The BIG IDEA:
God’s forgiveness through Jesus is bigger than our bad sexual choices and the brokenness they’ve created.
We remain in the guilt and shame of poor choices we’ve made in the sexual part of our lives because we don’t realize the love, forgiveness, and healing Jesus holds out to us.
Receive Jesus’ forgiveness for mistakes we’ve made sexually, and trust him for the power to live out his design for our sexuality.
A flower growing out of ashes represents something beautiful coming from destruction. In the same way, even if we have made terrible mistakes sexually, God can redeem them and bring us healing.
- What I want the group to know and understand: God offers forgiveness, healing, and freedom, regardless of any choices we’ve made or any brokenness we’ve experienced in the sexual part of our lives.
- What I want the group to experience: Forgiveness for poor sexual choices and hope because God is bigger than the past and the present.
- How I want the group to respond: By bringing our brokenness to Jesus and receiving his forgiveness, healing, and power for sexual wholeness.
The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
Many of us have experienced great brokenness because we’ve made sex an idol and pursued it outside of God’s design. In a lot of cases this brokenness leads us into despair because we see no hope of healing or forgiveness. It’s great news that Jesus holds out forgiveness, healing, and freedom that aren’t limited by our past. He offers power to live out God’s beautiful design for our sexuality in spite of what we’ve experienced up till now.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leader like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
Imagine you’re doing hard, outside work on a hot, sunny day. You’re dirty, sweaty, and smelly. How do you feel after taking a shower and getting clean?
Our bad sexual choices can make us feel dirty and smelly spiritually. Jesus wants to bring healing to our brokenness and make us clean.
1. Read John 8:1-11. What happens when Jesus is teaching the people (verses 1-4)?
The religious leaders bring a woman caught in adultery—having sex with a man other than her husband—before Jesus and all the people.
2. How do you think you would have felt if you were this woman having done something wrong, being caught, and being exposed in front of Jesus and all the people?
Allow the group to discuss. Possible answers might include embarrassment, shame, and guilt.
3. What do the religious leaders want to know from Jesus and why (verses 5-6)?
They want to know what Jesus thinks should happen to the woman because they’re trying to trap him and get him in trouble.
4. How does Jesus respond (verses 7-8)?
He tells them that the person among them without sin should be the first to throw a stone at her.
5. What happens next (verse 9)?
Everyone leaves, beginning with the oldest, until Jesus and the woman are the only ones left.
6. What does Jesus say to the woman (verses 10-11)?
He asks if anyone is left to condemn her, knowing that no one is. He says he doesn’t condemn her either and tells her to go and stop sinning.
7. Just like the woman, what do we deserve from God for our bad sexual choices?
Allow the group to discuss. We deserve condemnation, judgment, and death because we’ve sinned against a holy God. See Romans 6:23.
8. Based on what Jesus said to the woman, what do you think Jesus wants for you in the face of the bad sexual choices you’ve made?
Allow the group to discuss. He wants us to know his forgiveness and freedom from condemnation. He also wants us to head in a new direction away from the bad sexual choices we’ve made.
9. What difference does it make to know that Jesus doesn’t condemn us but that he also calls us to trust in the power of his Spirit to head in a new direction away from bad sexual choices?
Allow the group to discuss. It gives hope that our bad choices don’t have to define us. It sets the stage for God to change us and heal us from the brokenness our bad sexual choices have caused.
10. As you think about your own bad sexual choices and this story, what do you think Jesus is saying to you?
Allow the group to discuss. Be sensitive to what God wants to do during this part of the discussion. Look for opportunities to lead your group to experience the joy of Jesus’ forgiveness and the hope of his healing as we follow him in a new direction that’s based on his design for sex and relationships.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.