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Small Groups Weekly Bible Study – August 12 – 18

It’s Personal – Week 6

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

Theme: Race Relations; Do the Right Thing

Warm-Up Questions: Choose one. 

1. When were you first aware that there were people of a different race in your world?

2. How good are you at dealing with people who are different from you?

3. What was most challenging for you from the message when you think about race?

Observation and Interpretation Questions: 

Read John 3:15-19. – Jesus’ Mission

1. Why is it important to see that there are no racial restrictions on the Gospel (verse 15)?

2. How important is it to you that John repeats “whoever” (verse 16)?

3. Why does it make a difference why God sent Jesus into the world (verse 17)?

4. Why do you think it is easier to concentrate on what divides us (verses 18-19)?

Read Acts 2:2-8, 39-47. – Disciples’ Experience 

1. How do you think the disciples initially responded to the Holy Spirit (verses 2-4)?

2. Why do you think the people were so surprised hearing the disciples (verse 5-8)?

3. What do you suppose Peter thought “as many as our Lord will call” meant (verse 39)?

4. What was the most amazing thing about the new racially-diverse believers (verse 40-47)?

Read Romans 12:1-8 – Paul’s Exhortation

1. Why do you think Paul begins his exhortation the way he does (verse 1)? 

2. What do you think Paul might mean here regarding how we think about race (verse 2)?

3. How might you begin to implement this way of thinking in your life (verse 3)?

4. What is one thing regarding race that you can take away from these Scriptures?

Application Questions

1. How are you going to begin to challenge the way you treat others of a different race?

2. What can you do to make God’s call to be racially neutral a bigger part of your lifestyle?

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Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us a fresh awareness of what it might mean for us to actually become free of the world’s thinking about racial division, sharing instead Your message of reconciliation.

Talk and Pray with one another about how you can Join Jesus on His mission in your own lives this week, using the questions on the back, and pray for one another about any personal concerns or praises you have. 

Going Deeper

What is your immediate reaction to one the following statements (select one):
“Race relations have eternal implications.

Our preferences can very quickly become our prejudices.”
“Only proximity can lead us to a change of our racial paradigms.”

Read 2 Kings 17: 5-6.The Displacement of the Samaritan Jews(700 B.C.)
Why do you think the king of Assyria would have removed these Jews living in Samaria?

Read 2 Kings 17:24, 27-28. The Infusion of the Assyrians
How might you describe the relationship between these new people and the neighboring Jews?

Read 2 Kings 17:29-33. The Religious Practices of the New Samaritans
Why do you think that merely teaching them the Jewish rituals had little effect on them?

Read 2 Kings 17:40-41. The deepening Divide between the two Cultures
How would you describe what probably resulted as this continued for hundreds of years?

Read John 4:3-10.Jesus’ Initial Interaction with a Samaritan Woman
What do you think the woman initially thought when she encountered Jesus at the well?

Read John 4: 34-41. Jesus’ Declaration of His Mission
How is it that Jesus was not concerned with the centuries of animosity toward Samaritans?

Share about a time when you realized that Jesus’ definition of “neighbor” is different from yours?”

Prayer: Father, help us to examine our own racial preferences that may well have unknowingly