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Bible study lesson 04

Lesson 04 - Salvation

Purpose:

  • To show that salvation is by grace, through faith, and to the glory of God alone
  • To give the hearer the opportunity to accept and receive that salvation

Theme:

  • God longs to bring salvation to everyone

Bible verses to read:

  • Genesis 1:31
  • Genesis 3:8-10
  • Romans 5:18-19
  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 6:23
  • John 1:1-4
  • Isaiah 59:1-2
  • John 3:16-17
  • Matthew 20:28
  • Romans 5:10
  • Ephesians 8:2-10
  • Acts 2:36-39
  • John 1:12

Problem:

Let's turn to Genesis 1:31.

- What was mankind's original condition?

  • Answer (highlight to read): Mankind was made good.

Let's turn to Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 3:1-10.

- What did Adam and Eve do when they heard God was walking into the garden?

  • Answer: They hid themselves.

- Why did Adam and Eve do this?

  • Answer: They sinned against God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when God expressly warned them not to, or they would surely die.

 So, what's the big deal?  Wasn't this just an isolated incident in a garden thousands of years ago?  Let's turn to Romans 5:18-19 and find out.

- Did Adam's sin affect him only?

  • Answer: No, all of mankind were affected as a result.

Let's use the Olympics as an example to illustrate this situation.  We send our best athletes to be representatives of our country at the Olympics.  When our representatives win, we win as a country.  However, if they lose, we lose also.  In the same way, Adam was our representative and when he sinned, we as mankind sinned too.

Wait a minute, this doesn't seem fair, you might say.  Why should we all be held accountable for a mistake one man made?  Well, ask yourself this.  Have you ever made a mistake?  Have you ever lied or stolen?  Have you ever been angry at someone, gossiped about someone, or just been plain mean at one point in your life?  You have?  Well great, so have I!  You and I are part of a team and we are doing a great job of following Adam's example

Let's turn to Romans 3:23.

- How many of us have sinned?

  • Answer: We all have sinned.  Adam may have started it, but we are finishing it.

 Let's turn to Romans 6:23.

- What is the result of sin?

  • Answer: Death

Wait a minute, why is God being so serious about this?  That's a pretty harsh consequence!  There is a two-part answer tho this question.

Let's turn to John 1:1-4.

- Who is the source of life?

  • Answer: God is the source of life.

Let's turn to Isaiah 59:1-2.

- What separates us from God?

  • Answer: Sin separates us from God.  (Remember who was running away from who in the garden of Eden.)

Let's have an illustration.  Standy by a wall and push off from the wall.  There is now separation between you and the wall.  Ask yourself - who moved?  Your sins do not push God away from you, but they push you away from God.  The wall and God go nowhere.  If you are not as close to God as you used to be or you would like to be, ask yourself, "Who moved?"

Let's look at another example.  Let's say you have a desktop computer plugged to an outlet.  If you move the computer far enough away, the computer will be disconnected from the outlet and the power goes out in the computer.  You wouldn't say that the outlet murdered the computer.  The power went out as an inevitable natural consequence because you moved the computer far enough away from the outlet.  Death is not so much a punishment, but rather, it is a consequence of separation from the source of life.  Sin causes separation from God is the giver and source of life.

Mankind, therefore, we have two problems:

  1. Death - although it is only a symptom of the real problem, which is:
  2. Sin

If we have a two-part problem, then we are going to need a two-part solution!

Solution:

Let's turn to John 3:16-17.  Substitute "die" for "perish" and read the verses again.

- According to verse 16, how does God address the death problem?

  • Answer: If we believe in Jesus Christ, we will not die.

- According to verse 17, how does God deal with the sin problem?

  • Answer: God does not condemn us for our sins.  He will not let us suffer the result we deserve from our sins.

 So, how does this all work?  What gives God the right to do just that?  Let's turn to Matthew 20:28 for the answer.

- What did Jesus do for us?

  • Answer: Jesus gave His life as the price for your life.

How does that work then? Let's turn to Romans 5:10.

- According to this Bible verse, how are we reconciled to God?

  • Answer: We are reconciled (or reconnected) to God through Jesus' death.

- According to this Bible verse, how are we saved?

  • Answer: We are saved by Jesus' life.

Let's just say that a gentleman invited you to a member of the Billionaires' Club.  However, you are a billion dollars in debt.  The gentleman graciously gives you a billion dollars.  Can you be a part of the Billionnaires' Club now?  No, because you would have to use that money to get out of debt.  If you want to be in the Billionnaire's Club, you now need another billion dollars to join.

The death of Jesus pays your debt - it is the life of Jesus that gets you access to heaven!  Jesus pays your debt to death with His own life.  If all He did was die that all you would need to do was life your life without sinning ever again.  We all know that is impossible.  So, what are we going to do?  We need someone to life a sinless life for us, someone...like Jesus.  Thus, it is Jesus' life that gets us to heaven.

How do we go about getting that?  Let's turn to Ephesians 2:8-10.

- How can we be saved?

  • Answer: We are saved by grace through faith.  This is a gift of God.

How do we receive this gift?  Let's turn to Acts 2:36-39.

- According to verse 38, what do we do?

  • Answer: Repent

The word "repent" means to "turn to God."  Every time you turn to Jesus, you are by default turning away from sin.  When you turn to God, you are turning yourself over to Him.

Let's turn to John 1:12.

- So, how do we turn to God to receive this gift?  What does that mean? 

  • Answer: You become a child of God by having faith and believing in Jesus Christ.

Has this study made sense to you?  You may be coming from a different place from where I am coming from.  However, I would be remiss if I didn't ask you if you wanted to become a child of God?  Would you like to receive the death of Jesus as a ransom in place of you own and to accept His life as a gift of love?  Is there anything preventing you from making that decision right now?

If you are willing to believe in Jesus, then I encourage you to pray this prayer:

Dear God,

I confess that I am a sinner.  I am in need of salvation only You can provide.  I accept salvation as a free give through faith in Jesus.  Please give me the power to make this a part of my life. 

I pray in Jesus Christ's name,

Amen.

I sincerely hope you make the decision for Christ.  In our next lesson, we will talk about the work of the Spirit.  Until next time!