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Jesus Plus Nothing

from 10/8/17 Colossians 2:16-23

While I am not the Pastor of Math at HOPE (that’s Kyle), my math tells me that, Jesus + 0 = Jesus, or at least it should. My observations of church life over the years however tells me that the church is quite skilled at adding extra Excel cells to the required formula that would equal a faithful attendee.

This phenomenon of adding requirements or restrictions to Jesus’ being an all sufficient source for salvation and acceptance runs wild in church circles. Why are we so good at it? Why do we seem bent on doing it? The famous Pharisees of the gospels added burdens onto all would be faithful Jews, a practice which Jesus despised (Matthew 23:2-7). In doing this, it kept the people from seeing God rather than helping them to see God.

Can you think of “human traditions” that you think have hindered your ability to see God and joyfully walk with Jesus?

How would you complete the sentence below to reflect how you would accurately describe the effects of requiring certain tradition or requirements?

(referring to my 2nd paragraph…)

Maybe it’s not so much a phenomenon that we tend to place add-ons to Jesus, as it is what is to be expected from _________________________.

Which example that Pastor Ryan mentioned in the sermon most caused you to rethink any of your attitudes or practices?

Do you think there are any assumptions we make about the way we do church, that gets in the way of people seeing God?

According to Jesus, what is the condition of the person who can see God ? (Matthew 5:8) And what can it mean to be “pure in heart”?

How does relying on requirements that are not “according to Jesus”, hinder our ability to see God?

How can giving Jesus your heart and not your heartless actions, help you to see God?

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