INTRODUCTIONPeople in our country and in various foreign countries have a lot of different ideas on how to please God in their lives. We could easily list some: helping the needy, charitable giving, offering sacrifices and prayers to idols, fighting for a cause etc… Now look at each one of these and tell whether they are God pleasing or not.Some are and some are definitely not at all. It all depends. That is what our lesson will help us with today.
STUDYING GOD’S WORDWhat part do good works play in Salvation?
Romans 3:28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
THE BELIEVER IS SET FREE APARTFROM OBSERIVING THE LAW - You havemaybe heard of a “whipping boy.” A prince could not be publicly whipped but when hebroke the law someone had to be punished. Therefore a boy was chosen to bepunished so that the prince could go free - a whipping boy. Jesus took our place under the law so that we could be justified. He was our whipping boy.
Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
WE ARE SAVED BY GOD’S GRACE, NOT BY WORKS - If you have to work for something it is not a gift. If you are given an incredible gift from your parents on your birthday, butthen go and boast that you deserve itbecause you have been such a goodkid, you rob your parents of the joy of giving you a free gift.
Romans 9:30-32 30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law ofrighteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”
WE LOSE OUR SALVATION IF WE PURSUE IT BY WORKS - Again, imaginethat your mom gave you a $1000 check foryour birthday. She gave it to you because she loved you and wants you to have it. Ifyou told her that you deserved that money because you are such an awesome kid and it’s about time she coughed up some money for all the things that you havedone for her, she will take the check back. In the same way, we lose God’s gift by works.
On the basis of these passages, if you were to fill in the percentages of how much oursalvation is dependant on God’s grace andhow much is dependant on our good works, what would the percentages be? 100Our salvation is ______________% God’s 0Grace and ________% our good works.
What change in attitude did theHoly Spirit work in us when he brought us to faith?
Galatians 5:24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. WE ARE LED TO HATE THE SINFULNATURE - In 2 Peter 2:2, Peter speaks of adog returning and eating his own vomit andabout a pig who is washed will go back and wallow in the mud. When the Holy Spiritbrings us to faith, we are not like a dog or a pig, rather we hate our sins like vomit or mud.
Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a peoplethat are his very own, eager to do what is good. WE ARE NOW EAGER TO DO WHAT GOD DESIRES - You have heard how some children react to their parent’s requests. Some moan and say “Aw, mom,do I have to?!” Others say, “OK, Dad, I’ll doit right away!” The latter is the attitude that the Holy Spirit has worked in our hearts when he brings us to faith.
When the Holy Spirit brought us to faith, he changed our attitude sothat we now hate sin and are eager to do God’s will.
God’s Word in My Life 1. Agree or disagree and why? AChristian does good works to show Godthat he is worthy of God’s love. 2. Agree or disagree and why? Thework of Jesus Christ gives us a chance towin eternal life by following his example.
Galatians 2:2020 I have been crucified with Christ and Ino longer live, but Christ lives in me. Thelife I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
John 15:4-54 Remain in me, and I will remain in you.No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bearfruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
THE POWER COMES FROMJESUS IN OUR HEARTS BY FAITH Jesus uses the example of a grape vine to picture how we get the power from him to do good works. If a branch is broken off a vine it dies and on the vine it produces fruit. As long as we are connected to Jesus we will be able to do good works.
Ephesians 2:10For we are God’s workmanship, created inChrist Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. GOD HAS CREATED US IN JESUS TO DO GOOD WORKS - When you are training a child to do things on their own, you lay out their clothes in front of themand help them put them on and then praise them for doing such a great job. God lays before us good works and helps us do them to give him honor.
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARYGood Works - a deed that flowsfrom faith in Jesus and gives GodgloryJustify - (review word) to bedeclared “not guilty”
Understanding Good Works Think about apple trees. Why is it that they produce apples? Is it because they’ll feel guilty if they don’t? Is it because they will be in some sort of trouble if they don’tproduce enough fruit? That’s foolish! Apple trees produce apples because that’s just what apple trees do. It’s natural.
Christians produce good works, notbecause they’ll feel guilty if they don’t, and not because they’re afraid that otherwise they’ll get in trouble with God. Christiansproduce good works because Christ gave them the power to do so. It’s what Christians do naturally now!
God’s Word in My Life1. Agree or Disagree and why? Peoplewithout faith can still do good works.2. Which of these three illustrations bestpictures the works in your life? Why? a. A small branch on an apple treeloaded with perfect fruit. b. A branch on a dying apple tree thathas some withering fruit. c. A branch on an apple tree that hassome good fruit and some fruit withworms in it.
STUDYING GOD’S WORD What motivates us togladly do good works?
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 14 For Christ’s love compels us,because we are convinced that onedied for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live forthemselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
THE LOVE CHRIST SHOWED TO USTwo people who love each other don’thave to be forced to do things for eachother. They naturally do them. If oneneeds the other, they go. Love shows itself in actions. Neither does God have to force us to do good works.We are compelled to live for him rather than ourselves.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in wordor deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
WE DO GOOD WORKS TO THANKGOD FOR HIS GOODNESS - If you were drowning and someone pulled you to safety, you would feel that you should thank them somehow. You might pull out some soggy money from your pocket. You arenot paying him back for saving you - he already did that. You arethanking him. We do good works notto pay God back for saving us, that’salready done. We do it to thank him.
We are motivated to do good works out of love for Jesus and out of thanks to God.
Psalm 119:105Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
WE CAN USE GOD’S WORD AS A TEST TO SEE WHETHER A WORK IS GOOD OR NOT- In a factory, there are usually some tests that a product must pass before it can go out on the market. Ropes have to be a certain strength.Automobiles have crash & breaking tests.Baby cribs have safety tests. God’s word is the test we use for everything—no popularity polls, not our friends opinions,or what we want. God’s Word determines whether it is good or not.
God’s Word in My Life 1. Agree or Disagree and why?Because we are saved by grace, throughfaith, God doesn’t care whether a Christiandoes good works or not. He cares whetheror not we have faith. 2. What do you think? If I am savedentirely by God’s grace and my good workshave nothing to do with it, why can’t I go outand commit whatever sins I want and thenask God for forgiveness later?
ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT TIMEREVIEWING THE LESSON1. Review your notes; be sure you understand them. Be prepared for a written or oral quiz. Don’t forget about the vocabulary words!2. Make a flashcard for and memorize Colossians 3:17 and Ephesians 2:8-9. Be able to put the passages into your own words.PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LESSONAsk your parents to help you with the following activity:1. Read Matthew 19:16 - 262. Complete the Bible History Worksheet.BOOKS OF THE BIBLEMemorize the books of the New Testament: Matthew - Revelation
INTRODUCTIONHow many of you have been to Africa? How many of you have a relative who lives in Africa? Then how do you know there is aplace called Africa? (maps, globes, pictures,TV, books, etc.) None of you has ever beento Africa, but you know it is there. You have found out about it from other sources.Today we’re going to learn how we find outabout God. None of us have ever seen him, yet we know he’s there.
STUDYING GOD’S WORDWhat is one way that I learn about God?
Psalm 19:1For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
I LEARN SOME THINGS ABOUT GOD FROM NATURE. The pyramids in Egypt(show picture on overhead) didn’t just dropout of the sky. Someone had to build them. The same can be said about your house. The same can be said about the created universe. Someone had to build it. That someone is God. You can’t look directly atthe sun, but you can look at it’s reflection in a pond. We can’t look directly at God, but you can see his reflection in nature.
Acts 14:17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops intheir seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
FROM NATURE I LEARN ABOUT GOD’S KINDNESS. Perhaps you have a friend whose room is filled with nice things: a TV/VCR, computer, nice clothes, sportsequipment, etc. Those things tell you he has generous parents (I’ll bet the same can be said for your parents!). All of the blessings of nature—rain, sun, crops, etc.—show us how kind our God is.
Romans 1:20For since the creation of the world God’sinvisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
FROM NATURE I ALSO LEARN THAT GOD IS ETERNAL, POWERFUL, AND DIVINE. God is eternal. That means hehas no beginning or end (like an unbroken circle). To create everything he has is to be powerful. Imagine the power ofNiagara Falls. That’s nothing compared to the One who created those falls. Obviously, nature was created bysomeone divine, not human we human’s don’t even really know what light is—a particle or a wave!
Psalm 104:24 How many are your works, O LORD! Inwisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.FROM NATURE WE ALSO LEARN THATGOD IS WISE. In fact he is the wisest of all.Take a look at your family car. You can tella lot about the inventor of that car. You can see that he is logical, orderly, smart and wise. Look at the orderliness, design and beauty of nature (like the human hand). A wise God created it!
One way I learn about God is fromnature. Nature shows me that God is kind, eternal, powerful, wise and divine.What is a second way that I can learn about God?
Romans 2:14,15 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do nothave the law, do by nature things requiredby the law, they are a law for themselves,even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
I LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT GODFROM MY CONSCIENCE. The gauges on an airplane let the pilot know whensomething is wrong. Our conscience is like those gauges. It tells us when something has gone wrong with our conduct. It’s that little voice inside that condemns us for our sinful actions. It’sthe accusing finger that points our sins.
Romans 1:32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
MY CONSCIENCE TELLS ME THAT I DESERVE DEATH. Because all peoplehave a conscience, all religions in the world —except Christianity—try to avoid God’s anger over sin by DOING something that will make God happy. Because of conscience, everyone knows that he is responsible to God for his sins.
A second way that I learn about God is through my conscience, whichtells me that I am responsible to God for my sins and deserve his punishment.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFEWhat do the following tell you about God? A spring garden in bloom.Our bodies’ ability to heal and develop immunity to disease.The various cycles of the earth—water cycle, cycle of the seasons, etc.
STUDYING GOD’S WORDWhat is the third way I learn about God?
Acts 16:25-30 25 About midnight Paul and Silas werepraying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, hedrew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
Acts 16:25-3028 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought themout and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
I CANNOT LEARN FROM NATURE HOW I AM SAVED. The “Service Engine Soon” light on your car’s dashcan tell you something is wrong, but it’s not specific. Your conscience tells you something is wrong between you and God, but not how it is fixed.
2 Timothy 3:15 and how from infancy you haveknown the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
ONLY THE BIBLE CAN TELL ME HOW IAM SAVED. The riding lawn mower won’t start. Bad wiring? Out of gas? Deadbattery? Only when you look in the manual do you realize the problem. You need to depress the clutch when starting. People have lots of suggestions about getting toheaven: be nice, do good works, don’t hurt anybody. But only in the Bible do we see that Jesus is the only Savior.
The third way I learn about God isfrom the Bible. Only God’s Word tellsme that God saved me from my sins.
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARYEternal: Without beginning or end.Divine: Not human, but God. Able to do whatonly God can do.Conscience: The little voice inside us that tellsus when we are sinning.Natural Knowledge of God: What I canknow about God from nature and conscience.Revealed Knowledge of God: What I canknow about God only from the Bible (that Jesusis my Savior, that he’s triune).
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFE 1. Agree or Disagree and why?People could come to saving faith if theywould only look closely at nature and listento their conscience. 2. Agree or disagree and why? Therereally is no such thing as an atheist.
STUDYING GOD’S WORD What are two different ways thatGod’s nature is different than mine?
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of allnations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, God is Three persons in One - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - A tricycle has three wheels. In the term tri-une, the first part of the word “tri” reminds us that God is three persons.
Deuteronomy 6:4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. God is also one God - A unicycle has one wheel. In the term tri-une, thesecond part of the word “une” reminds usthat although God is three persons, he is one God. This is one basic way that God’s nature is different than ours.
John 4:24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”God is Spirit - Children sometimes have an imaginary friend. They talk to that friend, make believe he is eating something they give him, etc. Their friend doesn’t have a body and can’t be seen. As a spirit, Goddoesn’t have a body and can’t be seen. But he is not just imaginary. He is living and real.
The two basic ways that God’s nature isdifferent than ours are that He is triune and spirit. Diagram of our Triune God God’s Math 1 + 1 +1 = 1 Our Tri-une God!
Object Lesson - Light a candleWhat comes first when the match touchedthe wick - Light or Heat? (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) Our triune God is three-in-onesimultaneously throughout all eternity.
God’s Word in My Life 1. Agree or Disagree and why?We have one God, but sometimes he actslike the Father, sometimes he acts like theSon, and other times he acts like the HolySpirit. 2. The New Age Movement teachesthat all things are god. Mormons believethat some day they will become gods andinherit their own planet. In what ways dothese ideas not square with what the Biblesays?
ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT TIMEREVIEWING THE LESSON1. Review your notes; be sure you understand them. Be prepared for a written or oral quiz. Don’t forget about the vocabulary words!2. Make a flashcard for and memorize 2 Timothy 3:15. Be able to put the passage into your own words or answer questions concerning it.PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LESSONAsk your parents to help you with the following activity:1. Complete the Bible History Worksheet.2. Help you learn the whole Apostles’ Creed by heart.Learn the Confession of our FaithMemorize: The Apostles’ Creed