Sermon Notes

The Sacred Overlap
“Living as Jesus’ disciples while waiting for Jesus’ return”
1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

Why study 1 Thessalonians?

  1. We are in the same situation as a church
    • We are a gathering of disciples
    • We are called to make disciples
    • We face challenges to our discipleship
  2. We live in the same tension
    • We are “in the world
    • We are “in Christ
    • We live in “the sacred overlap
      • In the world and in Christ
      • Kingdoms of this world and kingdom of God
      • Christ has come and Christ is coming
  3. We have the same questions
    • When is Jesus coming back?
    • What do we do in the meantime?
    • How do we live?
  4. We need the same encouragement
    • Let faith shape what you do
    • Let love guide how you live
    • Let hope inspire you to endure

LifeGroup Questions

  1. Icebreaker: What would you want to hear about in a future installment of the “I Wonder” sermon series?
    (Feel free to send suggestions to
  2. Which of the challenges to discipleship (discouragement, persecution/pressure, sexual immorality, idleness/laziness) have you noticed in the church of Lorain County?
    Which have impacted you personally?
  3. How might our lives be different if we lived as though the church is a gathering of disciples rather than a building, a club, or merely an organization?
  4. When do the spheres of your life (being in Christ and being in the world) feel the most separate?
    What creates that feeling of separation?
  5. How do you tend to respond to the tension that challenges introduce?
    Do you…
    1. Get quiet
    2. Get relevant
    3. Get away
    4. Give in
    5. Other…?
  6. Read Matthew 5:14-16 and Matthew 6:1-4, both sections from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
    In your own life, how do you know when to “let your light shine” and when to “practice your righteousness in secret”?
  7. Is what you do shaped more by your faith, or more by the influence of the world?
    How can you tell?

Paul knew that the Thessalonians needed encouragement—and so do many of us! As you end your time, consider affirming the ways you see one another becoming more like Christ!
You can even use the CHRIST acronym as a guide (ie., “I see Christ in you in the way that you’ve grown in your Connection with God”).