March 8, 2020
One of the key truths re-established during the Protestant reformation was the doctrine of “Grace Alone”. Grace alone is God’s free gift that grants salvation, not papal authority or the keeping of the seven sacraments of the church. The reformers challenged these church practices and theological heresies by teaching that grace – God’s unmerited favour – is a gift from God. By the authority of Scripture, they taught God and God alone, by his Spirit was the giver of grace. This truth liberates the believer. Salvation is a gift of grace, not of merit, not of law keeping, not of religious duty, not of sacramental adherence, but a gift! Luther summed up this marvellous truth when he said, “Sin is not cancelled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. The Law reveals guilt, fills the conscience with terror, and drives men to despair. Much less is sin taken away by man-invented endeavours. The fact is, the more a person seek credit for himself by his own efforts, the deeper he goes into debt. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God.”
Please read Ephesians 2:1-10
1. What does Paul say about the condition of men and woman before salvation? (1-3) Do these conditions relate to all people, Why or why not?
2. What are the implications of being “dead in [our] trespasses and sins”? What do the following passages tell us about humanity’s state? (John 3:19-20; 8:34; Romans 3:10-18; 8:6-8; Col. 3:5-7)
3. “Of course, God will save; it is his job!” What is the problem with such a statement?
4. Why is it important to understand the depth of our sin and the wretchedness of our condition apart from Christ to truly value our salvation fully?
5. Who is the active party in verses 4-7?
6. What did God accomplish for us (5-8)? Why did God chose to save us (v 4)? How did God choose to save us (v 8)? What are the gifts that God grants the believer in the act of salvation (8-10)?
7. What would you say to the individual who believes that “grace alone” weakens living a life of holiness to the Lord? (You may choose to look at Romans 6)