Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Ephesians 2:1–2:9
Week three of a six week message series about the Protestant Reformation. We'll learn how the Bible alone is our highest authority.
Do you believe there is a God?
Do you believe this God is personal?
What do you believe this personal God thinks of you?
Sola Gratia = Grace Alone
We are saved by the grace of God alone.
The Basic of "Grace Alone" gives us the answer to what this personal God thinks of you.
Ephesians 2:1-9 NIV
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Responding to Grace Alone
We can respond one of three ways:
"I can't do it" (saved w/o grace)
"I don't need it" (grace w/o saved)
"I must have it" (grace & saved together)
We are saved by the grace of God alone. God invites us to receive His grace and experience the gift of His salvation in Jesus Christ.
Grace isn't God taking “good people” and making them better. It's God taking spiritually dead people like us - people deserving His wrath - and making us alive in Christ. Pastor Dan
1. When you were 24, how would you have answered the question What do you believe this personal God thinks of you? How do you think your belief about God back then influenced your view of church, the Bible, Christians, and life in general?
2. Read Ephesians 2:1-10 and discuss the questions below:
* How do verses 1-3 describe our spiritual condition and our standing before God? Did you realize this was your spiritual situation before you met Jesus? Did you feel it?
* What words in verses 4-10 point to what "grace" means (example - rich in mercy in verse 4)? Which “grace words” strike you most?
* What does it mean to be "saved" according to these verses? Would you describe yourself as a "saved" person? What's the alternative?
* So can we help ourselves spiritually by doing good works, or not? If not, should we not try to do anything good then? What do these verses teach about the role of good deeds in our relationship with God?
3. Think of a friend or family member who would identify more with the first or second response below. How could God use you to help them understand grace alone—the third response? Pray for boldness and clear explanation (Colossians 4:3-6) as you close your study time as a group.
* "I can't do it." (saved without grace)
* "I don't need it." (grace without saved)
* "I must have it." (saved and grace together)