Connect Group Guide

                     The Gospel Changes Everything Week 3

                                     John 3:1-21


Important Announcements!

As you pray out tonight! Pray for Ukraine. 🇺🇦 

This Sunday 4/24/22 Our entire offering will be going to Specific Relief Efforts in Ukraine. This Sunday we will be hearing about an opportunity we will have to partner with a couple of different groups who have boots on the ground and are already helping in Ukraine. Be praying for the Hearts of our people to be stirred in their giving. Pray that God would continue to shape our church to have a heart to reach and help all nations!


Theme: When we look in the Bible no one has ever come face to face with Jesus and walked away from Him the same! It is impossible to experience the Gospel and it not change your life completely! The Gospel changes our Hearts and Heart change brings life change! This is a 3-week series looking at how the Gospel truly changes everything!

Major Points:

1.. The Problem with Religion

The problem with religion is the fact that it starts with you and ends with you. When religion is boiled down to its core, it's about you. (It’s rooted in sin)

Religion is all about your performance and earning your way to God. Earning God’s approval.

What do I have to do to go to heaven?

What do I have to do for God to love me?

How much do I have to give for God to answer my prayers?

What do I have to do for God to accept me?

Religion focuses us on rules and checklists instead of knowing and walking with God! 

The Gospel is the opposite! The Gospel focuses us on Jesus!

Who he is! What He’s Done! Living out His purpose for my life!

Because of what Jesus has done for me, I get to cultivate a relationship with him.

Because of what He’s done I get to be a part of His mission.

When our acceptance before God is based on Jesus’ finished work, there is freedom! Freedom to know God. Freedom to walk with God! Freedom to enjoy Him!  

The hard thing about religion is it blinded you! Most people that are stuck in religion don’t know it. They are convinced that they are a Christian.

Question - How does a person know if they are lost in religion?

1st. Examine your life!

Do you desire the things of God or is it just a checklist?

When you do the things you do for God are they have to’s or get to’s?

Are the things of God a blessing or a burden in your life?

2nd. Examine your motives

Why do you do what you do for God?

What motivates your good works for God?

Is it a response to His Grace? Or is it an attempt to earn something?

3rd.  Examine your relationships with God & others

Do you have a daily relationship with the Lord?

Ask yourself - Do I have a daily conversation with Him? Do I desire to know His will? Is my relationship with God characterized by honesty, and transparency or is it characterized by fake superficially? (Religion loves the fake you)


At the end of the day, what is wrong and weak about religious works for earning salvation?

Why would religion be exhausting and why would the Gospel be refreshing (rest)?

When you examine your life, your motives, and your relationships with God and others, what do they reveal about your heart? Are you lost in religion or have you experienced a true saving relationship with Jesus?

2.. The Necessity of the Spirit

Nothing in the Kingdom of God happens apart from the Spirit of God.

The Spirit draws us.

The Spirit saves us.

The Spirit regenerates us.

The Spirit sanctifies us.

The Spirit keeps us.

The Spirit begins and finishes the work of God in our lives.

The Spirit works from the inside out.

This is the big difference between religion and the gospel.

Religion focuses on outward behavior modification. The Spirit focuses on inward heart transformation.

The Spirit is able to do in us what religion never can!

Transforms our hearts! Changes our desires! Renews our minds!

Outward modification has no ability to change the human heart period!

It’s like putting a band-aid on top of a wound.

The Spirit of God changes everything! This is what Jesus wants Nicodemus to understand and this is what God invites us into!


Why is the spirit necessary in the Christian life?

How is the spirit's work in true conversion different from our own religious efforts to save ourselves?

How did you experience the Spirit wooing and calling you into God’s saving Grace personally? Share with your group!

3.. The Invitation of Christ

The invitation of Christ is not an invitation to do more or try harder. It’s an invitation to be made new! (2 Corinthians 5:17 New Creation)

But there’s one condition….  Jesus says… 

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

We have to step into the light. We need to receive His testimony! 

Believe the Gospel!

Be Honest about our sin!

Recognize that we are fully exposed before God and yet fully loved!

Realize that we need to be born again.

1.. See Jesus for who He is.

2.. See ourselves for who we are.

3.. Believe.


Have you ever been born again?

Closing Prayer:

Pray for Life change in your group! Pray that we would be a church that would fight against religion and fight for the Gospel!