Lesson for August 2nd, 2014
How to Be Saved
By the grace and Word of God, Jesus gives us simple, practical steps toward salvation.
Whiteboard and markers
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- If you’re driving and not sure where you are, are you more likely to pull into a gas station and ask directions or try to figure it out on your own? Has this ever gotten you into trouble?
- How well do you take advice? Are you more willing to take advice from some people (your doctor or mechanic) than others (family and friends)?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Is Christianity more about what you do, who you are, or what you experience? Can you think of a Bible text to support your position? Write your texts on the whiteboard for the group to discuss. If this was like rock-paper-scissors (do-are-experience), what beats what? Why?
- Thought Questions
Read John 3:14-15. How is Jesus’ crucifixion most like Moses raising up the serpent in the wilderness?
- The events don’t seem to have any spiritual comparison.
- They both require absolute faith beyond anything we can do for ourselves.
- Looking at the serpent meant looking away from the real serpents that were killing the Israelites. Looking at Jesus means looking away from sin and temptation.
- They both require effort on our part: turn and look.
- They both represent that which kills: serpents and sin.
- You can do lots of good things, but if your heart is unrepentant, it’s meaningless.
- You can say you have repented, but a truly repentant heart will lead to good deeds.
- Someone who has really experienced the heartbreak of a sinful life will joyfully repent.
- It all goes back to motive: a repentant person who stumbles is more God’s child than an unrepentant person who “behaves” perfectly.
- The first step on the road to salvation is repentance.
- These are clothes that we neither buy nor put on ourselves—it’s all about Christ.
- I sure don’t want to be cast into outer darkness with wailing and gnashing of teeth.
- There must be some way to differentiate between those who are invited to the feast and those who aren’t.
- If clothing represents our deeds, our filthy garments give Satan plenty of ammunition to accuse us.
- The next step along the road to salvation is acceptance of Christ’s robe of righteousness.
Read John 8:30-31. Isn’t there more to discipleship than just reading the Bible?
- No, by beholding we become changed, and there is nothing better to behold than God’s Word!
- Yes, knowing the true teachings should lead to living the truth as well.
- It can be very challenging to believe many of the things in the Bible.
- Experiencing God’s Word helps us to become God’s people, which leads us to do God’s work.
- Daily walking in the Word of Truth keeps us on the road to salvation.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Play rock-paper-scissors: Jesus is the Rock, God’s written Word (the Bible) is paper, and the Holy Spirit who rightly divides the Word of Truth is scissors. Play a few rounds and see which comes out ahead. Then rank these three in their order of importance regarding our salvation. Be ready to defend your position.
- Option 2: Your coworker approaches you first thing on Monday morning and says, “What a crazy weekend! I’ll tell you about it later. But right now I need to know something: What must I do to be saved?” How would you respond?
- Option 3: On the whiteboard, sketch a path to the kingdom. Start with a messed-up sinner at one end and heaven at the other end. Put the Cross somewhere along the path, representing the day the sinner accepted salvation. As you see fit, add both good and bad life events along the path, too. When you share your sketch with your group, have one person narrate the sinner’s path to heaven.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Reflect on your own path to salvation. Recall major events where God worked in your life. Take time to give thanks for God’s leading and guidance.
- Consider how you have portrayed the steps to salvation to others. Have you always given a grace-oriented picture of Christ to them? Do you need to try to correct some misunderstandings?