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3 Weekly Bible Study on Celebrating Birthdays, Who am I in Christ and Godly Sorrow

Best Weekly Family Bible Study Lessons about Celebrating Birthdays, Who am I in Christ and Godly Sorrow

Celebrating Birthdays
There is no specific prohibition against celebrating birthdays in Scripture, nor is there anything to indicate we should celebrate them. Scripturally speaking, it is a non-issue. The Bible does mention two individuals celebrating birthdays: the Egyptian Pharaoh in Joseph’s time - Genesis 40:20, and King Herod in the time of Jesus - Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:21. Some point to these non-believing individuals as evidence that celebrating birthdays is wrong and as some form of pagan ritual. However, the Bible does not state, or even hint, that it was wrong for Pharaoh or Herod to celebrate his birthday. Neither does Scripture anywhere discourage anyone from celebrating a birthday.
In his epistle to the Romans, Paul is addressing the issue of which day should be the day of worship, but this could also apply to birthday celebrations: “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s  - Romans 14:5-8. Family Devotional Activities on the Joy of Singing, Count Your Cost and Divination
The bottom line for Paul is that each man should be fully convinced that he is doing what God wants him to do. If one person chooses to celebrate birthdays and he sees nothing wrong with it, he should celebrate with a clear conscience. If, however, he feels celebrating is against his conscience, he should not celebrate. Conversely, if one does not celebrate birthdays for reasons of conscience, that is fine, as long as it does not become a source of pride and he does not look down on those who do celebrate. As with all issues not specifically addressed in Scripture, we have the freedom to celebrate or not, according to personal preference.

Who Am I In Christ?
2 Corinthians 5:17 states, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  In Christ, we are made an entirely new creation, just as God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing.  When we are in Christ, we are "partakers of the divine nature"-  2 Peter 1:4. God Himself, in the person of His Holy Spirit, takes up residence in our hearts and He is in us.
In Christ, we are regenerated, renewed, and born again, and this new creation is spiritually minded, whereas the old nature is carnally minded. The new nature fellowships with God obeys His will and is devoted to His service.  The old nature is dead to the things of the spirit and cannot revive itself. It is "dead in trespasses and sins" - Ephesians 2:1, and can only be made alive when we come to Christ and are indwelt by Him.  Our old life, previously dead to God because of sin, is buried, and we are raised "to walk in newness of life" with Him - Romans 6:4.

If we belong to Christ, we are united to Him and no longer slaves to sin - Romans 6:5-6; we are made alive with Him - Ephesians 2:5; we are conformed to His image - Romans 8:29; we are free from condemnation and walking not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit - Rom. 8:1; and we are part of the body of Christ with other believers - Romans 12:5. The believer now possesses a new heart - Ezekiel 11:19, and has been blessed "with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" - Ephesians 1:3. Morning Devotion Topics on Key to Effective Prayer, Spirit Guides, Compromise and Compassion
In Christ, we can choose to resist sin, whereas the old nature could not. Now we have the choice to either feed the new nature through the Word, prayer, and obedience, or to feed the flesh by neglecting those things.  When we are in Christ, "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" - Romans 8:37, and can rejoice in our Savior, who makes all things possible - Philippians 4:13.  We are forgiven, secure, adopted, justified, redeemed, reconciled, chosen, victorious, filled with joy and peace, and granted true meaning in life. Is this not wonderful?

“There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others, have betrayed or abandoned them, caused them suffering, knowingly or unknowingly, out of my pain, fear, anger, and confusion. Let yourself remember and visualize the ways you have hurt others. See the pain you have caused out of your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret. Sense that finally you can release this burden and ask for forgiveness. Take as much time as you need to picture each memory that still burdens your heart. And then as each person comes to mind, gently say: I ask for your forgiveness, I ask for your forgiveness.”  ― Jack Kornfield

Godly Sorrow

The phrase "godly sorrow" appears only once in Scripture, in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done." Godly sorrow, also translated as "godly grief," is an acute sense of sadness we experience as a result of the sins we have committed.

Paul's reference to godly sorrow in 2 Corinthians 7 was brought about by the reaction of the Corinthian believers to a previous letter in which Paul rebuked them for the dissensions that were present in the church. Although he was sorry to have hurt them, he rejoiced that his letter brought them to godly sorrow "as God intended." Godly sorrow is that which brings the repentance that leads to salvation - 2 Corinthians 7:8-9.

Godly sorrow is a kind of wretchedness that can bring the repentant sinner to tears of grief. A good example of this is Peter at the time of Jesus' arrest and trial. When accused of being one of Jesus' followers, Peter disowned Jesus by cursing and swearing to his accusers that he did not know the Man. Upon hearing the rooster crow three times, he remembered the words of Jesus, who had prophesied Peter's very actions, and he went out and wept bitterly - Matthew 26:74-75.

James wrote, "Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom" - James 4:8-9. James is referencing this kind of deep sorrow with his command to "grieve, mourn, and wail." Such words are reminiscent of the Old Testament prophets' call for the people to repent, to grieve over their sins, and to sit in sackcloth and ashes. Encouraging Words for Worship Team from a Music Minister

Another illustration of godly sorrow was shown by David, "a man after God's own heart" - Acts 13:22. David revealed his own godly sorrow for his sins in many of his Psalms. In one, he pleads for God's mercy and cries out: "I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears" - Psalm 6:6. The apostle Paul described his own battles with sin: "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" Then he gives the answer: "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" - Romans 7:24-25.

Godly sorrow results from a heart-felt conviction that we have offended God with our sin. Such a burning conviction produces in our hearts a godly sorrow. As we look upon Him who was pierced for our sins, we are deeply grieved in spirit. And we resolve within our hearts that we will, with the help of God, "cease to do evil, and learn to do good" - Isaiah 1:16.

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