Week 3 | Confession
Take some time to discuss the previous week’s readings and/or Challenges. Here are some things to discuss:
- Celebrate a “win” that you had in Forgiving Challenge over the past week.
- Share a struggle.
- What did God reveal to you during the readings and/or Challenges this past week?
What is a sport, activity, or hobby that you enjoy? Who in that particular sport, activity, or hobby would you argue is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)? Defend your position.
Say: Everyone sins. It’s what happens after you sin that determines whether you experience freedom or not. Any pursuit of freedom outside of Jesus will always lead to more bondage. Agree or disagree. Explain.
Is it okay to experience guilt for your sin? Explain.
Read: 2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
Describe the difference between guilt and shame.
Zach says, “The devil wants to take your natural feeling of guilt and turn it into shame. But Jesus wants to remove your guilt by His grace.” Do you spend more time listening to the shame language of the devil or to the grace language of Jesus?
On Day 13 of Forgiving Challenge, Zach mentions that the way we typically try to fight sin on our own is through any of these means:
- Blaming Others
- Trying Harder
- Denying Your Sin
- Minimizing Your Sin
Which of these four do you tend to fall towards most often? Where do you see these trends in the world, or culture, today?
Say: Worldly sorrow tries to fight sin on our own. Godly sorrow allows Jesus to fight our sin for us. The apostle John invites us, after our sin, to confess our sins to God.
Read: 1 John 1:8-10 “8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
Say: While acknowledgment of our sin is an important part of the process, it is never the end goal. The purpose of confession is not to dwell on our brokenness, but rather, to receive God’s kindness.
Read: Romans 2:4 “Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” When you confess your sins, do you tend to focus more on your sin or God’s kindness? Explain.
Read these words from King David in Psalm 32:3-5 (NLT) and talk as a group about the before and after effects of his confession of sin: “3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
Read John 21:1-9 Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish and answer the following questions:
- What are the first 4 words of John 21 (Chapter 89)? How does this bring comfort to your story knowing that Jesus keeps appearing?
- Is it significant or insignificant that Peter goes back to fishing? Explain.
- Have you ever stopped pursuing God passionately due to some sin, or some moment, in your life that you have had a hard time getting past? Why?
- Has God ever complicated things in your life in order to bring you back to him? Explain.
- How does Peter approach Jesus?
Say: The admission price to freedom begins with an admission of sin. No matter what you’ve done, Jesus is ready today to hear your confession. More than your perfectly scripted words, Jesus knows your heart. Simply come to Him, however you are, come to Him.
Read: Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Challenge for the Week
Commit to memory 1 John 1:8-9 (previous page). In addition, spend time with your accountability partner confessing your sin. If you need help with what to say, or how to confess, use the confession on Day 17 of Forgiving Challenge to guide you.
Spend time in prayer confessing your sins to God. Depending on the size, maturity, comfortability, and relationships in the group, this could be done out loud or silently as individuals. Spend time thanking God for His forgiveness of all our sins.
*For a deeper, daily experience to go alongside of the weekly small group experience, read days 13-19 of Forgiving Challenge: A 40-Day Journey Leading to Freedom.