of a man-centered reading and moralistic application of the Bible?
  7. How might a God-centered reading of the text encourage faith?
  8. Where do you see the glorious deeds, might, and wonders of God in the gospel?

For Further Study

Articles

Books

Soli Deo Gloria, ds