Rethinking Your Life | Week 11: Rethinking Faith and Science

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For some, faith and science doesn’t fire you up and it’s a non-issue. But for some, you’d say you cannot be a Christian because of science. You see faith and science as two opposing position where you have to pick a side.

Let’s start off with a just an establishing statement. Everyone has a belief system.

Atheism is a faith system, a belief system. Agnosticism is a belief system. Christianity is a belief system. So are other religions. So is the thing you made up on your own.

Even if you have a scientific worldview there are belief components to it. It’s just the nature of the gap between what we know and what we believe.

You don’t have to be a Christian to believe that life continues after death. Many people who aren’t even religious believe that because of science; the patterns and cycles of nature, ethics, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy give us evidence of life after death.

Einstein, who wasn’t a Christian, he believed consciousness continued after death based on the physics as he understood them. That’s a belief system. Everyone has a belief system.


Widely-Held Misconceptions

When it comes to faith and science, there are some widely-held perceptions, misconceptions about Christianity and science that we can debunk before we get to the main points today.

Many people believe this myth that

  • Christianity is anti-intellectual.

Christians are people. People are all different. Are there some who are anti-intellectual? Some who reject science and logic and study? Sure. They certainly portray that in the media. It seems like every Christian in a sit-com is a fool, completely unaware of their surroundings, very annoying, trying to make people do stuff they don’t want to do.

The media often portrays or highlights Christians who have some completely ulterior motive. But when you get past the surface and those stereotypes, you see there is a very strong, deep resonate well of intellectual thought that is thoroughly Christian.

Here’s some things a lot of people don’t know.

The university is a twelfth-century Christian invention.

Higher learning and faith have been historically linked, not uncoupled. In fact, where Christianity and the church is strong, you find very helpful science. Eyeglasses, clean water, hospitals, vaccines and so many things. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown all began as Christian institutions.

Some of the smartest people in human history have ended up being people of deep faith. There are very smart people who have rejected faith. There are intellectual Christians, and anti-intellectual Christians because there are intellectual people and anti-intellectual people.

But there is a rich tradition of philosophy and scientific discovery in Christianity. Christians engage their mind.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'”  Matthew 22:37 NIV

Maybe you feel like you can’t engage your mind to follow Jesus, that’s a misconception.

Second widely-held misconception:

  • Science is objective. Faith is subjective

Let’s just look at evolution as a case in a point. Evolution is a theory that attempts to explain observable, but sometimes unrepeatable, data. A lot of what evolution observes, you can’t repeat.

A lot of science is based on repeatable experiments. So there are science experiments that repeat, but you can’t repeat the big bang. You can’t repeat an era. You can’t go back in time or recreate it in a lab. The universe is expanding, but we can’t repeat it. So it’s trying to explain observable, but sometimes unrepeatable, data.

The reality is:

The data is objective. The explanation is subjective.

That’s why scientists disagree. Some say it happened this way, others say it happened this way. So this idea that all science is objective, any scientist worth his or her weight will tell you, we’re workin off interpretation.

Both science and faith have subjective elements.

They aren’t so different from one another here. Both have data and evidence, both have things they discern from that. Both have objective elements. Both have subjective elements.

Third misconception is this:

  • If I believe in science, I can’t believe in God.

Some of you got into a class or college or the internet or read a book or got around a group of friends and and thought, you couldn’t believe in God in that environment.

Science v. Faith – When you see cases, Jones versus Smith, that’s just the way we say it in english. Actually, the latin v does not mean versus. It means and. Jones and Smith not Jones versus Smith.

It’s not science versus faith, it’s science and faith.

Science leads researchers toward faith as much as it leads them away from faith.

You’ll hear atheists say, no one in the scientific community believes in God. That’s not true. If you want to know why that’s not true, look at data science has done for themselves. Look at what a scientific poll discovered about their own community.

American Association for the Advancement of Science showed 51% of scientists believe in some form of deity or higher power.

In the hard sciences like astronomy and biology, it’s higher. In the social sciences, it’s lower. Psychology and so on are getting less religious. In the hard sciences, there’s a much higher belief. The rate is higher for people who are looking at the universe, looking at the evidence.

51% of scientists believe in some form of deity or higher power.

31% believe in a personal God, not just a higher power however you define that.

7% don’t know.

Fact-based science is not perpetually at war with faith-based religion. Maybe science is revealing what God did and does.

Allen Rex Sandage, Astronomer, Successor to Edwin Hubble:

“It is my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated that can be explained by science.”

He didn’t start out in life with a Christian conviction. The deeper he got into astronomy, the deeper he got into the way the universe is created, the more questions got raised. In his fifties he became a Christian. He would say science raised so many questions that led him to faith in Jesus.

Science shouldn’t kill your theological curiosity, it should spark it.

The more you know, the more questions you have. What you discover, is that God has answers.


Four Questions

1. What caused everything that exists?

When you think about the origins of the universe, everyone agrees that everything that begins to exist has to have a cause.

Your kids didn’t just spontaneously appear. You know what happened. If you have a business, where did it come from? You started it. Where did your car come from? A factory. Originally the mind of engineers.

Theists said it was God. Others said it was the universe or the big bang. How do you explain an infinitely complex universe that began out of nothing? The Bible answers this.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 NIV

This takes this all the way back to the question, where did the first cell come from? Where did the first thing of matter come from? Where did existence come from? How did any of it begin?

This is the question of origin. This is what the Bible addresses. Christianity has an answer for origin. It has an answer for how the first cell began. And how existence began. As we discover more, we discover it must be a Creator.

In the first century, the Apostle Paul, a Jesus Follower, put it this way…

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” Romans 1:20 NLT

2. What caused order?

This is the evidence from design. There’s a world within a world within a world and it’s coded and all works together. The laws explain what we see, but not how they got there. Who or what created the laws of physics? Let’s ascribe to God the worth and worship He is due for his creation.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4 NIV

Creation’s voice goes out and the evidence points to a designer. A creator.

3. What caused humanity’s desire for morality and meaning?

The dignity of humanity. We refer to it as human rights. Inherent worth. This idea that every person, just by virtue of being a person, has inherent worth and value can’t be trampled upon and shouldn’t be violated.

This just doesn’t make sense without God. How did we all come to believe, that every person believes humans have worth just by virtue of being human. We think this idea has always been around. Ideas aren’t like that. Ideas have to come from somewhere.

What’s great about this is there’s zero debate. Regardless of what you believe, anyone who has any knowledge of history the idea of human worth and dignity, the idea of worth and dignity came from the Bible.

They’ve tried to find it in another source and it just isn’t there. The basis for human worth is that God made you!

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NIV

This is why there is some science Christianity rejects. We reject when any science becomes the authority over human life. God is the only one who rightfully exercises sovereign control over human life. To attempt to control who lives, who doesn’t, when someone dies, or do things to place ourselves in God’s position. Clearly, man is not to do this.

If we view man as simply another creature and not as the unique creation he is, it is not difficult to see human beings as mere mechanisms needing maintenance and repair.

But we are not just a collection of molecules and chemicals. The Bible teaches that God created each of us and has a specific plan for each of us. Deep down, we all know it.

“Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.

They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” Romans 2:14-16 NLT

When we are different from the character of the creator who made us, it’s wrong. When we’re like the character of the creator who made us, it’s right. That’s how you decide what truth is.

These are rational explanations as to why we have morals. The idea that these morals just evolved can’t be. As you study it, you find that God created them. And you have inherent worth because you were created in the image of God.

That’s why the Christian faith, at its core, is not only about believing something, it’s about knowing someone.

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” Colossians 1:15-20 NLT

4. How will I respond to Jesus Christ?

If Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God, if he’s done all these things and he’s extending his hand to me, how will we respond? In the gospel of John,

“One of the twelve disciples, Thomas was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!'”

“But he replied, ‘I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.’”

He’s got enough evidence to make him a believer, but he’s not.

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. ‘Peace be with you,’ he said. Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!’”

“’My Lord and my God!’ Thomas exclaimed.”

One of the great statements and confesses in scripture. He didn’t touch. At this moment he believes, he didn’t have to put his hands in there.

The problem is not the evidence. It’s the human heart.

Then Jesus told him, ‘You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.'”

There is a special blessing on those today  who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.” John 20:24-31 NLT

This is written that you might believe that He’s the one who died because of your sins. When you believe, then you’re alive, you’re born again, and have life. Life after death is sweet and wonderful as you are with Jesus.


Check Back

Briefly check back on your discussion from the last week, “Rethinking School and Work.” How was your school and work week? Any areas you recognized where God is working.

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Big Idea

Many believe that science and Christianity are incompatible. Widely-held misconceptions are that Christianity is anti-intellectual; Science is objective, faith is subjective; If I believe in science, I can’t believe in God. However, fact-based science isn’t perpetually at war with faith based religion.

Read John 20:24-31

Discussion & Application

  1. As a kid, were you quick to question things or did you generally believe whatever was presented to you? How has this tendency changed for you as an adult?
  2. What was the attitude toward God in your house growing up?                                         Did you parents lead you toward faith or away from it?
  3. Of the four questions on the outline, which jumps out to you most? (What caused everything that exists? What caused order? What caused humanity’s desire for morality and meaning? How will I respond to Jesus Christ?)
  4. Even if we fully and completely understood the scientific how of science, we would always wonder who and why. In what ways are who and why more significant questions than how?
  5. If morality, cosmology and the design of the universe do not point toward a creator, what do you think they point toward?

Prayer Focus

Ask how you can pray for and support one another this week.

Next Steps

Even as you explore the ‘how’ of science, remember to go beyond that and ask who and why? As you embrace those questions, read biblical accounts like the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John to gain a better sense of who God is and why he created us.

Rethinking Your Life | Week 8: The Problem of Sin

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What would you say if you were asked what the biggest problem in your life is right now?

You might have a list of problems that you’re facing… BUT… that is not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem is you. You cause yourself more problems than anybody else does.

We cause those problems by the way we think. Because wrong thinking causes wrong feelings, wrong feelings leads to wrong actions, and wrong actions create all kinds of problems. Most of the problems in your life are caused by the way you think.

Not everything you think is the truth. Just because you think or feel something doesn’t mean it’s true. We lie to ourselves all the time. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?”

We lie to ourselves far more than we lie to anybody else. Sometimes we tell ourselves things are better than they really are. Sometimes we tell ourselves things are worse than they really are.

Not everything you think and feel is the truth. When you act on thoughts and feelings that aren’t correct, you’re going to have behavior that’s not correct. That will cause problems in your life.

This is called your sin nature and we all have one. It’s not your fault that you sin, you didn’t create your sin problem, you inherited it from Adam and Eve.

Since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, every human being has been born with a tendency toward sin. For instance, when you know the right thing to do, do you do it? Not always! When you know something is the wrong thing to do, do you still do it… or eat it? Yes, you do.

That is your old sin nature. And that is your biggest problem!


What Is Sin?

Even though sin is the biggest problem in your life. God has provided the solution to your biggest problem. God has provided the solution to your tendency toward sin.

Let’s start with a definition of sin. We usually think of sin as a behavior. We think of bad actions like murder, adultery, rape, and stealing. When we think of sin we think of mean, bad, nasty behavior.

But the Bible tells us that God is far more interested in your thoughts, feelings and words than even in your behavior. In fact, in the Bible has a lot more to say about sins of the tongue than sins of any other part of your body.

1. Sin is the opposite of God and good.

God is always good, He is never bad. So sin is the opposite of what God is.

“Everything God does is good and fair; all His commands can be trusted.” Psalm 111:7

“The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” Psalm 145:9

God is good to everyone. Are we good to everyone? No. God shows compassion to all people. We try, but we fall short of that standard.

When God created the world in Genesis 1, He looked at what He had created and said, “This is good.” What we do is we take what God created as good and we use it in bad ways.

We take the good that God made and we misuse it, abuse it and then we lose it.

Money in itself is neither good nor bad but it can be used for good or used for bad. Sex isn’t bad or dirty, sex is holy. It was God’s idea. Drugs can be used to heal people or to relieve pain. But if we misuse it and abuse it then instead of being beneficial it’s destructive.

We get hurt when we subvert and pervert the good that God does. Sin is always a perversion of God’s good gifts.

It is impossible for God to do anything evil. He cannot sin or do wrong. Job 34:10

God wants us to be like Him, so anytime I’m sinning I’m being the opposite of God and that’s a bad thing.

2. Sin is the opposite of love.

One day a man asked Jesus, “What’s the most important commandment in the Bible?” Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Life is all about love. If those are the two most important commands, then sin is the opposite of those two commands. Not loving God and not loving your neighbor is sin.

As sin and evil increase in the world, people’s love will grow cold. Matthew 24:12

Are we seeing that today? People are more rude and critical than ever. Civilization is becoming uncivil. Why? Because as sin increases… love decreases.

They’re the opposite of each other.

3. Sin is always selfishness.

“Wherever there is selfishness you find disorder and every kind of evil sin.” James 3:16

Sin is self-centeredness. The middle letter of sin in English is I… S-I-N. It’s a visual representation that the “I” centered life is the sinful life. We all have an “I” problem. I want it my way… I will do my own thing… I think this… I feel that…

4. Sin is always unbelief.

Specifically, it is an unbelief in who God is.

The Holy Spirit will show that the world’s sin is unbelief in Me.” John 16:9

Sin is when we don’t believe God is who He says He is and we don’t believe that God will do what He says He’ll do. When we become fearful or anxious, we’re showing our unbelief in God’s promises.

There are over 7,000 promises in this book and if you claim them you won’t be fearful or anxious. 365 times the Bible says, “Do not be afraid.” That’s one for every day of the year.

When I get impatient that means I am doubting God’s perfect timing. God has a plan for your life and He is not in a hurry. His timing is perfect.

When I get resentful or bitter it means I am doubting God’s wisdom. God is a wise, good, loving God and He has a wise, good and loving plan for your life. But you look around at others and compare their lives to your own. It can make you resentful and bitter.

When I doubt that God can bring good out of bad, I get resentful.

What about carrying guilt? How long should a follower of Jesus Christ feel guilty? About one second. That’s how long it takes to confess a sin once you’ve done it,”Sorry, God, that was wrong. Please forgive me.” Boom, it’s gone, it’s forgiven.

But people carry guilt around for years! God doesn’t want you carrying guilt around like that. Confess the sin and get rid of the guilt. What does it mean when you carry guilt around like that? It means you can’t forgive yourself because you doubt God’s forgiveness, and that’s a sin.

What about when I feel inadequate? When you have feelings of inadequacy you’re saying you doubt God’s power to help you. Sin is really all about unbelief.


What’s The Problem With Sin?

Is sin really that big a deal? Let’s look at six problems with sin and then we’ll look at the solution.

1. The first problem is that I was born with a selfish desire to sin.

The classic Bible passage on this in Romans 7. The Apostle Paul, one of the greatest Christians who ever lived says,

“I feel that I’m a slave to my sinful desires. Sin masters me. … I can’t help myself because of my sinful nature inside me. … It’s a law at work in me that is at war with my mind.”

There is a battle raging in your mind between your old nature and your new nature. Between your desire to do the right thing and the natural human inclination to do the wrong thing.

This problem is not a new thing… it has plagued humankind since Adam and Eve. We were born with the tendency to make wrong choices and every one of you could give an example of that.

2. The second problem with sin, It breaks my fellowship with God.

Sin is a relational issue. Have you ever walked into a room when a couple has had a fight? You’re not even in on the fight but you can tell there is some tension in the room. Why? Because when you sin against your spouse it breaks your connection.

The same is true with God. Sin breaks our connection with God. That’s why when you pray your prayers bounce off the ceiling. That’s why you don’t feel God in your life.

“Your sins are the roadblock between you and your God. That’s why He doesn’t answer your prayers, or let you see His face.” Isaiah 59:2

Your sin matters. It affects your relationship with God, others and yourself.

3. Third problem, every time I sin something dies inside me.

The Bible tells us that sin is a silent killer. The wages of sin is death. There was no death on this planet until sin entered the world. If Adam and Eve had never sinned, they would have lived forever. Sin and death go together.

“Our evil desires make us sin and when sin is finished with us,… it leaves us dead. James 1:15

We’re not just talking about physical death here, a lot of stuff dies when you sin. Your passion for God dies. Your dreams of being closer to the Lord die. Your relationships die when you sin. Sin kills your potential. Sin kills your joy.

4. My sin may be a secret but it’s never private.

Our sin always affects other people even if nobody else knows about it. The reason why it’s never private is because it’s going to come out eventually. Either here on Earth or at the Judgment Day, every sin will be known.

You may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23

The Bible says that if you cover up your sin you cannot be successful. But if you confess it and forsake it you get another chance.

“None of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.” Romans 14:7

Some people think as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else, it shouldn’t matter. But you are hurting other people when you sin.

5. That leads to the fifth one, sin does long term damage.

We think if we don’t see the damage right away maybe there won’t be any. Sometimes sin destroys your life suddenly like an earthquake. Sometimes it destroys your life over time like erosion or dry rot.

Sinning is like sowing seeds. When you plant a seed it takes time for the seed to germinate and grow to maturity. It takes time to produce a harvest. But whatever you sow, you will reap. Whatever you plant is what you’ll harvest.

Don’t deceive yourself, you can’t make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you will harvest. If you plant in the soil of your sinful nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8

You don’t plant apple seeds and reap tomatoes. You don’t plant bitterness and reap love.

6. Disobeying God is neither fun nor funny.

Disobeying God is neither fun nor funny. We often fall for one of Satan’s biggest traps. Satan wants us to laugh at sin because if we laugh at it lowers our resistance to it. When Satan wants to take society to a new low he does it through comedy. He’ll put it on a sitcom, or in a standup routine, or on Saturday Night Live.

Because when you laugh at it sin it doesn’t seem so bad. But sin is not a laughing matter. Sin killed the Son of God on a cross. And that’s not funny.

“A fool’s fun is in being bad.” Proverbs 10:2

The ESV says, “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool.”

The fool thinks sin is a joke but it’s not. How much of our entertainment today is watching people commit sin?

“Because of your stubbornness in refusing to repent and turn from your sin,   you’re storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For there’s going to come a day of judgment when God will judge all people according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who seek God, but for those who are self-seeking, and reject the truth and practice sin, they will face God’s anger.” Romans 2:5-8

That’s pretty sobering. Nobody likes to read that verse, but it’s there. Now, here’s the good news… God has solved your sin problem! You can’t solve it but God has solved it for you.

Jesus dying on the cross is the answer to everything. God doesn’t want you to be a slave to your sin nature. God wants you to find freedom in Christ.


How Do I Break Free From My Sin?

There are three things you need to do.

1. Understand what Jesus did for me.

On the cross, Jesus not only paid for the penalty of your sins, He also broke the power of sin in your life. By paying the penalty for your sin Christ broke sin’s power over you. On the cross Jesus Christ broke Satan’s power in your life so that you now have the power to say “No” to sin, that’s a power you didn’t have before.

If you trust in Christ you have the power to say “No” to sin that you did not have before. It’s more than willpower, it’s Holy Spirit power in your life.

“Jesus personally carried away our sins in His own body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.” 1 Peter 2:24

“Although Jesus died on the cross in weakness, He now lives by the mighty    power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in Him and have God’s power.” 2 Corinthians 13:4

2. Let God give me a new nature.

“Those who have been born again into God’s family will not continue in habitual sin, because God’s life is in them now.” 1 John 3:9 NLT

“If you have the Spirit of God living in you, you are controlled by your new nature!” Romans 8:9 LB

If you have the Spirit of God living in you you’re controlled by your new nature. You don’t just have your own sin nature that wants to do the wrong thing, you have a new spiritual nature that wants to do good things. You want to walk in the Spirit so that you

It’s off with the old nature and on with the new nature. And that battle is won or lost in your mind.

3. That’s why I must change the way I think about sin.

“Jesus died to defeat sin once for all. Now He lives in and for God. In the same way, you should think of yourselves as dead to sin but alive to the power of God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:10-11 NIV

“Do not let sin control the way you live anymore or do what your sinful nature wants to do. Don’t let any part of your body become a tool of evil used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. Offer your body as a tool for doing good for the glory of God.” Romans 6:12-13 NLT

Sin is the opposite of God and good. Sin is the opposite of love. Sin is always selfishness. Sin is always based in unbelief toward God. Sin is my biggest problem. But God solved that problem for me through Jesus Christ. And when we understand what Christ truly did for me, we choose to live life with the new nature God has given me.

When we change the way we think about sin we can be free from the penalty and the power of sin.


Check Back

Briefly check back on your discussion from the last week, “Five Lies of Relationships.” Any more thoughts or observations?

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Big Idea

What is sin? 1) Sin is the opposite of God & good. 2) Sin is the opposite of love. 3) Sin is always selfishness. 4) Sin is always unbelief in who God is.

What’s the problem with sin? 1) I was born with a selfish desire to sin. 2) Sin breaks my fellowship with God. 3) Every time I sin, something dies inside me. 4) My sin may be a secret but it’s never private. 5) Sin does long term damage. 6) Disobeying God is neither fun nor funny.

How do I break free? 1) Understand what Jesus did for me. 2) Let God give me a new nature. 3) Change the way I think about sin.

Discussion & Application

1. Jesus said, “As sin and evil increase in the world, people’s love will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12 (NCV) Take a few minutes and think about how you would define sin. Write down your personal definition. Share with your group.

2. Which of the problems with sin did you resonate with the most?

3. “Everything God does is good and fair; all his commands can be trusted.” Psalm 111:7 (NCV) Everything God creates is good. We are the ones who have twisted His good creations, using them for bad. Think of a recent selfish, unloving, or unbelieving act. Looking back, how might you have chosen differently?

4. Sin stands in the way of communicating with those who love you. What are some of the roadblocks that exist in your relationship with God?

5. Jesus personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross, so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. 1 Peter 2:24 (NLT) One or two of you brave souls share a time in your life when you sought to break free from sin in an area in your life. Briefly tell how you found freedom in Christ.

Prayer Focus

Ask how you can pray for and support one another this week. In your closing prayer, ask Jesus to help you live Godward, God-centered lives, to change the way you think about sin, and to live as Christ before others.

Next Steps

Reflect and take seriously the three ways to break free. Next, join us next week as we look at how fight against persistent temptations.

 

Rethinking Your Life | Week 5: Rethinking My View of Myself

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Do you keep making the same mistakes over and over again… falling for the same old tricks… the same old lies… doing the same thing over and over? Life change doesn’t begin with behavior. If you start with your behavior, you’re going to fail. To change your life you have to change how you think.

The key is learning to think with the mind of Christ. Because when you think with the mind of Christ then you will be able to live and act like Christ.

What you put into your mind is what you’re going to get out of it. Garbage In… Garbage Out. Jesus In… Jesus Out.

There’s a higher standard that God wants us to live by. It’s time for us to wake up and become the people God calls us to be. 

“And do this, understanding the present time…” Romans 13:11 NIV

The phrase “the present time” refers to what’s called a kairos moment. A kairos moment a moment in your life that must be seized in order to accomplish its purpose. It’s not just the passing of day after day after day. 

“And do this understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.”

“So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality, and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy, but rather but rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t even think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:11-14 NIV

If you’re going to rethink your view of yourself you have got to put on the mind of Christ and you have got to get rid of the garbage that’s in your mind.

“Be made new in the attitude of your minds.” Ephesians 4:23 NIV

This truth is found over and over again in Paul’s teachings.

“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.” Romans 12:2 NIV

It’s important to understand the difference between conforming and transforming.

  • To conform means to fit into a mold; to make or become the same; to behave in a conventional way by accepting without question the customs, traditions, and prevailing opinions of others.

Paul is telling us don’t let the world press you into its mold. Don’t just follow the crowd or the culture. And yet, how often do we do try to fit into the world like Play-Doh into a mold?

But as followers of Christ we belong to a different kingdom. We have pledged our allegiance to a different King. We live under a different set of values than the world does.

Just because something has become socially acceptable doesn’t make it right. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it acceptable to God. God wants us to live under a different set of values.

God says, “Don’t conform to the ways of the world.” Instead, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

  • To transform means to change the nature, character, or personality of something.

Conforming is about changing external appearances. Transforming is about changing the internal nature of something. Conforming has to do with behavior – fitting into a mold. Transforming has to do with character – renewing your mind.

If you want to be like Christ then think like Christ.

So, how does that transformation actually happen? We need to talk about a couple of more words – repent and confess.

  • To repent means to change your mind, to change the way you think.

Repent does not mean to change the way you behave. Repent means change the way you think, what you believe.

When you repent you will change your behavior but the behavior change starts in the mind. We also need to understand confession.

  • To confess means to say the same thing.

In its Biblical sense, to confess is to agree with what God says about something. We often think confession is about confessing your sins. But there’s so much more to confession than just confessing your sins.

Now, confessing my sins is important because it’s part of forgiveness. The Bible says that when we confess, God forgives.

So confessing sins is important, but if we stop there then nothing is going to change inside us. How often have you confessed the same thing to God over and over? Have you noticed that we’re not very creative when it comes to sin?

We all have the same four or five things that trip us up over and over again. Confessing your sins brings forgiveness but it doesn’t change anything in you. But there is another kind of confession that does change how you live. It’s not just confessing your sins… it’s confessing your faith.

Confessing your sins is saying what God says about what you did.

Confessing your faith is saying what God says about what He did.

  • When I say what God says, I begin to think like God thinks.

When I say what God says about life then I begin to think like God thinks about life and that changes the way I live. You’re not just saying what God said about what you did, you’re saying what God says about who you are in Christ.

You are confessing – agreeing with God about who you are in Christ. That’s why we must be people of the Word so that we know what God says so we can think the way God thinks about us.

I know it because I have His Word on it. My sins are forgiven because I have His Word on it. God is not ashamed of me. “The Son has set me free.” “I can do all things through Christ.” My God will meet all my needs.” “There is a purpose for my life.” God will never forsake me, I have His Word on it.

If we spent more time confessing our faith, we would spend a lot less time confessing our sins.

That is the secret to being made new in the attitude of your mind. You confess your faith.


Be Made New

“Be made new in the attitude of your minds.” Ephesians 4:32

Right before Paul wrote that sentence he wrote an exhaustive list of things we need to guard our hearts against. Things like anger, bitterness, slander, lying, stealing, hatred, lust. But he ends that list by saying, “Be made new in the attitude of your minds.”

“Be made new…” those three words come from a Greek word that means “to renovate.”

If there’s going to be any positive change in your life there has to be a renovation in your mind. If you have ever renovated anything in your home, you know that renovation is not a one-time instantaneous event. It’s a process, it’s a project.

It’s inconvenient. It causes a disturbance. Unexpected things come up. It’s painful and it’s costly. But the end result is good.

The renovation of your mind is no different. When you’re renovating your home, where do you start? You start with demolition! You rip out all the old stuff to be able to put in the new stuff. Out with the old before in with new. It’s the same thing with your mind.

  • Renovation begins with demolition.

Every day you process between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts. That’s about 3,000 thoughts every single hour. Over time, those thoughts form patterns and pathways in your mind. You have thoughts that you habitually think about yourself, about God, and about how you think God thinks about you.

Before you can experience any real change or renewal, some of these thought patterns and pathways need to be broken down. What are the lies that you need to get out of your head? Is it guilt for things you’ve done? Regret for things I continue to fail to do?

If you are loading up your mind with guilt and regret then you believe God sees you as a failure. You have things that really need to be changed. Maybe for decades you’ve been praying but nothing is changing. So you have concluded that God doesn’t care about that.

Of those 60-80,000 thoughts some of them are on repeat in your mind. Things like, “I don’t think I have a purpose. I feel kind of worthless. I am worthless. I don’t feel like anybody likes me, or loves me. I’m a failure. I’m a fraud. I’m not good enough.”

Do you have any of those not-good-enough statements that you say to yourself? You’re creating pathways in your brain that are based on lies.

Parents can struggle with that. Let’s face it, as parents we’re just winging it. We’re just making it up as we go along. If those are the types of thoughts that you have in your mind, God is saying something very specific to you right now… Enough. Enough of that.

Because every time you say, “I’m not enough,” there’s a word for that. It’s called shame.

Jesus is not the author of shame. Satan is the author of shame.

Jesus is the author of grace and freedom and hope and peace and joy.

That script that’s been playing over and over in your mind that you’re not enough, God has written a whole new story for you. And He desperately wants you to live it. It comes down to knowing the truth about yourself.

Jesus said, “When you know the truth, it will set you free,” but you have to know the truth to be set free by the truth.

“Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery…”Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; HE SNAPPED THEIR CHAINS.

Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He’s done for them. For HE BROKE DOWN THEIR PRISON GATES of bronze; HE CUT APART THEIR BARS OF IRON.” Psalm 107:10-16 NLT

The bars to their cells? They’ve been cut apart! The prison gates? They’ve been broken down! The chains? They’ve been snapped!

You can come on out of the cell that you’ve put yourself in because Jesus has set you free from the lies you believe about yourself!

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 ESV

No condemnation – two of the most beautiful words in the Bible.

This renovation that God wants to do in your mind is a safe space for you to step into. You don’t have to worry if He’ll accept you or love you. You don’t have to worry if He’s going to shame you.

“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

This truth of Christ offering us a new life is so significant that Jesus asked every single one of us to put this truth on display. We do that through baptism. Baptism is a picture of life change; it’s a picture of being made new. Baptism is something that Jesus commands us to do.

Baptism is a picture that the old has gone and the new has come. In baptism you are buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life!

When God renovates your mind the primary tool that He uses is the power of His Word.

“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts, and the attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV

“The Word of God is like a two-edged sword.” That sword has a deadly edge and a life-giving edge. The deadly edge of the Word of God puts to death the old ways of thinking. It puts to death the old lies that have controlled us. The life-giving edge performs open-heart surgery on you like a scalpel. It cuts out the infection and the residue of sin.

The Word of God can smash any stronghold, break any chain, uncover any sin and expose any lie.It changes how you see yourself, see God, and see the world.

We need to be made new in the attitude of our minds, and here’s how it’s done. Confess your faith. Say what God says about you. Let that change the way you think. And you let that change the way you live. You let the truth set you free.

We’re not talking about the power of positive thinking. We’re talking about the power of Biblical thinking.

This is not about good intentions. It’s not about you promising God… How’s that working out for you? God is not interested in your promises. We make our promises to God and fail, and fall, and break those promises, but God does not break His promises.

  • God is not asking me to make a promise that I cannot keep. He is asking me to receive a promise that only He can keep.

10 Faith Confessions

“I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again from the dead on the third day.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“I am a new creation in Christ. The old life is gone, a new life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“The Son has set me free. I am free indeed!” John 8:36

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

“God is faithful. He will not let me tempted beyond what I can bear.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:38-39

“He is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within me.”  Ephesians 3:20

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

“Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

“God is for me! who can be against me?” Romans 8:31


This is the Word of God! This is what He says about you. So let it become what you say about you. Start every day by confessing these truths. Read them to God, read them to yourself, and read them to the devil.

Whenever you are afraid, have doubts or are tempted… read them again. Let these words renew your mind. The devil doesn’t want to see you free so he will rattle the broken chains and whisper those old lies to you. He’ll try to haunt and harass you with memories of your past. But when the devil tries to remind you of your past, just remind him of his future and let the Word of God fill your mouth.


Check Back

Briefly check back on your discussion from the last week, “Serving in Times of Uncertainty” and your SERVE Day project. How’d it go?

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Big Idea

Are you ever confused about who you really are? The mixed messages we hear from the world around us leave us confused and often feeling powerless—but they are lies. It’s only when we learn to think like Jesus that we’ll know exactly who we are.

“When I say what God says, I begin to think like God thinks.”

Discussion & Application

1. The word “confess” is often full of negative images and connotations that confuse us. But “confess” means to say the same thing that God says. Discuss and share how seeing this in a simpler light changes its impact for you.

2. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (ESV) How can the truth in this verse help set you free from feelings of guilt?

3. Which of the faith confession promises makes the greatest impact on you? Why?

4. Turn in your Bibles to Romans 13:11-14. How does this passage challenge you to rethink your view of yourself?

5. Why do you think the writer, Paul, is so urgent in his warning?

Prayer Focus

Ask how you can pray for and support one another this week.

In group prayer ask God to show you what chains need to be broken, what sins confessed, and what promises of God believed in order to begin rethinking your view of yourself. Determine to let God’s Word transform your mind. What changes will you make to your daily schedule in order to hear from God every day and rethink your view of yourself? Share your ideas with your group.

Next Steps

Take a picture or screenshot of the faith confession verses or somehow make a visual list of them to review on a regular basis.

Also, have you considered joining us for Growth Track? Rock Brook’s Growth Track is a 4 step series designed to help you take the next step in your spiritual journey. Step one is August 2nd where we’ll share our story, vision and purpose of the church. rockbrook.org/connect/growth-track

 

Rethinking Your Life | Week 3: Learning to Think Like Jesus

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In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah asked the question…

“Who understands the mind of the Lord?” Isaiah 40:13

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul answers that question… 

“We can understand these things because now we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT


What does it mean to have the mind of Christ?

It means that you can learn to think like Jesus. You can have the same thoughts, attitudes, and reactions as Jesus has. In fact, this is God’s goal for your life and my life.

“In your lives, you must think and act like Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 NCV

What does it look like when you have the mind of Christ? Let’s look at 10 characteristics of a person who thinks like Jesus.

1.  I KNOW EXACTLY WHO I AM.

I am not confused about my identity because Jesus had no doubt about His identity. He knew exactly who He was.

In John 6:35, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.”

In John 8:12, He says, “I am the light of the world.

In John 10:11, He says, “I am the good shepherd.”

John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life.

John 14:6, “I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life.

John 15:1, “I am the true vine.

Mark 10:61-62, “I am the Son of God.

Those are just a few of the times where Christ defines who He is. And, God wants you to know your true identity too.

Why is this important? Because if you don’t know who God made you to be then other people will decide for you and force you into their mold. You will be manipulated by the expectations of others. Then you’ll end up living a phony life because you don’t really know who you are. That leads to a stressful life. Stress happens when you try to be someone you are not.

2. I KNOW GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE.

I know where I came from, and I know where I’m going.” John 8:14

Jesus settled His purpose very early in life. At age 12 He was teaching the elders in the Temple. Mary and Joseph come to the Temple and ask Him what He’s doing. He asks, Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Young children can understand this at a lot earlier age than we think. Parents, are you preparing your kids for God’s purpose for their lives even at an early age?

As Jesus matured and His ministry expanded He became more and more specific about the purposes for His life. In John 10:10, Jesus says…

“My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”

That’s knowing not only who He was, but knowing His purpose. Right up to Christ’s death on the cross His purpose was very clear. The night before He was executed Jesus said,

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? No, it is for this purpose that I have come to this hour.” John 12:27

Jesus knew who He was and He knew His purpose. He wants you to know who you are and He wants you to know your purpose.

3. I’M ALWAYS AWARE THAT GOD IS WITH ME.

I’m not alone because the Father is always with me.” John 16:32

Jesus lived His life in the presence of God. He stayed connected to God no matter how busy He was. The greatest antidote to loneliness is thinking like Jesus. How can you stay aware of God’s constant care? 

Jesus often slipped away to be alone so He could pray.” Luke 5:16

This is not an occasional occurrence, this is a habit. That’s why He was always aware of God’s presence. How often do you slip away to pray during your day? If Jesus needed to pray during His day, how much do we need it?

You miss the gifts of God when you fail to get with God.

On the other hand, you get more done here, there, and everywhere if you pause for prayer. We need times to reflect, renew, and recharge.

4. I LET GOD HELP ME CHOOSE MY WORDS.

Jesus didn’t speak without thinking. He wasn’t just running off at the mouth. He asked God to help Him say the right words.

I have not spoken on My own. Instead, the Father who sent Me tells Me what I should say and how I should say it.” John 12:49

Jesus says that God tells Him what to say and how to say it. Would you have happier relationships if you let God tell you what to say and how to say it? Would you have less conflict in your life if you let God tell you what to say and how to say it?

If your mouth frequently gets you into trouble, the antidote is to learn to think like Jesus.

5.  I DON’T WORRY ABOUT PLEASING EVERYONE.

Are you a people pleaser? Are you always worried about what other people will think? If so, you can’t be what God wants you to be. But if you put on the mind of Christ you won’t worry about pleasing everybody, you will only focus on pleasing God.

Jesus was never manipulated by the response of a crowd. Jesus didn’t seek the approval or the disapproval of anybody else. He lived for an audience of One.

“I only try to please the One who sent Me.” John 5:30

Wouldn’t that simplify your life? If God likes what I’m doing… I’m doing the right thing. Obviously, Jesus did a good job because in Matthew 3:17 God says, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

The truth is you can’t please everybody. Even God can’t please everybody. Right now somebody’s praying for it to be sunny, somebody else is praying for it to rain, and somebody’s praying for it to snow!

Whose approval are you depending on? What if your answer to that question was God and God alone?

That doesn’t mean you make everyone else mad at you. Don’t get confused about that. To make God happy doesn’t mean you have to make everyone else mad. You just make God happy first.

6. I DEPEND ON GOD’S POWER INSTEAD OF MY OWN.

All the verses we’re reading today are direct quotes of Jesus Christ, powerful words coming from our Savior Himself.

“I assure you that the Son can do nothing by Himself. He can only do what He sees His father doing…” John 5:19

Now if Jesus Christ is that dependent on God the Father’s power, what about you and I?How do you know if you’re trying to do life on your own human power alone? It’s real simple – you’re tired all the time.

You’re tired all the time because you’re living on your own power instead of living on God’s power. Human energy runs out.

7. I FORGIVE MY ENEMIES AND THOSE WHO HURT ME.

Jesus is hanging on the cross in agony and pain, His blood is draining out of Him, the people who nailed Him to the cross are mocking Him and Jesus says,

“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” Luke 23:34

That’s the mind of Christ… to be willing to forgive the people who have hurt you.

When you hold onto hurt you are only hurting yourself. You need to forgive the person not because they deserve it, you forgive that person because being unforgiving is like drinking poison and hoping it kills them.

But Jesus doesn’t stop with just forgiveness. He goes even further in Matthew 5:44,

“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those which despitefully use you and persecute you.”

Look at the verbs in that verse:

Love – I have to love my enemies.

Bless – I am to bless those who curse me.

I’ve got to do good to those who hate me and pray for those who despitefully use me or persecute me.

Love. Bless. Do Good. Pray.

8. I’M WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR OTHERS.

“I am the Good Shepherd and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15

I sacrifice myself for the benefit of other people. A lot of people sacrifice for themselves, but if you’re going to be like Christ you must be willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others.

“I came here not to be served, but to serve others and to give My life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45

To serve and to give. Those two words summarize the heart of Christianity. Following Jesus is about serving others and giving our lives away. Jesus said, “It is only in giving your life away that you’ll ever really know what it means to fully live.”

You probably know the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

God so loved the world that He gave. That’s John 3:16. Do you know 1 John 3:16? 1 John is a little book toward the end of the New Testament written by the same guy who wrote the Gospel of John. 1 John 3:16 talks about our responsibility.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for each other.”

That’s a whole new understanding of what it means to follow Christ. Just as God so loved the world that He gave, we ought to lay down our lives for each other.

9. I WANT TO DO GOD’S WILL, NOT MINE.

“I came to do what God wants Me to do, not to do what I want to do.” John 6:38

Do you realize what a radical counter culture statement that is? Almost no one today says, “I’m alive to do what God wants me to do, not what I want to do.” Instead, we all say, “I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, where I want to do it, and whomever I want to do it with.”

In John 14:31, Jesus says, I want the world to know that I love the Father.”

Obedience is an evidence of love.  Now, it’s easy to do what God tells you to do when it’s fun or pleasurable, but what about when God asks you to do something painful?

The Bible is very clear that God did not spare His own Son from pain. He let Jesus go to the cross. If God didn’t spare His own Son from pain, why would I assume that God would spare me from pain?

Pain is part of the plan. To think like Jesus means that I want to do God’s will even when it’s painful or difficult or seems impossible. The supreme example of doing what God asks me to do even when it’s painful is Jesus on the night before He goes to the cross. He is in the Garden of Gethsemane praying in agony and thinking about the emotional, physical, spiritual pain that He is going to face the next day.

In Gethsemane, Jesus prays the Gethsemane Prayer, “Father, everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

In your life, you will often have a Gethsemane experience. There will be times when you’re in pain and you’re praying for some relief. But we need to remember that God’s will was for Jesus to go to the cross. God’s will was not to relieve His pain, but to let Jesus go through that pain for the good of other people and for the glory of God.

Sometimes you suffer for the benefit of others. That’s called redemptive suffering. Anytime you’re in major pain it is appropriate to pray the Gethsemane Prayer. The first part is the prayer of faith. Jesus says, “Father, I know you have the power to change this situation.”

You can pray that too, whatever situation you’re going through: a financial, relational or health problem. You start out with a statement of faith.

Then Jesus asked for help and deliverance from the situation. It’s appropriate for you to do the same, asking in faith. But the third part of the Gethsemane Prayer is surrender. In His hour of greatest need Jesus prayed, “Not my will but Your will.” That takes an enormous amount of spiritual maturity. That’s the mind of Christ.

“Jesus humbled Himself (His choice) and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused His death on a cross. So, God exalted Him and raised Him to the highest place, and made His name greater than every other name.” Philippians 2:8-9

The name of Jesus is the greatest name all around the world and it will be the greatest name forever and ever in heaven. Why? Because He humbled Himself and God raised Him up.

10.  I THINK WITH AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE.

When you get the mind of Christ you begin to think the way Jesus does about your past, your present, your future, about life and death, about sin and salvation, about your friends, about rewards in Heaven – when you get the mind of Christ you think with an eternal perspective.

You realize that there’s more to life than just the here and now. This is how Jesus was able to handle pain. This is how you will be able to handle pain.

What is unbearable is pain without purpose, pain that is senseless. But human beings can stand an enormous amount of pain if they can see a purpose in the pain and see a reward past the pain.

That’s exactly what Jesus did when He went to the cross. He looked past the pain of the cross to the reward in heaven. He had an eternal perspective. He wasn’t just looking at the here and now. If you just look at the here and now you’ll get discouraged and give up.

“Jesus was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterwards. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.” Hebrews 12:2

So whatever pain you are experiencing you need to view it through an eternal perspective.


How Can I Learn To Think Like Jesus?

  • Study His life and words in the Bible.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus who both began and finished the race we’re in. Study how He did it.” Hebrews 12:2 MSG

Study how Jesus ran the race of life. The more you study the Bible, the more you’ll get the mind of Christ and think like Jesus.

  • Ask God to show me the meaning and application.

“God, open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your word.” Psalm 119:18

If you will study God’s word and begin to apply it to your life, you’ll begin to develop these 10 character qualities in your life. It’s time to rethink your life.


Check Back

Briefly check back on your discussion from the last week, “Choosing To Manage My Mind” and the three daily choices for a healthy mind… one, I must feed my mind truth, I must free my mind from destructive thoughts, I must focus my mind on the right things.

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Big Idea

In 1 Corinthians 2:16, Paul assures us that we can learn to think like Jesus because he says that “we have the mind of Christ.”  Here we’ll consider exactly what it looks like to have the mind of Christ, and what actions we need to take every day.

1) I know exactly who I am.

2) I know God’s purpose for my life.

3) I’m always aware that God is with me.

4) I let god help me choose my words.

5) I don’t worry about pleasing everyone.

6) I depend on God’s power instead of my own.

7) I forgive my enemies & those who hurt me.

8) I am willing to sacrifice for others.

9) I want to do God’s will not mine.

10) I think with an eternal perspective.

Discussion & Application

  1. Which of the ten characteristics stand out to you the most?
  2. “The Father who sent me tells me what I should say and how I should say it.” (John 12:49)  — We must let God help us choose our words, but how can we let God help us do this? What are examples of situations where God’s help choosing our words could be important?
  3. “(Jesus said) I only try to please the One who sent me.” (John 5:30)  — What problems in my life can be caused by trying to please everyone? What is wrong with that kind of life goal?
  4. “No one can serve two masters…” Luke 16:13 — Whose approval are you depending on for your happiness?
  5. “I came . . . to do what God wants me to do, not what I want to do.” (John 6:38)  — We must do God’s will instead of our own will, but what is an example of doing what God wants instead of what I want?
  6. “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me.
    Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (
    Mark 14:36) — In the “Gethsemane Prayer” (Mark 14:36 above), identify these three key parts: (1) Faith; (2) Ask for God’s help; (3) Surrender.

Prayer Focus

Ask how you can pray for and support one another this week.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us know who we are, what is your purpose for our lives and that you are always with us.  Jesus, give us strength to follow your example of doing God’s will and humbling ourselves to be fully obedient.  Bless us with your direction in choosing our words, forgiving our enemies and sacrificing for others.  Holy Spirit, put in our hearts the eternal perspective and the understanding to have the mind of Christ in our daily lives.  We ask all these blessings in your name, Jesus.  Amen.   

Next Steps

Make sure you’re on the same page about SERVE Day. July 18th. You can get ideas and/or register your project https://rockbrook.org/serve