Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the week: Lord, Rescue Me!
Saturday, May 5, 2012
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This week's Key Study Passage might be puzzling to many. It tells us that without Christ humanity is lost in sin and under the complete control of Satan. Does this mean that people can't do good things without Christ? No, but it does mean that all of our good deeds always fall short of God's perfect standard (see also Rom. 3:23 and Isa. 64:6). In order to be freed from the consequences of sin, we need God's saving grace; in order to live a transformed life, we need God's daily, sustaining grace.
Key Study Passage:
- Think back to your life before you accepted Christ. How did sin have control over you?
- When you accepted Christ, how did you experience God's grace and mercy? What positive changes did you experience?
- What does it mean that you are "handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works" (v. 10, NIV)? Does this mean that true believers won't struggle with sin? (See 1 John 1:8.)
- What are indications that you still struggle with sin in your life? (See Rom. 7:14-17.)
- What should we do when we, as Christ-followers, struggle with sin? (See 1 John 1:9; James 2:16; Gal. 6:2.)
- Talk to a Christian friend about how you might better "motivate one another to acts of love and good works" (Heb. 10:24).
Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God for specific ways you've experienced his grace; ask him to help you overcome a sin you're struggling with; pray for friends and family members who need to overcome sinful patterns or destructive behaviors.
2 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 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. 3 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.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 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!) 6 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. 7 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.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 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.
Copyright © 2012 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, reveal those areas in my life where I'm most vulnerable to sin; forgive me when I give in to temptation; empower me by your grace so that I might live a godlier life.
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