The primary idea you need to keep revisiting during this Following Jesus Pathway is that we are following and being formed by Jesus. This pathway can be learned simply or in great depth. We trust that you as a leader know your people and the dynamics of your group well enough to adapt and impart this topic with grace and wisdom.
This guide is designed to help you and others follow and be formed by Jesus. Remember to keep it Jesus-Centered.
We pray that you will be Spirit-Led and Spirit- Empowered as you lead and learn together.
Brief Commentary and Context
(Answer this question here: What did this mean in the original context and how is it set in the larger story of the Bible?)
‘Baptized in the Name’ Overview:
Jesus tells us to ‘baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. In our culture, "name" refers primarily to what a person is called. But in Hebrew the thought that underlies Jesus' usage, "name" has a deeper meaning. To be baptized “in the name” of another person is to receive the essence of that person’s identity. We are called to die with Christ to our old life and be raised to new life and new identity in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Brief Commentary for for Romans 8:12-17 (The Spirit of Adoption)
The apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Roman church made up of both Greek and Jewish believers struggling to be united. He spent the first seven chapters of his letter masterfully laying out the gospel of Jesus Christ declaring a new righteousness provided for us through the life, death and resurrection of Christ that can only be received by faith. The apostle makes clear that all have sinned and fallen short and cannot be made right through their own efforts or even the Jewish law. Through Jesus a new covenant family has been born where all who have faith in Christ are now included, having died with him and who have now been raised to new life. In chapter eight Paul turns to describe the power of the Holy Spirit as the power to live in our new life and new identity as royal sons and co-heirs of God. There will be no other way to overcome the power of our fallen desires and cravings called the flesh other than the Holy Spirit. To live the life Jesus lived we will need the same Spirit by which Jesus lived and the same identity and experience as the beloved. Jesus is what a human looks like fully filled by and perfectly submitted to the Holy Spirit. He was a zero resistance home for the Holy Spirit. In other words, there has never been a happier home for the Holy Spirit than in Jesus. Often in church history the Holy Spirit has been either forgotten, misunderstood or relegated to something weird and less than God. We affirm that the Holy Spirit is very God and exactly like the Father and the Son. Jesus said that it was better for us that He went to the Father, so He could send us the Holy Spirit. There is something better than God in the flesh? What? Yes, it is God in all flesh, bringing to bear the intimacy and image of Christ in us, securing our adoption as “beloved” and empowering us to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. We are no longer slaves to fear, or powerless to overcome carnal desires. The Spirit lives in us to bring forth confident love, testifying to the depths of our spirit that we are children of God. Up from the core of our being comes a new secure connection to God as we cry, “Abba, Father.” We have the Spirit of the Son, bearing witness that we are God’s children and therefore we share in the full inheritance of the Son! The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture. Yes, this will mean sharing his suffering, but it is nothing compared to how we will share in his glory. We are invited to receive the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Jesus!
Summary Scripture: Rom 8:15- “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”
Core Truths/Scriptures for the topic
Acts 1:5 - “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Luke 3:16- “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
Ephesians 1:13-14- “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
1 Cor 2:10-12- these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
Galatians 5:16-26- “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
Extra Resources to help you Prepare
Anyone new in your home church?
Things to Consider:
Is the new individual, or family organically connecting with anyone in your home church? Suggest a coffee hang to begin a deeper connection, or consider having the individual/family over for an easy dinner to get to know them better.
Is the new individual, or family interested in receiving communication via text, or email? If so, have them email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and phone number.
Do they plan to attend All Navah Gatherings? If yes and it is a new family, they can email email@example.com with their name, their children(s) name, DOB and grade to make for a smooth kids ministry check-in process.