If you and/or your small group like to take notes, feel free to fill out the following study guide during the video interview. This will also help prepare you for the final exam at the end of the OLOGY series. To distribute this study guide to your small group, you can either:
Discuss these questions before watching the video interview.
1. When you hear the word “sin” or “sinner”, what is the first word or picture you think of?
2. Why is talking about sin awkward?
3. What is your current understanding of what “sin” is?
Discuss these questions after watching the video.
1. Bryan and Dr. Lauber discussed us “rationalizing” our sin.
a. Why do you think we as a people do this?
b. What is the benefit of coming clean with our sin?
c. Why does our ability to name our sin (be honest about it) make a difference in our ability to free ourselves from sin?
2. Lauber asserts that sin is less about breaking rules and more about breaking relationships.
a. Has that been true in your own experience?
b. If it has, where have you seen restoration of broken relationships?
3. John 8:1-11 describes Jesus’ interaction with both a woman caught in the act of adultery and her accusers. Read this passage and consider:
a. Which of the characters described in the story is it easier for you to identify with?b. What words, if any are most convicting or hardest for you to practice?
c. Jesus calls the woman to leave her sin behind. We all have sins that are harder to let go of than others. What stands in the way of you being able to leave a certain behavior behind (you don’t have to share specifics)?
4. There was mention of several difference type of sins: individual, generational, institutional, societal, systemic, etc.
a. What are the differences between such labels?
b. What’s your gut reaction to the assertion that God may hold us responsible as a church or society for sins that we did not commit as individuals?
c. The prophets accused Israel of institutional and systemic sin. Read through some of these charges found in the following verses.
d. Why are not these considered just sins of individuals? What might institutional and systemic sins look like today? How can we build held accountable for such sins?
5. Dr. Lauber shares how the cross shows the radical nature of our sin and how Jesus Christ, who was completely innocent, chose to die in our place.
a. How do you react to that assertion (intellectually as well as emotionally)?
b. How does that impact your view of God?
c. What does it tell you about the seriousness of sin?
d. How is Jesus’ death on the cross an act of God’s grace?
1. Dr. Lauber insists that we should take sin seriously, but we should take grace more seriously. Read through Psalm 51 & Psalm 103 (David’s two favorite Psalms).
a. How does each demonstrate both the seriousness of sin and the overwhelming grace of God?
b. How do these two Psalms (prayers) resonate with you?
c. How can you use one or both of these Psalms as a prayer this week (try personalizing by inserting your name and circumstances)?
2. James 5:16 says that we are “to confess our sins to one another and pray for each other” if we are to be healed.
a. How easy or difficult is it for you to be honest with God in prayer?
b. Do you currently have people you are honest with?
c. If not, what steps can you take this week to find a trustworthy person that you feel you can be fully honest with about your life?
If your group would like to prepare for next week’s topic on Soteriology (the study of salvation), please click below to access the preparatory questions.
You can distribute these questions to your participants by either emailing them the link or you can print and hand out the questions at then of this week’s small group.