Date: June 12, 2022
Born Again by the Spirit
The Point: The Holy Spirit brings us into a new life as we place our trust in Jesus.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
How are you planning for the future? What are you doing to meet your retirement goals? There may be a new option for your 401(k). In April, Fidelity Investments, announced it would begin allowing bitcoin investments in their 401(k) retirement plans. Opinions vary on whether investing in cryptocurrency is a good strategy for retirement, with some pointing to the volatility of the crypto market. On the other hand, bills have been introduced in both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to prevent the U.S. Department of Labor from banning such investments in 401(k) plans.
Strategies vary for achieving retirement goals. Any investment plan dependent on a market—the stock market, the real estate market, the gold market, or the bitcoin market—is at risk of ups and downs. Unexpected shifts in these markets can cause drastic changes in a person’s retirement and their plans for the future.
But retirement isn’t the most important thing in your future. This session we will look beyond retirement to our eternal future. We will see what Jesus has to say about our future and how we can secure eternal life.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. She enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor in Southern California. Back in Tennessee now, she loves being a mom and writer.
Live It Out
Use the following story to conclude your study of this session.
A recent article in Smithsonian Magazine details the changes that happen to a woman’s body when she becomes a mother. While there are many changes we are all familiar with—outside physical changes, a rounder body, possibly a more emotional state of mind—what you may not know is that actual cells from a baby stay in a woman’s body for decades after giving birth. The article explains,
A mother’s body is like her living room, strewn with kid castoffs and debris. Scientists discover fetal cells in the darnedest places. Our children colonize our lungs, spleens, kidneys, thyroids, skin.…Often they stay forever. Scientists find rogue fetal cells while autopsying the cadavers of old women, whose babies are now middle-aged. Long after giving birth, the bodies of surrogate mothers are scattered with the genes of strangers’ progeny.
Birth is a miracle—and as with all of creation, the more we discover about the way we are made, the more those discoveries declare and reflect the glory of God, and the gospel truths we love so much. When we are reborn in Christ, we are in Him and He is in us. We are hidden in Christ the same way the cells of babies hide within their mothers, never fully leaving the body of the one who created them! How incredible it is to be reborn in Christ! Let us never forget our spiritual birth, and the miracle of being one with Christ’s body forever. He is always with us—and we are always with Him.
Live It Out (Option from the Daily Discipleship Guide. p. 119)
As you begin the Live it Out section, use the following teaching idea.
Click here to access a photo of a cruise ship and print this off. Display this to your group, then ask, “What do the passengers on a cruise ship do to keep the ship afloat and on course? Are they earning their voyage in any way?” Allow time for discussion. Share that the only things the passengers on a cruise need to do in order to reach their destination is to step onto the boat—just as we, as believers, need to put our trust in Jesus every day. Our biggest job as believers is to trust that Jesus will carry us and protect us. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation; we simply have to be willing to trust in the One who saves.
- When has your life taken an unexpected turn?
- Where have you seen a new beginning recently?
- When have you been grateful for a fresh start?
- What do most people associate “being born again” with today? Why?
- How would you explain what it means to be “born again” to a nonbeliever?
- When did you first get interested in knowing more about Jesus?
- How can you feel the work of the Spirit in your life?
- How are you becoming more like Christ as you grow?
- How can we see the Holy Spirit at work in our life after we receive new life?
- What are some ways we can “lift up” the Son of Man in our words, or as we go about our daily lives, so that others are invited to believe?
- How can verse 17 help us have grace for nonbelievers?
- Why is “trust” a good word to use in describing a belief that saves?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.