A disciple sees their sin and shortcomings and puts their trust in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to make them right with God. By the grace of Christ, we are loved, accepted, and can stand before the Father as holy and blameless. As you go deeper in your relationship with Jesus, repentance becomes a daily response to the grace Jesus extends to us. One example of how we can learn to repent daily is by looking at what we are trusting in for our identity. We can ask God to reveal when our identity is based on our successes or failures instead of who Jesus is. Repent of that and trust in the identity we have in Christ. Review the Circles diagram from the intro lesson on anchoring your identity in Jesus and remind yourself of places where you are focused on self. Repent from those things and begin believing in Jesus as your center.
With Your Small Group
1. Introduction: Use one small group meeting to watch the video below and discuss this lesson as a starting point.
2. TouchPoint: use these questions before, during, and after working through the resources to help your group have conversations about how you’re growing together in this disciple character trait:
- How might your small group incorporate a regular practice of corporate confession?
- Have each group member respond to this question personally: In light of what you’ve been learning about this trait of a disciple of Jesus, what does repentance look like for you?
3. The Practice of Confession: James 5:16 encourages us to confess our sins to one another. A small group can be a safe place to confess and be reminded that Jesus took it all on the cross for us. Read this article for ideas on how to practice this in your group: Strengthening Your Small Group Through Confession
4.Choose one of these Bible studies or books:
- Jonah: Grace for Sinners and Saints. This study explores how we are more like Jonah than we might think, bringing the Bible to life by examining our own motives and affections. It points us to the good news that the Lord is in charge, even over those who try to run from him. (10-session Bible study with leader guide; homework preparation not required.)
- The Prodigal God by Tim Keller. This book reveals in a fresh way the grace God extends to both brothers in Jesus’ familiar parable. (192 pages, reading homework required. A companion six-session DVD series is available in our Discipleship library along with a study discussion guide; responding to questions as homework is recommended but not required.)
- Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller. This book explores Scripture to demonstrate how our hearts can turn good, wholesome things into idols that drive us. Discover how only God can wholly satisfy our cravings!(256 pages, reading homework required). Use this study guide to explore the teachings. (8-session Bible study guide with homework preparation recommended but not required.)
Is your group looking to connect more between meetings?
Use the YouVersion Bible app to connect as a group outside your regular meeting times. The Bible app has many different reading plans designed to take you through the Bible in a year, or a single book over the course of a few weeks, or through select Scriptures on a specific topic. Many of the reading plans also include a short devotional to unpack the Scripture a little and challenge you with questions to think about as you read. When you start a new plan, choose the option of reading it “With Friends,” and the app will walk you through inviting others to join you. Get to know each other better and be encouraged by doing a reading plan together. We recommend: Chosen: Remind Yourself of the Gospel
On Your Own
1. Consider practicing the “disciplines of gospel-repentance” that Tim Keller outlines in this article: All of Life is Repentance
3. Use the YouVersion Bible app to stay connected in a consistent way with the Bible. The app has many different reading plans and short devotionals designed to help you consistently read and engage with Scripture. We recommend this devotional which encourages us to remember the good news of the Gospel every day.
Foundational verses provide the biblical basis for each character trait. Read through these verses together as a group when you first begin exploring this trait. You might also consider memorizing one of the verses together.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”—2 Corinthians 7:10
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.’”—Isaiah 30:15
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”—Acts 2:38
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”—Acts 3:19
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”—2 Corinthians 5:18-20