What comes to mind when you think of the word “alien.” Maybe you think of a flying saucer, a UFO, or maybe a loveable alien who needs to “phone home.” But, you probably do not immediately think of Christians, do you? So, today we will dive into Scripture to see that Scripture teaches us that we are called to live like aliens, or strangers, in this world because this earth is ultimately not our home.
BREAK THE ICE
What do you think of when you think of aliens?
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Bible Study Questions
1. What are some things that followers of Christ and aliens might have in common?
WATCH SERMON RECAP
2. Read 1 Peter 2:11-12. Why do you think followers of Christ are like “foreigners” or “exiles” on this earth?
1 Peter 2:11-12
11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
3. How does Paul tell Christ-followers to live in these verses? Why does he teach them to live this way? (See verse 12.)
4. Read Matthew 5:16. What kind of impact do we have in the rest of the world when we live for Christ?
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
1. When was there a time you felt like an outcast or like you did not belong?
2. One thing that causes followers of Christ to stand out is their dedication to Christ. Is there anything keeping you from being a fully devoted follower of Christ right now? What is it?
3. When we stand out from the rest of the world, we point others to Christ. Who in your life needs the hope of Christ right now?
Our two-minute stories of what our life was like before Christ, how we came to know Christ, and the difference He has made in our lives is one of the biggest things tools we have to share our faith. Divide into groups of two (or 3 if necessary) and practice your stories. When everyone has shared, spend a few minutes praying. Thank God for how He has worked in your life and ask for opportunities to share your stories and for the confidence to act when He provides them.
We are all familiar with the word alien, but I wonder if we understand what it means to be an alien. A word study will help us better grasp what Scripture teaches us about being “aliens” in this world. Let’s take a look at an English dictionary definition of the word “alien” and then look at what the Greek teaches us about the Greek word that some Bible scholars have translated as “alien.”
English Dictionary Definition:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition gives at least four definitions for “alien.”
a) “belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing”
b) “relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government”
d) “coming from another world”
1. How would you define what it means to be an alien as a follower of Jesus in your own words?
2. How does the dictionary definition help shed light on what it means to be an “alien” or “stranger” in the world?
Greek Dictionary Definition:
The Greek Dictionary called A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature written by Arndt, Danker, Bauer, and Gingrich gives us helpful insight into what it means for followers of Christ to be “aliens” in this world. Take a look at the different ways this word is defined.
a) “pertaining to being a resident foreigner,” “stranger, alien”
b) “one who lives in a place that is not one’s home”
c) “Christians whose real home is heaven”
1. After reading this definition for the Greek word we sometimes translate as “alien,” how would you explain what it means for a Christian to be an alien in this world?
2. How does this explanation from the Greek dictionary shed light on how followers of Christ are called to live?
1. In what ways do followers of Christ stand out from the rest of the world?
2. Is there currently anything holding you back from standing out from the rest of the world? What step can you take to make changes so that you do stand out for your faith?
3. Why are followers of Christ “aliens” or “strangers” or “foreigners” on this earth?
Spend a few minutes thinking of one person you know who is far from Christ. Share with your group the person who comes to mind for you. After sharing, commit to sharing your two-minute story with that person this week. Pray as a group before you leave for these people who are far from Christ. Pray that God would use your stories to have an impact. Plan to check in with each other next week on how sharing your stories went.
MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)
Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
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