Today we look at why Redemption is important. We ask:
- Who is God?
- Who are you?
- Who are the people around you?
These are issues of identity! There is no greater revelation of God given to mankind than the gift of Redemption.
SESSION 1 - GROUP VIDEO
Watch 10-20 minutes of a GROUP video teaching, that correlates with the full Workshop semester topics.
GROUP CONVERSATION GUIDE
- Who are you?
- Who is God?
- Who are the people sitting around you?
These questions address your IDENTITY!
How do YOU interpret the world around you? What if all of your interpretations are based in faslehoods, lies or deceptions?
- Does your OPINION of who you are really matter?
- Do your PHILOSOPHICAL ideas of identity matter?
- Do your EMOTIONAL ideas of identity matter?
REDEMPTION brings us right down to the very foundation of identity. REDEMPTION is the most authoritative lens of your true Self.
GOD LOVES RELATIONSHIP CONNECTIONS
JOHN 17:20-23 NKJV [Jesus prayed] "I do not pray for these (Apostles/Disciples) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be ONE, as You, Father, [are] in Me, and I in You; that they also may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be ONE just as We are ONE: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."
Jesus prayed for us to have a "Trinity" level intimacy. We are designed for intimacy. The answer to all maladaptive behavior is intimacy.
THE WAY WE SEE OURSELVES
- The Limbic Brian
- The Heart
MARK 12:29-31 NKJV Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments [is]: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This [is] the first commandment. 31 "And the second, like [it, is] this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
- LOVE GOD
- LOVE SELF
- LOVE NEIGHBOR
The way you interpret the meaning of God will impact the way you interpret Self. The way you interpret Self will impact the way you interpret others. The way you interpret others will impact your sense of meaning in the world.
WHO IS GOD? IS GOD A BIG PURPLE DINOSAUR?
Often, in pursuit of our own sense of meaning, we fabricate a God who fits our image. Many people live their whole lives believing things about God that just aren't true. These misbeliefs can be toxic to a life of intimacy. These misbeliefs can generate a torrent of fear-based energy in our lives.
WHO ARE YOU?
Sometimes we look at our own giftings and assume that we are exceptional. Within hours we can re-evaluate ourselves, contrasted to our friends highlight reels from social media, and assume we are way below average. We also have influencers - parents, siblings, coaches, teachers, etc - that have projected their opinions of us onto our lens. This construct is how we are viewing ourselves. It is emotional. It is scary. But do we stop to ask if it is true?
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN THE ROOM?
We long for intimacy, to fit in, to belong. That is what we were designed to experience. When we see people in this room, and maybe didn't get an emotional response from them, we can assume they are rejecting us. The fear of rejection can be the beginning of a tail spin in every area of our identity. But is our interpretation of the people around us actually true? Do we ever stop to ask, "What is real and accurate about how I see myself?"
REDEMPTION IS ABOUT LOOKING AT FACTS
An understanding of Redemption takes the mystery and opinion out of our interpretations of Self and all human suffering. In Redemption we begin to understand the nature and character of God. Redemption provides a secure attachment to God, even when we don't have all our questions answered. Redemption is the greatest light of truth we have access to.
- PROMISES - A projection of what God might do in the future of our lives.
- FACT - Something that has already been accomplished, or established.
Redemption is what Christ already accomplished. So when we talk about the "promises" of God, in the New Testament, we aren't talking about a projection of what God's will might be; we are talking about what God's will has eternally be established as. This takes probabilities away, and leaves us with absolutes.
MALACHI 3:6 NKJV For I [am] the LORD, I do not change;
HEBREWS 13:8 NKJV Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The absolutes in God are what our interpretations are to be based on. We are to live from God's nature.
BRAIN DAMAGED FROM A PUNITIVE INTERPRETATION OF GOD
Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman, neuroscientist from the Ivey League University of Pennsylvania, studied the cognitive health of people seeking after God. Their findings are that when a person sees God as an Authoritative, Critical, or Distant God (all these express a Punitive God), it actually damages the brain. (See Book Here).
Redemption is the key to "crack the code" of difficult texts; texts that leave God seeming to be harshly punitive to some people.
85%+ ADVANTAGE TO INTERPRET ANYTHING IN THE WORLD
If you understand these four core competencies that our Group topics cover, you will interpret suffering and relationships with an excess of 85% accuracy.
- Science of Freedom (Human Behavior)
- Spiritual Authority
- The Holy Spirit
THE POWER OF PROGRESSIVE REVELATION
Redemption allows us to take the greatest light, the greatest insight of understanding, and shine it on the conflicting scenarios throughout the Bible. Many people take Biblical texts that are a bit obscure, using it as the greatest revelation of truth, and shine it on the entire Redemptive Gospel. Unfortunately, when we do this, it creates spiritual dysfunction. Our greatest revelation of God is Jesus Christ, and what He did at the Cross and Resurrection. We know God absolutely through Jesus. We don't judge Jesus by our mis-interpretations of an Old Testament story.
Progressive Revelation means we have a growing body of knowledge from Genesis, to the last book of the Bible, Revelation. Progressive Revelation means there are no conflicts between the first mentions of things, and now the revelation of Jesus. Progressive Revelation just means that when we have a clearer understanding of who God is in Redemption we will assess the conflicts in our interpretations of Old Testament stories.
REDEMPTION is the greatest revelation of God that has been given to us!
GOD IS BENEVOLENT
God loves you. God likes you. God is in a good mood towards you!
"How can this be? Even in the moment of my sin?"
Yes! God's emotions are highly complex compared to our human emotions. God's emotions are proactive, based in His ability to perfectly know everything in the past, present and the future. At the moment of your sinful action is not when God finds out about the action. If God reacts to our sin, then He becomes contingent. For God to be reactive, means that God can't be immutable or Self-existent. These are issues of God's very nature.
God moves with compassion because His love surges from His nature, not in reaction to your sin. Inherent within sin is a cycle of death and destruction. God doesn't have to reactively judge our sin, as He has put the judgment in the broken laws that we choose.
EXPERIENCE SHOULD NEVER BE YOUR GREATEST REVELATION OF GOD!
Many people use their moment to moment experiences in life to interpret God's will towards them. This is a futile approach to God. Never elevate your experiences of unanswered prayer, or even tragedy, to the level of divine revelation given to us by Redemption.
GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Take a few moments to discuss your answers to these questions with the Group.
What is one of the most exciting things happening in your life right now? Why does it excite you?
MY MEMOIR STORIES
IMPORTANT: If the Group would like to continue telling one Memoir Story per week until they are completed, that might allow for a more congruent transition. Please be sensitive to the Science of Freedom content and discussion. It is important that our people are exposed to the possibilities in their potential that this content will provide. Please take no more than 20-25 minutes for the Memoir to leave time for the rest of the content below.
MEMOIR: PREPARING TO TELL MY STORY (Scope Timeline) worksheet to help you think through your story. You can download the SCOPE TIMELINE WORKSHEET at the link. There is a longer version of the worksheet, that gives an extra step to dig deeper into your story, which can be downloaded at LONG VERSION WORKSHEET (RECOMMENDED). You can also watch the WRAP UP video from last week that explains how to use the worksheet. Each person's Memoir should be 10-15 minutes long.
- What was your childhood view of God? Was He authoritarian (dominated everything in your life)? Was He critical (always finding fault with you)? Was He distant? Was He benevolent (kind and compassionate)?
- What influenced your primary beliefs about God? Parents, church, friends, experiences of suffering or blessings, Etc.? Share the markers that impacted your beliefs about God?
- Did you ever have a "suffering" experience (the death of a loved one, oppressive poverty, witnessing abuse, etc.) that caused you to form God into a particular image? What was that experience like and why do you think you developed your own interpretation of God?
- After watching Session 1's Video, what are you most excited about for this Semester?
SESSION 1 - WRAP UP
This is a 5-10 minute section for MOVING FORWARD, GOING DEEPER, use of worksheets and periodic church-wide announcements.
Receive the challenge to “move forward” by applying what was learned this week.
- IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY, PREPARE TO TELL YOUR STORY, your MEMOIR, to the rest of us over the next few weeks. Use the MY MEMOIR: PREPARING TO TELL MY STORY (Scope Timeline) worksheet to help you think through your story. You can download the SCOPE TIMELINE WORKSHEET. There is a longer version of the worksheet, that gives an extra step to dig deeper into your story, which can be downloaded at LONG VERSION WORKSHEET (RECOMMENDED).
- PRAY FOR GROUP MEMBER - Pray for at least one person in the Group. Try to identify someone who hasn't been prayed for, or given an encouraging Scripture. Don't worry about feeling inadequate as a prayer. No one feels like they are professional prayers, at least not when they look into eyes of the Almighty God. Praying the Scriptures over people is the best way to learn how to pray effectively. Simply find a Scripture, put the person's name in the text, and pray those words out loud. Then ask the Lord to help you think of things to say to Him about them that would help their lives.
- ASK FOR A SCRIPTURE WORD - Ask God to give you a Scripture to give them to encourage, comfort and edify them. You can Google search "God's Promises" and find a plethora of appropriate texts. Look for one that seems to give you a spark of energy as you think about the person you have been praying for.
- DELIVER THE WORD TO THEM - Then send them an email, text or phone call to encourage them. This is how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. As you practice these movements you will expand your own capacity with God, all while giving people much needed hope and strength.
Encouragement to engage the FULL WORKSHOP SEMESTER experience. While this is not required, nor is the Group discussions connected to the full workshop, it is an option for everyone.
PRAYER / DISMISS GROUP
Prayer time with the Group.