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"ONCE I WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE!"
STEP 1 - WE ADMITTED THAT WE HAD BECOME POWERLESS OVER ALCOHOL OR THE SUBSTANCE WE HAD ABUSED (ALCOHOLIC OR THE SUBSTANCE ABUSER) AND THAT OUR LIVES WERE UNMANAGEABLE.
(Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the soul of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness - only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. - Isaiah 1:5 & 6)
Galatians 5:19-23 - The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Genesis 4:7 - "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
Romans 3:10 & 23 - As it is written: "There is none righteous, not even one. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
James 2:10 - For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a.man, but in the end it leads to death.
2 Corinthians 1:9 - Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 8:34-36 - Jesus replied "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Romans 7:5 & 6 - For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Romans 7:18-20 - I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I can not carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Romans 7:24 & 25 - What a wretched man am I! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Romans 8:1 & 2 - Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:9 & 10 - You however are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
1 Corinthians 10:13 & 14 - No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful: he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Peter 5:6 & 7 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Proverbs 3:5-8 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
GOD'S PROMISES ARE "TRUE"!
STEP 2 - CAME TO BELIEVE THAT THROUGH JESUS CHRIST WE COULD BE RESTORED TO RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THE FATHER, AND SUBSEQUENT SANITY AND STABILITY IN OUR LIVES.
Isaiah 1:18-20 - "Come now, let us reason together", says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat from the best of the land; but if you rebel, you will be devoured by the sword". For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Revelation 3:20 - Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me.
Romans 10:13 - For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved".
Romans 10:1-4 - Brothers, my hearts desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they do not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
John 14:6 - Jesus answered "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 3:3-6 - Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit".
John 7:37-39 - On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him". By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
John 11:25 & 26 - Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
John 6:40 - For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.
John 5:37-40 - "And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."
John 10:37-39 - Do not believe me unless I do what the Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may learn and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
2 Corinthians 4:13 & 14 - It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
Romans 8:11 - And if the Spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you.
John 20:29-31 - Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 17:20-23 - My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
STEP 3 - MADE THE DECISION TO TURN FROM THE THINGS OF THE PAST AND INVITE JESUS TO BE LORD AND MANAGER OF OUR LIVES.
In Step 1 we admitted that our lives were unmanageable. In Step 2 we came to believe that Jesus was God incarnate. Now it is time to do something about it, and that is, to turn our lives and our wills over to Him. If you are tired of playing God, why don't you let the One who created you become Lord of your life. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and come in and be the Lord and manager of your life. Ask Jesus to help you to live to do His will instead of yours from this day forward.
IS JESUS CHRIST LORD OF YOUR LIFE? - IF NOT - WHY NOT?
Lord Jesus, I believe that you died and rose so that I might live. And I invite you, this day, to come into my heart as Lord and Savior of my life - Amen.
STEP 3 - MADE THE DECISION TO TURN FROM THE THINGS OF THE PAST AND INVITE JESUS TO BE LORD AND MANAGER OF OUR LIVES.
COME AND RECEIVE - NOW!
Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Proverbs 16:3 - Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
2 Corinthians 6:2 - For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the time of salvation.
WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?
John 3:16-18 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
John 3:36 - Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.
WHAT DO WE DO?
Romans 10:9 & 10 - That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
1 John 4:15-17 - If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him.
1 John 5:4 & 5 - For everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
DYING AND LIVING
John 10:17 & 18 - The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life - only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
John 12:24 - I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
1 Corinthians 15:22 - For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
2 Corinthians 5:15-19 - And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
2 Corinthians 5:20 & 21 - We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Romans 5:17 - For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:7-9 - But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
MAKE HIM LORD
Romans 6:12-14 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and.offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but under grace.
1 Peter 1:13-16 - Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self- controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
STEP 4 - MADE A SEARCHING AND FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY OF OURSELVES.
Once we have accepted Jesus as the Lord and manager of our lives, He gives us the desire to start housecleaning. (God catches His fish, then He cleans them.) In Step 4 the process of becoming more of what He wants us to become begins by taking a fearless personal inventory of where we have morally fallen short in our lives. We know that forgiveness has been provided for us at the cross and we are not suggesting that salvation must be "earned", but the inventory is necessary if we are to "walk in freedom" and become effective for the Lord. This cannot happen if we remain "slaves" to the sin in our lives. The first order of business is to identify what these sins have been and, to what extent, if any, that they still exist. One method of taking this inventory, that we have found to be helpful, is to write it down, but regardless of how you choose to do it, it needs to be done. Once it is finished, Steps 5, 6 and 7 show us God's plan for dealing with it.
PSALM 139:23 & 24 -- 1. Who does the Psalmist turn to in order to take an inventory- 2. Do you think we can find anything in our inventory that God doesn't reveal to us?
EPHESIANS 4:17-5:21 -- 1. What are the three requirements stated in verses 4:22-24? 2. Is verse 5:11 saying that we should take an inventory?
GALATIANS 5:13-18 -- 1. How are we to know when we are "indulging the sinful nature" without taking an inventory? 2. What happens to the sinful nature when we "live by the Spirit"?
MARK 7:20-23 -- 1. What are the things that make a person unclean? How do we get rid of them? 2. If we have a change of heart, will sin be eliminated from our lives?
1 JOHN 1:8 -- 1. Why would a person claim to be without sin? 2. Is it still possible as Christians to deceive ourselves?
EZEKIEL 36:26,27 & 31 -- 1. Note the pronouns "I" and "you". What does God say he will do? What does he say we are to do? 2. If we are "new creatures in Christ", why does God say we are to remember our "evil ways and wicked deeds"?
2 CORINTHIANS 7:10 -- 1. What is the difference between "Godly sorrow" and "worldly sorrow"? 2. Does God want us to have worldly sorrow? Is it in God's plan?
ROMANS 13:11-14 - 1. How can taking Step 4 help to "wake us from our slumber"? 2. What is it that we are to "put aside"? What is it that we are to "put on"?
ROMANS 12:1-3 -- 1. Name three practical ways we can "offer ourselves as living sacrifices". 2. What does the scripture "Don't think of yourself more highly than you ought" means to you? 3. Now that we have accepted the Lord, how should we think of ourselves? How can this be accomplished?
JOHN 8:34-36 1. How do we become slaves to sin? How can we be set free? 2. Are there any areas in our lives that we have not yet been set free from?
ROMANS 6:16 -- 1. Does this scripture apply to Christians? 2. Does this scripture prompt us to take an inventory? If so, why?
ROMANS 8:5-9 -- 1. What is the difference between those who have their "minds set" on the Spirit and those who have their "minds set" on the sinful nature? 2. If.the Spirit of God lives in us, why do we still sometimes follow after the sinful nature?
2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-7:1 --- 1. How many sets of opposites does Paul list in these scriptures? What is the point he is making? 2. Which of these scriptures deal with taking an inventory?
1 JOHN 3:18-24 -- 1. How does the word tell us to love? How do we know if we "belong to the truth"? 2. Why should it be important to us that "our hearts" do not condemn us"?
PSALM 19:14 1. Do you think it"s "pleasing in God's sight" when we take an inventory? 2. If we have Jesus in our hearts, what should the words of our mouths be?
Psalm 139:23 & 24 - Search me, 0 God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Read Ephesians 4:17 thru 5:21 --- Discuss.
Galatians 5:13-18 - You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Mark 7:20-23 - Jesus went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean'. For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"
1 John 1:8 - If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Ezekiel 36:26,27 & 31 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.
2 Corinthians 7:10 - Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Romans 13:11-14 - And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Romans 12:1-3 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
John 8:34-36 - Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Romans 6:16 - Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Romans 8:5-9 - Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace, because the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 - Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
1 John 3:18-24 - Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set out hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is now we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
Psalm 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, 0 Lord my rock and redeemer.
STEP 5 - ADMITTED TO OURSELVES, AND ANOTHER HUMAN BEING THE EXACT NATURE OF OUR WRONGS.
This Step is a "freedom" step. When we confess (admit) our sins to God, ourselves and someone else we have initiated the process that will result in our no longer carrying that guilt or burden with us. Step 5 is also a healing step. We find that, many times, the hidden things in our lives are like tumors or growths that must be removed. James 5:16 tells us to "confess our sins to one another and pray for one another so that we may be healed."
PSALM 32:1-5 -- 1. What happens to us when we don't "acknowledge" and "confess"? 2. What relationship is there between misery and unconfessed sin? Give an example.
PROVERBS 28:13 -- 1. What do the words "confess and renounce" mean to you? 2. Who is the hardest one to confess our wrongs to; God, ourselves, or another? 3. What does the scripture mean when it says "not prospering"?
LUKE 12:2 & 3 -- 1. Why do we, sometimes, refuse to look at the very things within us that Jesus came to set us free from? 2. Can we also believe that there is "nothing concealed or hidden" that God will not reveal to us if we ask?
PROVERBS 20:9 -- 1. Is it possible for anyone to make this statement? If not, why not? 2. Is this scripture telling us that we need to "get honest with ourselves"?
JOHN 3:19-21 -- 1. Why is it that men love the darkness and hate the light? How do we come into the light? 2. What does "whoever lives by the truth comes into the light" have to do with Step 5? 3. Have you ever been ashamed because of sin? Have you ever been elated because of forgiveness? Give an example of each.
1 JOHN 1:8-10 -- 1. There are three "if we" statements, what is the end result of each one? 2. What does this scripture say is "our part"? What is "God's part"? 3. If we refuse to take Step 5, what is our "unconfession" saying?
1 JOHN 2:1 & 2 1. Assuming that we might sin again, what steps can we take to avoid a particular sin in our lives? 2. If we do sin, what should we do? Who will defend us?
JAMES 5:16 -- 1. Why are we directed to confess our sins to one another? 2. Does this scripture imply that, if we have sinned, we need to be healed? 3. This is one of the great tools God has given us for becoming transparent, have you "confessed and renounced" to another person?
Psalm 32:1-5 - Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For night and day your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of the summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Proverbs 28:13 - He who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Luke 12:2 & 3 - There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be shouted from the house tops.
Proverbs 20:9 - Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin"?
John 3:19-21 - This is the verdict: Light has come into the world but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
1 John 1:8-10 - If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
1 John 2:1 & 2 - My dear children I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
James 5:16 - Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
STEP 6 - WERE ENTIRELY READY TO HAVE GOD REMOVE ALL THESE DEFECTS OF CHARACTER - (Repented - Became Willing to Change)
There is a certain amount of readiness that will have been evidenced in our lives when we reach this Step. However, to be "entirely ready" is a work of the heart and can only be done by God; Ezekiel 36:27 says, "I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees." Once we have "made the decision to turn from the things of the past", have "examined ourselves" and have "confessed our sins"; God is committed to pro- viding us with the "entire readiness" spoken of in this Step.
GALATIANS 1:3-5 -- 1. For what purpose did Jesus "give himself up"? 2. What does the Father will for us? How is it accomplished? 3. Do we tend to think more about God and his abilities or, about ourselves and our shortcomings?
HEBREWS 8:10-12 -- 1. Why does God "put his laws in our minds" and "write them on our hearts"? (Jer. 17:10) 2. How does God write his laws on our hearts? 3. How does God promise to direct our lives? What does he do regarding our sins?
ACTS 3:19 -- 1. How does the word "repent" tie in with "were entirely ready"? 2. Do we believe that the Lord wants to refresh us, and that he is able to do it?
JOHN 1:29 -- 1. Why is Jesus referred to as "the Lamb of God"? 2. What did the Lamb come for?
EPHESIANS 1:7 1. What does "redemption through his blood" mean to you? 2. What does "blood" have to do with "redemption"? (Heb. 9:22) 3. What does this scripture mean to you?
1 JOHN 3:4-6 1. Will Jesus "take away" the things we are not willing to give over to him? 2. Do we all continue to sin? If so, what does this scripture mean to you?
1 JOHN 3:9 & 10 1. Does this mean that the children of God will become "entirely ready" and that the children of the devil won't? 2. How do we know that we are "children of God"? 3. Give an example of how your ability to love your brothers has grown.
EPHESIANS 2:3-5 1. Does God automatically change our old desires or do we need to "turn away" from them? 2. Can we identify ourselves as having been "objects of wrath"? How were we saved? 3. As we release our defects to Christ, do we become more alive in him?
1 PETER 2:24 --- 1. Is there any sin, that we might harbor, that Jesus didn't bear on the cross? 2. How do we receive the healing accomplished at the cross? 3. What are we personally to die to? What does his healing mean to you?
ROMANS 12:1 & 2 1. How do we go about "offering our bodies as living sacrifices"? 2. What must we do in order to know what God's will is for us? 3. When we honestly take this Step, are we "offering our bodies as living sacrifices"?
EPHESIANS 4:31 & 32 -- 1. How does being "entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character" apply to these scriptures? 2. Are we "entirely ready" to not only have these defects removed, but the "root causes" as well?
2 TIMOTHY 2:15 1. Do we have to be perfect to be "worthy" of God's approval? 2. Are we "doing our best" to apply the Steps and scriptures to our lives?
HEBREWS 4:13-16 1. How is Christ able to appreciate the difficulties we encounter "living according to" God's will and "turning away from" the world? 2. Do we understand that, even though some areas in our lives still need to be transformed, we can still approach the throne of grace with confidence?
REMEMBER - IT "IS POSSIBLE" TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE!
Galatians 1:3-5 - Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 8:10 & 12 - This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
Acts 3:19 - Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that the times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
John 1:29 - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."
Ephesians 1:7 - In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.
1 John 3:4-6 - Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
1 John 3:9 & 10 - No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are; anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother.
Ephesians 2:3-5 - All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest we were objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - It is by grace you have been saved.
I Peter 2:24 - He himself, bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically)
Romans 12:1 & 2 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good and pleasing and perfect will.
Ephesians 4:31 & 32 - Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.
2 Timothy 2:15 - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Hebrews 4:13-16 - Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
STEP 7 - HUMBLY ASKED HIM TO REMOVE ALL OUR SHORTCOMINGS AND TO FORGIVE US BELIEVING AND RECEIVING.
In Step 3 we "made the decision to turn from the things of the past", we come to a point now in Step 7 where that decision becomes a "reality". James 4:10 says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." There are times when we go to the Lord and ask Him to remove a particular sin and nothing seems to happen. This may be because we have not yet given it over to Him. We cannot ask God to remove our sin and to forgive us and keep right on sinning. We must first humbly give it over to Him and turn away from whatever it is; and then, should the temptation arise, we turn to the Lord for strength to resist. Forgiveness of sins has been positional provided (set in place) for us by Jesus at the cross. We now have the opportunity for that forgiveness to become experiential (to know it in our hearts) by appropriating and receiving it in those areas of our lives where God has revealed to us, through the inventory Steps, that it is needed.
PSALM 41:4 -- 1. Who have we sinned against? 2. If God already knows our thoughts, why do we have to ask? 3. Are we really ready to let God heal us?
PSALM 51:1-13 --- 1. Are we all sinners from birth? 2. Are we becoming transparent and honest with God about everything in our lives?
PROVERBS 1:7 -- 1. What is the "fear of the Lord"? (Jer. 32:39 & 40) Why do "fools despise wisdom and discipline"? 2. What are we afraid of: God? Looking at ourselves? Wondering if God will heal us? What others think? Satan? It goes on and on.
PROVERBS 15:33 -- 1. If the fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, what teaches him humility? 2. How does humility bring honor? What is honor? 3. Does humility come by confessing to our brothers and asking them to pray that we be forgiven and healed?
PROVERBS 22:4 -- 1. What will "humility and the fear of the Lord" bring us? Why do you think this is true? 2. What is the meaning of "wealth" as it is used here? 3. Are we personally applying humility and the fear of the Lord in our lives? Are we reaping the benefits?
MATTHEW 18:1-4 -- 1. What hinders us from "becoming like little children"? 2. What does it mean to "humble ourselves as children"?
LUKE 18:10-14 -- 1. What was uppermost in the minds of the Pharisee and the tax collector as they prayed? Why was the tax collector justified? 2. What will keep us from becoming Pharisees as we follow after the Lord? 3. Give an example of when you have exalted yourself, and also, when you have humbled yourself.
1 PETER 5:6 & 7 -- 1. How do we humble ourselves? What are we to do with anxiety? 2. Can we be "beaten down" and still not be humble? 3. Do we really believe that God will be true to his word and remove our defects?
MATTHEW 3:1 & 2 --- 1. What hinders us from repenting? 2. What are some practical acts of repentance that we can do?
PROVERBS 20:9 1. Can anyone say this? Why can't we say it?
PROVERBS 28:13 -- 1. What is the difference between "confessing" and "renouncing"? Give some examples of renouncing. 2. Is it possible for us to conceal sin from ourselves? 3. What does "prosper" mean to you as it is used here? What is promised when we confess our sins?
PSALM 32:5 -- 1. What does "cover up my iniquity" mean to you? 2. What should we do when we have "hidden sin" in our lives? 3. Do we "believe in our hearts" that, when we confess, God really forgives us?
1 JOHN 1:9 -- 1. What does God do for us when we confess our sins? 2. Have we really learned to receive God's forgiveness?
HEBREWS 11:6 --- 1. What does the word "faith" mean? How are we rewarded by God? Note the word "earnestly". 2. Do we really expect God to remove our defects? 3. Can we picture God as a "rewarder"? Can we receive it if we do?
REMEMBER - WE CAN "TRUST" GOD!
Psalm 41:4 - I said, "0 Lord have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you".
Psalm 51:1-13 - Have mercy on me, 0 God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, 0 God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore me to the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 15:33 - The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honour.
Proverbs 22:4 - Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.
Matthew 18:1-4 - At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven".
Luke 18:10-14 - Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself; God, I thank you that I am not like all other men - robbers, evildoers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner". I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
1 Peter 5:6 & 7 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Matthew 3:1 & 2 - In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near".
Proverbs 20:9 - Who can say "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin".
Proverbs 28:13 - He who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Psalm 32:5 - Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" - and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek him.
STEP 8 - MAKE A LIST OF ALL PERSONS WE HAD HARMED AND BECAME WILLING TO MAKE AMENDS TO THEM ALL.
First we make a list then we "become willing", again, this is an example of our doing our part and God doing His, because, "become willing" is another work that has to happen in the heart. When compiling our list we should not only list those we have harmed by "word and deed" and the "sins of omission", but also, since unforgiveness can be a root cause of much trouble in our lives, we should list those persons who have harmed us as well. We understand that in some of these areas there may still be a great deal of pain, but God wants us to trust Him so that He can heal us.
PROVERBS 14:9 -- 1. What is the difference between "mocking" and "good will"? 2. What connection is there between "good will" and "making amends"?
JOHN 13:34 & 35 -- 1. Does this mean that we are to love others "right where they are at"? 2. Where did Jesus get his ability to love from? 3. How do the Commandments Jesus mentions in Matthew 22:37-40 differ from this one?
MATTHEW 5:21 & 22 -- 1. Can anger prevent us from "becoming willing to make amends"? 2. Do you think that holding anger and unforgiveness against another can lead to an even greater sin in our lives? 3. What do these scriptures say we will receive when we regard others with contempt?
1 JOHN 2:9 & 11 -- 1. What does making amends have to do with "living in the light"? 2. Can we as Christians still live in darkness? 3. How can we be blinded by darkness? How do we come into the light?
MATTHEW 5:23 & 24 -- 1. What does it mean to "offer your gift at the altar"? 2. What does it mean to "leave your gift there in front of the altar"? 3. Does this include "anyone" in our past?
MATTHEW 7:12 -- 1. What were the "Law and the Prophets" pointing us toward? 2. When the scripture says "others", does this include our enemies? 3. Are we willing to treat others with the same kindness and respect that we desire?
MARK 11:25 -- 1. Does this scripture mean that if we don't forgive, we won't be forgiven? 2. Are we holding anything against anyone? Are we willing to forgive? 3. Does lack of forgiveness on our part have any effect on the way our prayers are answered?
PROVERBS 20:22 -- 1. What does it mean, "wait for the Lord and he will deliver you"? 2. What if we wore to be "payed back" for everything? 3. What should we do when someone wrongs us?
PROVERBS 24:29 -- 1. Why shouldn't we "pay that man back"? 2. Do you think it's up to us to punish others? 3. Does the desire to "get even" come back to us at times, even though we have made the decision to forgive?
LUKE 6:27 & 28 1. If I hate my brother, is my life controlled by that hatred? 2. Are we able to do these things in our own strength?
MATTHEW 6:14 & 15 1. If we make others pay for their sins, how will the Father treat us? 2. Does this leave us any other choice but to forgive? 3. What is the similarity between this scripture and the one in the Lord's Prayer?
1 PETER 4:7 & 8 1. Must we first be willing to forgive others before we can walk in love and self-control? 2. What does the application of this Step have to do with being "clear-minded and self-controlled"? 3. Are we really trying to love others, even the ones that we think are unlovable? 4. What are the conditions for "effective" prayer?
Proverbs 14:9 - Fools mock at making amends for sin, but good will is found among the upright.
John 13:34 & 35 - A new commandment I give you, love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know you are my disciples if you love one another.
Matthew 5:21 & 22 - You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to the judgement." But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to the judgement. Again, anyone who says to his brother, "Raca", is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says "You fool!" will be in danger of the fire of hell.
1 John 2:9 - Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
Matthew 5:23 & 24 - Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 7:12 - In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Mark 11:25 - And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.
Proverbs 20:22 - Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.
Proverbs 24:29 - Do not say, "I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did."
Luke 6:27 & 28 - But I tell you who hear me: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."
Matthew 6:14 & 15 - For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
1 Peter 4:7 & 8 - The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that can play. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
STEP 9 - MADE DIRECT AMENDS TO SUCH PEOPLE, WHEREVER POSSIBLE, EXCEPT WHEN TO DO SO WOULD INJURE THEM OR OTHERS.
We make amends to people in many different ways. If we owe them money, we pay them back. If we have hurt them or insulted them, we apologize. If someone has harmed us, we forgive them. We do whatever we must in order to be at peace with our fellow man and ourselves. We find that when we hold resentments against someone or withhold something we owe to someone we cannot walk in "freedom", for we are then spiritually tied to that person. There may be some people we have harmed that we are unable to make amends to; perhaps they have died or moved away. In these cases we make amends by helping our fellow man, and since Jesus told us, "if we do good to our neighbors we are doing good to Him", we are also making amends to God. We may feel that we ourselves are the ones most in need of amends (and this may be true), but God's plan is that we first "become willing" to make amends to others. The amends to us are then manifested in the tremendous work that God does in our hearts.
LUKE 20:25 -- 1. The Step says to "make amends to people", do we also make amends to God? 2. How do we make amends to God?
EZEKIEL 33:14 & 15 -- 1. How do these scriptures relate to "making amends"? 2. Which of the amends listed are to man? Which ones are to God? 3. What do these scriptures mean to us personally? How do they relate in our lives?
ROMANS 13:7 & 8 -- 1. Which of the amends in Verse 7 is the hardest for you to give? Give an example. 2. Are we paying our taxes and debts? Are we giving respect and honor to the persons in our lives? 3. How does "loving your fellow man" fulfill the law?
PROVERBS 25:21 & 22 -- 1. What does "heap burning coals on his head" mean to you? 2. Do we understand that we are not to extract payment; but that we are to build up, restore and comfort? 3. When we forgive others, does the Lord "reward" us with forgiveness?
1 PETER 3:13 1. Did Jesus endure scorn and ridicule for the sake of love? 2. What should we do if, when we make amends, they are rejected? 3. Have you ever suffered for doing the right thing? Give an example.
MATTHEW 25:40 1. When we make amends to others, are we also making amends to God? 2. What does the scripture mean "the least of these brothers"? 3. Relate what this scripture means to you personally.
Luke 20:25 - Jesus said to them, "give to Caesar what is Caesars and give to God what is Gods.
Ezekiel 33:14 & 15 - And if I say to the wicked man, "you shall surely die", but then he turns away from his sin and does what is just and right - if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil; he will surely live, he will not die.
Romans 13:7 & 8 - Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.
Proverbs 25:21 & 22 - If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
1 Peter 3:13 - Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.
Matthew 25:40 - The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
STEP 10 - CONTINUED TO TAKE PERSONAL INVENTORY AND WHEN WE WERE WRONG PROMPTLY ADMITTED IT.
If we are to live for Christ we must continue to grow. A person who does not continue to grow will slip back. There is a great freedom in being able to admit to God and others when we are wrong. It is a great discovery when we find out we do not always have to be right. We speak with authority when we speak "God's Word" but, when we speak "our words" we are sometimes wrong. In such cases, we promptly admit it and are done with it. This eliminates any further buildup or "gunnysacking" of wrongs, guilts and resentments. God will continue to reveal those areas in our lives that must be gotten rid of. As they arise we simply confess them, ask the Lord to forgive us, and turn away from them.
1 PETER 1:22 & 23 --- 1. How have we purified ourselves? 2. What does "loving one another deeply" have to do with Step 10? 3. Birth is a beginning, not an end. Share how this Step, taken daily, can help us grow.
LUKE 12:1-3 -- 1. What does hypocrisy mean to you? Give an example of how you have "guarded against" being a hypocrite. 2. Is "not admitting when we are wrong" a form of hypocrisy?
EPHESIANS 4:25 & 26 -- 1. How is it possible to "be angry and sin not"? 2. Is anger a sin? What should we do if we get angry with our brother? 3. What happens to us when we "let the sun go down" and are still angry?
2 TIMOTHY 2:23 & 24 -- 1. Can Christians still have stupid and foolish opinions? (Don't give an example) 2. Should we argue with each other about scripture? If not, why not? 3. Does "promptly admitting when we are wrong" help us to avoid "foolish and stupid arguments"?
2 TIMOTHY 2:14-16 -- 1. How are we to "correctly handle the word of God"? 2. What are some of the ways that we can "present ourselves to God as one approved"?
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7 -- 1. Are you weak in any of these areas? Give an example. 2. How will "continuing to take a personal inventory" help us to live out these scriptures?
1 CORINTHIANS 13:11 1. How do we determine what things in our lives are still childish? 2. Can growing be painful sometimes? Share an example, from your own 11 of how you have grown towards Christian maturity.
PHILIPPIANS 2:1-4 -- 1. How does "continuing to take an inventory" help us to be "one in spirit and in purpose"? 2. Unity is a life giving principle to Christians. Am I my for brothers completely? 3. Sum up in one word what these scriptures are directing us to do.
ROMANS 12:3 -- 1. Is it possible to look at ourselves as too lowly? 2. Can this Step help us to look at ourselves "with sober judgement"?
1 CORINTHIANS 10:12 & 13 -- 1. What should we do if we are tempted to sin? 2. What are some of the ways God provides us so that we can stand? 3. Am I always standing as "firm" as I think I am?
1 JOHN 1:9 -- 1. What recourse do we have if we sin? 2. It is necessary to "renounce" sin as well as to "confess" it? 3. What does the scripture say is our part? What is God's part?
1 JOHN 2:1 & 2 -- 1. How is Jesus able to speak in our defense? 2. Is anyone excluded from the "atoning sacrifice" of Jesus? 3. Have we been able to accept God's forgiveness? Have we forgiven ourselves?
HEBREWS 9:13 & 14 -- 1. Do we understand, and have we received, the cleansing work of the "blood"? 2. How does Step 10 help us to "cleanse our consciences"? 3. Can we compare what these scriptures are saying to, applying the Steps before we knew Jesus and applying them now that we do know him?
PHILIPPIANS 2:12-15 -- 1. What does the statement "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" mean to you? 2. Does the absence of complaining have anything to do with our "becoming pure"? 3. Does this mean that it's possible to "become blameless and pure and without fault"?
1 PETER 2:16 & 17 -- 1. Are we using our freedom to "cover up" or to "bring light"? 2. What are some of the ways that we can misuse our freedom?
JAMES 1:22 -- 1. Do we ever deceive ourselves by hearing and not doing? 2. What do we do to ourselves when we just listen to the words and don't do what it says? 3. Are we applying both the Step and the scriptures in our lives?
1 Peter 1:22 & 23 - Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Luke 12:1-3 - Jesus began first to speak to his disciples, saying: "Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the house tops."
Ephesians 4:25 & 26 - Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
2 Timothy 2:23 & 24 - Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
2 Timothy 2:14-16 - Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:11 - When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I become a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Philippians 2:1-4 - If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like- minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others greater than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Romans 12:3 - Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
1 Corinthians 10:12 & 13 - So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But, when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 2:1 & 2 - My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Hebrews 9:13 & 14 - The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.
Philippians 2:12-15 - Therefore my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
1 Peter 2:16 & 17 - Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover- up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect for everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
James 1:22 - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
STEP 11 - SOUGHT THROUGH PRAYER AND Meditation ON GOD'S WORD TO INCREASE OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM, PRAYING CONTINUALLY FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL FOR US AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT TO ACCOMPLISH IT.
James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and He will come near to you." As we continue to pray and meditate we will become more attuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Someone once said , "Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to Him." We meditate by reading God's Word and then thinking about it, turning it over in our minds until the Holy Spirit reveals its meaning to us.
Once God begins revealing to us what His will for us is in our lives, we must continue to seek His direction and the power needed to carry it out. We will discover, as we practice this Step, how powerfully the Holy Spirit is working in our lives and also, that the "good news of salvation" will have ever increasing reality to us.
PROVERBS 4:20-22 -- 1. Are you opening your heart to God's direction? 2. What four things are we directed to do, and why? 3. If you are doing these things, how has it changed your life?
PSALM 1:1-3 -- 1. What three things are we blessed for not doing, and why? 2. What does the scripture say happens when we continually meditate on the Lord? 3. Are we lining up with "God's word" or the "world's word"?
EPHESIANS 3:14-19 -- 1. Do you have a specific time and place set aside for daily prayer? 2. Why do we need the "power" that Paul prays that we receive?
PSALM 19:14 -- 1. What does "the meditation of my heart" mean to you? 2. Do you think that "what you say" and the "meditation of your heart" are connected?
PSALM 40:8 -- 1. What does it mean "your law is within my heart"? 2. When does God "write his law" on our hearts? (Hebrews 8:10) 3. Has this happened in your life? Explain.
PSALM 119-10 & 11 -- 1. What should our attitude towards God be? Why should we know his word? 2. What does it mean to "hide God's word in our hearts"? 3. Do we set aside time daily for study and meditation on God's word? How much?
PSALM 143:10 -- 1. What shall we seek from God and where will it lead us? 2. Has there been any "leveling of the ground" in your life since you have begun allowing God to be God instead of yourself?
MATTHEW 12:50 -- 1. What is the "will of the Father"? How can we know it? 2. When we do God's will, what is our relationship with Jesus?
LUKE 6:12 -- 1. Why did Jesus need to get alone with the Father? 2. When we are troubled, how often do we "spend the night in prayer"? 3. Do we set aside time to just commune with the Father? How much?
MATTHEW 6:5-13 -- 1. Do we spend most of our prayer time in the "closet" or in the "assembly"? 2. How do I pray in public? How do I pray in private? Do they differ? 3. If God already "knows our needs", why should we pray?
MATTHEW 7:7 & 8 -- 1. What does "ask", "seek", and "knock" mean to you? How are they different? 2. What does the word promise if we seek God? 3. Should we just pray once about a situation, or should we continue to pray?
JOHN 16:23 & 24 -- 1. Are we to pray to Jesus, the Father, or both? 2. Does the scripture really mean the Father will give us "anything" we ask for in Jesus name? 3. Are we learning to pray scripturally? Do we expect answers to our prayers?
ACTS 1:14 -- 1. What does it mean to be "united in prayer"? 2. Do we still pray as they did in the early church, or was that just for then?
ACTS 4:29-31 -- 1. Can we still expect that "signs and wonders" will happen to and through us? 2. What were they praying for? To glorify whose name?
2 CORINTHIANS 10:4 & 5 -- 1. What are the weapons of the believer? What are the weapons of the world? 2. How many of our thoughts are we to take captive for Christ? Is this possible?
MATTHEW 18:18-20 -- 1. Is this really true? Will God really do this? Is his presence really here? 2. What does "to bind" mean? What does "to loose" mean? How do we "agree"? 3. How should we pray when we come together? What does God promise will happen?
EPHESIANS 6:18 -- 1. How should we pray? What should we pray for? 2. Why do we need to "keep alert"? 3. Why should we "keep praying for all the saints"? Who are the saints?
MATTHEW 26:41 -- 1. How do we "watch and pray"? Why? 2. If we are "new creations", why is the "body weak"?
1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 -- 1. What does "always", "continually" and "all" mean to you? 2. Does "circumstances" include both the good and the bad? 3. Is it possible to: "be joyful in all things", "pray continually" and "give thanks in all circumstances"? How do we know?
GOD'S DIRECTION AND REWARD
Proverbs 4:20-22 - My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.
Psalm 1:1-3 - Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
PAUL'S PRAYER FOR US (PERSONALIZE)
Ephesians 3:14-19 - For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that our of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
OUR HEARTS DESIRE (GIVEN BY GOD)
Psalm 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, 0 Lord, my Rock and Redeemer.
Psalm 40:8 - To do your will, 0 my God, is my desire; your law is within my heart.
Psalm 119:10 & 11 - I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 143:10 - Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Matthew 12:50 - For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
PRAYER - IN THE CLOSET
Luke 6:12 - One of those days Jesus went out into the hills to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
Matthew 6:5-13 - But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Matthew 7:7 & 8 - Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
John 16:23 & 24 - In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
PRAYER - IN AGREEMENT WITH OTHERS
Acts 1:14 - They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Acts 4:29-31 - Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
2 Corinthians 10:4 & 5 - The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Matthew 18:18-20 - "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.
PRAYER - WHERE, WHEN, WHY AND HOW
Ephesians 6:18 - And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Matthew 26:41 - "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
STEP 12 - HAVING BEEN SPIRITUALLY RESTORED AND SET FREE FROM "THE SIN WHICH DOES SO EASILY BESET US", WE ATTEMPT TO SHARE THIS FREEDOM AND THE ONE WHO HAS FREED US WITH THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER, AND PRACTICE THE LORD'S PRINCIPLES IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS.
This is a tri-part Step with the second and third parts proceeding from the first. First is the spiritual restoration that we receive when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives thereby experiencing the rebirth of our spiritual nature and the coming into right relationships with God the Father. Secondly, God tells us "Freely we have received, freely we are to give" this is one of the principles that God gives us, "we can't keep what we don't give away". If having Jesus in our lives is the greatest thing that ever happened to us, nothing will be able to stop us from sharing Him with others. Then, finally, practicing the Lord's principles becomes an on-going, one day at a time, way of living in which we will continue to grow in the Lord and be "transformed from glory to glory".
ACTS 1:8 -- 1. When do we receive power? Why do we receive it? 2. How can I be an effective witness? Who enables me to be?
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3 & 4 1. How does God comfort us? Why does he comfort us? 2. Can we comfort others if we ourselves haven't been comforted? 3. Can our understanding of addiction in AC enable us to minister more effectively to those who have been addicted.
GALATIANS 6:1 & 2 -- 1. What should we do when "someone is caught in a sin"? Why should we "watch ourselves"? 2. How do we "restore someone gently". Why? 3. What does it mean to "carry each others burdens"?
1 PETER 5:8 & 9 -- 1. What has self-control to do with resisting evil? (Romans 12:9-21) 2. Do we know who our enemy is? Give an example of "standing firm". 3. How do we resist the devil?
JUDE 20-23 -- 1. Whose faith are we "building ourselves up in", and whose spirit do we pray in? 2. What three things do the scriptures direct us to do concerning others?
2 TIMOTHY 4:3-5 -- 1. What four things do these scriptures direct us to do? 2. How many situations are we directed to "keep our heads" in?
MATTHEW 10:32 & 33 -- 1. How do we "acknowledge him"? How can we "disown" him? 2. Who restored us and keeps us sane and sober? Who is it that we need to share with others?
ROMANS 10:14-17 -- 1. What is the "good news"? 2. How does faith come to the unbeliever? What part do we have in it? 3. Are we to carry the alcoholic or the message?
MATTHEW 9:35-38 -- 1. What did Jesus experience when he saw the crowds? Is the lack of what he experienced why the workers are so few? 2. Have we been called? Have we been sent? 3. What should our desire be today?
MATTHEW 10:7 & 8 -- 1. Are we supposed to do these things today? Are we able? 2. How are we to help the "harassed and helpless"? What kind of spirit are we to minister in? 3. What value do we place on our freedom? Are we willing to share it with others?
1 CORINTHIANS 9:19-23 -- 1. What does it mean to become "as one under the law" or "as one not under the law"? 2. What am I willing to become in order to be used by God to lead people to Christ?
JOHN 8:31 & 32 -- 1. How do we become disciples of Jesus. How can "knowing the truth" set us free? 2. When do we know "the truth that sets us free"? 3. According to these scriptures, which comes first; obedience, knowledge or freedom?
JOHN 15:7 & 8 1. When will "whatever we wish" be given to us? Why? 2. What are the conditions for asking and receiving? 3. How do we bring glory to the Father? What are his promises to us for remaining in his word?
JOHN 15:15-17 -- 1. Why does Jesus call us his friends? 2. What is "the master's business"? (John 3:17) 3. Who does the choosing? Why? 4. Are you aware of who you belong to? Why?
1 PETER 4:7 & 8 1. What does self-control and clear-mindedness have to do with prayer? 2. Is love a gift? Can you give it if you don't have it? 3. Why should we "love each other deeply"?
This file was given to Southern Maryland Christian Information Service BBS with permission to duplicate and share by: Pastor Elmer Magnussen of Mclean Bible Church, Mclean, VA. Thank you Elmer for your faithfulness, your friendship, your calling into the Ministry, but more important you Love for the Lord Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
This file was brought to you by the ministry of: Southern Maryland Christian Informaton Service BBS (301) 862-3160 USR HST Sysop: "Buggs" Bugnon P. O. Box 463 California, MD 20619
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