Esther Week 9 Sermon Notes

ESTHER PART 9: A CALL TO ACTION

1 Theological truth

1 Big idea 

1 Question

 

Text: Esther 7:1-14

 

Theological Truth:

God’s sovereignty and man's responsibility are not mutually exclusive.

 

The tension in this truth is between two biblical truths: God is completely and ultimately sovereign over all things and man makes real decisions that have real consequences that we will be held accountable for.

 

Misunderstanding this truth can cause us to commit two errors:

Despair: No hope… Where is God?

Inaction: No point… God’s got this.

 

The result of these two errors causes us to fall into one of two ditches:

Ditch #1: God isn’t in control

Ditch #2: I’m not responsible

 

The Christian Doctrine of God’s sovereignty does not remove our motivation to act, it under-girds our actions with confidence that our actions will not be done in vain.

 

The Christian Doctrine of God’s sovereignty adds both meaning to our lives as acting agents, and comfort to our lives that we’re not the decisive agents.

 

Examples of the tension between God’s sovereignty and our call to action:

 

Philippians 1:13

 

2 Timothy 2:7

 

Big Idea:

The life of faith is a call to action.

 

What faith isn’t:

Faith is not wishing something would happen.

 

What faith is:

 

Faith is…

Acting, not wishing

 

Risking, not hedging

 

Hope-filled, not helpless

 

Courageous, not cowardly

 

Moving, not freezing

 

Standing, not folding

 

Patient, not passive

 

Fearing God, not fearing man

 

Stepping out, not shutting down

 

Planning, not pining

 

Closing Question:

Where is your faith in Jesus requiring action?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GROUP QUESTIONS

 

  1. What was your biggest takeaway/highlight from last Sunday’s sermon?

 

  1. From the text in Esther, where can you see the providential and sovereign hand of God working in harmony with Esther’s conscious decisions to act and make choices on behalf of the nation of Israel?

 

  1. Misunderstanding the tension between the complementary truths of God’s sovereignty and man's ability to act and make decisions can cause us to error in two ways in our thinking. One is a place of despair. Hope is lost because we don’t know where God is and that causes us to doubt that He is really in control. The other is inaction. No point to doing anything. God’s got this and I am in no way able to shape the outcome and am therefore not responsible. In your own life, which camp do you most often fall into?
  1. The idea of God being ultimately sovereign can often cause inaction in believers. How can a correct understanding of the doctrine of God’s sovereignty motivate you to action in your walk?

 

  1. What are practical ways you could see the doctrine of God’s sovereignty add meaning and comfort to you faith and aid in how you make decisions?

 

  1. In the sermon, Pastor Josh’s Big Idea was that the life of faith is a call to action. Rephrase that idea in your own words and describe what it means to you. What implications does this understanding of your faith have on your every day life?

 

  1. In the sermon, Pastor Josh described faith as not just wishing something would happen, but rather, faith is acting, risking, hoping, etc. Where do you feel in your own life your faith in Jesus is requiring action?

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