Salvation 11

The aim of this module is to grow in understanding and appreciation for the fullness by which God saved us in the death of his Son Jesus Christ.

Scripture

2 Corinthians 5:1-21

1  For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3  if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

4  For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.  5  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6  So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

8  We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.  9  Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11  Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences…

14  For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15  and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

16  Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Observation

There are several terms used to describe a certain part of the process by which God saves us.  Consider the following terms with a simplified definition of each.

  • Eternal life describes both life without end in days, as well as the experience with which we live to the fullness without reservation – the very life of God.
  • Glorification refers to the fullness of our salvation we will receive when Christ returns to deliver us of the presence of sin and Satan and transform our bodies to resemble his.
  • Identification means to identify with the position of another: Christ identified with us in our humanity and carried the punishment of our sins – even death; we in turn identify with his righteousness and life.
  • Inheritance refers to what we will partake of as children of God, that which is rightly ours as children of God – both now and when Christ returns to take us to him.
  • Justification is a legal term meaning that no fault (or sin) is found in the accused.
  • Condemnation is a legal term which implies that the accused is found guilty and has been sentenced for punishment.
  • Reconciliation means to arbitrate and bring peace between two parties.
  • Regeneration or recreation means to bring to life, to make new.
  • Repentance means a 180 degree turn-around in will, attitude and behavior – to go the other way. Biblically it is used to mean one turns from sin towards God’s way of life.
  • Righteousness refers to what is right in the sight of God, and is often spoken of as a garment by which we are clothed to appear pure before God.
  • Substitution or propitiation with regard to our salvation refers to another who takes the punishment of sin on our behalf.

Now read through the text again and fit each of the following verses with one (or two) of these salvation terms that fit best.

  • V1 ————–
  • V2 ————–
  • V3 ————–
  • V5 ————–
  • V10 either ————– or ————–
  • V11 ————–
  • V14 ————–
  • V15 ————–
  • V17 ————–
  • V18 ————–
  • V20 ————–
  • V21 ————–

Application and Prayer

Which verses in today’s sccspeak the clearest to your conscience today?  Why does it press on your heart?  Spend some time to pray to God about that aspect of your salvation.  Then make time to worship God for this great gift of salvation in his Son Jesus Christ!

Salvation 10

The Aim of this short devotional study is to discover the extent of God’s salvation to one who cries out to Him.

Scripture

Psalms 40:1-3

1  I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.

2  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.

3  He has put a new song in my mouth– Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.

Observation

Slowly read these three verses and answer the questions:

  1. When you read “horrible pit… miry clay” what do you think / feel? What is David trying to relay with these words?
  2. What did David do for God to rescue / save him?
  3. What was the process of God’s full rescue / salvation of David?
  4. What was the result of God’s rescue / salvation of David to others?
  5. What was the natural result God’s rescue / salvation within David?

Application

  1. Memorize this short text. (Pray it repeatedly until you know it)
  2. David’s rescue / salvation lead to praise of God which attracted people attention, worship and faith in God. What work which God has completed in your life which need to be published in a way to cause people to trust and worship God?

Prayer

What situation in your life feels like you being stuck “in a horrible pit [of] miry clay”?  Cry out to God now – and persevere in it – waiting for his complete restoration.  He did it for David – he will do it for you.

Salvation 9

The Aim of this devotional study is to reflect on one of the images of salvation frequently used in the New Testament.

Scriptures

1 Corinthians 10:1-8

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers [2] were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

Exodus 14:5-31

Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness. So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.

10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen…

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

30 So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.

Observation

The parting of the Red Sea was the greatest act of deliverance of the Hebrews in the Old Testament and the culmination of God’s deliverance from the Egyptian enslavement.  There are numerous NT references to this great act of salvation account, mostly coupled to warnings, such as 1 Corinthians 10 above.

  1. With regards to our salvation, what does “Egypt” point to?
  2. Using this imagery of God’s salvation of the Hebrews from Egypt, what powerful lesson does Paul teach us in 1 Corinthians 10:1-8 about our salvation?

Application

The Hebrews were saved from Egyptian oppression, but reverted back to their familiar lifestyle of idolatry and immorality, and died in the Wilderness before entering the Promised Land.  So “walking through the Wilderness” was still part of the Hebrew’s salvation journey which had to be completed.  How does this make you feel, and in which way can you relate to this?

Prayer

Thank God that “He who began a good work in you will complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ”.

Salvation 8

The Aim of this devotional study is to discover the process (sanctification) and completion (glorification) of our salvation.

Scripture

1 Peter 1:3-9

3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8  whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9  receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.

Observations

  1. What phrases that Peter use make you realize that you have been saved by grace, and through faith?
  2. What phrases that Peter use indicate that your salvation (and inheritance) is secure?
  3. What phrases that Peter use indicate that now at present God is working in various ways to work out your salvation?
  4. What phrases that Peter use point to a specific moment in the future when your salvation will be complete?

Application

  1. Peter writes that hardships (in this case – religious persecution resulting imprisonment, poverty and even beatings) tests our faith. How does it test our faith, and what impact does it have on our salvation?
  2. Have you ever experienced that difficult times test your faith? When and how?  (if not, do you know someone that went through such hardship?  What do you know about their faith?)

Prayer

Prayerfully reflect on your current life circumstances and your hope of an glorious inheritance in Christ.  Paul wrote somewhere that “there light afflictions does not compare to the glory that awaits us in Christ”. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the glorious inheritance in reserved for you Christ.

Salvation 7

The Aim of this devotional study is to better understand and appreciate the fullness of God’s salvation in Christ.

Scripture

Luke 18:9-14

9  [Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:

10  “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11  The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

13  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Observation

This account of two men who approached God for righteousness, helps us to understand salvation and the basis of our relationship with God.

Note: “justified” is a legal term which means to be acquitted of all guilt, to be found innocent of all charges, thus to be righteous.

  1. To whom was this parable told? (v9) Give three contemporary words to describe such people.
  2. To see how well you understand the parable, indicate of who these verses are most true: [the Pharisee | the tax collector | or both men].
  • [ ] went to the temple because they believed in God’s existence and wanted a relationship with God. (v10)
  • [ ] came to God and showed that he was righteous by comparing his behavior with others. (v11)
  • [ ] thought that he was acceptable to God because he lived right according to the Law.  (v12)
  • [ ] approached God based on his own righteousness.
  • [ ] approached God based on God’s goodness and mercy.
  • [ ] was justified because he appealed to God’s mercy.
  1. Justified means “made right with God” means “saved”. What does this lesson teach us of God’s salvation and our approach?

Application

  1. Write down your own short parable in contemporary terms (i.e. with no Biblical characters like tax collectors and Pharisees or temples – because we don’t have that around) so that, if you told it to your small group, they would get the same message than this parable above.
  2. Rick Godwin said once “each of us has a Pharisee inside of us”. Looking at the parable above, why could you agree with Rick Godwin?  What did this Pharisee do that we are easily tempted to do as well?

Prayer

Spend some time in prayer to God, while NOT thinking of your behavior (not good nor bad), but only of his mercy and goodness.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you see hypocrisy and pride in you life, and ask God to forgive and cleanse you of it. “His mercy never ends!”

Salvation 6

The Aim of this devotional Bible study is to grow in appreciation and understanding of God’s gift of salvation.

Scriptures

Numbers 21:4-9

4  From Mount Hor [the Israelites] set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way.  5  And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”

6  Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.  7  And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.   8  And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”

9  So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

John 3:14-18

14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  5  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Observations

  1. Let’s summarize Numbers 21 by linking the verse reference on the left with the best one-word description on the right:

V4                    confession

V5                    salvation

V6                    discontent

V7a                  rebellion

V7b                  intercession

V8                    judgment

  1. In John 3 Jesus uses the allegory of Numbers 21 to refer to his own salvation. In essence, every person is “bitten by a serpent” and must look at “the fiery serpent on a pole, lifted up” to live.  Answer the following questions about this allegory shortly:
  • what does “being bitten by the serpent” refer to?
  • what does the “death” of those bitten by the serpents refer to?
  • what does this “fiery serpent on a pole” refer to?
  • what is the significance of Jesus being identified as a “fiery serpent on a pole”? (hint: Galatians 3:13 and 2 Corinthians 5:21)

Application

  1. We know that on the cross Jesus became a substitution for the wrath of God, carrying the punishment of our sin and dying on our behalf. In which way can you see this both Numbers 21 and John 3 above?
  2. Memorize John 3:14-18 (do one verse at a time if it is intimidating). The Bible School group will be asked to repeat it at our meetings this week.

Prayer

Respond in prayer – thanksgiving for your salvation and intercession for a friend or family member who must still respond to God’s gift of salvation.

Salvation 5

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in appreciation for God’s love in saving us.

This short sermon Jam of Matt Chandler will add greatly to this Bible Study:

Scripture

Romans 5:6-10

6  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

7  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– 8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Observation

  • “weak” here means helpless, unable to help / save yourself.
  • “justified” is a legal term which means to be found faultless/ innocent after enquiry.
  • “wrath” here refers to the justified anger of God against rebellious and sinful people opposing His reign.
  • “reconciled” here means to make peace between God and man.
  1. List the various ways in which Paul emphasizes the fact that Jesus died for sinners / bad people.
  2. From this text explain how can “ungodly” “sinners” who are “enemies of God” escape his “wrath” and be “justified” (found faultless) and reconciled (be at peace) with God the judge of all. [don’t just say “Jesus died” – explain why does that help us?]
  3. From this text, how would you be assured of God’s love if you frequently fall in sin?

Application and prayer

  1. This text says God has already proven his love for you in that Jesus died on your behalf to save you from his wrath, while you were still a far away and lost in your sin. Sincerely thank God for this awesome, priceless gift of salvation.
  2. Do you feel loved by God? Why / why not?  Tell God that

Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

  1. What would make you feel loved by God? Tell God that.  Ask him to reveal his love.

Salvation 4

The Aim of this devotional study is to increase your appreciation and hope for Christ Jesus’ work of salvation.

This short sermon jam of Judah Smith will greatly enhance this Bible Study:

Scripture

Ephesians 1:3-14

3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12  so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

13  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

 

Observation

Note: you will notice very clear correlation between Ephesians and Colossians since they were written in the same time, to similar congregations who shared a similar challenges by the same man, Paul.

  1. Read through the passage and list the benefits we have in God because of Christ’s saving work in our lives.
  2. Write down what you understand with these phrases Paul uses to describe Christ’s work of salvation in our lives:
  • Blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places:
  • Chose us:
  • To be holy and blameless:
  • Predestined for adoption as sons:
  • To be the praise of his glorious grace:
  • Has blessed us in the Beloved:
  • Redemption through his blood:
  • Forgiveness of sins:
  • Unite all things in him:
  • Obtained an inheritance as sons:
  • Predestined according to his purpose:
  • Sealed with the Holy Spirit as guarantee of our inheritance:
  1. What does Paul mean with the phrase “hope in Christ”?

Application

  1. Reflect on what you know of Scripture (and even what is above). What are you sure of is yours eternally because of what Christ has accomplished for you.  What is your inheritance in Christ – what do you hope for in the life to come?

Prayer

Pray the following five things for yourself and your small group (or someone you love) the first prayer of Paul for the Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:17-21

17  [I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18  having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.Seal

Salvation 3

The Aim of this devotional study is to better understand Christ’s complete work salvation.

Scripture

Colossians 1:13-23

13  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  16  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.  17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

18  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

19  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21  And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22  he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Observation

  1. Regarding Paul’s readers in Colossi: what were they saved from? (v21) And how were they saved from that? (v20-21)
  2. Read through the section again and list the words that are used to describe God’s saving work in our lives through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. (v13, 20-22)
  3. Now say what you understand with these terms regarding Christ’s work of salvation in our lives:
  • Delivered from darkness:
  • Transferred to Christ’s kingdom:
  • Redemption:
  • Forgiveness of sins:
  • Reconciled to himself, making peace through the blood:
  • Reconciled in his body of flesh:
  • Present you holy:
  • Present you blameless:
  • Present you above reproach:
  1. What does Paul refer to when he speaks of “the hope of the gospel”? (hint: what is the ultimate promise of the gospel – what do hope for through Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and ascension?)
  2. Read verse 22-23 again “to reconcile you… to present you holy and blameless… if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel you heard”. What do you read in that verse?  Would you say from this verse that Paul believed that if you are saved once, you are always saved?  Why?  Why not?

Application

In this letter Paul warns that one can fall away from Christ because you rely on your own efforts to save yourself from the power of sin (which he argues is impossible).  Our hope in the gospel of Christ is that Jesus has reconciled us to the Father through his cruel death on our behalf, and that ultimately he will save us from the power of death and presence of sin and Satan.

  1. Take some time to reflect on your life, your efforts, your thoughts and actions: in which ways are you prone to rely on your own efforts to save yourself from sin or death?
  2. Likewise, how do you trust in Christ’s completed work of salvation? What in your life shows that you trust in Christ’s completed work?

Prayer

Spend some time thanking God for the fullness of His salvation through Jesus Christ: that He has delivered you from darkness and transferred you to Christ’s kingdom, have been bought back through his redemption and completely forgiven; that God has reconciled you to himself and that you are at peace; that he will present you holy, blameless and above reproach.

Salvation 2

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in appreciation and understanding of our salvation.

This short video clip by Matt Chandler will enhance this study a lot –

Scripture

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)

1  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– 3  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

4  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– 6  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Observation

Again practicing the interrogative approach to studying Scripture, see how much more you learn of salvation in this text by asking the following questions (as Paul wrote to his readers):

  1. What is the main metaphor Paul uses for salvation in this section? (v5)
  2. Why did they need to be saved? (v1-3, 5)
  3. Who saved them? (v4-7)
  4. How did they get saved? (v4-8) [Use your own words here].
  5. Explain the fullness of the extent of their salvation as he describes it here. (v5-10)
  6. What was the motive for God’s salvation? (v4, 7, 8, 10)
  7. What was the logical consequence/ outflow of God’s salvation according to this text? (v10)

Now see how well you understand the author:

  1. Paul says “by grace you have been saved through faith… not a result of works… for good works” (v8-10). Explain this in your own works.

Application

  1. Paul says “by grace you have been saved through faith… not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” How do you feel about your growth and progress in the faith?  How do you feel about your areas of weakness where you frequently fail?  How do you think God relates to you as a believer who have been saved for a while now – in the areas of your failures and growth?

Prayer

In prayer, bring every bit of pride and fear related to your spiritual growth (and lack thereof) to God, and renew again your thankful commitment to a relationship with God by grace through faith in Christ’s completed work).