Below, is the text of a Bible lesson that I taught Sunday morning, Apr. 12, 2015 at the State Line church of Christ. I hope everyone finds this study informative and comforting, but also alarming if you are NOT walking in the light with God.
FAITH/GRACE/OBEDIENCE/WALKING IN THE LIGHT 4-12-15
I. INTRODUCTION There is great misunderstanding and disagreement among our friends and even among ourselves regarding the roles that faith, grace and obedience occupy in our lives. Is faith in Christ the only thing necessary for our salvation? What does grace have to do with our salvation? If God wants everyone to be saved, He being all powerful should be able to give us executive clemency without us having to obey. Right? Since there is no sin in heaven am I doomed to torment if I die right after committing a sin? I’m sure that all of us have wondered about these things at various times in our lives. Hopefully, we will have a better degree of understanding and comfort about these issues after studying the following Scriptures.
II. Rom. 10:1-17 Paul stated in his letter to the Roman Christians the importance of faith/believing. He also mentioned the importance of confessing that faith. It’s obviously important to preach the Lord Jesus to those who have not heard about Him. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
III. Eph. 2:1-22 In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reflected upon the sinful nature of man. God is a just God. He severely punished sinful people during the Old Testament era because of their failures to follow Him. In addition to being just, God is also loving and merciful. He desires that all would be saved. His love, mercy and desire for our salvation led Him to send His Son to serve as a sacrifice for our sins by shedding His blood on Calvary’s cross. Sinful man has done nothing and will never do anything that will “earn” salvation. If our works saved us through their merits, salvation would not be free, but earned. It is a free gift and gifts are not earned. HOWEVER, there are certain conditions or commands that must be met prior to qualifying to receive God’s grace. If one is to enjoy these blessings, it is necessary to be in Christ—in His body—the church.
IV. Jas. 2:14-26 Empty words do not show faith—faith is made known by the kinds of acts that a person performs. Even the demons believe in the one God and tremble, but that is not sufficient to please Him. Abraham and Rahab are examples of some who showed their faith by their works of obedience. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
V. Rom. 5:12-6:23 A person with more sins than another receives a greater measure of grace than the one with fewer sins. There are those who seem to teach that one may sin freely and God’s grace will cover those sins. It is hard to live without “slipping up” and sinning, but to sin freely makes a mockery of His grace. Paul stated, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” As one repents of his sins when becoming a Christian, his old sinful man dies to sin. This dead man of sin is symbolically buried in baptism just as Christ was buried. He then symbolically rises as a newborn Christian to walk a new spiritual life just as Christ rose to walk a new spiritual life. Even though a Christian may occasionally stumble and sin, if he has died to sin, he has stopped willingly living in sin or for sin.
VI. I Jn. 1:1-2:6 How can one be assured that he is saved? According to John, the person who says that he has not sinned is a liar and that makes God a liar—strong words. There are no sins in heaven. God is referred to as light. John stated that one cannot claim to walk with God if he is living in the darkness of sin. A true child of God walks in fellowship with Him according to His word even though he sometimes falls. As long as one keeps his trust in the saving power of the blood of Christ and walks accordingly, that blood continually cleanses all of those sins. This is a most reassuring and comforting thought. LET US CONTINUE TO WALK IN THE LIGHT!!