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Rick Warren's 'Son of God Bible Study': Each lesson summarized

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Son of God is a 2014 American Christian movie feature, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. It was released in the United States on Feb. 28, 2014. Rick Warren designed a six-week Bible Study based on the film. Warren's Son of God Bible Study is divided into six lessons. Each lesson is about Jesus' life and how it relates to over lives. The lessons are simplified through a 20-minute video with Warren explaining the particular theme as participants fill in the blanks on a handout.

Lesson One: Jesus’ Baptism and Your Baptism
Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption into the Christian church. The Gospels report that Jesus was baptized. Therefore, Christians believe they too should be baptized since they are followers of Jesus. In most churches, baptism is a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ.

In his "Son of God Bible Study," Rick Warren explains the connection between Jesus' baptism and our own baptism.

We need to be baptized because Jesus demonstrated it by being baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist. By His own baptism, Jesus was saying, "If you truly want to follow me, than you need to follow me into this water. If I need to do this, then so do you."

You need to be baptized because Jesus commanded it. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Therefore, baptism is not an option. It is a commandment for every follower of Jesus Christ. It is noteworthy to know that baptism doesn't save anyone. It is an external expression letting the community know you have been adopted into the family of God. In other words, baptism is your public statement that you belong to Jesus Christ. Your baptism tells the world that you are not ashamed to be a follower of Jesus.

Baptism is a symbol of incorporation. According to Warren, "Your baptism says you are not just a believer, you're also a belonger."

Lesson Two: Jesus’ Temptation and Your Temptation
Temptation is the desire to perform an action that a person may enjoy immediately, but the person would probably regret it later. Temptation is not a sin. It becomes a sin only when you act upon it.

Because Jesus was tempted in every way, we too will become tempted throughout our lives. We will never outgrow temptation. Because Jesus was helped, we can follow His example to deal with our own temptation. Jesus was tempted because He was a threat to the devil. More than likely, you will be tempted after every mountaintop experience because we are tempted for the same reason Jesus was tempted. The devil sees some godly qualities in us, and he tempts us to distract us and to keep us from doing the will of God. After a spiritual high, you can expect a spiritual test.

Warren gives seven steps to escape temptation.

Step 1: Get into the word of God.
Step 2: Identify your vulnerabilities.
Step 3: Plan in advance what you are not going to do.
Step 4: Temptation is an inside job. Make sure you have a pure and clean heart.
Step 5: Pray for deliverance from temptation.
Step 6: Refocus your attention.
Step 7: Having a close friend will cause you to be accountable for your action.

Lesson Three: Jesus’ Suffering and Your Suffering
Suffering, or pain is an experience of unpleasantness associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm to an individual. Suffering may be physical or mental. Suffering may come in all degrees of intensity ranging from mild to intolerable. Suffering may last a short period of time, or it could go on indefinitely. Suffering may occur often, or it may occur once in a while. How you handle your suffering depends on your attitude. Some sufferers see suffering as an opportunity to grow. Some sufferers prolong their suffering by having a bad attitude about it and failing to learn lessons from it. Suffering in religion is referred to as trials, tribulations, or hardships.

In his "Son of God Bible Study," Rick Warren explains that because Jesus suffered, we will suffer also. If we want to reign with Jesus, we must also suffer with Him.

Suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance produces character. Character produces hope. Warren says when you go through suffering, you can face it with resentment or gratitude, with complaining or rejoicing, with worry or worship, with fear or faith, with self-dependence or self-surrender. The choice is up to you. However, if you want to grow spiritually through your suffering, you should not say, "Woe is me!" You should say, "Why not me!"

Lesson Four: Jesus’ Death and Your Death
Death is the cessation of life. One thing that all living things have in common is that all will die. Since believers follow Jesus in everything, they must also follow Him in death. However, Jesus took the sting out of death when He died, and He took the victory out of the grave (1 Corinthians 15:55-47).

Your own death is compared to Jesus' death. Jesus had to die so that you could live. Since the payment for sin is death, Jesus took it upon Himself to die in your place. Warren says, "Jesus' crucifixion shows us God's love. They drove the nails through the hands of Jesus, but they went straight to the heart of God.”

There is absolutely nothing we can do to get into heaven except believe that it was Jesus who did it all. Jesus sacrificed His own life for us. We ought to love Christ because He first loved us to the point of dying for us. We ought to hate sin because sin is not a laughing matter.

Warren encourages you to go and tell others because you are going to heaven because somebody told you about Jesus Christ. Think about who will or will not be in heaven because of you.

Lesson Five: Jesus’ Resurrection and Your Resurrection
Resurrection means being raised from the dead. Just as Jesus’ death shows us God’s love, Jesus’ resurrection shows us God’s power. It proves that God is God, and with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, we too will be raised from the dead. There is a future hope of the resurrection; however, we can experience resurrection power while we are still alive.

The power of the resurrection is the power to keep going. If Jesus can give you starting power, He can also give you staying power.

The power of the resurrection is the power to finish life confidently. We don’t need Jesus just because we might die tonight. We need Jesus because we might live tomorrow. We all need the power of the resurrection while we are still alive.

In summary, because of the resurrection we can have a new life. We can have an abundant life. We can have eternal life.

Lesson Six: Jesus’ Ministry and Your Ministry
Jesus had a ministry while here on earth. His ministry was to teach us to do the same works that He did during His earthly ministry. In fact, He said we are to do even greater works after His ascension (John 14:12).

Jesus’ ministry is outlined in Luke 4:18-19. Jesus Himself said He came to preach good news to the poor. Those are the people who experience material poverty, moral poverty, or spiritual poverty.

Jesus came to comfort the brokenhearted. Those are the people who are weighed down with disappointment, discouragement, defeat, or despair.

Jesus came to proclaim freedom for those who are imprisoned. Those are the people who are trapped by their circumstances, additions, habits, or fears.

Jesus came to recover sight to the blind. Those are the people who are blind to the truth about God or about themselves.

Jesus came to release the oppressed. Those are the people who are picked on, put down, victimized, or taken for granted.

On the cross when Jesus said, “It is finished,” He was referring to His earthly ministry. His ministry in heaven is intercession where He intercedes for us to carry on His earthly ministry. He wants us to tell others about Him. Jesus wants His ministry to now be our ministry.

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