Chris Papazis

Locked and Loaded – Weapons, Resources, and Equipment


Locked and Loaded – When soldiers say this they are making a declaration: “I am ready. I am prepared for the battle that is to come.” The Bible tells us that as followers of Christ, we too are in a battle. However, the fight is not against people – it is against the spiritual forces of darkness – unseen, and yet very real. Are you prepared? It’s time to Lock and Load!

This message covers some of the weapons, resources, and equipment God has given us in support of His Mission in our lives.

Locked and Loaded – The Battle


Locked and Loaded – When soldiers say this they are making a declaration: “I am ready. I am prepared for the battle that is to come.” The Bible tells us that as followers of Christ, we too are in a battle. However, the fight is not against people – it is against the spiritual forces of darkness – unseen, and yet very real. This message covers: The Battle, The Enemy, The Victory, Our Authority, and The Mission

At The Movies: Spiderman


During this three part series we talked about some of our favorite movies and how they teach us about issues like overcoming giants, not wasting our God-given potential, and as illustrated by Peter Parker in the movie Spiderman – dealing with and overcoming resistance.

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Hebrews, Session VI: Staying faithful, part 2


Fuel Bible Study

The Book of Hebrews: Session VI – Staying faithful, Part 2

  1. Hebrews 3:719 Positive power of a negative example; Encourage one another to prevent hardening of heart; deceitfulness of sin

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. “THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’; AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'” Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.” For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.  (Hebrews 3:7-19) 

  1. What is the main theme of chapter 3?
  2. How would you define faithfulness?
  3. There seems to be a crisis of faithlessness in our culture today? Why do you think that is so?
  4. In chapter 3 the writer uses 3 examples to make his point about staying faithful. Name 1 of the 3.
  5. What are your thoughts concerning the faithfulness of Moses as the leader of the Children of Israel during the time of the Exodus?
  6. In what way(s) was Jesus faithful during his life on earth?
  7. Can you think of a time when Jesus demonstrated his faithfulness to you? Encourage the people in your group by sharing it with them
  8. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed” How does knowing that you will experience times when you will be tempted to be unfaithful in your walk with Christ prepare you to resist the temptation?
  9. Have you ever been tempted to act in an unfaithful way towards Jesus? If you feel comfortable doing so, share your insights with the group
  10. Even when we blow it, when we come to God with a contrite heart, he is faithful to dust us off, clean us up, and continually work with us until we get it right. How has this worked itself out in your life?
  11. Another title of tonight’s message could be “The Positive Power of a Negative Example” or “Their Pain our Gain” Can you think of a time when somebody in your life (parent, sibling, friend, co-worker, etc…) displayed negative behavior, but when you saw the consequences, it influenced you to do the opposite?
  12. It is wise to learn from our own mistakes. Why is it wiser still, to learn from the mistakes of others?
  13. Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Break down the meaning of this verse with your group. Then share ways you can “keep your heart with all diligence.”
  14. Encouragement is in short supply in our world. It seems many people feel that they can elevate themselves by tearing others down. What are some creative ways we can encourage others in our circle or sphere of influence? (include both believers and non-believers)
  15. How can habitual sin deceive somebody and cause their heart to harden?
  16. As we finish chapter 3 answer the following questions
  17. Is there a promise to claim?
  18. Is there a warning to heed?
  19. Is there a takeaway to apply to your life?
  20. Is there something new (or something made fresh to you) concerning God in our last 2 studies?

 

Stay faithful, even when it’s hostile!

 

At The Movies: Rocky


During this three part series we talked about some of our favorite movies and how they teach us about issues like overcoming giants, overcoming resistance, and as illustrated by the life of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa – reaching and not wasting our God given potential.

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Receiving the love of God


Receiving God’s love is hard sometimes. Because we are all too aware of our failures and shortcomings we constantly feel unworthy. On top of that our enemy, the devil is called the accuser of the brethren – We feel his fiery darts of accusation on a daily basis. In this message from our Jesus Swagger series we discussed how we can overcome our feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness and actually live in the freedom that comes from receiving the love of God.

*Check out the book JESUS SWAGGER by Jarrid Wilson

“Before I go, you have to know – Holy Ghost”


Just before He ascended into heaven, Jesus promised to send His followers the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we could be true and living witnesses for Christ. Tragically, many have admired this gift but never opened it. In this message we explore the “forgotten” person of the Trinity – Holy Spirit.

Presence Over Preaching


When life wrecks you with crushing blows that leave you paralyzed, you can either respond by being angry with God or by running to Him. When we are weak, He is strong! During the series, Run to the Roar we explored how to let Jesus sustain you by running to Him. No matter what you are going through today, Run to the roar!

 

Hebrews, Session V: Staying faithful, part 1


Fuel Bible Study

The Book of Hebrews: Session V – Staying faithful, (even when it’s easier not to)

All who walk with Jesus will experience various seasons in their relationship where it would be easier to take the path of least resistance and not remain faithful.
In this session we looked at chapter 3:1-6 which includes the faithfulness of Moses and the faithfulness of Jesus. It also shares 2 reasons why Jesus is worthy of more honor than the highly venerated Moses is, all the while giving us strong encouragement to remain faithful, even when it would be easier not to.

  1. Hebrews 3:1-6 – Consider Jesus; Jesus greater than Moses; If

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house–whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Questions

  1. We have now gone through 4 sessions in the book of Hebrews. So far, what has been your biggest takeaway? If you want, go deeper on your answer and share any changes you are experiencing or making in your life as a result of studying together.
  2. Can you think of one new truth about Jesus that you are aware of now that you didn’t really know before?
  3. Review Question: In chapter 1, verse 3 we are told that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s nature. What does that mean?
  4. In tonight’s lesson we heard about Polycarp, one of the earliest martyr stories that we know of in the early church. What stood out to you about his story?
  5. Throughout the many seasons of our life we will have many choices and many chances to fall away. How has the lesson tonight helped you to protect yourself from this danger?
  6. Hebrews naturally has a motivational effect on its hearers. After listening and studying this book, believers are encouraged to make changes in their walk with God. Why do you think that is?
  7. At the end of chapter 2 we found out that since Jesus was tempted in that which he suffered, he is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. What does that mean and how does that make you feel?
  8. Just like these 1st century Christians, as followers of Christ you and I are “holy brethren” and “partakers in a heavenly calling” – we are children of destiny set apart for an eternity of glory. Do you see yourself like this?
  9. The writer is in the business of encouraging and exhorting for the purpose of strengthening these believers. One of the ways he does this is by telling us to “consider Jesus.” How can considering, or setting our mind on Jesus strengthen us?
  10. What does it mean that Jesus is our Apostle?
  11. What does it mean that Jesus is our High Priest?
  12. Why is it significant that he is both?
  13. There were two reasons the writer gives as to why Jesus is considered worthy of more honor than Moses. Do you remember what they are?
  14. This lesson is all about remaining faithful, even when under pressure not to be. What do you think being faithful to Christ means in our lives today?
  15. The writer uses both Moses and Jesus to give us examples of what being faithful looks like in real life. Can you think of some examples when Moses remained faithful when he could have just quit? What about Jesus?
  16. The little 2 letter word, IF, can cause some struggles within us. How did tonight’s teaching regarding Hebrews 3:6 “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” Impact you?

Hebrews, Session IV – The danger of drifting


Most believers usually know at least one person who at one time was strong in their faith, but now seem very far from God. In this session we looked at the real problem of drifting in your faith and the dangers inherent with it.  It’s so important to develop daily disciplines and strategies to keep our passion for Jesus strong.

Everybody say, “Don’t Drift!”

Fuel Bible Study

The Book of Hebrews: Session IV – The Danger of Drifting; More Power Truths Concerning Jesus

The Danger of Drifting

Heb 2:1  For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
Heb 2:2  For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,
Heb 2:3  how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
Heb 2:4  God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

More Power Truths Concerning Jesus


Heb 2:5
  For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.
Heb 2:6  But one has testified somewhere, saying, “WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?
Heb 2:7  “YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
Heb 2:8  YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
Heb 2:9  But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
Heb 2:10  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
Heb 2:11  For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb 2:12  saying, “I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.”
Heb 2:13  And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.” And again, “BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.”
Heb 2:14  Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 2:15  and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Heb 2:16  For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
Heb 2:17  Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18  For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Questions

Chapter 2:1-4 – The Danger of Drifting

  1. Verse 1 starts off by saying “for this reason…” or in some translations “therefore” To what is the writer referring to?
  2. We must “pay closer attention” to the Word of God, maybe now more than ever. Why? 2:1
  3. Do you know somebody who once displayed a strong love for the Lord who no longer calls themselves a Christian, or no longer has any evidence that they are a Christ follower? What do you think happened?
  4. Do you ever struggle with “drifting” in your walk with God?
  5. Have you developed any strategies or disciplines to help keep you from drifting?
  6. How can we “neglect” so great a salvation?
  7. Any further thoughts on verses 1-4?

2:5-18 – More “Power Truth’s Concerning Jesus

  1. What “world to come” do you think the writer is referring to in verse 5?
  2. Who is the writer referring to in verses 6, 7, and 8? (This is a bit of a trick question J)
  3. Think about the following statement – Jesus “tasted death” for everyone. What does that mean? What does that mean to you personally?
  4. Explain these two facts that seem contradictory but are actually complimentary
    1. Jesus is superior to angels and they are called to worship him 1:6
    2. Jesus has been made for a little while lower than the angels 2:7
  5. Explain these two facts that seem contradictory but are actually complimentary
    1. All things have been subjected to Jesus and are under his feet 2:8
    2. When you look at the world it is clear that currently, we don’t see all things subjected to Jesus and under his feet 2:8
  6. If you are a follower of Christ you are one of the “many sons brought to glory” What does that mean and how does that make you feel? 2:10
  7. Jesus is “not ashamed to call us his brethren” Why? 2:11
  8. According to 2:14 the devil has been “rendered powerless” How should this verse impact your life (One answer to this question is found in 2:15)
  9. 2:18 tells us that “since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” What does that mean?
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