Scrolling through photos on your phone or computer often brings a few surprises. Some photos churn up memories that aren’t so pleasant to think about. Just like the annoying acquaintance who photobombs every photo, there are things in our life that always seem to show up, seldom welcomed. Whether it’s others reminding you of past mistakes, the family that can’t trust that you’re sober now, your own self-condemnation over secret sins, or the sins themselves — they photobomb our lives. What if you could delete them all with one fell swoop? God has given us a way, through His son Jesus.
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. What do you think is at the root of our obsession with photos in this age of social media?
2. What do you do to escape the reminders of your less-than-perfect moments?
3. Read Romans 6:6-9. What do you think it looks like to “die in Christ”?
3. What are you afraid you’ll have to give up if you die to self? What do you think you will gain?
4. Would you describe Jesus as the foundation of your life? If so, how does He help you weather life’s storms?
5. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. What does it mean to you to become “a new creation”?
6. Read Matthew 16:24-25. Reflect on this scripture. What practical steps can you take this week to begin or continue to live out these words?
Romans 6:6-9 – For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Matthew 16:24-25 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
During the message this week, you may have, for the first time, made the important decision to follow Jesus. If that’s the case, we celebrate that life-changing decision, and we hope you were able to let us know! Some next steps you might want to consider would be baptism (visit gatewaychurch.com/ baptism for upcoming dates and more information) and Starting Gate, which happens after each of our services and provides info on how you can live connected by serving others with others.
Additionally, gotquestions.org provides a great article on next steps for new Christ-followers. Here’s an excerpt:
First, as a new Christian, begin reading the Bible. There are many translations and numerous places to start. While there is no perfect translation, we recommend you choose a Bible that is easy for you to understand and is faithful to the original text of the Bible. To sample some of today’s popular translations, you can go to websites such as BibleGateway.com or YouVersion.com. We recommend that you begin your reading with the Gospel of John or one of the other Gospels to read for yourself what Jesus taught and did during His time on earth.**
Second, as a new Christian, begin praying. Prayer is simply talking with God. Many believe prayer must include a formal set of words that can only take place during a church service. However, the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are instructed to praise God day and night. If we desire to know God more deeply, we must communicate with Him regularly.
…[Additionally] as a new Christian, build friendships with others Christians. The Christian life is designed to be enjoyed with others. Jesus invested much of His ministry with 12 disciples as His closest friends. He likewise calls us to live in community with one another. The New Testament has over 50 “one another” verses that refer to loving one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, and praying for one another. Each of these commands requires relationships with other Christians.
To read the article in its entirety, visit gotquestions.org/new-Christian.html
**If you were at one of our campuses this week and decided to follow Christ, you should have received a copy of the Gospel of John. That’s a great place to start as you begin diving into the Bible.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/new-creation