Click here to download a printable version of the message notes and discussion questions for the weekend of 04.28.12
The Grace of God
May 5 & 6, 2012
Grace is what I crave most when my guilt is exposed. The very thing I’m hesitant to extend when
I’m confronted with the guilt of others—especially when their guilt has robbed me of something I
consider valuable. STANLEY, ANDY THE GRACE OF GOD
TWO PRISONS WE TEND TO LIVE IN
A self-imposed distance between you and God.
A self directed improvement plan to prove your worth to God.
If I do _________________________ then God will accept, love, and forgive me.
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do
the good things he planned for us long ago.
EPHESIANS 2:1-10 (NLT)
Grace is G_______________ R_______________ to my sin.
Grace means undeserved favor.
1. Describe a time where you felt trapped, stuck or imprisoned. How did you feel in the midst of the situation? What were the emotions that came when you were released or rescued?
2. Which of the self imposed “prisons” do you find yourself in more often? Discuss the definition of God’s Grace.
3. When you think of GRACE what are the first images that come to your mind?
4. Read Ephesians 2:1-10.
- Discuss the difference between the words used to describe the activity and nature of humanity versus the nature of God.
- According to Ephesians 2:1-10, what are the barriers that keep us from receiving God’s grace?
- According to Ephesians 2:1-10, what are the tasks we need to do in order to receive God’s grace?
- What is the difference between a gift and a reward? How does that help us understand our relationship with God in light of Ephesians 2:8-9?
5. Read Romans 5:6-11
- What does this passage say we did to deserve God’s Grace?
- What is the work that God does according to this passage?
- What words are used to describe humanity before Christ? And then because of Christ?
6. We need to become masters at extending grace to others. How do we do that in a way that remains truthful to God’s word and yet does not tarnish the meaning of Grace?
7. Read 2 Corinthians 12:9. What does this passage teach us? Perhaps you could consider making that your prayer.