Discipleship Pathway: Deliver

May 10, 2023   /   Bolton Community Church

Deliver

SESSION GOALS

The point of every session is a main idea with the goal of informing our knowing, feeling, and doing.

MAIN IDEA: Jesus offers us a fresh start in life.

Head Change: To know that we need to be born again spiritually to enter the Kingdom of God.

Heart Change: To feel grateful that we’ve been delivered from our old life.

Life Change: To step into the abundant blessings of new life in Christ: family, friendships, the adventure of mission and ministry, and eternal hope.

OPEN

What’s the craziest birth story you’ve ever heard? Do you know the circumstances around your own birth? Like, were you premature or full-term? Were you born by C-section? What was your birth weight? Were both your parents present at your birth?

 A baby being born is a big deal. In this session, Anthony points out that being born again into God’s family is an even bigger deal – an even bigger miracle. Once we’ve discovered His love for us, He delivers us into a brand-new life made possible by His resurrection power.

VIEW

As you watch, write down how Anthony answers these questions.

Why was Nicodemus drawn to Jesus?

What did Nicodemus ask Jesus?

Into which three distinct time periods does Anthony divide his life, and why?

 

Show SESSION #3: Deliver (8 minutes)

REVIEW

Anthony begins this session with the assertion that there’s an even more miraculous kind of birth than childbirth. What is it, and why is it so astounding?
Anthony tells the story of a woman in a pub asking him somewhat derisively if he’d become ‘one of these born-again Christians.’ In your particular context, what are the cultural connotations of the term ‘born again’? Do you cringe at the thought of using this kind of language? If so, why?

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that he needed to be born again, because ‘no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit’ (John 3:1–5). What does this mean? How would you explain it to a child or an atheist? Share the story of how you discovered God’s love, and then how He delivered you from sin and into a new life.
Anthony describes his life in three eras: BC, JC, and AD. What do these abbreviations stand for? Discuss the milestone markers along the path of your faith journey. What significant changes have taken place in your life? Did you experience a dramatic born-again moment, or was your entry into new life with Jesus more of a slow, steady dawning? Have you ever thought of yourself as a new creation? If not, why not?
When Anthony ‘fessed up in the pub, answering the woman’s question about whether he’d been born again, with a simple, honest yes, her eyes filled with tears and she said, ‘How wonderful.’ Describe a time when your (slightly embarrassed) confession of faith elicited a surprising, welcome response.

BIBLE EXPLORATION

Deliverance from sin – a release from its captivity – is a sign of God’s Kingdom breaking out in our lives. Isaiah 61:1 reads, ‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me, for the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the broken-hearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.’ Read Romans 6:14–19. How have you seen God’s Kingdom come in the lives of people in your community through a release from slavery to sin?
One of God’s Hebrew names in the Bible is Jehovah Mephalti – the God of Deliverance, or the Lord my Deliverer. He delivered Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel, Samson, Gideon, Ehud, Esther, and countless others. How has God come through for you (relationally, financially, emotionally, physically, or in any other way) as the Lord your Deliverer?
Psalm 40:2 reads, ‘He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.’ The Message paraphrase renders this verse, ‘He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip.’ Does someone you love find themselves in deep mud right now? What would it take for them to believe that God is a strong deliverer?
The Psalms are littered with references to God’s deliverance. Read Psalm 34:4, 34:17, 50:15, and 107:6. From what did God deliver the psalmist, and what was the result?

LAST WORD

May you remember the wondrous truth that it’s not about how good or bad you’ve been, but how great God is. When you were trapped by sin, God delivered you into freedom and abundance. Take a moment to celebrate! The new life into which you’ve been born has unlocked innumerable blessings, now and in eternity, and you get to share it with others.

DEEPER WALK

Select at least one activity below to complete before watching the next session.

Read: Read 2 Samuel 22:2. How has God been your rock? How has He been your fortress? How has He been your deliverer? Is there someone in your life who needs to be encouraged by this truth?

Write: If you’ve never written down your deliverance story, do so now. Is God prompting you to send it to someone, or to record it in a way that could be passed down to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren one day?

Pray: God longs to deliver you from addictions and habitual sins. Turn to Him today in prayer, and though He already knows, tell Him exactly where you are and what you need to be delivered from.

 

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