Respond to Sunday, February 3
“New, Not Improved” – John 3:1-8
Truth: Conversion makes you new, not just improved. Barna Group data show that “born again Christians” don’t look much different from the world. The way they define “born again Christians” is questionable, however. They base their definition on something people say about themselves. The Bible defines born again in a different way.
Response: How would you define being born again? How does being born again change one’s life? If you are born again, how did it change your life? Do you have a conversion story? If so, share that with your spouse, family or friends this week.
Truth: The new birth is not getting new religion but new life. Nicodemus has a deep spiritual pedigree. Jesus says, “I know your pedigree, but your religion is insufficient because you have never been given new life.” Religion assumes that the problem of man is that we are bad people in need of improvement. Jesus says you aren’t just a bad person in need of improvement but a dead person in need of new life.
Response: What are some examples of religious activity? Church attendance? Feeding the poor? Baptism? What are some indications of the new birth? A new desire to read the Bible? To pray? Be around other believers? Tell others? Are you just participating in religious activities, or do you have indications of a new birth?
Truth: The new birth is not affirming the supernatural in Jesus but experiencing the supernatural in yourself. Nicodemus affirms the supernatural is at work in Jesus. You can affirm many truths about God and rationally understand who God is but not truly love and desire God. What happens at conversion is not just affirming facts about God. Conversion is when God comes into your life and you taste and see that God is good.
Response: Have you been made new? This is NOT a question about how long you’ve been going to church or if you have been baptized. The question is, has your life been changed? Do you have affection for God and the people of God? Do you have a hunger for his word and his presence? Do you grieve over your sin? If you have never seen these signs of life, then your only reasonable response is to repent and believe. If you have seen these signs of life, then let your assurance be strengthened.
Parents are uniquely mindful of the ramifications of the Gospel in the lives of their children as their children begin to ask questions and recount understanding of Gospel facts and even express affection for Jesus. The significance of the matter can naturally cause some confusion about the goal and generate some weighty questions about the process. “My daughter told me she prayed to Jesus last night after she went to bed because she wants to be a Christian. Is she?” “My son really wants to be baptized so he can go to heaven. Should he be?” “Our son can tell us the Gospel frontward and backward, but it doesn’t seem to have any impact on his behavior or his remorse for personal sin. What should we do?”
Truth: Children being raised by Christian parents in a Christian church will naturally develop understanding of Christian truths and fluency in Christian terminology. These natural occurrences create a healthy environment for conversion but they are not conversion on their own. Conversion is the gracious work of God through the power of the Holy Spirit made possible in Christ Jesus.
Response: Since conversion is empowered by the Holy Spirit, it is also evidenced by the Holy Spirit. Watch patiently for the fruit of God’s Spirit in your child, and affirm their genuine professions of affection and understanding along the way.
Prepare for Sunday, February 10
Pray for the Church
- Leaders in worship: Pastor Rickey Primrose, Brandon Ramey & the Worship Ministry.
- God will meet with us through His word and by His Spirit, lead us to worship Christ and grow in Christ-likeness.
- God will help us to be a church of zeal and hope, passionate about ministry and confident in His promises.
- God will make us more passionate about and obedient to His mission of leading people to trust and follow Christ
Prepare for the Message
God’s Work, Not Ours | Ephesians 2:1-10 – Pastor Rickey Primrose
We continue our series, “Conversion: How God Creates a People” this Sunday with a message titled “God’s Work, Not Ours.” Prepare for Sunday by reading through Ephesians 2:1-10. Review the sermon from last week as a reminder that conversion makes you new, not just improved. Knowing we are made new and not just improved, it follows that only God can do that work. As you read the text, make note of any mention of why we are saved and converted. Also, read for indications of what we contribute to our salvation and conversion. Consider how God’s salvation should humble us.
Music for Sunday
Victory in Jesus
by Eugene M. Bartlett
This is Amazing Grace
by Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, and Phil Wickham
Praise The King
by Corey Voss, Dustin Smith, Michael Bryce Jr., and Michael Farren
Jonny Robinson, Niki Shepherd, and Rich Thompson