October 15 - Sola Gratia
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
No Adult Education
There will be no adult education or youth classes (children will meet as usual) this Sunday. Instead, the elders will be presenting a paper regarding our approach to childhood baptism this Sunday at 10:00am in the sanctuary.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
This Sunday as we continue our study of the five “Solas” of the Protestant Reformation, we will consider Sola Gratia or “Grace Alone.” The issue being addressed by this doctrine arose from these questions: Given that Salvation is by faith alone, (Ephesians 2:8-9), what is the source of that faith? Is it God-given or is it a condition of justification that man is responsible for? We will cover the three theological views that developed from attempts to address these questions: Pelagianism, semi-Pelagianism, and Augustinian. We will trace the historical roots of this debate, which started as early as 11 centuries before the events of the reformation. We will also consider how this doctrine leads believers to a greater humility, a greater trust, and a greater worship of God.
Review and Apply
When we say we are “saved by grace alone,” why is it important that we have the qualifier “alone?” What are possible doctrinal errors we could have if we remove it?
Explain your understanding of how one receives the grace necessary to be justified before God. Is there anything in your explanation that could be considered a “work” to obtain that grace?
Explain the doctrine of original sin.
Throughout scripture we see God making sovereign choices that have no basis in an individual’s or a group’s meritorious work, e.g. choosing Jacob over Esau, choosing Israel over other nations, choosing Abraham, Mary, etc. Is the notion of God making such choices troubling to you? Why/why not?
Popular beliefs nowadays state that “man is basically good” or that each person is born with an “island of righteousness” within him. Consider how passages such as Psalm 14:3, John 3:5, John 6:65, Ephesians 2:1 contradict these ideas.
How can the idea of salvation being by grace alone lead to a greater worship of God?