LEVEL 1 CLASS CONTENT SUMMARY
1. WHO’S YOUR BOSS?
- MENTAL MAPS: We all have foundational beliefs that form a map or grid through which we interpret life. These maps form our identity, drive our behavior and guide our decisions. Problems in our lives come because of distortions and inaccuracies in our maps.
- AUTHORITY: Our decisions and behavior are determined by whatever internal or external authority (Boss) we are allowing to control our will. To understand or change behavior requires understanding the authority we are obeying.
- SCRIPTURE: The only true authority for our lives must be the Word of God (the Bible) which is sufficient for every need and issue of life.
2. DESIGN OF MAN. God created us with 3 distinct but closely interrelated parts. To live by His design, we must understand how these parts function and interact with each other.
- BODY: Our body is our physical self made up of bones, organs, tissues and organic systems that enable us to live in this physical world. The body is the vessel in which the soul and spirit reside.
- SOUL: Our soul is our personality or character and is made up of our mind, will and emotions. It is the part of us that interacts with and relates to other people. It is also the primary means through which we try to find “LIFE” and get our deepest needs met.
- SPIRIT: Our spirit is the part of us that relates to God. Though it is the least tangible of the three parts, our spirit is the core of our identity and provides the foundation for all the rest.
3. UNDERSTANDING BEHAVIOR. Why do we do what we do?
- LIFE: All of us were created with a deep need for love, acceptance, significance, purpose, and personal worth. We were designed to find that LIFE in God, but since we are born separated from Him, we seek it elsewhere.
- STRATEGY: As we live and grow in this world, we develop strategies to get the LIFE we are looking for. When we fail to find it, we also develop strategies to avoid the pain we feel. All behavior is determined by these strategies.
- BELIEFS: Behavior problems are merely symptoms. The root cause is the foundational lies we have in our belief system about who God is, who we are, and how life works. To change behavior, we must change the beliefs that drive that behavior.
4. WHAT THE LAW COULD NEVER DO
- THE LAW: We define “law” as “any standard a person believes they must meet to be okay with God, others, or themselves.” It consists of both formal written laws laid down by God and other authorities, as well as religious customs, personal rules and standards we have adopted for ourselves.
- PERFORMANCE: One deeply engrained foundational lie is the belief that we are loved and accepted based on our performance. The Bible calls this being “under the Law” and it is impossible to gain favor with God that way.
- PURPOSE: The purpose of the Law is to lead us to Christ so that we can be saved by grace through faith in Him.
5. FREEDOM IN GRACE. Grace is a kindness or benefit given without any expectation of return.
- SALVATION: Eternal salvation, the forgiveness of sins and adoption into God’s family are granted to us by God as a free gift which we receive by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Grace frees us from the penalty of sin.
- LIVING: Grace is also God’s empowerment to overcome sin and live a godly life as we abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit. Grace frees us from the power of sin.
- RELATIONSHIPS: Experiencing the riches of God’s grace for ourselves enables us to grant that same grace (love, acceptance, forgiveness) to others. Grace frees us to love unconditionally as we have been loved.
6. OUR SETTLED IDENTITY. Our true identity (who we are) is determined by birth, not by behavior.
- IN ADAM: We are all born into Adam’s family through physical birth. Our identity comes from Adam in whom we are born spiritually dead, sinners by nature and choice, cut off from God and eternally condemned.
- IN CHRIST: Through faith in Christ, our old self in Adam is crucified and buried. In our spirit is born a totally new person who is born of God, indwelled by God’s Spirit, has received His divine nature and has eternal life. This is now our new and true identity.
7. ABSENT FATHER
- THE FALL: Adam’s disobedience of God caused the entire human race to be separated from God and spiritually dead. Satan continues to malign the character of God and builds lies into our belief system about who He is.
- EARTHLY FATHERS: As young children, our earthly fathers are powerful, almost godlike beings to us. All of them had strengths and weaknesses, good qualities and significant faults. But whoever they were, they defined the word “Father” for us. We then transfer this image of a father to God and believe God is like our dad.
- IDOLATRY: As a result of the above influences and other reasons, we have a grossly distorted image of God that we try to worship and serve. Having an intimate relationship with this man made “idol” is impossible.
8. ABBA FATHER
- PURPOSE: Our purpose in life is to know God and live in intimacy with Him. Much more than obedience and service, this is God’s deepest desire for us. We must get to know the true God as He really is through His Word, His names, and His special revelation to us.
- ABBA: This is the most intimate name by which God reveals Himself to us. The closest English equivalent is “Daddy!” God longs for us to come to Him in childlike trust, sit on His lap, be held in His arms and just abide in His love.
9. RENEWING THE MIND
- UNRENEWED MIND: Though our spirit is transformed by the new birth into a new creation in Christ, the foundational beliefs in our mind are still riddled with lies and false beliefs that plague our emotions and govern our behavior. This is the root cause of our problems.
- RENEWED MIND: Our minds are renewed as we fill them with the truth of God’s Word about who He is and who we are in Christ. We submit to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to tear down the fortresses of lies in our belief system and replace them with the truth.
- PUTTING OFF AND PUTTING ON: Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we put off every thought and belief that contradicts the truth of God’s Word and put on the truth according to God’s Word.
10. OBEDIENCE SPRINGING FORTH
- EXCHANGED LIFE: According to Scripture, we have died in Christ and have exchanged our life for His. It is not about what we do but what He did and continues to do in and through us.
- ABIDING: Godly fruit is born from abiding in Christ. Obedience does not come from keeping rules but from allowing Him to live His life through us. It is the automatic response to abiding in His love.