Blessed Are the Persecuted

Congregation: Short North
Series: Matthew - Blessed
Speaker: Chris Lawson
Scripture Text: Matthew 5:10-12

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Discussion Questions
  1. Chris began his sermon with a recap of the beatitudes. Are there any specific things from the past few months in Matthew that you feel like God has been impressing upon you? … What has been your overall takeaway or sentiments towards the beatitudes?
  2. The first of two main points of the sermon was, “Why Jesus followers should expect persecution.” How does the beatitude of persecution connect to the beatitude of peacemaking which comes before it? What other things were mentioned as reasons that Christians might experience persecution?
  3. Sometimes we may think of Christian persecution as only the “severe” cases that occur in other countries that have animosity towards the faith. While this is very, very real and we should pray for our Christian brothers and sisters experiencing this around the world, what are some ways that we may face persecution here in the US as we boldly live out our faith? …..​​ How does this idea make you feel? What fears do we have? What aspect of the gospel do we fail to believe when we when we run away from persecution at all costs
  4. What are some specific ways that you have experienced persecution in some form for being a Christian? When we feel the nudge of the holy spirit to step out in some way to share the gospel, or live out our faith, why are we so quick to subdue that feeling and take an easier route? What is the cost of continuing to do this?
  5. Chris mentioned that part of the purpose of the beatitudes is to show us how we can never live up to the standard of God. Even in regards to this idea of persecution, that is true. Jesus was the only one who was perfectly obedient and bold in his faith… How do you wrestle with the tension of these truths?
  6. The 2nd point of the sermon was, “How Jesus followers can endure persecution.” Spend time discussing this. What reasons did Chris mention from scripture? How do these ideas fuel your desire to boldly and confidently live out your faith, by the Spirit’s power?