NextLevel Online: Between Two Trees

Session 1: Life Between Two Trees

How does the Bible read us? Why does the Bible end the way it begins?



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Outline
Leader
  • The Good News

    • The Bible ends where it begins…Kind of.

    • The Tree of Life (Revelation 22:i-2a; Revelation 2i :3 4)

  • The Problem

    • Lived between these two trees.

    • And between these two trees, life is hard.

  • The Reality

    • We all long to be someone different. Every one of us.

      • Even if it’s just a better version of ourselves.

      • As children we know this intuitively.

    • This longing is not a curse, but a gift from God.

  • A Case of Amnesia

    • Somewhere along the way, we forgot the gift of transformation.

    • Yet the feeling never goes away; it just changes shape.

  • Conclusion

    • We are not asking just “how do we read the Bible?” but “how does the Bible read us?”

    • Why does the Bible end the way it begins?

      • To finish an unfinished creation.

Discussion Questions for Video I:

  • Thelonging to be someone else is normal. So how do we affirm this deep longing, while pointing to the “true tree of life”?

  • Why do you think as a society we have shut down the idea that we have a need for transformation? How has the damaged us?

  • When and why did the idea that transformation is a “bad thing” start?

  • What is it that scares us about transformation?

  • How should we begin to break the lie that transformation is a bad thing with our none Christian friends and family?

  • How do we explain to non-believers that the longing that they are experiencing is the product of a much deeper longing within?

  • How do we show people the path to transformation in a way that doesn’t offend them?

  • What does clinging to the tree in the middle (i.e., the cross) look like in each of our lives?

  • What part of your identity is society telling you to embrace even though you know God is telling you otherwise?

  • How can we distinguish the longing to be someone different as a gift from God and not hating one’s own body?

  • How do you know you are being transformed into the image of Christ and not some other imitation?

  • In what ways do you see yourself longing for “New Creation”?

  • Do you think the church takes this longing for transformation seriously enough? Or have we forgotten how much impact this longing has on us?

  • How does the Biblical narrative of transformation contrast to the world narrative that “you need to stay true to yourself”?

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.