Date: 06/017/2012

Location: Fairview BC

File Under: Mind of Christ MasterWork, The Mind of Christ Study, Week 3

Target Group: Median Adults

Exegetical Idea While we are justified (made guiltless of our sin) through Christ’s work in us, we are still plagued with the sin of this world. The process toward freedom is a process of sanctification. It is a process of identifying our chains and seeking the Lords help that frees us from the bondages of this life.

Pedagogical Idea While the individual is experiencing the freedom from sin that comes with having the mind of Christ and focusing on His Kingdom (week 2), the bondages of the mind might still exist. Freedom from inner bondage comes slowly and will require a resolute focus on the holy priorities of God.

Lesson Aims Cognitive (Head): The class member will learn the 8 area of “neutral bondage” and the means by which one might aim them toward Godliness as well as the 3 areas of negative bondage and the means by which to dispel them. Affective (Heart): The class member will commit themselves to a life free from negative bondage. Behavioral (Hands): The student will evaluate his life and develop a plan to take stock of priorities. He will then begin the slow process of seeing God break the bond that hold him.

Hook: Begin the class time with a looking at the story “Epic Life can Be a Crazy Ride” from On Mission Magazine, Summer 2012 (pg 28-30): After you relate the story of this church plant you might ask, “even thought these new Christians are free from the penalty of their sin what are some of the earthly bondages that hold them?” “Is something like drug addiction or chronic poverty something that can be over come in one day?” Say, “No, those who are held in bondage by such things must first admit they have a problem that needs attention. Then they must seek help and put together a plan that the Lord will use to set them free. Today we are going to talk about bondages. Many of us might be able to share stories about the bondages experienced by the people attending Epic Life Church, but today we are going to focus on the “middle class bondages” that many of us suffer from unknowingly or passively.

Book: Say, “Last week we looked at how the Mind of Christ will help us flee from temptation when we focus on His righteousness and His Kingdom. However, as we begin to “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s]” we will encounter areas of internal bondage. King separates these area of bondage into two groups: neutral and damaging. Neutral areas include habits. A habit can be negative (the habit of absent mindedness ) or positive (the habit of prayerfulness). Damaging areas include fears; these areas are absent from the life of Christ and contain no intrinsic value.” Briefly, review the neutral areas with the class (you might want to ask for negative examples of each). Below is a few verses and ideas that might be helpful in your explanation of each area. We will dig into the affective aspects of the different areas in the next section (Remember the Book portion of the class is focused on the text. In the Look section, we begin to apply it)

Habits: Jesus had habits (prayer, Mark 1:35; solitude/time with the father, Luke 22:39; going to the synagogue, Luke 4:16; teaching, Mark 10:1). The goal is not being “habit-less.” The goal is being intentional and focused in your habits. Loyalties: Jesus was loyal to the Father and did His work (John 14:9-14). The goal is not to be an anarchist who has no loyalties. The goal is to have proper, God-focused loyalties. Relationships: Jesus had healthy relationships. (His mother, John 19:26-27; Lazarus’ family, Luke 10:28 -39, John 11:5). The key to identifying Godly relationships is to question their ability to guide you toward good spiritual health. Prejudices: Jesus was prejudiced toward the holy ways of God and to the Word of God (Mark 7:8-13; Matt 8:4; Matt 5:17). Prejudices either help further the Kingdom of God or subvert the Kingdom of God. Ambitions: Jesus was ambitious to follow the Father and do His Work (John 4:34). The issue with ambition is not its existence, but its motive (Phil 2:3). Duties: Jesus had duties; He was committed to the task at hand (Matthew 16:21). The issue is not having duties. It having the right ones. King writes, “The conviction stole upon me that I was carryin on several busy activities for which I was not gifted or called.” (36-37) Debt: Relational and monetary debt can keep us from proper spiritual maturity. Paul said he as a debtor when talking about his ministry. (Rom 1:14 KJV). He did not own money; he owned them the Gospel! Possessions: It is not wrong to have stuff. What we must remember is that God gives us possessionsso that we can use it for His glory. We do not own things; we are only stewards of God’s possession. Negative Areas The Negative Areas are absent from the life of Christ. They are areas that can harm us and keep us from reaching proper Christ-likeness. Fear: We serve the all-powerful creator of the world, who redeemed us and called us according to His purpose; He will keep us. Therefore, fear reveals a lack of trust in God. We are to look to Him for the stamina needed to get through life. Weakness: Sometimes we feel that we are lacking in some area, that we have some weakness. The Lord does not see us like that. (I Cor 12). We have been or will be given what is necessary to complete the work God calls us to. He is the strength that we tap as we fight the battle Hurts: Past hurts keep us imprisoned and we are not free to take our next step in faithfulness and Christlikeness. Hurts must be dealt with. The first step is prayer. (Matt 5:43-44) He is the balm that eases our pain. Transition: Say, “Just understanding the areas of bondage is not enough. We need to begin to move to an area of freedom.” Lets go back to the top and discuss one move we can make for each area that might loosen the chains.”

Look: Give each person an envelop with a card for each area of bondage. On the front have the name of the bondage and on the back divide the card in half with a line. On the left write “The Carnal Mind.” On the right side, write “The Mind of Christ” Say, “As we talk about these areas, I want you to think of chains in your life. They might seem small. Regardless, of their “size” write one or two on each card (if it comes to mind) on the right side write a thought, verse, or activity that might replace that area of bondage or help you be free from it. Habits: Habits can consume us. They can take up our time, mental capacity, and money. What habits do you have that are keeping you from experiencing the freedom of Christ? What habits might replace those bad ones (prayer to replace idleness maybe, healthier food to replace snack food, Bible reading to replace excess TV watching….what habits do you have?) Loyalties: Loyalties can cause conflict between us and the spirit or character of Christ. What loyalites do you have that pull you away from the things of God or cause you to advance man’s Kingdom over God’s? Relationships: Sometimes we have friends in our life who pull us down. Do you have any of those? What can you do this week to redeem that relationship or if necessary separate yourself from it. (you might have to pray and ask God to help you) Prejudices: King writes, “In these times, dangerous prejudices for the believer are those of race or ethnic group. Prejudice imperils reconciliation, and God wants all His people to be reconciled.” (35) In other words, its hard to witness to people you are prejudice against. Ask God to free you from prejudice. Duties: We are not called by God to be over worked. We are gifted and called by God to certain tasks. If we too tired to fulfill our calling because we are running around trying to please everyone else but God we might want to reevaluate our duties. Debt: If we are in monetary debt to someone, we are not as free to follow God as we could me. Freedom from debt is freedom to follow Christ.

Possessions: Possessions can have a hold on us like few other things. My car, my house, my money… is incorrect. Its not mine. It is God’s, and He is loaning it to me. If you are a follower of Christ and you have something in your possession, God gave it to you to use for the good of His Kingdom. Fear: What can’t you do? What frightens you? What do you dread? Now, What can’t God do? Who is more powerful than God, that He should be afraid? What does God not know and anticipate that He should dread it? You are His and He will empower and protect you. Weakness: Yes there are things we might not be good at but God will not call us to something and then fail to equip us or provide someone to walk with us. Are you faced with a seemingly insurmountable task? Ask God to equip you or to give you a partner to help out. Hurts: Hurts can stay with us a long time and they can suck the power and vitality out of our spiritual life. Ask God to begin healing you and freeing you from the bondage of hurt. One first step might be to pray for the person who has hurt you. (Hurts can go back many years or they can be fresh. If a hurt is fresh, you might want to ask God to help you address the situation so that relationships can be healed. Healing of relationship is not a superficial smile-and-shake-hands-when-I-see-them kind of thing. Healing is true reconciliation where people grow in Christ and love flourishes. These are some tough thoughts and you might not get through them in your classtime. You might want to pick some to address and some to skip. Transition: As we conclude today remember what we are doing. Last week we looked at freedom from sin. This week we looked at freedom from mental bondage. As we begin to be set free indeed we will then be able to move toward the character of Christ. That is next weeks lesson. Before we leave this topic though, I want to send you home with a small task this week. (Took)

Took: “Take the cards and the envelopes home with you and spend time praying over them. Don't be overwhelmed. Ask God to reveal one or two areas that you need to deal with and then ask Him to help you do that.

End the class with announcements and prayer requests.

This lesson plan was prepared using: Livingstone, Mike, “The Mind of Christ,” MasterWork (Summer 2012), 7-19. Hunt, T.W.. The Mind of Christ. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1995.

Prepared by J. Cardinell http://smallgroupconnector.wordpress.com

See onmission.com for the full summer edition of the magazine

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