Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone Matters (Eph. 2.1-10; et al.)

Scripture: Deut. 7.7-11; John 6.60-71; Rom. 9-11; Gal. 1.6-9; Gal. 2.15-21; Gal. 3.1-14; Eph. 2.1-10; 2 Tim. 1.9-10; Acts 4.8-12
Translation: Eph. 2.1And you, who were dead in your rebellions and sins, 2in those sins you lived at that time according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit of the one who is right now working in the sons of disobedience, in those rebellions we all also lived at that time in the desires of the our flesh, acting on the wants of the flesh and of the mind, and we were innately children of wrath, just like everyone else. 4But God Who is He is rich in mercy because of His abundant love that He loved us with, 5and us who were dead in rebellions He made alive with Christ—by grace you really are saved—6and He raised us with Him and seated us with Christ Jesus in the heavenly places, 7so that He could prove in the coming ages the infinite riches of His grace via His benevolence on us in Christ Jesus. 8You see, by grace you really are saved through faith. And this is not from you, it’s God’s gift. 9It is not from actions, so that no one can boast. 10You see, we are His work, created in Christ Jesus  for good works, which God prearranged, so that we would walk in them.
2 Tim. 1.9[God] Who saved us and called us to a holy calling—not because of our actions, but instead because of His Own plan and grace, given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10and revealed now through the arrival of our Savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.
Gal.1.6I’m shocked that you have turn away so quickly from the One Who called you by grace to another gospel, 7which isn’t another gospel, although some are commanding you and wanting to change the Gospel of Christ. 8Instead, even in we or an angel from heaven evangelizes you away from what we have evangelized to you, may he be cursed to hell. 9As we already truly told you and now I am telling you again: If anyone evangelizes you away from what you’ve received, may he be cursed to hell.
Gal. 2.15We, Jews by nature and not from the nations are sinners, 16and knowing that a person is not made righteous by actions of the Law, only by faith in Jesus Christ, and we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made righteous by faith in Christ and not by actions of the Law, because all flesh is not made righteous by actions of the Law. 17Moreover, if by seeking to be made righteous in Christ we are found  also [to be] sinners ourselves, then is Christ a servant of sin? NO WAY! 18You see, if what I build back up exactly the same things as I destroyed, I am making myself deceived. 19You see, I am died through the law to the law, so that I could live for God! I’ve truly been crucified with Christ! 20Moreover, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me! And what I live the flesh now, I live by faith that is in the Son of God Who loves me and gave Himself up for me! 21I won’t nullify the grace of God! You see, if righteousness was through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Gal. 3.1O you stupid Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you, to whom Jesus the Messiah was already written before your eyes as truly crucified? 2I just want to find this out from you: did you get the Spirit from actions of the Law or from hearing from faith? 3You are so stupid! Will you who began by the Spirit no finish by the flesh? 4Did you learn all that stuff in vain? If indeed it is also in vain. 5So, the One who provided the Spirit to you and worked miracles among you, was He from actions of the Law or from hearing from faith?
John 6.60Then, many of His followers who heard said, “This message is tough. Who can listen to it?” 61And Jesus, knowing in Himself that His followers were grumbling about this, said to them, “Is this tripping you up? 62SO, if you look at the Son of Man coming up where was He before? 63The Spirit is the One Who makes everything alive; the flesh is not able to do anything. the words that I’m really speaking to you are Spirit and are life. 64But some of you are those who don’t believe.” (You see, Jesus knew from the beginning some were those who wouldn’t believe and who His betrayer was.) 65And He was saying, “because of this I’m telling you that no one is able to come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.” 66Because of this many of His followers left for the things they left behind and no longer walked with Him. 67So, Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go too, do you?” 68Simon Peter responded to Him, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life! 69And we really do believe and know that you are the Holy One of God!” 70Jesus responded to them, “Didn’t I choose you Twelve? And one of you is a devil.” 71And He was talking about Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, because this one was about to betray Him—one of the Twelve!
Deut. 7.7It was not because your greatness was greater than all the peoples that Yahweh loved you. And He chose you, because you were smaller than all the peoples. 8Instead, it was because Yahweh loved you and He kept the promise that He made to your forefathers. Yahweh brought you out by His strong hand and rescued you from the house of slaves from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9You know that Yahweh your God—He is God, the Faithful God, Who keeps the covenant and loyalty to those who love and who keep His commands for a thousand generations. 10And Who personally repays the person who hates Him by destroying him. He won’t hesitate against the person who hates Him. He will personally repay him. 11So you should keep the command and the rules and the judgments that I am commanding you to do today.
Acts 4.8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Leaders of the people and elders, 9if we are being judged today on a good deed for a sick man, Who is this man really being saved by? 10It must be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that in the Name of Jesus the Messiah the Nazarene, Who you crucified, Who God rose from the dead—by This Person this man stands before you healthy! 11This Person is the Stone, the One rejected by you the builders, the One Who became the Cornerstone! 12And there is salvation in no other name, because there is not even any other name under Heaven that is really is being given among them, by which it is necessary that we be saved!”


a.       Grace
b.      Faith
c.       Christ
d.      Salvation
e.       Works/effort/actions/law
f.       Holy Spirit
g.      Past vs. Present
h.      Justification/righteousness
i.        Choosing/election
j.        Predestination
k.      Life vs. Death
l.        Sin, rebellion, failure
a.       Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone

1.      Outline
a.       We are by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
                                                              i.      We are saved (Eph. 2.1-10)
                                                            ii.      We are saved by grace alone (Eph. 2.8-9; Rom. 9-11; Gal. 1.6-9; Gal. 2.15-21; Gal. 3.1-14; Deut. 7.7-11; 2 Tim. 1.9-10)
                                                          iii.      We are saved by grace alone through faith alone (. 2.8-9; Rom. 9-11; Gal. 1.6-9; Gal. 2.15-21; Gal. 3.1-14)
                                                          iv.      We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 4.8-12; Eph. 2.1-10; 2 Tim. 1.9-10; Rom. 9-11; Gal. 1.6-9; Gal. 2.15-21; Gal. 3.1-14)
b.      Why does it matter that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
                                                              i.      It matters because we ourselves as well as everyone else need to be saved
1.      We need to be saved: so respond in faith now if you haven’t yet
2.      Others need to be saved, so bring the Gospel to the lost every chance God gives you
                                                            ii.      It matters because we must embrace the grace of God
1.      by giving up our attempts to earn salvation
2.      by giving up the attitude or mindset that says
a.       “I earned it. I deserve to be saved.”
b.      “I need to earn it. I need to deserve it.”
3.      By giving up the fear of failure
4.      By welcoming the new identity grace gives: “I am saved by grace”
5.      By welcoming the true freedom grave gives: “I am saved. I don’t have to earn it.”
6.      By welcoming the Spirit of Love, power, and clear-thinking
                                                          iii.      It matters because we must trust in Christ as the only source for our salvation
1.      By relying only on the grace of God not our effort
2.      By relying only on Christ as our Savior
a.       This means we can’t rely on good works
                                                                                                                                      i.      Our good works
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Others’ good works
b.      This means we can’t rely on Christian rituals or experiences
                                                                                                                                      i.      Baptism, circumcision, communion, etc.
                                                                                                                                    ii.      speaking in tongues, miracles, etc.
                                                                                                                                  iii.      feelings, such as feeling the presence
c.       This means we can’t rely on knowledge/intelligence
d.      This means we can’t rely on false messiahs
                                                                                                                                      i.      Money
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Fame
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Power
                                                                                                                                  iv.      Sex
                                                                                                                                    v.      Drugs
                                                                                                                                  vi.      Idols
                                                                                                                                vii.      False religions
2.      Discussion Questions
a.       Do you think people feel normally feel like they need saving? Why or why not?
b.      Talk about when you realized you needed to be saved. What happened? What made you want to be saved by God?
c.       Do you ever feel like you have to earn God’s favor? Why or why not?
d.      How much of your relationship with God comes out of faith and how much comes out of your achievements?
e.       How do you think faith and works work together in the Christian life?
f.       Where is your identity most grounded? In your relationship with God, in school, in family, in grades, in good works, in achievements, in friends, in popularity, wealthy, or somewhere else?
g.      Name some things people you know try to find salvation in. what are they trying to be saved from? And do you think what they look to for salvation will work? Why or why not? Is there any area of their life that would not be saved by the kind of salvation they’re looking for?
h.      Do you think it is possible for someone to trust more in a Christian ritual or experience than in Christ for salvation? If so, what would you say to that person?

1.      That salvation is by grace through faith in Christ is illustrated as follows. Grace is that God has provided a door in the wall, so that it is even possible to come to Him. Faith is like the key that gets you through to the other side of the door. Jesus is the door. See if we had faith, the key, but God was not a gracious God, there would be no door. We could attack the wall with the key all we wanted, but it would never get us through the wall. See if God provided the door, but no key, not matter what we tried to do to open the door, it would never open. And Jesus is the door, because if we took the key to a different door, the key would not work. That is what people do when they combine faith with the wrong door. Lots of people trust false messiahs, but no matter how much they trust them, they will never become real doors. They are like doors on theater sets that don’t go anywhere and don’t even open, they are just painted on the background.
2.      We need to be saved—sometimes people think they don’t need saving that they can handle life and death on their own, sometimes we think like that. But that’s like a person drowning in a pool. They are struggling and choking on water and sinking more and more. the lifeguard jumps in to save them, but as they fail about choking and chugging water they scream, not “Help! Save me!” but “Back off! I’m fine! I don’t need saving!” So funny story, do you know what they teach you to do in lifeguard training when you come to a person like that all wild and crazy? You just wait for them to fail, to sink, and stop struggling. You basically wait for them to drown and give up trying to work so hard at saving themselves, you wait till they are as good as dead, then you go in and rescue them and get them on to dry land. That is what it is like for the person who keeps trying to save themself. They keep thinking that they can do it, but of course they can’t. and God won’t save someone trying to save themselves, He will wait until they are out of energy to try and lost and dead in the water, and then He swoops in and saves them. Because salvation is all of God and not all from human effort. It is all by grace.

3.      Salvation by grace is the opposite of how most people choose a romantic partner. When people are looking for a husband or wife, they usually decide who they want based on all the things that make that person desirable or attractive. So a guy says, “man she’s hot and she can cook. I think we would make a good match. And I feel like she would say yes if I asked her out.” And a girl says a very similar thing: “He’s so cute and kind. He’s always so thoughtful. He has a good job. I think he would be able to provide for me and any children we could have. I think if I flirt with him a little, he will ask me out.” But that is NOT how God makes His choices. He did choose you because you were smart, or beautiful, or hardworking. He didn’t choose you because you were more Godly, more trusting, or more deserving in any way. He did not look down through time and think, “I think that person would believe in My Son if I gave them the chance.” God never thought anything like that! He said, “I pick him and her, not because they will one day be the kind of people who are likely to love Me or trust me, but because I love them, and I love them because I love them. They are the ones I choose to love. I picked them even though they deserved it least! I picked them not because one day they would deserve it, but because I love them in Christ!” 

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