Repentance, Faith and Transformation

by | Testimonies | 5 comments

Ask the group the questions in black.

Words in italics are written to help give some guidance and ideas.

Read out loud the text in blue.

Have someone read out the Scripture passages.


If God guaranteed you an answer to any question, what question would you ask?

Gather thoughts. Ask why? This is not the time to answer those questions, but just to get people thinking.

People are curious about many things, but when it comes down to it, two of the most basic questions of life are: Who am I and why am I here?

Can you answer those questions with total confidence?

Who am I?

The question “Who am I” is a question of identity. Your identity is simply who you think you are.

When you think about your life, what influences have shaped your identity (who you think you are)?

This could be parents, teachers, sports coaches, pastors, friends, the world etc.

Share something about who you think you are.

Let people share at whatever level they are willing. Simply listen.

We all begin creating our sense of identity from birth, mainly based on our interactions with other people. The things we believe about ourselves can be both positive and negative.

So for now, we know that the “who am I” question is about identity. Over the coming weeks, we are going to explore this more.

Why am I Here?

The second question “Why am I here?” deals with our sense of purpose.

Think about things that people have created and their purpose? What comes to mind?

Share ideas. Choose any examples such as toasters, cars, lightbulbs, roads, houses etc.

Can you think of anything that has no purpose at all?

There is nothing that has been created that has no purpose. Things like space junk may seem to have no purpose now, but they did once have a purpose.

We have been created, so what is our purpose?

Gather thoughts. Ask, “what makes you think that?”

Does something that is created have the ability to determine its own purpose?

Use an example from above to pose the question. Can a toaster decide to be a jug instead?


We can only come to a true sense of identity and purpose when we first understand our design. Think about a lion.

What is a lion designed to do?

To hunt animals. No healthy lion defies its design to become a vegetarian! It never happens.

What gives a lion the ability to be a hunter?

Its whole body is designed to hunt from tooth to claw. The lion’s identity as a hunter comes from its design.

In the same way, our sense of identity and purpose is connected to our design.

Do we begin life with an understanding of our design?

No, newborn babies have no knowledge or understanding of purpose or design.

How do babies learn about their physical design?

Babies and infants learn their physical design by watching people around them. In fact, studies have shown that if an infant does not hear someone talking, they will not learn to talk. If they do not see a person walking, they will not learn to walk.

The same is true spiritually. When we first begin to follow Jesus and are born again, we are like spiritual infants, and we learn our design by looking at people who we consider “spiritual.”

In our spiritual infancy, how can we be sure that the people around us are or were actually living in their spiritual design?

We really can’t be sure. Babies do not have the capacity to question their design. Because they are so vulnerable, there is a great responsibility to protect babies and nurture them in truth.

What if we have not truly learned our design? Imagine that you discover an object you’ve never seen before and you don’t know what it is designed to do.

How could you find out?

You would ask the person who made it!

Read these Bible verses together:

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Who is the Creator of the universe and of us?


As our Creator, we owe our existence to God. We are not random products of chance. We have been wonderfully created by a God who has a clear design for our lives. And as our Creator, He alone holds the answers to those questions “who am I and why am I here?” The only way we can discover our design is to ask the One who designed us.

So, how does God reveal our design to us?

Gather thoughts.

Our Mirror

Look up the following passage in James.

James 1:22-24

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

What is the purpose of a mirror in the natural realm?

To see what you physically look like.

So, if you want to see a spiritual reflection of yourself, what is the spiritual mirror that you look into?

The word of God.

The Word is a spiritual mirror that shows us our natural face. The word “natural” used in this verse is the Greek word “genesis” meaning “source, origin or birth”. You could say that when we look into the mirror of the Word, we see our genesis face. We see our true identity and purpose as God originally designed it.


There are two questions we need to answer: Who am I? and Why am I here? These are questions of identity and purpose. Only our Creator has the right to determine who we are and why we are here, our design. So, over the coming studies, we are going to look into the mirror of the Word to find out how God answers these questions.

Questions for Further Discussion

Has there ever been a time in your life when you consciously asked yourself Who am I? or Why am I here?

Do you have any early memories of believing that God is Creator?

What do you think spiritual infants need most?


1 In the Beginning—Homework


Read these verses from Psalm 139 and reflect on the questions below.

Psalm 139:13-14

For You formed my inmost being;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You,

for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

What do these verses reveal about the value of your life?

What does it mean for you to be a unique creation?

Is it important for you to know “who am I” and “why am I here?” Why or why not?

Do you spend time looking into the mirror of the Word? Is this a focus for you?


As you begin these studies, ask God to reveal your identity and your purpose/design in life to you in a fresh and deeper way. Share with Him your desires for your own spiritual growth.

Often in the One with Christ studies we come back to repentance and note that real repentance involves a true change of heart that only God can bring. So if we are to repent then we need to come to Him with the faith that we can be different. We don’t stop with accepting His forgiveness, but rather we seek God and keep seeking until He changes our hearts.

A nice illustration of this happened recently when my son Jacob was intentionally provoking his sisters. I could see that he was enjoying the sport of upsetting the girls and this would happen fairly frequently. On one obvious occasion, true to the parenting principles of Francois Fenelon (one of my favorite authors), I didn’t correct the behavior at the time. I simply told Jacob to stop and then left it.

Later on that evening we were talking together before bed and we addressed the problem. I said “Jacob, something in your dark side delights in provoking the girls.” (For a few weeks when Jacob was younger, he had enjoyed the Stars Wars movies and so we spoke of the flesh or fallen nature and the Spirit in terms of the light side and dark side of the heart.) When I said that, the edges of his mouth curled up into a suppressed smile. He knew he liked it. Jacob looked at me and said “I know. But what can I do about it?” So I explained that he simply needed God to take that part of the darkness out of his heart. Jacob believed that God was able to set him free from that part of the sin nature, so right there he prayed “God, I’m sorry for provoking the girls. Can you please take it out of my heart?”

That was it: the simple prayer of a child. And God answered. Through a simple prayer of faith and repentance, Jacob was changed. The provoking stopped. We had peace in the family. There was still the occasional time when Jacob accidentally upset the girls, but he found no delight in it. God had dealt with that part of his heart and he was free. I remember saying to Mel at the time that I’m sure parenting wasn’t supposed to be so easy. But maybe that is actually the way that God wants it. Maybe He just wants us to believe that He can change us, desire the change and then ask Him for it. Believe, repent, and let Him act.



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  1. Mamontle

    I really believe that only God can change a person. I believe that through our prayers we can change people’s lives, especially those who are not born again. We were all sinners but sanctified us through the blood of Jesus Christ. If God did it to us, He can do it to our neighbours, families and friends who are not Saved (Born-Again) yet. Let us continue pray for them that God may change their hearts.

    Thanks for a wonderful testimony. I have learned that I don’t necessarily need to spend hours in prayer. Just few words from my heart to God, can actually make a difference. Solomon, the wise man, (In the book of Ecclesiastes) says “God is in Heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few”. Glory be to God our Father in Heaven who reigns forever, in Jesus Name, Amen.

    • Geoff Woodcock

      Hi Mamontle, thanks for your lovely comment. I totally agree with everything you’ve said, especially in terms of praying from the heart for those around us. It is so important that we understand our partnership with God in releasing His will and His love over others. May you continue to grow in your faith and love for God.

  2. Daniel

    That is such a beautiful testimony that attributes to the simplicity that is in Christ and the faithfulness of God. Your series has really helped me to understand my place in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’s heart and pray to Him in similar simplicity and sincerity with my faith being in His ability to change me and not my own. May God bless you richly for all that you are doing for His church. He said if you love me, feed my sheep … and that’s exactly what you are doing. May your heart be enriched that you are truly doing His work to edify His church during these last days. I appreciate you very much for being a sincere and faithful member of the body of Christ.

    • Geoff

      Thanks Daniel, I appreciate all that you’ve written and I especially receive your blessing of an enriched heart. May God fulfill His word in you and draw you deeper into His love.

      • Daniel

        Hello Geoff, I have to say, coming back to this interaction of ours months later that your blessing is being fulfilled. God has done exactly what you spoke which is to draw me deeper into His love. Thank you. I hope that my blessing of an enriched heart is being done in you. May your relationship with Jesus grow more and more every moment of every day. He is with you and pleased with you. Remember that you actually died and was raised with Him in newness of life. Continue to believe fully in your resurrection with Him and place in God’s Kingdom and nothing will hold you back!

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