Discussion Guide: For the Love Week 3

Ice Breaker

One of the things we value within community is fun. In the midst of all the pressures life throws at us, it is our ability to laugh, play and celebrate together that reminds us we serve a good, loving, and resurrected Lord who stands above it all. So, we want to take the first few minutes of our time together to play, have fun, and celebrate the fact that we belong to Jesus.

Today’s Ice Breaker: Stick the Landing

This exciting challenge is perfect for a head to head match and requires very little to play: just a water bottle and a table or solid surface. The point is to toss the bottle until you’re able to make it land right-side up. It sounds easy but it’s harder than you think! We love the simplicity of this one and the fact that it combines the demand for speed with a need for good aim and skill.

What You Will Need:

  • A couple of water bottles (half full works best)

How to Play:

  • When the you say, “Go!”, each player tosses the bottle in an attempt to get it to land right-side up on the table. The player to land it first wins. Another option is to set the clock for 60 seconds and the player who can land their bottle the most times in that minute wins.

Today’s Discussion

This week we continue our series that will take us into the Fall titled For the Love. We will be walking through the Gospel of John and seeing God’s love as revealed through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ. We will see that love may not always look and feel the way we think it should, but that if we will allow God’s love to reveal itself to us then our lives will never be the same. 

Discussion Questions

Mohatma Gandhi

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Why do you think that is a popular sentiment in the world today?

Preguntas en Español

Mohatma Gandhi

“Me gusta tu Cristo, no me gustan tus cristianos. Tus cristianos son tan diferentes a tu Cristo.”

¿Por qué crees que es un sentimiento popular en el mundo de hoy?

John 3:1-6 (ESV)

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

What would you say it means to be “born again?”

Preguntas en Español

Juan 3:1-6

Había un hombre de los Fariseos, llamado Nicodemo, prominente (principal) entre los Judíos. Este vino a Jesús de noche y Le dijo: “Rabí, sabemos que has venido de Dios comomaestro, porque nadie puede hacer las señales (los milagros) que Tú haces si Dios no está con él.” Jesús le contestó: “En verdad te digo que el que no nace de nuevo no puede ver el reino de Dios.” Nicodemo Le dijo: “¿Cómo puede un hombre nacer siendo yaviejo? ¿Acaso puede entrar por segunda vez en el vientre de su madre y nacer?” Jesús respondió: “En verdad te digo que el que no nace de agua y del Espíritu no puede entrar en el reino de Dios. Lo que es nacido de la carne, carne es, y lo que es nacido del Espíritu, espíritu es

¿Qué dirías que significa ser “renacido”?

Leader Notes

When approached by Nicodemus, a man who had come seeking for answers to Jesus’ true identity, Jesus responds not by telling him what he needs to do in response to who Jesus is, but rather with what needs to be done to Nicodemus. Jesus says if a person is not born again he cannot even see God’s Kingdom, inferring that Nicodemus will never understand who Jesus is as King if he doesn’t first see the Kingdom, and he will never see the Kingdom unless there is a new birthing process that takes place in his life. So, what does it mean to be “born again?” Well, lets ask ourselves what it means to be born the first time. Jesus deliberately used birth as the analogy here so let’s see why.

When you are born it is the result the labor and sacrifice of another who gives you life. You receive your DNA, or your essential makeup, from that person. You become part of a family that was not of your choosing. As part of that family you receive an identity that, over the course of your life, you continually are growing into.

The same is true about being born again. But let’s work it backwards this time. When you are born again you receive a new identity that you grow into over the rest of your life. That new identity is a child of God, a new creation being, a minister of reconciliation, that means you are part of a new family. Again, a family you didn’t choose, but a family nonetheless. A family of believers who are also children of God. You are not joined to a religious organization or a social club or a Sunday morning event. You are born into a spiritual family whom God expects to treat one another as brothers and sisters with the same Father. You become part of that family because you have the same DNA now. You have been given a new essential makeup. You have been given new desires, new appetites, a new heart. You have been transformed. And that transformation, that new DNA is the result of the fact that you have been brought forth by the labor, love, and sacrifice of another, namely Jesus. Through His life, death, and resurrection Jesus has purchased the forgiveness of your sins and reconciled you back to the God in whose image you are made, and the by the power of the Holy Spirit your heart has been regenerated and made new.

In short, to be born again means that through Jesus’ labor your old creation, broken life has been resurrected as a new creation existence as a child of the King living in His Kingdom.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

Cuando se le acercó Nicodemo, un hombre que había venido en busca de respuestas a la verdadera identidad de Jesús, Jesús responde no diciéndole lo que tiene que hacer en respuesta a quién es Jesús, sino más bien con lo que debe hacerse a Nicodemo. Jesús dice que si una persona no nace de nuevo, ni siquiera puede ver el Reino de Dios, infiriendo que Nicodemo nunca entenderá quién es Jesús como Rey si no ve primero el Reino, y nunca verá el Reino a menos que haya un nuevo nacimiento. proceso que tiene lugar en su vida. Entonces, ¿qué significa ser “nacido de nuevo?” Pues, nos preguntamos qué significa nacer la primera vez. Jesús usó deliberadamente el nacimiento como la analogía. Veamos por qué.

Cuando naces, es el resultado del trabajo y el sacrificio de otro que te da vida. Usted recibe su ADN, o su carácter esencial, de esa persona. Usted se convierte en parte de una familia que no fue de su elección. Como parte de esa familia, usted recibe una identidad que, durante su vida, está creciendo continuamente.

Lo mismo es cierto acerca de nacer de nuevo. Pero trabajamos al revés esta vez. Cuando renaces, recibes una nueva identidad en la que creces durante el resto de tu vida. Esa nueva identidad es un/a hijo/a de Dios, una persona de nueva creación, un/a ministro/a de reconciliación, eso significa que usted es parte de una nueva familia. Una vez más, una familia que no eligió, pero sin embargo, una familia. Una familia de creyentes que también son hijos y hijas de Dios. No estás asociado a una organización religiosa o un club social o un evento de domingo por la mañana. Has nacido en una familia espiritual a quien Dios espera tratarse unos a otros como hermanos y hermanas con el mismo Padre. Te conviertes en parte de esa familia porque ahora tienes el mismo ADN. Le han dado un nuevo carácter esencial. Te han dado nuevos deseos, nuevos apetitos, un nuevo corazón. Has sido transformado. Esa transformación, ese nuevo ADN, es el resultado del hecho de que has sido partido por el trabajo, el amor y el sacrificio de otro, es decir, Jesús. A través de su vida, muerte y resurrección, Jesús ha comprado el perdón de tus pecados y te ha reconciliado con el Dios a cuya imagen has sido creado, y por el poder del Espíritu Santo tu corazón ha sido regenerado y hecho nuevo.

En resumen, nacer de nuevo significa que a través del trabajo de Jesús su antigua creación, la vida rota ha sido resucitada como una nueva existencia de creación como un/ hijo/a del Rey que vive en Su Reino.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (KNT)

17 Thus, if anyone is in the Messiah, there is a new creation! Old things have gone, and look—everything has become new! 18 It all comes from God. He reconciled us to himself through the Messiah, and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 This is how it came about: God was reconciling the world to himself in the Messiah, not counting their transgressions against them, and entrusting us with the message of reconciliation.

What would you say it means to be “reconciled?”

Preguntas en Español

2 Corintios 5:17-19

De modo que si alguno está en Cristo, nueva criatura (nueva creación) es ; las cosas viejas pasaron, ahora han sido hechas nuevas. Y todo esto procede de Dios, quien nos reconcilió con El mismo por medio de Cristo, y nos dio el ministerio de la reconciliación; es decir, que Dios estaba en Cristo reconciliando al mundo con El mismo, no tomando en cuenta a los hombres sus transgresiones, y nos ha encomendado a nosotros la palabra de la reconciliación.

¿Qué dirías que significa ser “reconciliado”?

Leader Notes

The Bible uses multiple words, all of which carry a similar yet uniquely different connotation regarding what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Some of those words are salvation, saved, reconciled, redeemed, renewed, born again, etc. Again, each word unique, and yet similar.

The common concept among them all is the idea that something that was designed for a purpose has been lost and damaged and no longer able to fulfill that purpose and was in need of being found, or retrieved, for the purpose of being mended and healed and made new so that it could once again be put back into service in accordance with it’s original design.

To be reconciled means to be put back into relationship with, it means to be made congruous with another or put back into harmony with. Again it carries with it the idea of being disjointed and then being reconnected.

Restored, redeemed (to regain possession of something in exchange for payment.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

La Biblia usa varias palabras, todas las cuales tienen una connotación similar pero singularmente diferente con respecto a lo que Jesús logró en la cruz. Algunas de esas palabras son salvación, salvado, reconciliado, redimido, renovado, renacido o nacido de nuevo, etc. Cada palabra es única, y sin embargo similar.

El concepto común entre todos ellos es la idea de que algo que fue diseñado para un propósito se ha perdido y dañado y que ya no es capaz de cumplir ese propósito y que necesitaba ser encontrado, o recuperado, con el propósito de ser reparado y curado y hecho nuevo para que pueda volver a ponerse en servicio de acuerdo con su diseño original.

Reconciliarse significa volver a relacionarse, significa ser congruente con otro o ponerse de nuevo en armonía. Lleva consigo la idea de estar desarticulado y luego reconectado.

Restaurado, redimido (recuperar la posesión de algo por un pago).

What would you say it means to be “New Creation?”

Preguntas en Español

¿Qué dirías que significa ser “una creación nueva”?

Leader Notes

To be new creation means to be put back into God’s original design. In Genesis human beings were meant to live at peace with God and one another, stewarding and ruling over creation as an accurate representation, or reflection, of the God in Whose image we are made, shining His wise, loving, righteous rule out into the world and summing up the praises of creation as a reflection back to God. This means creation was originally designed to be at peace with itself, to be full of love and care and humility and deference and unity. When Adam and Eve decided to eat the fruit from that tree they, is essence, were saying we do not want to reflect the glory of God out into the world, we want to reflect our own glory, we want creation to serve us rather than God. Of course that fractured God’s design and ever since creation has operated like a broken mirror or a scratched record. Pride, lust, envy, strife, murder, abuse, injustice, war, etc.

New Creation is the Bible’s way of saying God is putting things back together again. In a sense He is renovating the house, tearing down and dismantling what is broken and rotten and unusable for His design and in its place putting in new stuff that fits the design. For us to be a new creation means God has done that work in us. He has removed the pride, fear, insecurity, lust, etc. from our hearts and through the unconditional love of Christ and the power of the Holy Sprit He has given us a new hear and a new identity as new creation people.

God has put us back together so that through us He can put creation back together. Being a new creation person means you are part of that putting back project.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

Notas en Español

Martin Luther King, Jr. – A Testament of Hope

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

What is the only motivation we can live from if we want to be true ministers of reconciliation and see change occur in the lives of others?

Preguntas en Español

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“La oscuridad no puede expulsar a la oscuridad: solo la luz puede hacer eso. El odio no puede expulsar al odio: solo el amor puede hacer eso “.

¿Cuál es la única motivación de la que podemos vivir si queremos ser verdaderos ministros de reconciliación y ver el cambio en las vidas de los demás?

Leader Notes

Unconditional love is the only force powerful enough to enable us to be new creation people, to be ministers of reconciliation. If God is love, and He created all things out of, and for, that love, and if we are made in the image and likeness of this God who is Love, then that means creation and humanity are meant to function on unconditional love. This is what the serpent attacked in the Garden of Eden. He got Adam and Eve to doubt God’s love for them which lead to the selfish choice to eat the fruit and once selfishness was introduced fear and insecurity replaced peace and security. Self-preservation replaced loving sacrifice. All sin and idolatry can be rooted back to that reality. We lie, cheat, steal, murder, envy, etc. because we are trying to prove our worth and significance. We are trying to bring our own security from the opinions and perspectives of others and/or ourselves. As long as we have doubt regarding our worth or “loveability” then we guard ourselves, we hold things tight to the chest, we look to take rather than to give.

But, once we can stand secure in the endless supply of Jesus’ unconditional love for us then we don’t need anyone or anything else to make us feel worthy enough. And, the moment we don’t need that from others then we can truly love them unconditionally and be part of the healing and transformation process that takes place in their hearts as they experience that same kind of Kingdom love.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

Notas en Español

Why is keeping that motivation at the core of who we are and what we do so difficult to do at times?

Preguntas en Español

¿Por qué mantener esa motivación en el centro de lo que somos y lo que hacemos es tan difícil de hacer a veces?

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

What is the only way for us to receive the source of unconditional love from which we can live this way? Explain.

What should that unconditional love for others look like in your own relationships and spheres of influence?

Preguntas en Español

Juan 3:16-17

“Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que dio a Su Hijo unigénito (único), para que todo aquél que cree en El, no se pierda, sino que tenga vida eterna. 17Porque Dios no envió a Su Hijo al mundo para juzgar al mundo, sino para que el mundo sea salvo por El. 

Donde es al unico lugar donde podemos recibir la fuente de amor incondicional?

Closing Thought

In light of all of this, why do you think God puts us in community with one another?

Preguntas en Español

Pensamiento Final

A la luz de todo esto, ¿por qué crees que Dios nos pone en comunidad el uno con el otro?



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