Small Group Studies

Identity Theft Week 2 Study


As we continue this series, Identity Theft, today we are looking at two specific lies that cause insecurity and fear when it comes to what we think about ourselves. The first lie is that we are defined by our past, especially when it comes to the ways we have sinned and messed up. This is simply not true for followers of Christ. The second is that our identities are based on what we do. Again, this is a lie that goes against what Scripture teaches. Today, we will uncover these lies and reveal them for what they are: lies. Then, we will replace these lies with truth from God’s word.


Which lie is most tempting for you to lean into: you are defined by your past, or your identity is wrapped up in what you do? Why?


Bible Study Questions

1. Why does looking to our past to define us and placing our identities in what we do ultimately fall short?


2. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. What message did Paul want to convey about our past in these verses?

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

3. Based on these verses, what do we learn about God’s forgiveness? 

4. Read Ephesians 3:17-19. Where, according to these verses, is our trust to lie? How is this different from looking to our own actions to find our identities?

Ephesians 3:17-19

17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.


1. Why do you think it is so tempting to live in the past or find our identities in the things we do?

2. Do you struggle moving forward and forgiving yourself for past things you have done? How do the verses we have studied encourage you?

3. What does it mean to you that you do not have to find your identity in the things you do but instead in what Christ has done for you?


You shared earlier with your group whether you find yourself having difficulty moving beyond your past and accepting God’s forgiveness, or if you have difficulty placing your identity in the things you do. If you are having a hard time accepting God’s forgiveness, think of one way you can live accepting God’s forgiveness this week and knowing His forgiveness defines you. If you define yourself by the things you do, what is one way you can live this week knowing that your identity is solely based on Christ and what He has done? After everyone has shared, pray together. Pray that God would help each of you see yourselves the way He sees you.

Going Deeper

When it comes down to it, our identities are not wrapped up in what we do or who we are. Our identities are solely based on who God says we are. This means we do not have to work to be approved by God. Because of this truth, all we have to do is remain in Him. When we do this, we bear good fruit. Let's take the next few minutes to explore this truth which is taught in John 15.

Read John 15:1-5. List the roles of God, Jesus, and us in this vineyard analogy.

The Gardener:

1. What does God as the gardener do?

2. Why does He do what He does?

3. What happens as a result of the gardener’s work?

The Vine:

1. What does a vine do for the branches?

2. How does this analogy of the vine relate to Jesus and what He does for followers of Christ?

3. What is the instruction that Christ-followers are given in this verse related to the vine?

The Branches:

1. What does it look like for a branch to remain on a vine?

2. How does this translate to followers of Christ, who are the branch, and Jesus, who is the vine?

3. Why are followers of Christ called to remain in Christ?

4. What happens when followers of Christ remain in Christ?

 After working through these questions, take a few minutes to reflect on our role as “the branches.” Answer these questions:

1. Are you remaining in Christ, or are you trying to live life on your own? Why?

2. What does it look like for you, on a regular basis, to remain in the vine?

3. What is an area of your life where you are struggling to remain in Christ? How can you let go of that and give it to Christ today?

4. What happens when we remain in Christ and remaining in Him becomes our focus? 

Friends, we are called to remain in Christ, and when we do, something incredible happens. He produces fruit. He helps us to do good and live in a way that honors Him. Remain in Him today.

MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

Galatians 1:10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant