RIVERSIDE BLOG

Post Author: Tim Chilvers

Tim Chilvers is the Senior Pastor at Riverside Church.
April 22, 2022
The Story of US | S1: I Am Not Me Without You

Teaching Series Introduction:

According to a study from University College London, nearly a quarter of us have experienced a complete breakdown in a significant relationship during the pandemic. Friendships have been stretched; families have been fractured; romances have struggled. Yes, over the last 2 years many of us know that our relationships have taken a serious hit.

This important teaching series is all about those relationships. Rooted in the biblical book of Proverbs, this is a chance to reflect, rebuild and refresh all our relationships in this post-pandemic world.

You may find it helpful to download and take our Relationships Healthcheck alongside this teaching series.

‘The crisis of Covid has distanced us from each other. We see anew how far apart we are. The result must be a new way to bring us together.’
(Jon Yates)

Session 1:
I AM NOT ME WITHOUT YOU

TEACHING SERIES: The Story of US
TITLE: Session 1: I am not me without you
BY: Tim Chilvers
DATE: 24 April 2022
PASSAGE: Proverbs (Chapter 27, verses 17) Read online and Romans (Chapter 12, verses 9-21) Read online

Listen Online: Podcast

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Watch Online: Church At Home

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Children’s & Youth Resources:

These resources will be used within the various groups in-person on a Sunday morning. This means that if you are unable to attend one of our Sunday Gatherings, you can still study and follow along with the same material at a time that is best for you. However you study, we encourage you to engage with your group as much as possible. If you would like to know about how you can get connected with our children’s or youth groups please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Youth Resources

This Weeks Youth Video:

Children’s Resources

This weeks Children’s Video:

Bible Study Questions:

There are three different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.

A. DISCUSSION STARTERS

These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):

 

1) Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?

 

2) Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?

 

3) RESPONSE QUESTION. As a result of the talk, what:

a. Changes do you want to see?

b. Truths do you need to remember?

c. Actions do you need to take?

B. QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE

These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:

 

1) During the pandemic, a lot of people have faced significant challenges in some of their close relationships. Why do you think that is?

2) Read Proverbs 27:17.  In a sense, this ancient proverb sets the scene for this teaching series. What do you think it means to ‘sharpen’ each other? Why are our relationships so crucial for this?

3) Read Romans 12:9-21. This passage outlines some key attitudes in our relationships. What surprises you, and what challenges you?

4) Notice that love is more than an emotion – it is an action. The word ‘sincere’ in v9 can mean ‘genuine’ or ‘without hypocrisy’. Most of us want to be loved, but it is sometimes harder to be loving. Why is that?

5) In a sense, loving someone is about helping them truly flourish. What do you think it would look like to ‘be devoted to one another in love’? (v10)

6) In v19-21, Paul talks about not taking revenge and returning evil with good. Why might doing this break an unhealthy pattern of ‘tit-for-tat’ conflict in our relationships? In what way has Jesus done that for us?

7) Take some time to pray. Ask God, at the start of this series, that he would transform your relationships and that you would be able to play your part in having genuinely life-giving relationships. Don’t forget, you may find it helpful to take the Relationships Healthcheck at the start of the series.

 

C. GOING DEEPER

These are questions to help you go a little deeper, by exploring the wider biblical context.

 

1) Alongside the obvious challenges of the pandemic, many people have also struggled in some of their most significant relationships. Why do you think that is?

2) Read Proverbs 27:17. This ancient proverb highlights the importance of significant relationships that help us grow – to become the people we were made to be. See also v9. What do you think it might mean to ‘sharpen’ one another?

3) Read Romans 12:9-21. This passage is all about the kind of relationships that are truly life-giving. There are a number of big themes about what loving relationships look like. One of those could be summarised as ‘being willing to take second place’ or ‘honouring one another above yourself’ (v10). What might that look like in your relationships? See also John 13:12-17.

4) Another big theme is about not taking revenge but repaying wrongdoing with good. Read Matthew 5:43-48. Are you able to give some examples of what that might look like in your close relationships? What might be the temptations,  pitfalls and challenges in this?

5) In Romans 12:20, Paul quotes from Proverbs 25:20-21. What do you think it might mean to ‘heap burning coals’ on their head? In what way might ‘leaving room for God’s wrath’ (v19) actually be good news?

6) In v14-15 we are encouraged to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Which do you find easier? Why?

7) Take some time to pray. Ask God, at the start of this series, that he would transform your relationships and that you would be able to play your part in having genuinely life-giving relationships. Don’t forget, you may find it helpful to take the Relationships Healthcheck at the start of the series.

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