(Message 1) How good are you? We all have our own “code of conduct” or a personal standard of what we think is right and wrong. It’s also true that we don’t always live up to our own standards. So, what is God’s standard and how do I meet it? #GCRescueStory
“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
John 3:1-6 NIV
There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi”, he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.”
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
Can you relate to any of the people who shared their rescue story in the video on Sunday?
Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
Do most religions teach salvation through being a good person or faith in a person? Do most Christian churches teach salvation through being a good person or faith in Jesus? What did you grow up believing?
If you stood before the gates of heaven and God were to ask you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” What would be your response today?
Read John 3:1-6. What was Nicodemus’ purpose in coming to Jesus? What does the phrase, “you must be born again”, mean to you? Has that happened to you? Why was Nicodemus so troubled by it?
Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
Answer whatever question applies to your life and upbringing:
If you are born again but grow up in a church that did not teach salvation, then what were some of the rituals or traditions you believed got you to Heaven if followed (attending Sunday School and church, saying specific prayers, etc.)?
If you are born again but grew up in a church that did teach salvation, then what are some of the things that impacted you the most?
If you didn’t grow up in church what were your views of church and people who went to church?
Troy listed 3 reasons for rejecting God’s gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. How might understanding those 3 reasons influence your witnessing relationships with those who are not saved?
Share some of the most interesting responses you have received when telling others you are born again.
Do you hesitate to tell others about your salvation? Why?
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
Think of one person you know needs a relationship with Jesus. Commit to sharing your faith with this person.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Father, thank you that we have You in our lives and that we aren’t held down with the doing of religious things to gain your approval. Help us to live in the freedom of our salvation in you. Also, help us to share what you have done in our lives with others who need to know you. In Jesus’ name – Amen.