By Grace You are Saved
No matter what we have done in the past. No matter what we do in the future. God’s mercy and great love extends kindness to the sinner. This precious gift of God is something only obtained by faith. God extends the gift and we must accept it by faith. We cannot work to earn this gift. For if we could earn it the gift would be considered wages rather than the precious gift of God.
What is the worst sin you could possible think of? You need not share it, just think of it.
Suppose you committed that sin and deserved punishment. (Don’t be discouraged or let yourself become overwhelmed.)
Now think about how would you feel if that awful sin was erased? Share those feelings with the rest of the group.
The topic of today’s study is grace.
Let’s look at what Ephesians 2 has to say about the grace God bestows on those who have faith in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2 NKJV
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Why do you think Paul is emphasizing that the Ephesians were dead in their trespasses and sins before they knew Jesus in verses 2:1-3?
Do you think it is a good idea to remember where we came from? Why or why not?
What was God’s motivation for saving us according to verses 2:4-8?
How are we saved according to verse 2:8 and 2:13?
What are we saved for according to verse 2:10?
How do we obtain peace with God according to verses 2:14-18?
What are some of the benefits of being saved by grace according to verses 2:19-22?