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One of the most repeated arguments against the existence of God in general and the truth of Christianity in particular has come to be known as “the problem of pain.” The argument goes something like this: “How could an all-powerful, all-loving God allow the kind of pain and suffering we experience in this world?” Even if you believe in God and call yourself a Christian, you’ve probably wrestled with this question. Join us for part two of our series through the book of Philippians where we learn how Paul addressed the problem of pain.

Philippians: Relentless Joy

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My Deliverance

September 10, 2023
Part:
2
One of the most repeated arguments against the existence of God in general and the truth of Christianity in particular has come to be known as “the problem of pain.” The argument goes something like this: “How could an all-powerful, all-loving God allow the kind of pain and suffering we experience in this world?” Even if you believe in God and call yourself a Christian, you’ve probably wrestled with this question. Join us for part two of our series through the book of Philippians where we learn how Paul addressed the problem of pain.
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Passage

Philippians 1:12-26

Principle

It’s not your __________________________ in life, but your ____________________ of life that determines the ______________ of your life.

Practice

__________________ your life to the One who ____________________

His for you.  

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Small Group Questions

Use this outline for personal reflection,

as a couples or family devotion, or with a small group.

Hangout

Fill in the blanks in this sentence: In essentials, we have ________; in non-essentials, we have _________; and in all things we aspire to __________________________________.  

Hear

Read Romans 14:1-6

  • What examples does Paul give of “disputable matters”? What are some examples of modern-day disputable matters? What makes a matter disputable or indisputable?
  • Can a disputable matter still be an important issue? Why or why not? What is an example of a disputable, but important issue?
  • Why does Paul specifically warn against arguing over disputable matters with people whose faith is weak?

Read Romans 14:7-12

  • Why would Paul follow his directive to avoid disputable matters with a reminder that we do not live for ourselves, but for the Lord?
  • How might arguing over disputable matters lead to judgment and contempt? Does this mean that we should never confront differences of opinion in the church? Why or why not?    

Read Romans 14:13-23

  • According to this passage, how would you define a stumbling block? Describe a time when a stumbling block was set before you on your faith journey.
  • Based on Paul’s comments about food, who is responsible for accommodating whom when there is a disagreement over disputable matters?
  • Based on this passage, do you think Paul’s “weaker brother” is more, or less legalistic than Paul? Does this seem counterintuitive? Why or why not?    

Huddle

Is there a disputable matter that has become a stumbling block for you or someone you know? What does the Bible say about that issue? Talk about it, invite accountability, and take time to pray together.

Daily Readings

As you follow this week’s reading plan, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal how your suffering might be for your deliverance.

  • Day 1: Romans 14
  • Day 2: Philippians 1
  • Day 3: Genesis 37
  • Day 4: Genesis 39-40
  • Day 5: Genesis 41 & 50
  • Day 6: Job 1 & 2
  • Day 7: Job 13

Think Deeper

  1. What is your definition of life?
  2. Can you recall a difficult life experience that you now know was for your deliverance?
  3. What difference would it make if you believed your current trial would be the very thing that delivers you?

Suggested Resources

The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning

Ruthless Trust, by Brennan Manning

Broken Signposts, by N.T. Wright

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Gary Lee Webber

Gary Lee Webber

Senior Pastor

Sermons in this Series