Purpose: To show that we are saved by God’s grace, through our faith in Jesus. We cannot earn our salvation.
- Psalm 103:1-18. In this psalm, David talks about the heart of the Lord toward weak and sinful people: he is a compassionate, gracious, loving father. How deeply does God love those who fear him? What is he willing to do with their sins (transgressions)? Is this the way you see God?
- Luke 15:11-31. Jesus taught many things in parables, short stories created to teach spiritual truths. What does this story tell you about God’s attitude toward us when we repent and turn back to Him? Why did the older brother have such a hard time with his father’s attitude? In what way did he fail to understand the father and his grace?
- Luke 18:9-14. In this story, we see two very different ways of viewing ourselves and God. How did the Pharisee approach God? How did he view himself? On what basis did he presume to be righteous? (His goodness, religious activities, his own efforts). By contrast, how did the tax collector see himself? What was his appeal to God based on? (God’s mercy). Who went home justified (pronounced and considered “not guilty”)? Jesus taught that a person can never be good enough to be saved through his own efforts. The only basis of our salvation is the mercy and grace of God.
- Ephesians 2:1-10. What condition are we all in? We are dead in sins and transgressions. How much can a dead man do to improve his own condition? What then is the only way we can be saved? What do you learn about God in his passage? His love? His mercy? His grace? What is the condition of receiving what God has done on our behalf? We are saved by grace through faith. Faith is obedient trust in God (James 2:14-18). Here we trust what God has done in Jesus as the grounds of our salvation and commit our lives fully to him. While we can never do enough good works to save ourselves, what are we saved for? Saving faith is “worked out” in ways that bring glory to God and attest to a Christ-centered life.
- Romans 3:21-26. Having shown that Gentiles (non-Jews) are sinners in Romans 1 and Jews are no better off in Romans 2, Paul summarizes his argument here. Is it possible for anyone to be “good enough” to be saved? Illustration: a plane goes down half way between Hawaii and California. Everyone must swim for the coast. Can some swim much further than others? But what eventually happens to them all? So with us, no one’s own efforts are enough. All fall short. So how are we saved? God justifies those who “have faith in Jesus” (v26). Saving faith is not in ourselves but “in his blood”—that is, in the death of Jesus on our behalf (v25).
- Titus 3:3-8. When we humbly consider our own sinfulness, it becomes obvious that we are saved because of God’s mercy, not because of righteous things we have done. Those who have trusted God for salvation, however, will devote themselves to doing his will. God’s grace is AMAZING! He generously accepts us as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. To enter into this saving relationship with God, we must be washed of our sins and renewed by the Holy Spirit. We will look more at the conditions of accepting God’s grace in the coming studies.
Additional Helpful Scriptures:
- Psalm 51:1-17
- Ezekiel 18:21-32
- Matthew 18:21-35
- Romans 4:1-8, 18-25
- Colossians 1:21-23
- 1 Timothy 1:12-16
- 2 Timothy 1:8-9
- Titus 2:11-14