For the next few weeks in Grow Groups at Ivy MCR we’re going to be revisiting the amazing teaching from Graham Cooke at our ‘Keys the City’ conference, based upon my notes. So much truth made it hard to capture it all, even though I’m pretty good at note taking!
WELCOME : Ice breaker – everyone tell a short story from the past – what you remember when you were 7 or 8.
WORSHIP – Take some time together to enjoy the presence of God.
Key learning point: If we are going to become the people that God sees when he looks at us, it is essential that we understand the process he takes us through to become Christlike.
Read Rom 6:3-14 (use various translations, compare and contrast etc)
There’s a three-stage process of transformation;
Closure, Conversion and Commissioning.
Discuss – what do those three words mean to you? How would the group define them? Compare to a dictionary definition of each.
The people coming out of Egypt had been slaves for 400 years, they had victim thinking. That means they only knew how to moan and complain and whine! They were a rabble, and had to become a different people group. They had to get closure from the past, if they were to inherit their future.
Q: What betrays the fact that a person has a victim mindset?
Q. Graham then said, ‘”The cross is CLOSURE for our old nature.” What does that mean?
In the Body of Christ there are people who are present/past (always affected by that, looking back).
And there are those who are present/future.
Q. Which are you, usually? If you went to the conference share how this teaching helped identify that.
When you are in Christ you don’t have a right to be wounded, but you have a right to be healed. No matter how many times some people (the past/present thinkers) get prayer, go for counselling etc., they can’t move on – it won;t happen without the old man being closed down. Whatever happened in the past, God’s view of it was that your past was too bad to be cured or cleansed – it had to be crucified!
So you’re dead. Your job – is to stay dead. Stop grave robbing. The date you got saved is on your headstone. The Holy Spirit is not working on your old stuff, he’s given you new life. Jesus died ONCE and FOR ALL.
Q: How do we encourage one another to die to the old life in order to live the new?
Graham said, “If you find it easy to be offended, it proves you don’t have much of a relationship with the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter. Let HIM comfort you – then grow up from being a baby. Establish your real identity. Offences are a hindrance.”
Q. Are you easily offended? How do you move on?
The identity issue is this: Don’t focus on what you’ve BEEN – Learn who you are becoming. We are Present/ future people when we like who we are now and who we are becoming!
Q. Do you like who you are now and who you’re becoming in Christ? If not – why not?
The old has died. God doesn’t talk to us about our sin, he’s dealt with it. Otherwise he’d be treading underfoot the cross as if it wasn’t powerful enough. Christians need to get our story straight – about what Jesus has done for us. Because the enemy would love you to be kept in classes or counselling focused on the old nature. That suits his purpose. He wants you to be focused on what you’re not. Then you’ll never overcome. God is preoccupied with who you are (identity) and who you’re becoming (future).
You don’t become a new person by just changing your behaviour. You discover who you are – and God leads you out of that. This is what it means to be converted! The OLD PASSED AWAY. The new you is the true you.
Jesus comes to you and says, ‘Give me back what I died and went to hell for!’ That anxiety, worry, negatives, hatred – it belongs to me! And I can’t give you what I have for you till you give it to me. I am your Prince of Peace but you can’t have it while you’re holding onto that. Learn to abide in who I am, not in who you are. There is no conversion, without closure.
Q: Have you thought about conversion in these terms before? What new insights have you on it now?
God isn’t dealing with your sin nature – but your sin habits. You have to learn how to be loved, joyful, peaceful, etc. The good habits of the nature of Christ.
PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER remembering, “He uses every situation in life to empower you to become like Jesus. If you’re in Christ, so are all your circumstances. They all have an answer in the Kingdom. So use them to grow up. God will turn it to good for us if we partner with him.”