Opening Questions and Prayer
When was a time your feelings betrayed you? (Made an impulse buy; bad date; etc.)
Why is it sometimes easy to get caught up with our feelings instead of turning to God’s Word?
Pray that the Lord would direct you as you study the Bible.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
How is Paul’s definition of love, different from the world’s definition?
How is this description of love different from a feeling?
When is it easy to love people like this?
When is it difficult to love people like this?
Read Jude 1:3-4
3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Why did Jude write this letter to the Church?
How were people in the church distorting the Word of God?
What are some ways the Bible gets twisted today within the Church?
How can you become a better student of the Bible this week so that you will know if someone is twisting God’s truth?
Read Jude 1:7-8
7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
8 In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings.
What is Jude saying about people who claim to follow God but actually do not?
Why is it important for those who follow Jesus to actually live it out?
Are there any areas of your life that do not line up with what you say you believe?
What can you do to start working towards making that part of your life obedient to Christ?
Read Jude 1:12-13
12 When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.
What analogies does Jude use to describe people who pretend to be followers of Jesus, but do the opposite of what God wants?
How should followers of Jesus handle those who claim to be followers, but are pursuing selfish gain?
What are some ways those people could shipwreck true Jesus followers?
Read Jude 1:17-19 & Romans 8:5-9
Jude 17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. 18 They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19 These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
Romans 8:5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
What are Paul and Jude saying about human nature?
What are ways we can go against our natural instincts and follow Jesus?
How does this go against the “if it feels good, do it” mentality?
How does a life lived by the Spirit’s control differ from living based on our feelings?
What is a daily step you can take to live by the Spirit and not by your sinful nature?
Read Jude 1:20-23
20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
What is Jude’s message to the Church about those who claim to follow Jesus, but are struggling to live by the Spirit?
Is there anyone you know whose faith is wavering?
How can you talk to them this week and show mercy to them?
How should we talk to those who follow Jesus about sin we see in their life?
How should you handle it when someone talks to you about your sin?
Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
How does Paul say we should handle those dealing with sin in the church versus those outside of the church?
What are we to do about the sin of the people outside of Christ?
What are we to do about the sin of people who follow Jesus?
How can you have conversations about sin with other believers in a way that helps them grow closer to Christ and not drive them away?
Is there someone who comes to mind from these verse; someone intentionally sinning and possibly leading others away who claims to follow Jesus?
How can you talk to them in truth and love this week?
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Closing thoughts and prayer
When we let our feelings control our thoughts and actions, we stray from how God tells us to live. We have to realize that God has given us our feelings to help us, not lead us. We have to constantly check our feelings against God’s word to make sure we are on the right path. If we aren’t careful we start to get full of ourselves, especially when we neglect the fellowship of believers. As followers of Jesus we are to live like Him and help those who follow Jesus to continue on that path. Those outside of the Church aren’t held to the same standards we are.
Pray for those who are outside of Christ. Pray that you would have opportunities to share your faith with them. Pray for those who you need to talk to about sin in their lives. Pray that you would approach those conversations with grace, humility, and love. Pray that the Lord would help you to receive correction for your sin with grace, humility, and love.