Fitting In - Week 1: The Culture
As followers of Jesus, it’s often difficult to figure out how we should engage the “culture.” The church has been guilty of either hiding from it or relentlessly bashing it. The pages of the New Testament however, present a completely different narrative. In it, there is an expectation that even though we are supposed to be different, we are expected to interact with and project the teachings of Jesus to those around us. “In this world but not of it” we are fond of saying; that is a tightrope we need to learn to walk.
READ 1 Peter 2:11-12
I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
READ this passage again and consider these related questions.
Describe what it means to be “foreigners and exiles”. Apply that meaning to following Jesus in our world today.
How can abstaining from sin lead to others accusing you of wrong doing?
Discuss the intended result of living as a faithful follow of Jesus.
Read the prayer of Jesus in John 17:15-19
1. What does verse 15 say to you about cultural engagement?
2. What does it mean to not be of the world?
3. Define sanctified. Discuss how truth and God’s word play a role in the process.
4. Look at vv. 17-18. How does being sent out into the world relate to being sanctified? Are the two in conflict?
5. What is the purpose of Jesus sending his followers into the world?
Read Matthew 5:13-16
6. Jesus calls YOU the salt of the earth and light of the world. What does this imply?
7. What happens if you lose your saltiness or hide your light?
8. What is the intended result of adding salt or shining brightly to the world?