Study: Know Why You Believe
Chapter 1 – Is Christianity Rational
11:00 – Intro to Study
We are the Knights of Grace. This summer we defined five attributes that we consider critical to being a Knight of Grace (Courage; Faith; Sacrifice; Loyalty; Honesty).
As Knights of Grace we talked about dedicating our life to our King, Jesus (1 Tim 6:15).
To become the best Knight that we can we must be thoroughly trained and equipped for battle ... sharing the Gospel ... defending our faith. As part of your training we will be spending our time together this Fall studying “Know Why You Believe”.
* OPENING PRAYER*
11:10 – Is Christianity Rational?
As a Believer, you could be asked at times to explain your faith, your beliefs and at other times challenged to defend them. You may be asked or even ask yourself, “Is Christianity Rational?” In other words, is Christianity reasonable? Sensible? Is there evidence? Does it make sense using sound thinking and judgment?
How will you respond?
First, you can only share your faith and beliefs. You cannot control whether someone will listen with an open mind or closed mind. While an individual's salvation is between them and God you can help lead them to God.
Your faith in something is only as good as the object you place faith in. We place faith in doctors to determine why we are sick and provide the best medicine or procedure to heal us. We place faith in the drug store to fill the prescription for our medication correctly. We place faith in a chair to hold us as we sit in the chair. But what happens when the object we place faith in fails? The chair may collapse. People in the state of Minnesota had faith that a bridge over the Mississippi river would be there and it collapsed. Placing your faith in things of man has a high probability of failing at some point in time. As a Christian we put our faith in God. Our God is holy, righteous, never lies, without sin, and loves us so much He gave us His one and only Son (John 3:16).
Some people believe that to have faith, you stop using your brain. If that were true it would be hard to say that Christianity makes sense using sound thinking and judgment. Faith according the Hebrews 11:1 is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” The verse alone requires thought. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus called His disciples to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart...and with all your mind.” Your whole being; your mind, your emotions, your will; is involved in having faith.
Some people thing that absolute truth does not exist but, as Christian's our faith is always equated with truth. Our beliefs are dependent upon the truth. We hold God's word to be true. In John 14:6 Jesus said,
am the way, and the truth...”
What about evidence? From Romans 1:18-20 it is explained that God expects us to believe in Him based upon the evidence of creation. “Look at the natural world, even the universe or your own body and you will have ample evidence for belief in a Creator” There are some who promote Intelligent Design and there is no one and no being more intelligent than God.
All sorts of people including some very intelligent people struggle with Christianity. But, is intelligence required to have faith, to believe? In Luke 18:16, “Jesus called for them, saying, Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Is these because children were intelligent or because of a child like heart? Ultimately, belief is a matter of will, a matter of faith. Those who want to believe will and those who won't believe don't.
Finally, it is also okay even as Christians to have doubt. Just don't panic or take extreme actions when you do have doubts. Turn to other mature believers, turn the God's word, and turn to God through prayer.
* BREAK – SMALL GROUPS *
11:20 – Small Group Time
1. Will all men believe that Christianity is rational? If not, why? (examples lack of knowledge , disinterested , fear , seems like a fairy tale) Can you think of a verse to support your answer? (Matt 7:13-15)
2. Read Romans 1:18 – 20. Do all men have knowledge from creation itself to know that there is a God?
3. What evidence in the Bible can you point to to share your faith in who Christ is and what Christ did? (John 3:16; 1 Cor 15: 3-4)
4. For those of you that have accepted Christ, can you give examples of how you have experienced Christ in your life? (examples - answered prayers, a sense of peace, desire to be obedient, desire to be truthful & honest, willingness to give up something of value to you to help another)
11:30 – Return to Large Group
Have one or two boys from your group give the groups answer to one or two of the four questions.
11:45 – Closing Thoughts
To share or defend your faith you need to know God's word in your mind and heart; memorize the stories; memorize verses. In Matt 4 when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Christ called upon God's word to rebuke Satan. Satan even attempted to use God's word to trick Christ. Bottom line, to be the best Knight you can be, you must know God, God's word and God's son, Jesus.
* CLOSE IN PRAYER *
11:55 - Outside for Games
Leaders are welcome and encouraged to introduce new games