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LEADERS GUIDE Topic: Repent & Believe Part 1

Updated: May 23, 2023

Simple Reminders

  • 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.

Repent and Believe Hand Motion

Researchers have found that moving our bodies and adding actions to our learning significantly increases our ability to remember. Here is a hand action you can add to the command to remember it:

  • Repent; Step 1: Take your right hand and stretch it in front of you.

  • Repent; Step 2: Turn your outstretched hand towards your heart

  • Believe; Step 1: Place both hands, at your temples: palms facing forward, fingers touching your temples

  • Believe; Step 2: Raise both arms in the air: hands open and facing forward

Brief Commentary and Context

Repent and Believe Overview - Jesus offers us the Kingdom of God and calls us to rethink (repent: ‘metanoia’) everything we thought we knew about what would lead us to the good life and trust (believe: ‘pisteuō’) in him instead. (Comer, “Live No Lies” p.253) This change of mind and heart looks like trusting Jesus as King of our lives rather than ourselves, and leads us away from sin into the love of God. Repentance and faith begin our journey with Jesus and are the ongoing means of our transformation and sanctification until the end of our lives.

  • Brief Commentary for Luke 19:1-10 (Zaccheus Repents)

    • As Jesus was nearing the end of his ministry he set his face like flint determined to give his life in Jerusalem. Along the way he stopped in Jericho where crowds had amassed to find out who this famous Rabbi from Nazareth was. A tax collector named Zacchaeus was eager to see Jesus, but being too short decided to climb a sycamore tree to get a better view of the action. With hundreds gathered around him something drew Jesus’ attention to this small man up in a tree. “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today”, Jesus said. Zacchaeus must have been thinking, “How does he know my name? Why does he want to come to my home.” A great and deeply humbling honor for a man of such low reputation, Zacchues gladly welcomed the great miracle-working teacher into his home. As usual Jesus’ choice to mix with the ‘sinners’ stirred up accusations from the religious elite. Jesus spent time lingering at the table of this disreputable man. This interaction with Jesus, something about his presence, captured Zacchues’ heart and changed his mind about how he was living. The time spent in the presence of Jesus transformed his way of thinking and acting. He gave his possessions to the poor and set out to make amends with those he had cheated. We know we have repented when our actions demonstrate our new way of thinking. Matthew 3:8 states “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance”. The transformation of Zaccheus demonstrates this principle. Ongoing repentance and trust in Jesus will change the way we think and ultimately the entire way we live.

Core Truths from the Topic:

  • Summary Scripture- Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “ The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

  • Key Idea:

    • Repent (metanoia)- a change of mind, turning to live God’s way rather than our own.

    • Believe (pisteuō)- placing our trust and confidence in Jesus for all of life.

  • Core Truths from the Topic

    • Hebrews 6:1- “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”

    • Matt. 3:8- “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”

    • Luke 15:7- “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

    • Jn 1:12- But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

    • Jn 20:31- but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    • Job 42:5-6- “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

    • Rom. 2:4- Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

    • 2 Cor. 7:10- For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

Acts 5:31- God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

Extra Resources to help you Prepare

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