1 Peter - Finding the Real You
Growth Group Discussion Questions
Week #2:  January 15, 2012
“New Birth”


Evergreen News
• “Wear the Pants” Dad’s Conference, 1/21 @ Evergreen-Bloomington
• Evergreen University begins 1/23 – Spir Disciplines, FPU, Crave, FTBT (2/27)
• Couples Conference, 2/10-11 @ Double-Tree in Mpls
• Mid-Winter Singles Conference, 2/28 @ Evergreen-Bloomington

Warm-Up
Do you remember the videos shown at the weekend service that past 2 weeks?   If not, consider looking at yourself in a mirror and putting a label(s) on your forehead…  What might your labels say?   (ie. attractive, not-so-attractive, happy, sad, etc.)

Catch-Up
Reflect on the weekend message…  Was there anything that God impressed on your heart?

Bible Passages & Discussion Questions
Break into Tiny Groups of 3-5 people (if married, break into men’s & women’s sub-groups)

The powerful concept of regeneration (new birth) was predicted in advance by Ezekiel. Israel had been in a deep spiritual slide for years. At the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy, Israel had fallen apart and was exiled in foreign lands, due to their sin. The Old Testament is a painful illustration of how men and women need more than just a set of good rules (the law) to change their lives. People need more than will power. Therefore, God trashes the old plan (Old Covenant) and promises a new plan (New Covenant) with better promises.

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Ezekiel 36:25–27, NLT

1. Describe the “spiritual surgery” Ezekiel promises.

2. Who does the surgery?

3. What changes are promised?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3, NIV

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  1 Peter 1:23, NIV

4. Have you been born again? Is there evidence of the new birth in your life? Do you remember a specific time when regeneration occurred in your life? Can you describe how you knew that something had happened?


Application

5. What do you think about the fact that your regeneration was totally a work of God, and that you contributed nothing to it? How does it make you feel toward yourself? How does it make you feel toward God?

6. Are there areas where the results of regeneration are not very clearly seen in your own life? Do you think it is possible for a person to be regenerated and then stagnate spiritually so that there is little or no growth? What circumstances might a person live in that would lead to such spiritual stagnation and lack of growth (if that is possible), even though the person was truly born again?


Prayer

A thirsty plant withers – and cannot grow properly.  Is your soul thirsty?  Pray for the person on your left, perhaps for something specific, that they would not wither but water their soul (seek God, pray, read the Bible…), and experience the fruit of a new life in Christ!