(This article can also we found on our website
at http://www.bethelkingston.com under the tab called "Blog")
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
This past Sunday I interviewed Kent Bandy on the issue of how God transforms us. In Romans 12:1, 2 Paul says…
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Then in Galatians 4:19-20, he says….
“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!”
Take some time in your group to discuss the following questions.
- What or who has God used to bring transformation in your life?
- What, in your opinion, is the main issue why people get stuck in being transformed?
- If you were to run into someone you hadn’t seen in 10 years, what might they note about your own personal transformation? (We are not talking about weight gain or hair loss, but being transformed into the likeness of Christ) What might they note as being your area of greatest growth? Would they note any areas where you had gone backwards?
On Sunday we talked about how there can be spiritual issues pushing back on our transformation process. Note in the following texts how we are to relate to the Holy Spirit - John 14:16-17, Acts 1:8, 2 Cor. 13:14, Galatians 5:25.
However, as we seek to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, scripture makes it clear that there is an “unholy spirit” (Kingdom of Darkness) that wars against what God wants to do in our lives. Thus Paul’s warning (Eph. 4:26-28)…
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.(a place to stand) He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Note God’s words to Cain in Genesis 4:7” If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
One text I think of regarding this issue is the Lord’s Prayer. When Jesus asked us to pray for the Kingdom of God to come, He fully realized that His Kingdom would not be coming into a vacuum, but into a context where the enemy was and is at work (Eph. 6:10-20).
Take some time to discuss the following:
- If you were there on Sunday, what did Kent say that you would agree with regarding this issue? How about disagree?
- If you grew up in a church was it open or closed to this kind of discussion, and why? Have you seen much abuse or neglect in this area?
Comment on the red flags we raised on Sunday:
- Extreme emotionalism, abuse (theatrics, flaky and freaky)
- Always or never – there’s always a demon to blame / there’s never a demon to blame.
- The challenges of sensing - jumping to conclusions
- What might you add?
Here was my final word on the issue… what would be yours?
We need to have a healthy respect for the spiritual realm in which life unfolds. We need to be biblically rooted, accountable in community and sensitive to context. (2 Tim 3:15, 16)
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org