"Common Faith Common Salvation"
Discussion Questions and Study Guide

Discussion Questions

  • According to these verses, what is the Gospel that saves us?

    • "I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Cor. 15:1-4).

  • According to these verses, how do you receive salvation?

    • ​"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame" (Romans 10:9-11).

  • According to this verse, is Jesus Christ in you?

    • "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified" (II Cor. 13:5).

  • Based on this study state in your own words why you believe it is important to have a common faith and common salvation.

  • Open discussion question: what did you learn or how were you inspired by this video?

Group Guidelines for Discussion

  1. No one can dominate or monopolize the conversation, rather give an opportunity for everyone to participate.

  2. No one has a final verdict for interpretation.

  3. Everyone is encouraged to participate whether or not they have the popular understanding.

  4. Do not criticize anyone or cast a negative light and treat each other with love and kindness.

Study Outline with Supplemental Scriptures

I.  QUESTION: (timestamp 00:19) Why is it important that we share a Common Faith and a Common Salvation?

A.  Today the world is divided. Division exists in every sphere of life. Politically conservative, progressives, and liberals are divided against each other. Divisions are prevalent racially, socioeconomically, culturally, and in many different spheres. Christians can be more divided than non-Christians because they adopt all these divisions from the world, and they add in their doctrinal conflicts. There are many divisions over interpretations of the Bible. We are so divided among Christians that Sundays are the most segregated day of the week, so we need something common so we can be One. What is our commonness? What is common between us as believers?

B.  What is common is our "common faith" (Titus 1:4)

1. Paul said, "a true son in our common faith" (Titus 1:4)

2. We have the same faith; we believe the same core items.

3. Common means "the same"; it is the same faith

C.  Jude uses the phrase "our common salvation" or the "salvation we share" (Jude 1:3).

1.  Jude 1:3 "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share."

2.  We have the same salvation; we are saved the same way.

3.   This common salvation means that Jesus lives in everyone who has this faith; in the Bible, that means Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free, etc. (I Corinthians 12:13).

a)  For example, this would include Asian, Black, White, Rich, Poor, etc. 

b)  The same Jesus living in the diversity of people have this faith.

D.  This common faith and common salvation are shared between all believers allowing us to be one.

1.  As believers, we could be different in everything other than our common faith and common salvation. 

2.  What makes us one as believers is that we have something in common: our faith and salvation in Christ.

II.  QUESTION: (timestamp 01:52) The first foundational item is that Jesus is the Son of God, and we see that when Jesus asks Peter, "Who do you say that I Am?" And he says, "You are the Christ the Son of the living God." Why is it important for us to discuss this first foundational item?

A. Perhaps everyone in the world has heard the name "Jesus Christ," and most know something about Him being the Son of God, but here Jesus shows us it takes a revelation to believe in Him (Matthew 16:15-18).

1. When Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15) Peter spoke out and declared, "You are the Christ the Son of the Living God" (Matthew 16:16). 

2. And Jesus says, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in Heaven" (Matthew 16:17). 

3. Seeing who Jesus is and what He has accomplished for us takes a revelation from the Father. (Matthew 16:17)

4. That revelation sets us apart and gives us eternal life. John said, "But these are written that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name." (John 20:31)

B. Therefore, the first item is that Jesus is God, and as God, He has the following characteristics.

1. Jesus is God (John 1:1; 10:30; 20:28-31).

2. He is eternal and everlasting (Deut. 16:27; Isaiah 40:28; John 1:1; Rom. 16:26).

3. He is the all-powerful Creator (Hebrews 1:3; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17).

4. He is all-knowing (Hebrews 4:13; I John 3:20).

C. This all-powerful God became a man.

1. He was birthed from a human virgin in a womb for nine months (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:34-35; Galatians 4:4)

2. After His birth, He was a baby who needed care (Luke 2:12).

3. God was helpless and limited as a toddler.

4. He had to work, eat, and sweat (John 4:6)

5. He experienced weaknesses and temptations, yet was without sin (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15)

6. Jesus is not less than God or a lesser god (John 5:18; John 14:9).

7. Jesus as the Son of God is the very expression of God (John 1:18; Colossians 1:15)

8. What a wonder it is that God became a man! It takes a revelation to see that God became a man like you and me, except without sin.

 

II. QUESTION: (timestamp 04:41) Can you tell us more about this illustration that Jesus is the Word and that God is the thought behind the Word? 

A.  John tells us in 1:1 that Jesus is the "Word of God." Some people think that because Jesus is the "Son" of God that He is somehow a lesser "god" by being the "offspring" of God. But that is not what John is saying.

1. Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14).

2. As the Word Jesus declared God. John says, "No one has seen God at any time. The Only  Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." (John 1:18). 

B. Metaphor: The relationship between word and thought is an excellent example of the invisible and the expression of the invisible.

1. I am speaking to you with words exactly what I am thinking.

2. But if I don't have words, you will not know what I am thinking.

3. By using words, my words are the expression of my thought.

4. The two are the same, but they are also different because one is in my head (invisible), and the other uses my mouth to express words.

5. That is a metaphor of God the Father being the invisible God and God the Son is the visible declaration or expression of God (John 14:9-10; Colossians 1:15) 

 

III.  QUESTION: (timestamp 06:26) Can you tell us more about this second foundational item that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins?

A.  (I Corinthians 15:3) He died for our sins. I think all of us can admit we have done a lot of things wrong throughout our lives. We have all broken God's laws. We commit sins. We don't just commit sins, but we are sinners. And Jesus died to wash us and rid us of all of our sins. What good news that is!

1.  A lot of people are living under guilt; they are depressed because they feel guilty. 

2.  If we believe in Jesus, who died on the Cross, He will free us from all the guilt of sin. We will be washed, and we will be as righteous as God!.  

a)  "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).

3.  We become the righteousness of God in Christ, which is justification.

B. His death on the Cross got rid of all the negative things in the Universe--not just our sins.

1. The division between people (Eph. 2:14-17)

2. Even Satan was defeated there on the Cross (John 16:11; Heb. 2:14)

 

IV.  QUESTION: (timestamp 08:20) The next foundational item of faith is that Jesus not only rose from the dead but that He also ascended into Heaven. Please tell us more about resurrection and ascension (I Corinthians 15:2-5).

A. Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, which the Bible tells us, but Jesus' resurrection was unique (I Corinthians 15:4).

1.  Jesus' resurrection was not like Lazarus' resurrection (John 12:1)

2. All those who rose from the dead came back in the same form and eventually died again (Matt. 27:52-53)

3. When Jesus resurrected, He came back in a physical form so He could eat and be touched (Luke 24:36-43)

4. But Jesus also came back as a spirit (1Cor. 15:45; II Cor. 3:17).

5. His body is a physical and a spiritual body.

6. As a Spirit, Jesus can indwell us; He can come into us. (John 14:16-20)

7. We say, "Receive Jesus into your heart" and "Do you have Jesus in you?"

8. Jesus is literally in us! Yes, it is the Holy Spirit in us, but it is also Jesus as the life-giving Spirit (II Cor. 13:5).

B.  Jesus was not only resurrected, but He also ascended as a man He is now on the throne (Ephesians 1:22; 2:6; Revelation 22:1). 

1. Ephesians 1 tells us that everything is subjected under His feet (Ephesians 1:22).

2. He is above all things and on the throne and in charge of all things under God's Creation (Col. 1:16-17).

3. Hebrews says we do not yet see all things under His feet. But we see Jesus, and everything is under His feet (Hebrews 2:8-9).

4. He ascended; He is on the throne; He is the LORD of Lords the King of Kings; He has it all in His hands;  He has it all under control (Phil. 2:9-10; I Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14).

5. It does not matter what it looks like around us; it is under control.

6. Our faith is based on not just His death but His ascension to become the LORD (Rom. 10:9).

7.  When He ascended, Acts tells us God has made Jesus, "both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

 

V.  QUESTION: (timestamp 10:28) The fourth foundation is that the Holy Spirit dwells in believers. Can you explain what this looks like and why this is so important in our common faith?

A.  Paul says in II Corinthians to check and examine yourself whether you are in the faith. If you are in the faith, the result is that Jesus Christ is in you.

1.  II Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"

2.  Paul says it is the will of God to unveil this mystery throughout the ages, and that is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:26-27). 

B.  What this faith gives us is that Jesus Christ, the eternal life of God, the Holy Spirit of God comes into us and indwells us and live in us, and we live in Him, so that as we carry on through our daily living, He is with us, He is in us, and He is living through us (Colossians 1:27).

VI.  QUESTION: (timestamp 12:06) This seems so simple, but for those who may be listening who are not clear on how to receive eternal life, how does one become a believer?

A.  Romans 10 wraps it up (Rom. 10:8-13). 

1.   It says if you believe in your heart that Jesus is raised from the dead, and you would declare Him LORD by crying out to Him as LORD and say, "LORD Jesus!" Then you shall be saved.

2.   Salvation is a journey: there is a starting point which we call "born anew," "born again," or "regenerated" (John 3:3; I Peter 1:23).

a)  That means you now have another birth or another life in you (II Cor. 4:10; Gal. 2:20)

b)  This regeneration occurs at the time of faith (John 1:12-13).

3.   At the time of faith, we call on the name of Jesus, declare Him LORD, then that is the beginning of our salvation journey, and that's it (I Peter 2:2).

4.  It is so simple that even a child can receive Jesus.

5.  Jesus said you need to have the faith of a child to believe (Matt. 18:2-3)

B.  There are so many things that Christians fight over, but we don't fight over these fundamentals that are our common faith and our common salvation.

1. Jesus is God.

2. Jesus became a man.

3. He died on the Cross.

4. He resurrected.

5. He is the LORD.

6. He is indwelling those believers.

C.  Paul says that it does not matter if you are Jew or Greek, slave, or free. We are saved the same way (Rom. 10:12-13; I Cor. 12:13).

VII. QUESTION: (timestamp 19:50) If it is this simple and we have one salvation and one faith, why is there so much division between believers?

A.  First Answer: We are comfortable with our own kind, you might say. Human nature makes us want to be around people who are similar to us. This is a way to feel safe and protect ourselves from a perceived threat. 

1.  Back in Biblical times, slaves would be very uncomfortable being around masters.

2.  The Jews, even after they became believers, would eat Kosher, so it was much easier to be around others who eat Kosher (Romans 14:1-4).

3.  Today the rich want to spend time with other wealthy people.

4.  Conservatives/liberals want to spend time with other conservatives or liberals.

5.  This pattern likely led to churches and home gatherings that share a similar race, political view, socioeconomic status/, etc.

6.  Sunday is the most segregated day of the week.

B.  Second Answer: As we go along our faith journey, we get helped by different doctrines that are not a part of our common faith.

1.  For example, let's say someone is not sure of their salvation and was helped by the doctrine of eternal security, also known as "once saved; always saved."

2.  That doctrine helped someone, so they feel loyal to that doctrine and to the people that gather around that doctrine.

3.  Now let's say someone else was equally helped by a teaching that teaches you can lose your salvation by choice.

4.  They receive a lot of help from that teaching, and they became fervent believers because they do not want to lose their salvation.

5.  They are loyal to the group that has the same doctrine.

C.  As you multiply this pattern through many different doctrines, including tongue-speaking and deliverance, and through loyalty and identification, we would identify with those doctrines that have helped us and gradually distance ourselves from those who believe differently. 

VIII.  STATEMENT: (timestamp 16:19) We would be wise to ask, "Did this doctrine save you? Did this doctrine of "once saved, always saved save you"? Did this doctrine of tongues save you? No, what saved you is it was Jesus who saved you. Even if I am right on this doctrine, it wasn't that doctrine that saved me. It was Jesus who saved me. Therefore, I can fellowship with another believer because he is saved by Jesus, not by his doctrine, even if his doctrine is different from mine. I can fellowship with him even if I think his doctrine is wrong. 

A.  We need to come back to the common faith. We don't need to have common doctrines of how to grow as a Christian or be holy in order to fellowship.

B.  There are several areas of doctrine that divide believers, and we would do well to reach out to those with convictions that differ from ours.

1.  Some teach immersion baptism; whereas, others teach sprinkling baptism. 

2.  Some have Charismatic gifts as a common part of their worship; others are confused or object to the exercise of Charismatic practices.  

3.  Some teach there is a second blessing or anointing of the Holy Spirit, while others teach that there is no second anointing.

4.  There are many such doctrines and practices that may have been helpful to a believer, but these are not the doctrines that are essential for our salvation.

5.  Nowhere does the Bible say you have to believe one of these doctrines to receive eternal life.

IX.  QUESTION: (timestamp 17:23) What can we do to restore the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17? What are some things we can do?

A.  I think we need to follow Jesus' word to say "Be a little child" (see Matthew 18:2-4)

1.  Come back to being like a little child in our faith.

2.  When we first came to faith, we were a little child that just believed.

B.  We have gotten complicated through much learning of Scripture, but yet missing the Truth.

1.   We have so many doctrinal things but not enough Truth.

2.   Not enough understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ Who is the "Truth" (John 14:6; Eph. 4:21).

3.   Paul said he counts all things as garbage (Philippians 3:8).

C.  We need to come back to the simplicity that is in Christ, which is our common faith and our common salvation (II Cor 11:3).

D.  Let's reconsider our primary focus.

1.   We are not focusing on politics or money.

2.   Nor are we focusing on experiences or doctrines that are more helpful to some than to others.

E.  Let's come back to our common faith and our common salvation. 

1.  Please recognize that these other topics are not items of our faith.

2.  We must change our focus from what divides us to what we share in common.

X.  (timestamp 18:24) What are some takeaways that we can take from this discussion about our common faith and our common salvation?

A.  Revelation chapter two says, "He who has an ear let him hear" what the Spirit is saying. What is the Spirit saying to the ekklesia in Ephesus? He says, "Return to your first love" (Revelation 2:4). Repent, and return to your first love (Rev. 2:4-5). What was that first love as a believer?

1.  Return to the first love was just Jesus. 

2.  Return to the first love is that Jesus is God who became man.

3.  Return to the first love that Jesus died for your sins, and He was resurrected.

4.  Return to the first love is Jesus lives in me! Hallelujah!

5.  Your first love wasn't all these different doctrines and practices and politics and cultural conflicts and all these things. 

6.  So listen to the Spirit!

7.   The Spirit is saying, "Repent! And come back to your first love" (Rev. 2:4-5).

Group Guidelines for Discussion

  1. No one can dominate or monopolize the conversation, rather give an opportunity for everyone to participate.

  2. No one has a final verdict for interpretation.

  3. Everyone is encouraged to participate whether or not they have the popular understanding.

  4. Do not criticize anyone or cast a negative light and treat each other with love and kindness.

Discussion Questions

  1. (Read I Corinthians 15:1-4) According to these verses, what is the Gospel that saves us? 

  2. (Read Romans 10:9-11) According to these verses, how do you receive salvation?

  3. (Read II Corinthians 13:5) According to this verse, is Jesus Christ in you?

  4. Based on this study state in your own words why you believe it is important to have a common faith and common salvation.

  5. Open discussion question: what did you learn or how were you inspired by this video?

Key verses for discussion:

  1. Titus 1:4

  2. John 20:31

  3. 1Cor. 15:1-4

  4. Rom 10:9

  5. 2Cor. 13:5

For further study:

  1. One Ekklesia: chap 1

  2. CEI: #1

 

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