Begin with prayer: “God, ask you to speak to me through your Word, the Bible. Speak to my heart to understand what you want to say to me. Amen.”
Bible Study #4: How God Builds His Character in Us
2 Corinthians 5
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
Q – Before you became a Christian, you simply did what you wanted. But now, according to these verses, what kind of conflict will you now experience?
Q – According to verse 16, what are we to do?
Q – And according to verse 16, if we do, what will be the outcome?
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and 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.
Q – Does God intend for this lifestyle to be characteristic of our lives, now that Christ lives in us?
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Q – What does God want to do in your life?
2 Corinthians 3
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom…18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Q – What will happen as we allow the Holy Spirit to change our lives?
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Q – Instead of a life characterized by sin, what does God want to produce in our lives?
Q – According to verse 25, how can these qualities become true in our lives?
Luke 6 – Jesus said:
47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
Q – What three things does Jesus ask us to do?
Q – And how would this change our lives?
John 15 – Jesus said:
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Q – Jesus used the example of grapes growing on branches, connected to the main vine. As we seek to obey Jesus, according to verse 5, what produces the fruit (His qualities) in our lives?
2 Corinthians 3
18 and we…are being transformed…
5 …apart from me you can do nothing.
2 Corinthians 4
7 …this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Q – According to these verses, who does God want us to rely on for change in our lives? Is it up to us to change ourselves?
Conclusion: Summarize what all these verses are saying about what God wants to produce in our lives and how He will do that.
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For Study #5, click here.