Believe the Good News

October 15, 2023

Series: Simple Faith

Audio Download

What is the Christian Faith really about?  Put simply… Jesus.  We tend to make it complicated.  We find Jesus and then we start adding things on – cultural traditions, politics, personal preferences – and by the time we are done, we might be following a different Jesus! This complicated faith is not only spiritually exhausting, but it makes it harder to get along with other people. In this first message of our Simple Faith series, we look at the basic message of the Christian Faith, what’s called the Gospel and start the process of removing the religious “add-ons” that we’ve collected along the way.

Group Discussion Guide

To see the Leader Guide for this week, click here.

To see a .pdf of the discussion guide, click here.


Last week we discussed commitment to God and how we can make the effort to stay connected to him. Spend a few minutes discussing how your group put their personal action steps from last week into practice. 

After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.  

Key Verse for the Week 

*Read this verse, then encourage the practice of memorization through the week. 

Romans 12:2 

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” 

**When practiced consistently, memorizing Bible verses can be an important spiritual practice that centers your mind around the truth that God has given us. 

Opening Thought  

Often, when people talk about what is necessary for faith in Jesus, it can be visualized as a three-ring target or a bullseye: The beliefs we can discuss without it affecting our faith are in the outside ring, the beliefs we should defend and have serious discussions about because they are important live in the second ring, and the most core foundational beliefs we should die for find themselves in the center ring. When we think about how to live a life for Jesus, it can be easy to listen to many different sources: people, traditions, music, popular culture, etc. Most of these sources fall into the outer ring of the bullseye, and while they are not bad things to think through, they can make our thoughts convoluted sometimes when we’re trying to pinpoint how to follow God best. Jesus didn’t really pay attention to these outer circle beliefs when it came to people’s faith. His words implied a much humbler kind of life and faith: believe in Jesus and follow him.  

This leads us to our Big Idea for the eek:  

*Big Idea for the Week*
We can follow Jesus best by holding strongly to a simple faith. 


  • What are some simple aspects of your life that you find yourself making more complicated?  
  • Which customs or traditions did you grow up with that became too important? What about in your faith? 
  • What do you think are necessary elements you need to prioritize to make sure you follow Jesus? 


Go around your group and have someone read each of the following verses, then discuss the connected questions. 


Galatians 1:1-12 


In this section, the Apostle Paul is addressing the churches in the region of Galatia (Modern-Day Turkey) because he has heard they are listening to a different teaching than he taught them about the good news of Jesus.  

  • Why do you think Paul is upset about this? Why is it important to pay attention to the original source of information?  
  • How can it be helpful to listen to other people’s perspectives on faith? When can this become negative? 


During Pastor Jason’s message on Sunday, he described how sometimes we like to place
“add-ons” to our faith in Jesus–meaning we make aspects of faith important which are not actually part of what Jesus taught.  

  • How do you measure what is an add-on versus what is essential in your faith?
    • Why do you think we make these add-ons in our faith? How can this be harmful to our faith and to those we share our faith with? 
  • What aspects of your faith have you complicated by adding on to them?  


John 14:23-27 


  • How can we rely on the Holy Spirit to remember the teachings of Jesus? 
  • Why is holding strong to the simple faith in Jesus and his teachings the most crucial aspect of a relationship with God? 


Based on the verses we just read, there are some things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these questions as a group to decide what your personal action steps for the week can be: 

  • What is one unnecessary belief you have about following Jesus that you need to change this week? What step can take this week towards making this happen? 
  • Sometimes our disagreements with someone concerning faith and/or our lives are mainly due to a non-essential belief. How can you work towards unity with someone you disagree with over the course of the week by focusing on the essential aspects of your faith?
  • How can we as a group work together to hold ourselves accountable to growing together in the essentials of our faith? Have everyone make an action step, write it down and talk about it next week. 


Read this with the group and then move to the Prayer and Verses section: 

Complicating how we live out our faith only makes this confusing. Jesus called us to live a life with him and follow his teachings, leading us to have a simple kind of faith. We don’t need the add-ons or other aspects of what the world tries to make it out to be, we just need Jesus. This doesn’t mean we should be at odds with those around us though. In fact, it is good to work on being unified with those who believe a little differently than us in the non-essential aspects of faith; as long as we believe in the essentials then we are working together towards the same goal of spreading the good news about who Jesus is and what he taught.  

Prayer and Verses 

Ask for prayer requests and conclude your time with prayer then share the Key Verse for the Week and Daily Devotional Verses with the group. 

Daily Devotional Verses  

Use the S.O.A.K. method to reflect on the verses below. 

Scripture: Read the verses several times. Reading out loud can be helpful as well. 
Observation: What can you see about the scripture you read? 
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do, or feel, based on what you have read? 
Kneel in Prayer: This is a chance to talk to God about what you have read and ask him for help in living out what you’ve learned. 

Day 1: Galatians 1:1-2:10 

Day 2: John 6:35 

Day 3: 1 John 5:5 

Day 4: Romans 14:1 

Day 5: Ephesians 3:16-17 

Day 6: Hebrews 10:23 

Key Verse for the Week 

Romans 12:2 

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”