Lesson 2 - New Person in Christ
Who you are – now that you are “In Christ”
The goal of this lesson is to help new Christians understand better their identity in Christ. They need to know about WHO they are in Christ and WHAT they have in Christ now that they are a Christian.
Many things have changed in our lives now that we have a relationship with God. Read through John 14:1-21 and note for yourself all the changes that take place now that we are “In Christ”. You can also look at Ephesians 1 to review additional changes that have taken place. It is important to emphasize to the student that now their self-worth or identity has changed – it is no longer based on their accomplishments or status, but on the fact that they are a child of God with full access to all the benefits and blessings that come from Him.
The main idea behind these first questions is to help the students see that their self-worth and identity need to be based on something solid and unchanging. If their self-worth and identity are based on things that shift and change, like accomplishments, roles or friends, those can quickly change and leave them feeling lost and empty. Real self-worth and stability starts when we realize that, in Christ, God is always for us. We are like his child and that can never be changed!
John 14:1-21 – Jesus was speaking to his disciples in the upper room after the last supper. In this passage he has a lot of important things to say about who we are in Christ and what we have now that we are in Christ.
Key concepts to highlight. The main concept behind this passage and its various questions is about our new acceptance and positive position with God. Each of the 6 points in this section show us our new acceptance and position. This concept is in stark contrast to other world religions that teach a kind of relationship with God based on works and achievement. Be sure to emphasize the ones you think are important for the individuals in your group.
The three questions at the beginning of this section are designed for one main purpose. Our tendency as sinful humans is to know about the great benefits of a relationship with God, but to be unable to accept them because of our feelings of sinfulness and unworthiness. These questions will help you as a leader to get under the surface with your group and see if they are struggling to accept the benefits of being “in Christ”. If they are (which is very common), you will know you have some more work ahead in helping them to feel capable of accepting God’s gracious gifts.
The skills summary applications really get down to the everyday lives of your students. These assignments can bring out very personal and even private issues, but this is where Christ wants to do his work. So, don’t be afraid to allow the discussion to go to places of personal struggle. Don’t be afraid to face the sad, the dark, and the depressing or otherwise deeply emotional issues in their lives. Face these issues with the boldness of Christ and with prayer. Use these occasions to reflect God’s acceptance of them, even in their sinful imperfections.
It’s also important to realize that these questions need follow-up in the next group session. The application assignments can start your next meeting’s discussion.
The video of Tabita is great for girls. She articulates her story very well and many girls can identify with her, especially when she talks about how she feels about who she is and that God made her perfectly the way she is. For the guys, Křzeszek from Poland tells his story about trying to find his identity through education and knowledge. He also talks about the fact that his security comes from Christ and that Christ is the one he can rely on now to help him and change him. Again, watch both videos beforehand and think of some key questions that could help the group remember this lesson.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Don’t give in to the temptation to skip over the verse memorization for each week. The word of God in our minds is what the Holy Spirit will use for the rest of these students’ lives. Maybe they will forget most of these lessons, but if God’s word sticks in their minds, he has promised not to let it go unused!
Through the Week Study. All these Bible verses for the week build on the topic from the lesson. The readings are very powerful, as well as the questions connected with each day. Any of these questions can make great discussion for the next week, especially the questions from days 1, 5, 6 & 7.