Lesson 7 - Obedience
A closer look at temptation, sin, repentance and forgiveness
The goal of this lesson is to promote obedience for the right reasons.
Because we have a life with God, we have a unique opportunity to live life the way God designed it to be lived. His truth about life will lead us into lives of intense fulfillment and joy. Learning to align our actions with His truth takes obedience.
Obedience is truly our DUTY as members of God’s family, but it should be our LOVE for God that motivates us to obey. We don’t want to be like those who obey out of terrible guilt that they are not good enough, an unending sense of debt to pay back to God, or a hopeless quest to win God’s approval.
To discover a person’s motivation for obedience is not easy. It can be buried under layers of good intentions. So, as you lead your group through this lesson, listen for a person’s motivation and boldly teach the good news about an obedience motivated by love!
The first question in this section will help you discern if obedience is basically a good or bad thing in their minds. Make sure to note their answers here. Equally interesting will be their response to the second question about what truths they feel they are struggling to make a part of their lives. These will be moments of extreme vulnerability. As the leader, you should also be willing to be very open and share the sins that you are wrestling with.
The fourth question, “How do you think God feels when we don’t keep all of his truth” is deep. On the one hand, we know that God hates any sin and that sin destroys our lives; but on the other hand, we know that such a serious problem required an equally extreme solution. That solution was Jesus Christ. By his life of perfection and sacrificial death, he satisfied God’s just judgment against all sin. He solved the sin problem between us and God.
So, does sin and disobedience matter? Astoundingly, YES! It destroys our lives and moves US away from God. Does our sin change God’s attitude and connection to us? Astoundingly, NO! Christ’s work for us on the cross is powerful enough to satisfy God’s just judgment for even our biggest sin and enables God’s face to always be turned toward us.
John 8:1-12 – This is an amazing story that shows Jesus’ and God’s attitude toward those who are not obedient. This should not cause us to be careless in our sin, but to be obedient because of our love for the forgiver.
Key Questions to Answer:
All of these 5 questions are very helpful in getting to the heart of the obedience issue. Take your time as a group to work your way through these. Don’t be afraid to take another meeting to finish a lesson. These truths are too important to rush through. The summary piece from the study section focuses on our choices to obey and the need for submission. Read these two sections carefully and emphasize them at the end of the study section.
Here again, these questions are very personal and require real honesty and vulnerability. Acknowledge and commend these qualities in your group. These questions will lead the way to a life of healthy obedience to God.
Also, take note of the final comment in this section on repentance. Be prepared to walk with your group members before God to admit and turn away from specific sinful ways. Then, think about how to celebrate this renewal and freedom from sin.
Duški from Slovakia talks about obeying God in the midst of playing in a band that performs in a bar. Karolina from Poland details her choices to be obedient in everyday life and her relationships. Again, watch both videos beforehand and think of some key questions that could help the group remember this lesson.
John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Through the Week Study: We often talk about obedience in negative terms like failure and guilt. Notice the first question from day #1 that emphasizes the positive ways God is helping us to obey.
Also, the question from day #4 can bring to light some obstacles that group members may need the group’s help with. Some sins need prolonged action, prayer and team work. Work at developing a team attitude toward helping each other overcome sins.