Big Idea: One aspect of Jesus’s salvation is setting captives free. Tonight we are going to explore confession, repentance and forgiveness as practical tools to help us experience freedom.
Does anyone want to share how the Spirit ministered to them in our last time together?
** Leaders note: Taking time on the above question will build faith for what God is doing in your group.
We just experienced the Winter Olympics. If you were going to be in Olympics, winter or summer, what sport would you be in the olympics for and why?
Everyone of the athletes that made it to the Olympics didn’t start as one of the best athletes in their sport, but they have spent years and years practicing to help them grow and improve.
This week we saw that one aspect of Jesus’s salvation is setting captives free. We grow in freedom in Christ, in a similar way, through engaging in some basic but powerful practices that help us experience freedom. Tonight we are going to look at and practice three of those: confession, repentance and forgiveness. Additionally, we would like for these to be a regular part of our culture as a Lifegroup in an ongoing way, to help us all experience the freedom that Christ has for us.
** Note: Again, all of our groups are different in terms of size, relational history, demographics etc, so you will need to discern the best way to administer this- example might be breaking up guys in one room, girls in another.**
Read: Acts 3:19-20, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9, Colossians 3:12-14
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
– Acts 3:19-20
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
– James 5:16
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
– 1 John 1:9
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
– Colossians 3:12-14
What do these scriptures call us to and promise to us related to confession, repentance and forgiveness?
Have one of your leaders share a personal example of how confession, repentance and forgiveness has helped them experience freedom in Christ. This will set the tone and temperature for the night, so lead with confidence, depth and authenticity at this point.
Tonight we are going to put these verses into action together. Distribute pieces of paper and pens to the group. Have everyone make 3 columns on the paper:
Column 1: Repentance
Column 2: Confession
Column 3: Forgiveness
Communicate to everyone, as we are learning to grow in the salvation and freedom that Jesus has for us, and particularly looking at how that redeems places of brokenness in our lives that are legacies of our family of origin, we want to take another step in healing by practicing repentance, confession, and forgiveness.
You can use the handout Unbiblical Family Commandments to help as a starting off point for people.
In column 1 you are going to write negative legacies that you see from your family of origin, that you realize you need to repent of.
In column 2, you are going to write out prayers of confession related to these matters. We are going to encourage you to share those items with one or two trusted friends and have them pray for you.
In column 3 we are going to write out people who we need to forgive connected to these negative legacies. It might be a particular family member, institution or even yourself. As you fill this column out, take time to pray and forgive them from your heart. If it is someone you need to call or visit to express forgiveness, we encourage you to take that step.
Remember, this is the hard work of discipleship, but we are promised freedom as the fruit of working through this.
Wrap it up:
We want to encourage you to share what you need to confess with one or two other trust friends in our group. That can happen now before we leave, or sometime outside of this group.