Advent – Week 1 Study Guide

By December 1, 2019 Small Group Study Guide

THEME FOR 2019 

Answers: What God has said about important life questions

Advent Week One

Immanuel, God with Us: Hope

OPENER

Ask your group what they know about the advent season. Have them share any memories or thoughts.

What are things that can keep us from fully engaging the advent season?

Note: The word advent means “arrival or coming into place.”

The advent season is traditionally a time when Christians remember and celebrate Christ’s first coming and, at the same time, look forward with anticipation to His second coming.

Advent is a season of joy and hope for the believer!

OBJECTIVE

Our objective today is to understand that the Advent Season is about a living hope that looks back to Jesus and looks forward to His return.

STUDY:

Have your group read the passages below.

Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign:
See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this. 

Galatians 4:4-5
“When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”

Matthew 1:22-23
22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

Psalm 42:5
Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.

Questions:

How is biblical hope different from the word hope used today?
Why is it important that we understand the difference?

Remember: Biblical hope is not wishful thinking… it’s a settled expectation that God will come through on His promises. It’s trusting in God’s Wisdom and Character.

Think back to the verses we just read and identify reasons for our hope. Discuss how they give you hope today.

How does knowing that we live in a world where hope is alive—a confident expectation that God will do what he has promised—give you hope? Have group members share their thoughts.

Why is it important to understand that hoping in God doesn’t come naturally to broken people like us,
and that hope is something for which we must to work?

Note: Read Psalm 42:5—“preach to yourself.”

How can we encourage one another to keep on, keeping on—in HOPE!

  • Have group members share how people can encourage them individually to live with hope.
  • This would be a good time to speak words of affirmation to each other. As you do, look back to the passages above, let them inspire your thoughts.

This is how we live as the people of advent, people grounded and rooted in a biblical hope! May we be known as a people of hope who look back to Jesus and forward to His return.

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