Follow Up Study Faith, Works, Grace: The Balance

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1 Follow Up Studies

2 Faith, Works, Grace: The Balance #1) Faith Hebrews 11:1 * Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see Question: When was a time that you had to have faith in a situation? What was the result? Hebrews 11:6 * With out faith it is impossible to please God Question: How does this verse make you feel? * God rewards those who earnestly seek him Question: How does this verse make you feel? James 2:14-26 * Faith without works is dead. Question: How can a person have dead faith? #2) Words Ephesians 2:8-10 * The Bible teaches that we are not saved by our own effort (Ephesians 2:1-5, Titus 3:4-8) Ephesians 2:10 God prepared works for us to do Philippians 2:12-13 We do not work for our salvation, but we must continue to work out our salvation Question: What do you think it means to work out your salvation with fear & trembling? Philippians 2:14-16 Your words express (Faith, Hope, Love, etc.) or (Discouragement, Hate, etc.) * Your words reflect your relationship with God #3) Grace Definition = God's unmerited favor upon man: Mercy, God's riches at Christ's expense * God's grace to us is displayed by A. Patience: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 B. Compassion, Forgiveness: Psalm 103:8-18 C. Love: Romans 8:28-39 * Result of God's grace in our lives A. I Corinthians 15:10 Grace must impact our lives ( I worked harder ) B. Titus 2:11-15 It teaches us to say NO to sin Conclusion: A. We are saved by grace through faith to do good works B. We should think Saved by grace, and therefore from gratitude we do the deeds C. Illustration: Mark 1:40-45 * The leper begs Jesus to be healed (faith). Jesus heals him (grace). In response to this, the leper freely shares with people what Jesus did (works).

3 Grace The understanding of grace is the foundation for a love-motivated relationship with God, rather than one that is works-motivated. We can become Pharisees (knowing the requirements of Christian life but missing the heart motivation. Similarly, overachievers (in the world or in the kingdom) are valued by others and value themselves based on their performance. The goal of follow up is to build security, self-esteem and worth based on God s grace and love not on their Christian duty of perfect performance. Question: How do you define grace? Undeserved forgiveness Acceptance even without perfect performance Real love (an in-spite-of love) Question: Where does grace come from? Jesus receives the punishment for your sins instead of you (2 Corinthians 5:21) After baptism, Jesus blood continues to cover over our sin (I John 1:7) Grace is almost too good to be true, but it is. * The goal of this study is to help you to see the real God who loves you and how valuable you are to him. * He valued you at the cost of his only Son, whom he gave up so that he could have a relationship with you. Psalm 103:8-10 Think of 2 of the most convicting sins in your life What do you deserve for them? A. Punishment (not being trusted, retribution, etc ) God sees everything we do and think and he knows what we deserve. Yet it is his grace that gives us forgiveness rather than punishment. Matthew 18:21-35 We owe God a debt we could never repay. God has given us grace so we need to extend it to others as well John 13:34-35 The more you see your sin the more you can understand God s grace. The number 7 (vs. 21) was a number that meant perfection. Jesus said not just 7 times (perfection) but and eternal perfection of forgiveness. As you continue your walk with God picture yourself in a world of God s grace. And remember every time you stumble or fall down your landing in God s grace. Just get back up and continue on in God s grace. Not once, not twice, not seven times but continue on in God s grace for eternity.

4 Purity Our society exalts sexual immorality, and it s raging out of control. Teenagers have hormones that are newly active and they can let them rage out of control. Singles are looking for love in all the wrong places. Marriages are ending in divorce more now than ever before even though more people claim to be Christians. God has made it clear that he wants us all to let the natural sexual desires remain dormant until they can be expressed within the marriage relationship. In the Bible the term purity is most often referring to sexual purity, but it also is used to refer to being free from contamination by worldliness in general. Contaminated water is undrinkable, just as a contaminated heart is unacceptable to God. Question: Have you, or anyone you know, ever had food poisoning? What happens? B. Since the food is contaminated and poisonous, the body does everything possible to flush the poison out. If the poison is not removed the person could die. Being contaminated and poisoned by the world will damage your soul. Question: How do you define impurity? Impurity is not just physically but it can also be emotionally. Often Satan tries to create an emotional connection in order to slowly pull you away from God s standard. I Thessalonian 4:3-8 C. What does the Bible call for us to do in order to stay pure? D. When are you most tempted to be impure? E. Is there anyone that Satan is trying to use to lead you into impurity (physically or emotionally)? 2 Timothy 2:22 A. What does it mean to flee from something? F. To desperately run away from something dangerous (a murderer, predator, wild animal, etc ) B. What does it mean to pursue something? G. To move toward something with all your strength Ephesians 5:3-7 H. How much is a hint? Are there any hints in your life? I. What does God call us to replace impurity with? How do you overcome these temptations? Psalm 119:9-16 We overcome sin by meditating on God s precepts (word) and following his statues. James 5:16 (we as a family are here for each other, not to judge but to support) J. God wants you to be pure and holy, he s given you his word and spiritual brothers and sisters to help you on your spiritual journey.

5 Humility Ephesians 4:1-6 Question: How does God want us to get along and be unified with others? A. Be humble towards each other B. Be patient with each other C. Focus on our love for others so that we can bear with their faults Question: What are 2 things you would like to change in your character? Jesus still died on the cross for you in spite of your character flaws. To get along with others we must put ourselves aside, just as Jesus did for us. John 13:34 I Peter 5:5-7 Question: How can humility be like clothing? K. You put it on everyday L. Not a natural part of us-has to be put on (thought about) Clothes are the first thing people see when we approach What s in store for the humble person? M. Grace N. Lifted up growing and being blessed O. Relief because his burdens and anxieties will be carried by God P. Better relationships (God opposes the proud, so do other people) Question: When is it the hardest for you to be humble? Why? Question: Who is it hardest for you to be humble towards? Why? Are you willing to change these things so you can please God? How can I help? Isaiah 66:2b God is excited about the humble person. How to be humble when you sin: Accept full responsibility (don t blame others or God for your actions) Make no excuses (don t be defensive) Apologize humbly and go on your way rejoicing. What to do when others sin against you: A. Tell them in a respectful way (don t give in to faithlessness or fear) B. Focus on your love for them and not on what they have done to you. C. Forgive them (like Jesus did you) and move on being better friends. Humility is a characteristic of a true follower of Jesus To clothe yourself with Christ is to clothe yourself with humility.

6 Evangelism, Boldness & Tact #1. Evangelism A) We must be the salt of the earth Matthew 5:13-16 Question: What does that mean to be the salt of the earth? B) The harvest is great (Believe it) John 4:34-38 C) True disciples are focused on making disciples Acts 4:14, 4:20, 4:33, 5:14, 5:21, 5:29, 6:1 #2. Boldness A) Sources of Boldness 1. Holy Spirit 2 Timothy 1:7 2. Hope 2 Corinthians 3:12 3. Conviction Romans 1:16, 2 Corinthians 5: Prayer Acts 4:29-31 B) Hindrances to Boldness 1. Pride: Being afraid of what others will think of you 2. Small Convictions: Not seeing people as lost 3. Selfishness: Not caring about the lost 4. Faithlessness: Doubting that the harvest is great #3. Tact A) Principles 1. Be prepared I Peter 3: Be discerning Matthew 7:6 3. Not being harsh condescending Proverbs 15:1 4. Not hasty Proverbs 17:27, 29:20 B) Practical 1. Don't argue doctrine with people (its meaningless and doesn't bring God glory) 2. Share how God has changed your life not just about church services

7 Bible Study #1. Attitude How should we view God's word? Matthew 4:4 We need it to survive. * Why do we eat everyday? Survival * We need to feed ourselves daily on God's Word Deuteronomy 32:44-47 * Not mere words but they are your life John 12:47-48 * God will use it as the standard for our judgment #2. Application How should we use God's Word? James 1:22 * Don't just read the bible do what it says Acts 17:11 * Examine it daily (God considers people Nobel that examine his words daily) Hebrews 4:12-13 * Use it to find out where our hearts really are and changes the things that aren't pleasing to God. * Use it as a scalpel to cut out the sin in our lives and in the lives of others Romans 10:17 * The Word of God deepens our faith in Christ #3. Rewards What benefits do we get from God's Word? 2 Timothy 3:17 * We will be thoroughly equipped 2 Timothy 2:15 * Workman who is not ashamed and able to handle the truth 1 Peter 3:15 * Equipped for evangelism, able to answer questions 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 * We will have the mind of Christ (able to handle difficult situations as Christ would handle them) Matthew 4:4-11 * We will be able to fight off temptation and Satan.

8 Being Discipled, God's Plan Colossians 1:28-29 * Our goal is to bring each other to maturity * God's plan has always been to use people to help people become what he desires Question: What area(s) do you feel like you need help growing in Key = Initiation * We must desire to be discipled ---- No one will make you * Example: Going to the doctor --- No one makes you but you desire to get better Question: Do you want to become more like Jesus? Well here's a great way to start. A) Initiate in questions: > Seeking advice: suggested areas = finances, dating, parenting, school, home, family, being a husband/wife, budgeting, etc... Proverbs 12:15 Question: Why do you think people don't seek advice? B) Initiate in openness, confession Proverbs 28:13 * Sin, temptations, feelings, attitudes (its good to share/talk about these things) * Disciples should never have to guess about what's going on. Question: What stops people from being open with their lives C) Initiate in friendship * Calls, cards, texts, s, etc... encouragement is always needed Hebrews 10:24-25 * Can't have the attitude of OK I'm here now everyone encourage me D) Initiate in evangelism * Bring people to church & to study the Bible (you don't have to lead the study) * Ask someone to take you out sharing your faith (learn from older Christians) E) Initiate in thinking * Learn to be independent in thinking, not waiting for someone to tell you everything 1 Timothy 4:7 * Everyone has great ideas (don't be afraid to share them) Key = Imitation Hebrews 13:7, Philipians 4:9 = Imitate your leaders (Love, Faith, Endurance) Key = Indignation * Sin is what keeps us from being a great disciple A. Pride (Proverbs 26:12) No one can make it on their own (James 4:6) B. Selfishness (Philippians 2:1-8) Jesus made himself nothing

9 Being A Servant Question: What does it mean to be a servant? Question: Give a couple of examples. Great Servant Mark 10:35-45 * There's nothing wrong with wanting to be great * Jesus didn't confront their desire to be great only their method > Greatness comes through being a servant > Your greatness in the Kingdom is only limited by your willingness to be slave (servant) to all Question: What areas to you think you can serve the church in? Question: What stops people from being a servant (even though they said that Jesus is Lord ) Selfless Servant Philippians 2:5-7 * Jesus set the pace for us by becoming a servant. * He made himself nothing and had a lot further to go to become nothing than we do. Question: In the future what would you like to see yourself doing in the Church? Question: In what areas do you struggle with selfishness? Question: How much does self influence your daily decisions? Luke 9:23 > We must deny ourselves DAILY Humble Servant Luke 17:7-10 Question: What should our attitude be while serving? Types of servants 1. Grumbling servant: I'll serve but I'm tired of being the only one doing all the serving 2. Complaining servant: Why do they always ask me to serve, why isn't that brother serving also 3. Proud servant: I serve more than anyone and deserve recognition 4. Selfish servant: I never get recognized for all the work I do around here We must be humble servants and serve with joy * Jesus didn't complain while on the cross instead he said Father forgive them & John take care of my mother * When we serve, we've done nothing special except our duty. Excellent Servant Mark 7:36-37 * Jesus did all things well (everything) WOW * When we serve, we must do so with excellence (go beyond the norm, beyond what is asked) Ephesians 6:5-8 > when we serve, we must serve as though Jesus himself had asked us to do it. Challenge: What can you do this week to be a better servant? Make a plan. What area can you serve the church (God's house) in?

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