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FEBRUARY 2011 celloutlines

celloutlines | overview of theme

Jesus Lives! Drum roll please… I have an announcement! I have made a New Year’s resolution! Now, I am not a person usually given to making New Year’s resolutions, let alone spiritual ones, but somehow this year… It started with a disturbing question: having been a Christian for three decades, I woke up one morning at the start of the new year honestly asking myself: ‘What difference is Jesus actually making in my secure, comfortable, middleclass day-to-day life? Am I living any differently from my friends who don’t know Jesus; am I making a difference in Jesus’ world; do I really know him?’ I know we all go through times of doubting our faith but somehow this was different – this was me wanting more of Jesus, not settling for being on the edge of the crowd, but wanting Jesus in me to impact my family, friends, community and the world! This was me wanting to be sure that I really know the compelling, captivating Jesus of whom Paul said: ‘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’ (Philippians 3:7-8 NIV). With these questions in my mind I feel like the least qualified person to write this month’s cell group material about Jesus. Although I’m pretty sure I know all about Jesus, and I have definitely met with him intimately on occasions throughout my Christian walk, I want to know how to make this a daily reality, how to really live Jesus. So, I got hold of some books and started reading…. One author pointed me to the book of Colossians in the Bible as one of the most incredible, beautiful descriptions of Jesus (again written by Paul), and here I found this: ‘My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving’ (Colossians 2:6–7 The Message). This hit the nail on the head for me and I wouldn’t be surprised if it also rings true with many of you. We’ve sat in church meetings, prayer meetings, band meetings, CUs and cell groups for years, talked to Jesus, discussed Jesus, watched DVDs of Jesus… but are we living him? Are we living Jesus? Do we want to? And so, my New Year’s resolution for the year 2011 is this:

‘To know and live Jesus.’ That is what this month’s cell groups are all about! You and me discovering together that ‘Jesus lives’ and how to ‘live Jesus’. Doing life together with Jesus. As Leonard Sweet says, ‘“What would Jesus do?” is not Christianity. Christianity asks, “What is Christ doing through me… through us? And how is he doing it?”’ ‘So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the continued over >>>

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things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective… Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way’ (Colossians 3:1,2,17 The Message). So this month we’ll take some time to look again at the Jesus of the Bible and of history, but also discover the Jesus of today, allow him to impact our lives afresh, invite him to live in us and through us. We will try to discover ‘what is going on around Christ’ and how we get in on the act! And, I hope, be bowled over afresh by his awesomeness and his love! I don’t expect we’ll find all the answers, but that’s part of the mystery of Christ! ‘I am a Christian because of Jesus Christ and for no other conscious reason. I find him unforgettable. I cannot get him out of my system. I do not know how he got there, but I am thankful that he did. I am a Christian because of Jesus Christ, especially because of the way he lived and the way he died, what his death did, and what he did with death in resurrection’ (Douglas Webster, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral).

Recommended Reading Living Jesus, John Pritchard, SPCK. Jesus Manifesto, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, Thomas Nelson. The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey, MarshallPickering. Living The Resurrection, Eugene Peterson, Navpress. Meeting Jesus, Major Howard Webber, Salvation Army.

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | overview of theme (continued...)

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week one These Cell Outlines are written by ALOVE UK. They are available each week from our web site. For more information and other cell resources, visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/alove/resources

Pictures of Jesus You will need • Pens / paper / Bibles • Copies of the cell introduction for everyone • Pictures of Jesus printed out and stuck on the walls • Personality trait labels (set for each member) • Laptop and/or projector or some other way of playing video clips • Background music • Copies of any of the attached information sheets that you want to distribute to the group members

Welcome Display a number of different pictures of Jesus around the room. (You can find hundreds of images on a Google image search – simply print off a varied selection of your choice!) Give each group member a set of stickers/labels/Post-it Notes of personality traits / attitudes, such as: kind, humble, gentle, frustrated, angry, mild, disappointed, loving, caring, harsh, forgiving, powerful, wise, lonely, righteous, dangerous, cuddly, compassionate, revolutionary, authoritative, sorrowful, crushed… Ask everyone to walk around and look at the different images of Jesus and stick on to each picture any of the labels that they feel applies to that particular portrayal of Jesus. Some labels may not apply to any picture – that is OK and will make for some good discussion later on!

Word 1. Read the cell introduction together.

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2. Versions of Jesus a. Read together (or as the leader you could just describe in your own words) the different ‘versions’ of Jesus that we get offered as we are growing up, as described by John Pritchard in his book Living Jesus (see attached sheet). b. Discuss the following questions: • What are your earliest memories of Jesus? • Do you recognise any of the versions of Jesus as described by John Pritchard in your own experience? • Do you have a favourite image of Jesus? Where does this image come from? Where does it connect with the picture of Jesus in the Bible?1 • How do the pictures of Jesus you have looked at (on the walls) reinforce or disagree with the versions of Jesus you have just read? 1 Questions 1–3 taken from Pritchard p.140

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week one (continued...) • How do you imagine Jesus’ physical appearance and how does this match up with the pictures you have just been looking at? (For some reason most of us think of Jesus as tall, slim, with long blond hair, sparkling blue eyes, a beard, wearing a long white nightdress! In fact, being middle-eastern Jesus was far more likely to have been dark-skinned, with dark hair and eyes and probably not particularly tall! You could find images of an African Christ or an Asian Christ to mix things up even more!) • What characteristics labels do you have left that you have not attached to a picture of Jesus? Why is this? 3. Jesus of the Bible a. Read the article ‘The Real Jesus’ (attached below). b. Watch a clip of the prayer ‘That’s My King’ by S.M. Lockridge. S. M. Lockridge was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a prominent African-American congregation located in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. He was known for his preaching across the United States and around the world. After he had retired, Dr Lockridge was spotted in the audience at the beginning of a Baptist convention. The organiser of the convention asked him to come up to the stage and open in spontaneous prayer. What followed was a stunning description of what God means to Dr Lockridge. This has become his best known message – a six-and-a-half minute description of Jesus Christ, known as ‘That’s my King!’ There are loads of clips on YouTube (try this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE) or on other websites, all varying slightly in the amount of text they include. One version of the text is included below if you would like to print a copy for your group. c. Read the following Bible passages (and any others you can think of that describe Jesus). • Colossians 1:15–23 (The Message translation is a good one) • 1 John 1:1–4 (The Message translation is a good one) • Philippians 2:5–11

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• Luke 4:18–19 • Isaiah 53:2–7 d. Discuss the following questions • How do the pictures of Jesus you have looked at (on the walls) reinforce or disagree with the descriptions of Jesus you have just read? • Look at the characteristics labels you have left that you have not attached to a picture of Jesus. Do these fit more readily with this Jesus we have just read about? • Do you feel you know this Jesus? • What aspects of Jesus would you like to get to know better? How can you do this? • Have you experienced any moments of real intimacy with Jesus? How did you get to this place? Can you describe this to the group? • What is it about Jesus that amazes you that you would want to pass on to a sceptical world? continued over >>>

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week one (continued...) Worship ‘Who do you say I am?’ (Luke 9:20) ‘“Who do you say I am?” is the question required of every generation, and every generation must answer for itself’ (Sweet and Viola). Play some quiet background music and ask each person to take some time to write down or draw their own individual picture of Jesus. Use these in a time of prayer, thanking Jesus for who he was on earth and who he is now, expressing your desire to know him and live him more.

Witness ‘A recent survey by the company behind the cult television drama Primeval asked which people, now dead, the British would most like to meet. Princess Diana was second and William Shakespeare third, but the clear winner was Jesus Christ (Pritchard). What do you think people of the UK think of Jesus today? What might be the connection between their lives and values, and the life and values of Jesus? Take your own survey as above at school/college/work and see if you get some surprising results!

For Next Week Read one of the Gospels during this week in order to discover more about the life Jesus lived on earth. As you read, note down any aspects of Jesus’ life that impact you in some way, and be prepared to share this next week. Also note down your favourite parable that Jesus told and what it means to you. Each Gospel is a different length so you can decide which one you feel you can complete in the given time frame. Matthew has 28 chapters = 5 chapters a day Mark has 16 chapters = 3 chapters a day

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Luke has 24 chapters = 4 chapters a day John has 21 chapters = 3.5 chapters a day!

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FEBRUARY 2011

The Jesus I’ve Been Offered Extract from Living Jesus by John Pritchard, Chapter 1 As I look back I can see a number of versions of Jesus that I’ve been offered through the years and the various stages of my journeying. They’ve all arrived from hidden places in our culture and presented themselves with varying degrees of credibility to my emerging world of ideas and beliefs. Gentle Jesus Gentle Jesus is well known in junior churches and primary schools all around the Western world. In my own case he was clearly depicted in a picture on my bedroom wall – calm, wise, tall with blue eyes and fair hair, a strong jaw line and a strange taste in long white nighties. He seemed particularly friendly with little furry animals and birds that should have known better than to hop around on the hands of strangers. But of course this was no stranger; this was gentle Jesus, everybody’s friend. He was oddly comforting at first but completely remote from my real world. He was epitomised by the words of the Christmas carol: ‘Christian children all must be mild, obedient, good as he’, but it has to be said that such a manifesto was hardly attractive to a boy who wanted to play cricket for England and climb Everest. If I got too close to this Jesus, would I have to drink fruit juice at parties and have a cold shower every time I thought of girls? This Jesus wasn’t going to go very far in my life. Judge Jesus Judge Jesus is alive and well in the dark corners of many minds in traditional Christendom. He particularly afflicts young people in their early teens. He and I got acquainted almost without an introduction. He was just there, watching me with slightly narrowed eyes, not actively intervening but almost certainly disapproving as I struggled through my teenage years. I thought the best way to handle this was to keep my distance and whistle confidently…. Judge Jesus is a tyrannical figure which can do great damage if he is allowed to follow us around constantly flourishing a yellow card, getting ready for the Great Day when he can finally send us off the field with a grim red one.

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National Trust Jesus National Trust Jesus is much more benign and really rather well brought up. The great thing about this Jesus is that he’s very understated. His churches are a delight to visit occasionally to remind oneself of one’s heritage and the virtues of ‘the old services’. This Jesus is frozen in time, but usually in a time which never existed. You don’t actually need a National Trust card to visit him but you do feel you shouldn’t turn up uninvited. Someone called the Church of England ‘the church that’s dying of good taste’. The Jesus I encountered later would almost certainly be respectful of the church-as-a-NationalTrust-property, but he would then most likely go down the pub and watch football on Sky. However, in my teens I was on nodding terms with this ‘Lilliput Lane’ Jesus. He was, after all, innocuous. (John Pritchard goes on to describe Terminator Jesus, Professor Jesus and the Living Jesus, amongst others! You’ll have to get the book to read more!)

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FEBRUARY 2011

The Real Jesus It’s time you met the real Jesus. It’s time you knew him as he was: sometimes brusque, abrupt and authoritative. Always thoughtful, philosophical and profound. It’s time you knew that Jesus could be the kindest and most gentle human being on earth, showing boundless love, mercy and forgiveness to those who genuinely asked for it and were in a repentant spirit. But it is time to recognise that Jesus could also radiate blazing anger and could hurl swift, incisive indictments at all posturing egotists, self-righteous religionists, simpering crowd followers, or even at his own beloved disciples when they got out of line. It’s time you knew that Jesus perspired just as you do; that he grew desperately hungry and tired; that he almost starved to death on one terrible occasion; that he suffered through the entire panorama of human temptations, passions and emotions which are common to us all; that he enjoyed food and drink; that he appreciated feminine beauty. It’s time you knew that Christ could cry, shout, laugh and sing; that he could enjoy the rough camaraderie of men of his own age in an out-of-doors camp, or appreciate the glittering setting of fabulous feasts in the most palatial of estates. It’s time that you realised that Jesus was not a vagabond; that he was a professional builder in the construction business, combining the technology of ‘modern’, first-century engineering with the art of the skilled craftsman. It’s time you knew the Jesus who was admired by officers high in the Roman army, who became a puzzle to Pilate, who was hated by the Pharisees, greatly beloved by his disciples, held in awe by the masses, detested by Judas, deeply admired by a proud mother, intensely loved by John, rebuked by Peter, and who was just as intensely human as you are. Few know that Jesus was not born on or anywhere near December 25 • that, as a boy, Jesus learned a profession; that he became the senior member in a construction partnership; that he owned at least one and probably two homes of his own; that he paid taxes.

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• that Jesus slept indoors most of his life and frequently spent the night in the homes of very wealthy people, including Romans as well as religious opponents. • that he was a personal friend of con artists, soldiers, fishermen, cheats, liars, thieves, crooked politicians, religious leaders and prostitutes. • that Jesus did not come to save the world some two thousand years ago, that he has not been trying to save it since, and that he is not trying to save it today. • that Jesus did not die of a broken heart; that he was not crucified on ‘Good Friday’; that he was not resurrected on ‘Easter Sunday’; that neither Jesus nor his disciples ever celebrated (or taught anyone to celebrate) Christmas or Easter. • that Jesus had to prove to doubting disciples by incontrovertible evidence that he had truly been resurrected. • that Jesus Christ is alive today, is planning to return to earth and has actually begun his ‘countdown’ from Heaven! If your own values are those of the common person, the real Jesus may insult you, shock you, please you, challenge you, inspire you, surprise you, make you wonder. But he will never bore you. http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/the-real-jesus/introduction.html

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FEBRUARY 2011 celloutlines

My King The Bible says he’s a Seven-Way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King. He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King. He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of Glory. He’s the King of kings and he is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King. Well, I wonder if you know him? David said: ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.’ My King is a sovereign King – no means of measure can define his limitless love. No far-seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of his shore of supplies. No barriers can hinder him from pouring out his blessings. Well, well, he’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful… Do you know him? He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s saviour. He’s the centrepiece of civilisation. He stands alone in himself. He’s honest. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. Well, he’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem in high criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He’s the core and necessity for spiritual religion. That’s my King. He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call him. He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient saviour… I wonder, do you know him today? He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathises and he saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and he guides. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. Do you know him? Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of Glory. He’s the master of the mighty. He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of the heroes. He’s the leader of the legislatures. He’s the overseer of the overcomers. He’s the governor of governors. He’s the prince of princes. He’s the King of kings and he’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King. Yeah. Yeah. That’s my King. My King, yeah. His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Well. I wish I could describe him to you, but he’s indescribable. He’s indescribable. Yes. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain him, let alone a man explaining him. You can’t get him out of your mind. You can’t get him off of your hands. You can’t outlive him and you can’t live without him. Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand him, but they found out they couldn’t stop him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn’t kill him. Death couldn’t handle him and the grave couldn’t hold him. That’s my King. Yeah. Praise the Lord! That’s my King. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, for ever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the evers, then, Amen!

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week two These Cell Outlines are written by ALOVE UK. They are available each week from our web site. For more information and other cell resources, visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/alove/resources

The Life of Jesus You will need • Pens / paper / Bibles • Timeline of Jesus’ life on strips of paper or card • (Digital camera?)

Welcome Print or write out the Time Line of Jesus’ Life (attached at the end) with each event on separate strips of paper or pieces of card. Lay the cards out in a random order and ask the group to try to arrange the events in the correct order, to represent an accurate timeline of Jesus’ life. (You could split the group into two teams if necessary, even make it into a competition. You will of course need two sets of the cards in this instance.)

Word Ask each group member, ‘Which one event in Jesus’ life would you rate as the most important and why?’ Allow some discussion/debate around this. There is no right/wrong answer! Ask each group member to share about one aspect of Jesus’ life that they have read about in the Gospel this week: why and how has it made an impact on them? Ask each group member to share their favourite parable and explain why they choose it. What does this parable tell us about living our lives with Jesus? How can we live this out in more reality on a day-to-day basis?

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Ask each person to share about the miracle of Jesus that most blows them away! Why is this? Discuss whether we could/should be able to see such miracles happening in us and through us today. NB. As each person is sharing, ask a group member who can draw to sketch out the situations, parables, miracles that are being discussed on a large piece of flipchart paper or wallpaper. At the end of the discussion you should have a montage of the impact of Jesus’ life that you can reflect on!

Witness Feedback from the survey: If anyone undertook a survey this past week give them some time to share how it went and what results they obtained. Read the following quote together: Everybody is following somebody. Everybody has faith in something and somebody. We are all believers. As a Christian I am simply trying to orient myself around living a particular kind of way…. And I think that the way of Jesus is the best possible way to live. This isn’t irrational or primitive or blind faith. It is merely being honest that we are all living a ‘way’. I’m convinced being generous is a better way to live, I’m convinced forgiving people and not carrying around continued over >>>

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bitterness is a better way to live. I’m convinced having compassion is a better way to live. I’m convinced pursuing peace in every situation is a better way to live. I’m convinced listening to the wisdom of others is a better way to live. I’m convinced being honest with people is a better way to live. This way of thinking isn’t weird or strange, it is simply acknowledging that everybody follows somebody, and I’m trying to follow Jesus. (Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis) What will being a follower of Jesus mean for you in the specific settings that you find yourself in tomorrow? What difference will it make to you? To those around you?

Worship Give each person a small piece of paper and ask them to write on it: ‘What one thing has struck you – for the first time, or afresh – about being a follower of Jesus?’ In silence take some time to lift those thoughts to God. Then pray together and ask God for grace to live like that tomorrow. Encourage everyone to put their slip of paper in their bag or pocket or stick it up somewhere visible at home as a reminder that you are going to try to live like that. (Adapted from John Pritchard.)

For next week Spend some time with Jesus – go out for a walk, have a coffee, go shopping, meet a friend – do anything you like together with Jesus! Challenge yourself to read another complete Gospel this week! (Note for leaders: If you are considering doing the Photo-Morphing activity next week you may wish to take photos of your group members this week)

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week two (continued...)

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FEBRUARY 2011

Time Line Of Jesus’ Life Isaiah’s prophecy foretold the coming of the Messiah Born in Bethlehem Talks with the teachers in the Temple at Jerusalem Worked as a carpenter Baptised by John the Baptist Temptation in the desert Calling of the first disciples Changes water into wine at Cana Talked to Samaritan women Sermon on the Mount Brings Jarius’s daughter back to life Feeds 5,000 Walks on water Raises Lazarus from the dead The ‘Palm Sunday’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem The Last Supper Prayed with his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane Betrayed by Judas Crucifixion Appears to Mary Magdalene Appears to two travellers on the road to Emmaus

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Cooks breakfast for the disciples The Great Commission The Ascension

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week three These Cell Outlines are written by ALOVE UK. They are available each week from our web site. For more information and other cell resources, visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/alove/resources

Doing Life Together With Jesus You will need • Pens / Paper / Bibles • Laptops / digital camera • A copy of the song ‘Make you Feel my Love’ sung by Adele • Large candle, nightlights/tealights and tapers

Welcome Have some fun with some photo-morphing! There are plenty of websites where you can upload your photo and morph yourself into a celebrity! Try photofunia.com http://photofunia.com/categories/ celebrities/ where you can become Jack Sparrow, Iron Man or a dancing Lulu! Fun Photo Box (http:// funphotobox.com/) is similar: you can become Avatar, Tomb Raider, Football star etc! This webpage ‘25 Websites To Have Fun With Your Photos’ (www.hongkiat.com/blog/25-websites-tohave-fun-with-your-photos/) suggests loads more! You could either let all your group members have a go at this, in which case you will need at least two computers and a digital camera to take and upload their photos. Or you could take the group members’ photos the previous week, create the photos of each group member, print them out and show them in turn at the beginning of this week’s cell group. It shouls promote a lot of laughter! (And maybe even a tenuous link to the discussion on imitating Jesus below?!) NB If you have a group (or group members) who are particularly sensitive about their looks, or would not cope well with people laughing at their morphed photo, then you may want to consider giving this activity a miss.

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Word Read Acts 17:28; Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:9–11 Ask the group what the similar theme is running through all these passages. Use the following thoughts to introduce the group discussion: All these verses speak of Jesus living in us and through us. Our old selves no longer exist, we now only live in Jesus, and we experience his resurrection life running through us. Sweet and Viola, in their book Jesus Manifesto (Chapter 4), describe how the ‘new’ King James Version that was published in 1611 changed the biblical word rendered as ‘follow’ in earlier translations to the word ‘imitate’; as in ‘Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Today some Bible translations change the word ‘follow’ to ‘imitate’ throughout virtually the whole text. Sweet and Viola go on to suggest that ‘being a follower of Jesus does not involve “imitation” as much as it does “implantation” and “impartation”’. It is important to understand the crucial difference between (a) striving continued over >>>

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week three (continued...) to be like Jesus and (b) allowing Jesus to dwell in us and live his resurrection life in and through us. But the good news is that Jesus doesn’t want us to be ‘like’ him. He wants to share his resurrection life with us. He doesn’t want us to imitate him; instead, Christ, the unspeakable Gift, wants to live in and through us. The gospel is not the imitation of Christ; it is the implantation and impartation of Christ. We are called to do more than mediate the truth. We are called to manifest Jesus’ presence. Jesus works all the way down and through until, as Paul put it, ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’ It should be said of you, ‘In (insert your name) something of Christ lives. The Jesus story continues in his/her life.’ The good news is as scary as it is good. It is safe to be ‘like’ Jesus; it is scary to ‘be’ and ‘do’ Jesus. (Sweet and Viola) ‘The life you see me living is not mine, but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20 The Message). Once we are truly sharing our lives with Jesus and learning to live in his love, our daily behaviour changes in a way where we deeply desire to honour and please him: the living Jesus within us; his love overwhelms us and banishes our fears, his Spirit directs and comforts us, his power empowers and energises us. We are living in Christ’s love and allowing Christ’s love to live in us. This is what it means to be doing life together with Jesus!

Group Discussion • Does the above describe following Jesus in a different way from what you have heard before? If so, how? What do you think about it? • In what ways have you found that you can imitate Jesus? In what ways have you found that you can’t? • What do you understand by the phrase the ‘implantation and impartation of Christ’? • Do you feel the love of Jesus within you? How, or why not?

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• Do you feel the power of Jesus within you? How, or why not? • What do you think it means to ‘share the resurrection life’ of Jesus? • In what ways do you sense Jesus with you on a daily basis? • In what areas of your life would you like Jesus to go deeper? • How do you feel the ‘Jesus story’ continues in your life? • How do you / would you like to ‘Do life together with Jesus’?

Worship Light a large central candle representing Jesus, the light of the world. Give each person a nightlight/ tealight and ask them to light it from the Christ candle (with a taper) and to place it wherever they want it to be in relation to the Christ candle. The group does this in silence then spends a few minutes in reflection and prayer, listening to the words of the song ‘Make you Feel my Love’ sung by Adele. As they reflect ask them to think of Jesus in and around them; to allow Jesus to love and heal them; to submit continued over >>>

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to Jesus any areas of their life they have been holding back; to experience the power of his Holy Spirit. You may wish to continue with a time of sharing and/or praying with and for each other. Finish by speaking or singing a song of praise or worship. (Perhaps ‘In Christ Alone’ by Stuart Townend. Look for it on YouTube if you don’t know it!)

Witness Be Jesus to someone this week!

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celloutlines | week three (continued...)

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FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week four These Cell Outlines are written by ALOVE UK. They are available each week from our web site. For more information and other cell resources, visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/alove/resources

The Purpose of Jesus You will need • Pens / paper / Bibles • Unusual objects (or pictures of unusual objects) • Flipchart paper • Local/national newspapers • Scissors

Welcome Find a few bizarre objects from around your home, things that your group members will not be familiar with (if you don’t have any look on the internet and print out some pictures of some bizarre objects). Ask your group members if they can guess what each of the objects is and what its purpose is.

Word So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. (Colossians 3:1–2 The Message) Read Luke 4:18–21

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Ask the group if they can think of / look up any other Scriptures that they feel point to Jesus’ purpose/ mission on earth, eg, Matthew 20:28; Luke 19:10; John 3:17; John 6:38–40; John 10:10b; John 12:46; Matthew 9:13. Brainstorm on to flipchart paper what you feel Jesus’ purpose and mission was when he came to earth, and what it is now. Can you write a mission statement for Jesus?

Group Discussion • As we discussed last week, Jesus lives within us – so what does that mean for our involvement in the purposes of Jesus? Is (or should) Jesus’ mission statement be our/your mission statement? • What do you see ‘going on around Christ’? Or to put it another way, where do you see Jesus at work in the world? • How can you personally or as a group get involved in this? • From your reading of Jesus, how did he respond to the poor? The weak? The lonely? Those that didn’t fit in? • How do you personally respond to people such as these? • How does your family/church respond to people such as these? continued over >>>

www.salvationarmy.org.uk/alove


FEBRUARY 2011

celloutlines | week four (continued...) • Do you think you feel compassion for things that Jesus is compassionate about? • Do you think you feel pain over the same things that Jesus feels pain over? • Do you feel joy and happiness in the same things that Jesus does?

Witness Look through some national and local newspapers. Cut out any news reports of situations that you think that Jesus would be involved in if he was still on the earth. Discuss what he would be doing, saying, thinking. Read the following description of the ALOVE essential of mission: Mission: Going into the world to find Jesus and point him out God is out there longing for people to come home and will go to just about any end to be reconciled with them. For ALOVE, mission is helping others see this longing through our thoughts, words and actions. It’s showing people just how much God already cares for them and is just waiting for reconciliation. It’s helping other people see what God is already doing in the world and discovering him in their own lives. Last month’s cell group discussed often what it means to ‘find and point out Jesus in the world around us’. Discuss what you have discovered and how you have been doing this over the last few weeks.

Worship Jesus was someone whose life purpose was to love people, quite literally, to death. Spend some time asking Jesus how he feels about your friends, community, nation. Share with each other in words or pictures that Jesus gives you. Pray together that you could also be someone who loves others as Jesus did/does.

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ALTERNATIVELY (or as well as) to the above cell outline….

And if you’ve had enough of talking about doing life with Jesus – simply take your group out somewhere to be Jesus to some people! (Check Health & Safety guidelines and obtain parental permission where necessary!

www.salvationarmy.org.uk/alove


February 2011 Cell