Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on March 1, 2020
Passage: Luke 23:39-43
This Sunday, Mike delivered part two in our series “Final Hours” as we look at the final sayings of Jesus before His death. In this message, Mike talked about the four key things the penitent thief knew that we all need to know if we want to have assurance that we will go to heaven.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What is something you were sure of when you were a kid or a teenager but have now changed your mind about? Why did you change your mind?
Looking back at your notes from the message, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. Let’s go back and re-read the conversation that took place on the cross between the penitent thief and Jesus in Luke 23:39-43.
- What did the repentant thief realize in his final moments of life?
- What did the repentant thief confess (Luke 23:40-41)?
- According to Luke 23:41, what did the repentant thief believe about Jesus?
- What did the repentant thief believe that Jesus could do for him (Luke 23:42)?
2. In his last hours, the desperate thief had no other hope to be made right with God than by the grace of Jesus. What do the following verses teach us about how we are saved?
Titus 3:4-7 (ESV)
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Luke 18:9-14 (ESV)
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Galatians 2:21-3:2 (ESV)
21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. 1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
Why do so many believers have a hard time living in the grace and acceptance they received at the moment of their conversion?
What does the thief’s conversion on the cross teach you about God’s grace?
3. What did Jesus promise the penitent thief for his faith? What do the following verses tell us about what God has promised you in return for your faith?
2 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
James 1:5-6 (ESV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
4. How sure are you that you have a place in heaven after death? Where does this assurance or lack of assurance come from?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?