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Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: Religion Won't Get You to Heaven
Saturday, April 5, 2014

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Grace is the air that Christians breathe. Our life in Christ begins with grace, it is sustained by grace, and one day it will culminate in a glory fueled by grace. So why do we so easily fall into the trap of believing we have something to prove? Why do we feel like we need to earn God's favor? This tendency in the Galatian church was enough to turn the apostle Paul into the ancient equivalent of a flabbergasted football coach (Gal. 3:1-5). As our study passage demonstrates, we were meant for something so much better—a life powered by and infused with God's grace.

  1. Trace the progression of our standing before God from verse 3 through verse 7.
  2. What actions does God take to renew us?
  3. What is our role in walking with God?
  4. How does an understanding of how God worked out our salvation shape the way we approach living a righteous life?
  5. How does grace continue to shape the life of a Christian after they are saved?

Key Study Passage:

Ephesians 2:3-7

Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God for his glorious grace; ask him to point out any empty religious rituals that you are hiding your sin behind; confess and ask him to renew you from the inside out.

Ephesians 2:3-7

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.

Prayer for the Week
Savior, my natural human tendency is to want to earn your love through my good works; remind me that your love is unconditional and based on your sacrifice for me.

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Mike Hain

April 05, 2014  10:32am

It seems in some circles grace is looked at as 'allowance' to live in whatever way you want. Therefore, in an attempt to control people, grace is almost denied and the focus seems more on preventing grace from truly being received...which leads to a warped sense of what grace is. This paints a picture that even though grace was given, to receive it we need to "keep up the good work." This misconception can be so damaging because when we fail, as we all do, we have a mentality that we need to 'make up for it' to get back into right standing with God. What is my role in walking with God? Love. Obedience. Trust. And I want to live my life in a way that I authentically acknowledge my sin, with the understanding that I am still loved by my heavenly Dad, who doesn't turn a blind eye to sin, but by grace covers it and gives me the strength to have victory.

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Curt Schleicher

April 05, 2014  9:01am

Father God, bring into the light to expose any actions I do daily that are empty in your sight. May they be removed from my life that I may use the time more productively in service to you, Jesus. In Jesus, precious name, I pray this , Amen.

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