Here are some suggestions for kicking off this new series this week:
A. Start by catching up and welcoming newcomers and introducing everyone. Go over the Small Group Guidelines or “Home Safe Home” as we call it.
B. Ice Breaker: Imagine tomorrow it was Jesus who woke up in your skin, in your bed. If it was Jesus who put on your clothes, greeted your family, went to work driving through traffic in your car, and went to your job relating to everyone at work and the people you saw throughout the day. What might be some dramatic ways that the person people saw would be different than who they usually see? Give at least one example of how that person might be different?
C. Introduce the topic and the memory verse.
D. Watch the video above and follow along with the outline provided here.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Romans 6:4 (NIV)
Jesus wasn’t baptized for sins since he never did. His baptism was his way of identifying with us. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. In the same way Jesus didn’t come to abolish baptism but to fulfill it and give it a complete meaning which is death to sin and the old way of life, and resurrection to a new way of life.
“We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom. 6:2-4 NIV)
Questions for the Group
Give people a chance to testify how getting water baptized made a difference for them.
One way to consider the significance of baptism is that it is a way that Jesus changes labels on our life. What are some old labels Jesus took off of you and some new labels He has put on you since you’ve identified with Him?
How is being dead to sin even greater than just being forgiven for sin? What does it mean for a Christian to think of themselves as dead to sin?
Three things happened as Jesus was baptized: the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit came, and the words of Father’s affirmation and love were spoken. What are examples of how you need the Heavens to open for you today, where you need condemnation to be replaced with affirmation, and you need the Holy Spirit to empower you?
Prayer and ministry time
If anyone hasn’t been baptized since becoming a believer, you can plan to be baptized this Easter at church.
After having people share their answers to question 4 above take some time to ask for the Holy Spirit to come on the group and for everyone to hear the word of blessing the Father might want to speak. Ask if anyone would like the group to pray for them for an area where they’ve been struggling with old labels or feeling like a failure. As you pray allow people to speak what they might think the Father would want to speak over their friends.