The Church on Mission: Spirit-led Salvation
Grace is God giving Himself to the undeserving through faith in Jesus Christ.
I. The Dispute: “Jesus Alone” vs “Jesus Plus” (Acts 15:1-11)
“…..when we were dead in our trespasses, He made us alive together with Christ…to show the immeasurable riches of his grace…by grace you have been saved through faith….this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:5-9
Religion is belief in God or gods, combined with religious works, rituals and rule keeping.
- Religious performance
- Desire for control
- Sense of superiority
- Seeking the praise of others
II. The Discussion: “Scripture Alone” vs “Scripture Plus” (Acts 15:12-18)
“Jesus said, ‘Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”’ John 17:17
III. The Decision: “Spirit-led Freedom and Love” (Acts 15:19-35)
A Spirit-led Church of Freedom and Love asks questions:
- How does this demonstrate my love for God?
- How does this demonstrate my love for others?
- How does this advance the Gospel and disciple-making?
Discussion Questions for the Week
- Grace is God giving Himself to the undeserving through faith in Jesus Christ. Why do some professing Christians still struggle to accept that salvation is by God’s grace and we don’t do anything to earn it?
- What rules, do’s and do not do, did you grow up with? How did they help or hinder your faith walk? (example - no card playing, no alcohol, calling Sunday the Sabbath, you must read only one translation of the Bible, etc.) What ways do we tend to “add to Jesus” and His truth today?
- Read Galatians 5:1 and Romans 14:1-13. What does God say about the “gray areas” that are not clear Biblical commands? Why is it important to stand firm in our freedom in Christ?
- Being “in Christ” is crucial to understand for our daily living. Read Psalm 16:11, 25:4, 119:35, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 1:5, 2:8-10, and Colossians 2:8-10 and focus on your identity being found in Christ. Make much of the Lord in prayer for who you are in Christ. Pray for others.