Sermon Questions - Proverbs 18:1

By Pastor Brady Wolcott

As we wrap up our summer series on Wisdom, we want to understand what it means to be a spiritual friend.

To start your group, have everyone share something that God is doing in your life this past week.

3 Simple Questions for Small Groups:

1. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to convict you?

2. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to encourage you?

3. What is one thing you will do this week in response to the sermon?

Going Deeper with your group:

Read these Proverbs:

18:24. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

17:9. Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

27:5-6. Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

27:9. Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

27:17. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

20:5. The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

A. Jesus is our ultimate friend.

1. Think through the Proverbs above. In what ways have you failed to be the kind of friend that these proverbs describe?

2. Think about your own experience with spiritual friendship? Have you given up on spiritual friendship because you have been let down in the past?

3. Read this passage from Paul Tripp:

“You see, if God is not in his rightful place in my heart and life, guess who I insert in his place? The answer of course is me. I make my relationships all about me. Rather than love for God shaping my relationships and motivating me to say and do the things I do, love of self drives me. Rather than being a patient servant in those relationships, I live in them as a demanding king. And because God is not at the center of my thoughts and desires, I expect from people what only God can deliver. This always leads to disappointment in my relationships. So I pray herder and work harder to make those relationships what they will never be. I look to Jesus for help, but what I am actually asking God to do is replace himself with other messiahs in my life- messiahs I can see, hear and touch. This is the source of much relational dysfunction in our lives.”

How does what he is saying relate to your relationships? Have you seen yourself trying to use other people to be what only God through Christ can be?

4. How does Jesus fulfill the proverbs above about friendship? How is he the ultimate friend? Go back over each proverb and meditate on how Jesus IS that kind of friend for you.

5. When Jesus liberates our hearts from the guilt we carry from not being a great friend, and when he fills the longing in our hearts for friendship, now we can think about how we can be great spiritual friends. Go back over the proverbs one more time and think through some specific ways you can be a great spiritual friend to others.

B. The necessity of spiritual friendship.

18:1. Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

27:17. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Hebrews 10:24-25. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

6. Read Proverbs 18:1. In what ways have you isolated yourself? Just because you are in a small group doesn’t mean you are not still isolating yourself- are you being open and vulnerable with your group?

7. Read Proverbs 27:17. Does you small group sharpen one another? In order for this to happen, there must first be something you have in common (both iron) – for us that is Christ. Second there must be some challenges or conflicts (the clashing of the iron). In other words you should be able to challenge each other’s thinking in your small group without getting upset. Christ keeps us united so that we don’t have to become defensive. Is this happening in your group? Why or why not?

8. Read Hebrews 10:24-25. How can your small group be more intentional about stirring each other up to love and good works? Think through some of the specific life trials that are being faced by group members. How can you stir up love and good works even in these hard trials?

For example: If a group member is facing a tough relationship with their spouse, how can they specifically love and do good for their spouse? How can the group be an encouragement in this?

Listen to Sunday's Sermon:

Listen to Sunday's Sermon: