Salvation 13

The Aim of this devotional study is to learn about God’s forgiveness and salvation in response to our cries for help.

Scripture

Psalms 130:1-8

1  Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!  2  O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

3  If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?  4  But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

5  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;  6  my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

7  O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.  8  And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Observations

  1. Take one word from every section to summarize that portion of the Psalm

v1-2:

v3-4:

v5-6:

v7-8:

  1. Now in one sentence, summarize what you understand this Psalm is about.
  2. What do you think is his link between “depth” (v1) and “iniquities” (v3) in this Psalm?

Application

  1. When you read this Psalm, to whom would you recommend it as encouragement and guideline to help them with their situation? e. into what type of situation does this Psalm speak?
  2. What practical guidelines do you learn from this Psalm response to hopeless situations – even if they were caused by your foolishness or sin?

Prayer

Personalize and pray this prayer of deliverance for yourself or someone in a tough, hopeless situation.

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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.

Creation 3

The Aim of this study is to reflect on the effect of sin on creation, God’s redemption in Christ Jesus, and consider your beliefs of the creation account.

Scripture

Romans 5:12-21

12  Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned– 13  for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15  But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.  16  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

17  For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.  18  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

20  Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Observations

  1. This Scripture can be confusing to some, so let’s break it up and summarize each sub-section with a short sentence: v12-14, v15-16, v17-19, v20-21.
  2. Considering the Text above, connect the words on the left with the words fitting best on the right:

Adam                                    resulted in justification

Christ                                    reign in death

Moses                                  reign through righteousness

Judgment                            resulted in condemnation

Free gift                               many made righteous

Sin                                          brought redemption

Grace                                    many made sinners

Disobedience                    brought sin

Obedience                          brought the Law

  1. God created everything very good. How did death enter the world?
  2. What is the analogy between Adam and Christ in the section above?

Application

  1. In this section it is clear that Paul took Genesis 1-3 as literal history. What is your view of Genesis 1-3 (Creation and Fall).  Write your view down.
  2. This section states that that through the one act of obedience of Christ, the bondage of sin and death over creation brought about by Adam’s initial act of sin is nullified (for those who believe). How does that conflict with the Evolutionary view of creation with millions of years of “survival of the fittest”.  (hint: focus on the origin of death)
  3. When Christ comes to fulfill His saving work and bring his reign of eternal life when he “make(s) all things new” (Revelation 21:5) – how long will it take? What does that suggest of the first creation?

Prayer

Spend some time and praise God for his creative work, including yourself, with David’s Psalm 139.

Psalms 139:1-24

1  O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

5  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7  Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8  If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12  even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

13  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

17  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18  If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

19  Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20  They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 21  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22  I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

23  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!