Bible Study Series: The Need for Forgiveness - Part 3 of 6 [Answers]Christian Life Resources
As Christians carry out their mission of sharing God's Word it is important that we understand there is a universal need for forgiveness. This the third in our series of Bible Studies on the subject of forgiveness and how we receive it.
Read the Following Passages:
Philippians 3:7-11 - But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ -- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.
Galatians 3:26-27 - You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Romans 3:22 - This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference.
Romans 3:28 - For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
Romans 4:5 - However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Mark 16:15-16 - He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
1. What does it mean to be "righteous" before God?
"Righteous" is to be in the state of being "right" before God. Remember that our sins separate us from God because we do not live up to his absolute demand of being perfect because of sin.
2. Did Paul think he was able to earn righteousness?
Paul knew that he could not make himself "right" before God by obeying the law. In fact, elsewhere, Paul acknowledged that through the law all that happened was that he had an increasing awareness of his own sinfulness.
3. How did Paul feel his righteousness came before God?
Because of sin Paul knew he couldn't earn righteousness. He professed that he was "right" before God by faith in Christ.
4. What is "grace"?
"Grace" is what we learned in catechism class to be "undeserved love." That means God loved us even when we did nothing to deserve that love.
5. If salvation comes by faith why is it that we can't boast about it?
While we often repeat the Biblical passage that we are saved through faith and not by works we sometimes fall into the error of thinking that it was at least a good thing we believed -- as though believing was the ultimate good work on our part. But if salvation comes by faith, and we therefore did nothing for it because we have nothing to boast of through our own efforts, then faith itself must be the ultimate gift of God.
6. How do we attain the title "sons of God"?
It is "faith" which brings us the status of being God's children.
7. How does the declaration of "righteousness" come to a person?
As noted earlier, it comes not by doing enough good things (that is, we do not earn it) but it comes by having faith.
8. What would be another word to use for "faith"?
In Paul's words of Romans 4:5 he equates "faith" with the word "trust".
9. What is the criteria for being saved?
Jesus said that a person is saved who believes (by faith) and is baptized.
10. Objectively speaking, Jesus died for the sins of the world? How is this forgiveness translated into salvation for us?
It is an objective reality that Jesus died for our sins. Where his death benefits us is when we accept it by the miracle of faith.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, forgive us for the times we think heaven is our's because we earned it. Forgive us for suggesting that our better lives merit salvation. Instill in us a stronger faith that is not tempted to assume credit for that which we have not done. Thank you for the miracle of faith which has convinced us that Jesus is our Savior and by that faith we have eternal life. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
The Complete Bible Study Series:
The Need for Forgiveness: Part 1 [Questions]; The Need for Forgiveness: Part 1 [Answers]
The Need for Forgiveness: Part 2 [Questions]; The Need for Forgiveness: Part 2 [Answers]
The Need for Forgiveness: Part 3 [Questions]; The Need for Forgiveness: Part 3 [Answers]
The Need for Forgiveness: Part 4 [Questions]; The Need for Forgiveness: Part 4 [Answers]
The Need for Forgiveness: Part 5 [Questions]; The Need for Forgiveness: Part 5 [Answers]
The Need for Forgiveness: Part 6 [Questions]; The Need for Forgiveness: Part 6 [Answers]
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