We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

Week 5 - Day 1

Read James 2:14-26.

1. What would you say is the theme of this passage? To find the theme is not to find something hidden, but to find what is repeated over and over! What does James repeat here?

This passage on its face seems to contradict other scriptures, particularly some that Paul wrote. Because we recognize that the Bible is God’s word, we believe that there is a way to understand both without seeing them as contradictions. Today we want to see what Paul and other biblical authors have said so that later this week we can see how James relates. Understanding what they are saying allows us to live in alignment with God’s purposes and plans for our lives—the best place to be!

Our reading deals with that biblical term “salvation.” Salvation involves a work of God where He brings people into relationship with Him. When we are “saved” from a flood, a drowning situation, etc., we are physically removed from the situation. We live because we are rescued from danger. When we are saved spiritually, God rescues us from the danger that we are in—the danger of being dead spiritually; the danger of not being truly alive as God’s creatures; the danger of living outside of the purposes of God; the danger of choosing to live eternally apart from the love of the Creator—and brings us into His own family where He cares for us and gives us great life purpose.

1. Read these passages about salvation and write down how someone gets the salvation that we just talked about:
a. Rom. 3:28 (“Declared righteous” suggests that God announces that we are in right relationship with Him, which happens in salvation.)
b. Gal. 2:16 (To be “justified” connotes that same declaration of righteousness that God gives those whom He rescues.)
c. Acts 16:31

2. Why can we not save or rescue ourselves? Read these verses and write down your thoughts.
a. Isa. 53:6
b. Rom. 3:23; 6:23

3. God loves you so much that He reaches out in love to rescue you from danger and death when you are unable to save yourself. Read these verses about His love and write down your thoughts and feelings as you read them:
a. Rom. 5:6-8
b. John 3:16-17
c. 1 John 4:9-10

Stronger Jeans (optional): Use a concordance and Greek dictionary or to study the word salvation and look up other New Testament references to it.

4. Sharing Question: When did you first hear about the love of God reaching out to rescue you? Share that memory and your feelings about it with your group.

5. Responding to God: Respond to God’s love by writing a prayer or singing Him a love song. If you are familiar with songs of the church, you may want to sing “I Love You, Lord” or “Amazing Grace”.


Anonymous said...

I don't remember the first time, but I remember when I felt a hint of how God's love is unconditional and deep through the love of my mom.

I was in college and was having a difficult time. I wasn't as close with my mom then as I am now. But through all my mistakes, she was constantly there supporting me, loving me, and providing for me.
Despite my rebellion, she was always available when I call her even though I wasn't when she calls me.

I think my mom's love is a hint of God's love for me. God's love brings us back from sin just as I returned to fellowship with my mom.

Sohl Gal said...

I agree, JJDSC. A parent's unfailing love is an example of God's love for us.

This lesson at first was very confusing for me. I was trying to rush through, and get finished. God totally called me out on it, and told me to get my notebook. He knew there'd be some major info here for me today. I loved Romans 5:6-8, and my favorite verse today was John 4:10, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that HE loved US and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

I'm not sure that I have realized really until today just how much trouble we were in without Jesus. I "head" understood that I was destined for another place, but my heart finally got on board with these two verses.

Thank you, God for Your incredible sacrifice. Show me today and everyday how to love You more, how to grow closer to You.

Twisting His Arm said...

There are many times I see God’s presence in my life but sometimes not until after the fact. I say this a lot, “Oh yeah… God was with me the entire time but I couldn’t or wouldn’t recognize it”! Normally it is through people, especially through my family and close friends. I am trying to work on becoming a person in which people hear God through me.

DA Wagners said...

I was fourteen when I became a Christian. It was a small revival at an even smaller church: 1st Baptist Flour Bluff. We were in a room, and a college trainee was doing some kind of skit thing w/ rose petals. I felt something tugging at my heart, but I resisted. I looked at my twin sis, and my resistance finally broke. The glimpse of her moment w/ God, spurred my moment. For this reason, I think there is nothing wrong w/ showing our brokenness, as long as it's Spirit led.

learning every day said...

I don't remember when I first heard about the love of God reaching out to rescue me. My Mother first told me about Jesus. I was probably taught about Jesus before I can remember anything else. This is a blessing that I am so grateful for. I learned more about Jesus in Sunday School and in church over the years. I publicly accepted Jesus as my savior in a Baptist Altar Call, when I was 15. This was a very,very important day in my life. The church congregation was singing "Just As I Am", I was so convicted of what I would be without His salvation and presence in my life, that I went forward and publicly accpeted Him. I also knew in my heart to a small degree how much Jesus loved me.

Kara said...

I remember sitting in the car staring out the window when I was just 4 or 5 asking Jesus to come in to my heart and save me from all of my sins! I was such a spiritual person back then I turned to prayer for everything. Then my teenage years hit and I lost my connction. Now I'm 23, and a mother of a 2 year old daughter. I'm now refinding myself spiritually, mentally, and physically. Now I see how great God's love can be, after all I've done wrong He still blesses me with the things to better my life in all ways. It just amazes me how much I'm loved and how much he still gives even after I lost him for them few years. After I turned my life over to him again it seems I've found a love that will never end no matter what or who I am.