Arrival, sharing life, munching snacks.
SESSION 1 - GROUP VIDEO
Watch 10-20 minutes of a GROUP video teaching, that correlates with the full Workshop semester topics.
GROUP CONVERSATION GUIDE
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY?
What do we mean when we say SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY?
ANSWER: The responsibility to rightfully govern and enforce justice.
BIG IDEA: TO ANSWER THE QUESTION
Does God use human agency to fulfill His purposes,
Does God arbitrarily dictate outcomes via His sovereign determination?
God can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, without being accountable to anyone.
YOUR CHILD HAS 15 WARTS that have popped up on her feet, hands and face. They make it difficult for her to walk comfortably and it is embarrassing for her socially. What would be your spiritual response?
- Ask God for a possible miracle? Would you emphasize praying for a miracle, asking God and your prayer chain to join you in God doing this miracle? Do you immediately pray for a miracle? Think about that. What would you do? Do you pray, “God, heal her.” Or, maybe pray less boldly by submissively praying, “God, if it’s your will, heal them.” Do you emphasize the slogan, “There is power in prayer” and fire off as many prayers and people to pray as you can find? You know how it goes…something like this: “I’m going to get a bunch of friends on my Facebook to build a prayer chain and were gonna light it up baby. I’m gonna get everybody, anybody that prays, and we’re gonna get some power generated. All this because if we could get a bunch of people praying my 15 year old daughter will be healed of warts.”
- Ask God to give you temporary authority, a spiritual gift, to address the situation? Would you emphasize that any authority given to human agency is limited and temporary, requiring the Holy Spirit to give a time sensitive authority in partnership with you?
- Take spiritual authority and command power? Would you “lay hands” on your daughter, take authority over the warts, expecting the warts to hear your command while the power of the Holy Spirit is subsequently targeted upon that body for healing?
Does your prayer simply include the connection of your spirit in communion with God’s, but from that communion you activate the authority you have in Christ? Do you expect to be in such union with the mind of the Spirit that your spiritual authority enables you to point, aim and deliver God’s power? Rather than ask God to do a miracle, do you command one in Jesus’ name?
So what would you do? (Try to avoid putting yourself in a fairy tale by stretching towards the answer you think I am looking for.) Honestly, if this had happened last night, what would have been your instinctive strategy in a spiritual response?
Now understand, my goal today is not to in any way get you to stop communing with God in prayer. My goal is not to get you to even quit executing petitioned prayer. But it is to step back and to get us to look maybe at the way we are hammering nails with a boot heel.
CHALLENGING IDEAS OF YOUR GOD PROFILE
Who people believe God to be, how they frame His role in human suffering and answered prayer, will be challenged. This can be unsettling for people. If this is you, we empower you to wrestle with ideas, even to be in humble-authentic disagreement. We believe these ideas around Spiritual authority are too important to avoid the wrestle. We are so honored you are trusting us with the journey. TAKE THE WORKSHOP FOR FULL EXPERIENCE.
REAL LIFE QUESTIONS:
- PRAYERS - Do our prayers have a direct impact on outcomes? OR, Are our prayers simply a way to defer to God’s predetermined and arbitrary “will?”
- EVANGELISM - Does our evangelism efforts have a direct impact on the salvation of sinner’s hearts? OR, Does God already have it all controlled and our efforts are merely an act of submission to God, having no direct impact at all?
- HANDS LAYING / MIRACLE HEALINGS - Can we lay hands on the sick and have effective management of the miracle healings? OR, Is it more like playing the lottery… if we lay hands on someone that God has predetermined to heal they are healed, if NOT they are not? We are playing against the odds.
- THE NAME OF JESUS – Does the name of Jesus give us expansive and effective authority over circumstances, demons, deadly attacks and more? OR, Is the name of Jesus simply a way to nurture the humility of our heart before God as we accept whatever happens next, as a show of God’s command?
- DEMONS AND DEVILS – Do Christians have expansive and effective authority over demons and devils? OR, Are demons simply playing out God’s will in the earth, making God the real manager of all demonic action?
WORKSHOP BONUS CONTENT:
THREE VIEWS - GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN AGENCY
- REDEMPTIONIST - The one you will learn here at LifePointe, that all believer’s are PERMANENTLY endowed with SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY, as a result of Christ’s Redemptive work (thus we get the term Redemptionist), to partner with God for outcomes.
- CHARISMATIC-SOVEREIGNIST (GIFTS) – The believer has TEMPORARY authority for outcomes, contingent on the Holy Spirit’s distribution of gifts/endowments. The word “CHARISMATIC” comes from the Greek word “CHARISMA,” which is the word translated as “MIRACLE GIFTS.” It is referenced many times in the New Testament text.
- CESSATIONIST (CEASED) – The believer has NO jurisdiction as God controls every outcome. These are the people that have come to believe that either at the point of the production of the Bible in written form, or when the last apostle physically died (70AD), that the provisions for human’s having spiritual authority expired.
JOHN 14:9-13 AMP … What I (JESUS) am telling you I do not say on My own AUTHORITY … but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power). 11 … [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.] 12 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. 13 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am…
MATTHEW 28:18-20 NKJV And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
MARK 16:15-18, 20 NKJV And Jesus said to them, "GO into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 "And these SIGNS (translated miracles 23x) will FOLLOW THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In MY NAME they will CAST OUT DEMONS; they will speak with new tongues; 18 "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will LAY HANDS ON THE SICK, and they will recover." ... 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the LORD WORKING WITH [THEM] and confirming the word through the ACCOMPANYING SIGNS. Amen.
MARK 11:22-24 NKJV So Jesus answered and said to them, "(YOU) Have faith in God. 23 "For assuredly, I SAY TO YOU, WHOEVER SAYS to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in HIS heart, but believes that those things HE says will be done, HE will have WHATEVER HE SAYS. 24 "Therefore I SAY TO YOU, whatever things YOU ASK when YOU pray, believe that YOU receive [them], and YOU will have [them].
JAMES 4:7 NKJV Therefore (YOU) submit to God. (YOU) RESIST THE DEVIL and he will FLEE FROM YOU.
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.
1. After watching this session’s video, what is your biggest takeaway, “ah ha” moment, or challenging thought? Why?
2. In the opening, Pastor set up a scenario where a 15-year-old child has warts. How do you think people generally would approach God and the issue?
- Would they ask/appeal to God, delegating up to Him, expecting He desires to hold the management and outcome of their child’s miracle.
- Would they ask God to give them a gift of the Holy Spirit, a time sensitive authority, making them a temporary partner in the miracle outcome?
- Would they activate their permanent God-delegated authority, acknowledging God has partnered with them for the management and outcome?
WHY? Why do you think people will generally respond in the option you have chosen?
3. Describe your thoughts, feelings or impressions of the 3 views mentioned:
- The believer possess PERMANENT spiritual authority to partner with God for outcomes (Redemptionist View).
- The believer has TEMPORARY authority for outcomes, contingent on the Holy Spirit’s distribution of gifts/endowments (Charistmatic-Sovereignist View).
- The believer has NO jurisdiction as God alone CONTROLS every outcome (Cessationist View).
4. How do these above views (Redemptionist, Charismatic-Sovereignist and Cessationist Views) influence your personal handling of human suffering, difficulties and challenges in the future? Explain why.
5. How would you answer this opening BIG QUESTION today: Does God use human agency to fulfill His purposes, OR does God arbitrarily dictate outcomes via His sovereign determination? Explain why.
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.