Today's passage continues the theme this week of defining what being a Christian truly means. Some, like me, may have come to an initial saving knowledge of God through a desire to live with Him forever an not experience hell. While there is powerful truth to this, God wants us to know there is so much more to our identity in Christ as new creations born of the Spirit. Let the word of God our Father draw you closer to Himself, and to your fellow brothers and sisters of Christ Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The following guide is a resource for your personal time of abiding with the Lord and for your Community Group when you meet. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
VISION + STORIES
Take time to be reminded of our shared vision- We are abiding in Christ that we might experience Gospel Transformation in our homes, neighborhoods, work places and city.
+ Ask… What are you/we thankful to the Lord for? (e.g., how is he working in our community group or the lives of someone we are walking with to discover the gospel?)
+ What is one need in this circle/our Community Group and how can we meet it together?
SING + PRAY
Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER [ Romans 8:12-17 ] In Large group
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
+ What is the difference between those born only of the flesh and those who have been born again in the Spirit? [v12-14]
+ What does the Spirit do for us? [v13-15]
+ As ones born of the Spirit, what is our relation to God the Father? [v15]
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
+ What does the Spirit do for us in v16?
+ What is our relation to Christ Jesus? [v17]
+ As adopted siblings and joint heirs with Jesus, what does v17 prophesy is in our future?
PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time? (Below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ Where have you not acted as one born of Divinity, and instead slipped back into acting as though you were still a slave to flesh and fear? Recapture your identity as a child of God by confessing this sin, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the forgiveness made possible through Jesus death and resurrection.
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., spend time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
+ Who can you help to better understand their own identity in Christ?
+ Who else in your life is the Spirit calling to? How will you share this message of hope with them?