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WEEK 6 July 30 & 31

Jesus and the Antagonist

This sermon study is designed to be used the week after the sermon it supplements. Before using the study in your group, it might be helpful to work through the questions on your own. The purpose of this guide is to help facilitate discussion and to help your group, collectively and individually, grow closer to Jesus.

SERIES OVERVIEW Life is really a series of conversations that we have—some good, some bad, some memorable. Many are forgettable. Yet there are a few conversations that transcend merely being special or memorable—they are the conversations that change things. You may not have realized you were in the midst of one until you walked away, but afterward, you felt the impact it had on you. Jesus loved having crucial conversations; it’s what He spent most of His ministry doing, and the same is true today. In this series, we will look at six crucial conversations that Jesus had with people who are just like us, and we’ll see how His words changed them, and how His words continue to change us.

MAIN TEXT Acts 9:1-19

2. Everything changed for Saul on the road to Damascus. He wasn’t seeking Jesus, but Jesus was seeking him. Have you had a similar experience? How has Jesus revealed Himself to you when you weren’t necessarily looking for Him? 3. Threats to our faith come from both external opposition and internal complacency. When have you experienced internal complacency in your faith? What brought you out of it? 4. What external opposition are you facing now that God might use to strengthen you? 5. There were three stages of Paul’s conversion: God laid the groundwork, revealed Himself in a supernatural moment, and He redeemed Saul’s life and used Him for His purposes. Which stage would best represent the season you’re in right now? Why? 6. What has God redeemed in your life for His glory? How can you share your story with others this week to point to the work of God in your life?

GETTING STARTED What is your favorite Olympic event to watch? What are you looking forward to watching this year?

DIGGING DEEPER 1. Saul was smart, influential, and determined, but he didn’t have a relationship with the Lord. Have you ever known someone who had a lot of passion and knowledge, but it was misplaced? What was your relationship with him or her like?

7. Following Jesus is a serious commitment, not a call to comfort. In what ways is God stretching you in this area right now? How do you think He might want you to grow even deeper in your commitment to Him?

NEXT STEPS The story of Paul’s conversion can resonate with each of us. Think of one person this week you can encourage with your own conversion story, and share about the ways that God has redeemed your life.