Study 9: Trinity Sunday: Living in the Fullness of the Trinity
Sermon Date: June 11th, 2017
Readings: John 3:1-17, Romans 8:12-17
As we continue to think about Resurrection Living we explore what it means to live as people of the Trinity.
Who would you say is your most significant influence? Why?
Questions: (see “Helpful Hints” at the end of this section)
The writer of the Gospel of John records this encounter between Jesus and the Pharisee Nicodemus. Although we may often have a negative perception of Pharisees it is important to remember that they were well-respected and knowledgeable leaders of the Jewish community. Nicodemus approaches Jesus, respectfully calling him Rabbi, and seeking understanding.
Read John 3:1-17
Why do you think Nicodemus approaches Jesus at night?
What do you understand the kingdom of God to be from these verses?
What does Jesus teach Nicodemus about being born again? Share with the group what you have understood by this idea ‘born again’
How is the Spirit portrayed in these verses?
How is the Father portrayed?
How is the Son portrayed?
Is there anything about God that particularly stands out to you today?
8. How do you understand the ‘obligation’ that Paul speaks of in verse 12?
In his letter to the Romans Paul speaks of God’s relationship with humanity. First explaining how humanity has failed to live in a way that pleases God, and then in Chapter 8, changing the focus to how God has chosen to love us anyway.
Read Romans 8:12-17:
9. What difference does being ‘adopted as sons’ make to your understanding of God’s love?
10. How does this passage build on your understanding of being ‘born again’ from the John passage?
How can you care this week for those who are outsiders?
Feedback on anything from last week’s actions.
Helpful Hints for discussion questions:
1. In approaching Jesus at night Nicodemus keeps his visit secret. There would have been other people present in the house, probably able to easily overhear as sound proofing in the open cool houses of Jerusalem was not a high priority.
3. Jesus shares with Nicodemus some of the most profound teaching on God’s plan that we find anywhere in the New Testament.
4-6. This is essentially one question with three parts. It’s helpful to stop and look at the role John gives to each of the three persons of the Trinity in this passage. Here we see them all at work with distinct roles. See if you can unpick John’s portrayal of this notorious complex relationship in this passage.
9. The idea of adopting a son was very common in Roman culture. Sons were often adopted by wealthy families with no sons of their own. This son would in continue a family line, by inheriting the estate, family name and political tradition, as such they were treated with great honour. It was also cheaper to adopt a son than raise one from birth. Often the child adopted would be from another elite family. Paul is making the point that even though we are not worthy of such an honour, God chooses to adopt us as his heirs. Unlike Roman society God treats men and women equally as he adopts them into his family as his heirs.
Jo Trickey, 10/06/2017