Week 2: Born of the Spirit
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share their top one or two questions they would like to ask God.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: John 3:1-17
- Have all participants close their Bibles (and Bible apps). See if the group can recite from memory John 3:16. Once the group is close to consensus, check to see how they did with this familiar verse.
- When can something become so familiar that it loses its freshness or uniqueness? Has John 3:16 become so familiar that it has lost its audacious claim?
- Another familiar phrase from this passage is “being born again” or “born from above.” [Both are appropriate translations.] What does it mean to be “born again” or “born from above” in light of this passage? [Guided by the Spirit; believes in Jesus, etc.]
- How does verse 17 support and expand verse 16?
- How is the word “believes” used in this passage? [Belief is more than just head knowledge; it is trusting our lives to God’s promises.]
- Which phrase in verse 16 is most astonishing?
- “For God so loved the world”
- “He gave his only Son”
- “So that everyone who believes in him may not perish”
- “But may have eternal life”
- What might it look like to live in light of John 3:16?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Loving God, we confess that our gaze is often too low – focused on the earthly instead of what is being born of you from above and from within. By the power of your Holy Spirit, broaden our understanding of love and grace to see more fully how you see. Help us to love others in such a way that your love is on full display. Amen.