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The Spirit Filled Life: Born of the Spirit

Summary

In John 3, Jesus talks about us being born again, and he draws on various Old Testament promises to speak about the new life that is available to us, when we become followers of Jesus. The Spirit washes us, cleanses us, gives us a new heart, and allows us to enter the Kingdom as children of God. 

Like birth itself, some of us may have found that our experience of being ‘born again’ was long, complicated and perhaps painful. For others, it may have been more straightforward and less dramatic. But for all of us who are followers of Jesus, there was a time when the Spirit brought us into the Kingdom and made us new.   

This practice is designed to help us reflect on our own experience of being born again. And if you are not yet a follower of Jesus, the comments in brackets will help you know how you can take part in this as well. We will spend some time reflecting on our own experience, before sharing it with another person, and them praying for God to help us share it with others in our lives. 

Personal Reflection (10 minutes) 

This practice should be done as individuals. You may want to turn off the screen while you do it, or play some worship music in the background. 

Spend 10 minutes thinking about your own experience of becoming a Christian. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring things to mind, as you reflect. Write down some of the following:

  • Looking back, how was the Holy Spirit at work, drawing your heart to Jesus? 
  • What made you first become aware of your need for cleansing, forgiveness, or a new start? 
  • How did you decide to surrender to Jesus, and what was it like taking that step? 
  • What difference did it make to you, immediately, and in the time since?
  • In what ways are you different now to before you followed Jesus? 
  • How does the Holy Spirit continue to help you in this new life? 

(If you wouldn’t consider yourself a follower of Jesus, simply reflect on where you are currently. How do you feel about him? Are you aware of any ways that the Holy Spirit may be active in your life? What would it take for you to be willing to surrender to Jesus?)

Discussion (10 minutes)

In breakout rooms of 2 or 3, share some of your story, as much as you are comfortable. You won’t have long, but make sure there is enough time for each person to share 

Personal Reflection (10 minutes) 

This practice should be done as individuals. You may want to turn off the screen while you do it, or play some worship music in the background. 

Spend 10 minutes thinking about your story and asking God the questions below. Write down any thoughts that occur to you, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage to act upon them this coming week.

  • Holy Spirit, are there any parts of my story I forgot to reflect on, or things you want to reveal to me about the journey you have brought me on? 
  • Are there particular people around me who I should share this story, or parts of this story, with this week? 
  • How should I share my story in a way that will resonate with, and speak to my friends? Is there particular language it would be helpful to use or avoid? 
  • What am I fearful of about sharing the story of my coming to faith? Holy Spirit, would you give me courage to take that step this week? 

(If you wouldn’t consider yourself a follower of Jesus, simply reflect again on where you are currently. What would help you as a next step of exploring faith? Are there particular people you should talk to, or things you should try? Perhaps you may want to try prayer, even for the first time. Ask God to reveal Himself to you this week, and to give you eyes to spot where He is working in your life.)

Closing Prayer

Holy Spirit,

Wind of God, who works and moves in unseen ways,
Thank you for your work in me,
Drawing me to you, and into your Kingdom.

Water of God, who cleanses us from our sin,
Thank you for your work in me,
Washing me clean, and giving me a new start.

Life of God, who brings others to share in your life,
Thank you for your work in me,
Bringing safely through new birth, and into your eternal Kingdom

Would you fill me with your presence,
And help me to partner with you,
In drawing others into your Kingdom.

Amen.