Rev. Trevor Johnston and Eric Stewart
Sermon series: Grace: the Never-ending, Overwhelming, Reckless Love of God
Week 5: Grace Until
PDF file for printing: 02-04-18
- By now you’ve hopefully memorized our theme verse, Ephesians 2:8-9? “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Say it again with your group now.
- See if you can remember the descriptions of and differences between the Four Movements of Grace which have been the focus of the sermon series these past few weeks.
- Grace Before
- Grace Enough
- Grace to Grow
- Read Matthew 22:34-40: Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
What comments or questions come to your mind from this passage?
- The Sadducees and the Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus and get him to say something that would cause him to lose popularity with some of his followers. Look at Matthew 22:37-40 again and note the three times the word “all” occurs. What do these “all” statements communicate to you?
- Pastor Trevor said, “Jesus is reframing holiness here.” What did he mean by that?
- Before you heard this sermon, what did you think of when you hear the word “holiness”?
- John Oswalt says the following:
Holiness defines a way of behaving…
…which is determined by the character of God,
…which all Christians are expected to manifest,
…which is different from non-believers.
The goal of God’s grace is nothing less than Christlikeness.
What do you think of these ideas about holiness? Talk about how you are seeking to make this kind of holiness part of your spiritual journey.
- Read the following passages:
1 Peter 1:13-16: Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Read Matthew 5:48: Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
How do these verses make you feel? What is the Scripture seeking to communicate here?
- Read the following passages and talk about how they add to your understanding of holiness and how to live it out:
2 Corinthians 7:1: Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Read 1 John 4:16-18: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
- At Community of Hope, we say “No perfect people allowed” acknowledging that no one is perfect, no matter how long we’ve been a Christian. If that is true, then what do we believe about holiness and perfection?
- 4th Movement of Grace: Grace until we’re made complete
- How would you define this type of grace?
- God loves sinners, but God hates sin because sin is destructive and harmful. Read the following passages and discuss what they communicate about this type of grace:
1 John 3:8b: The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
Hebrews 7:25: Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
- What was the spiritual point behind Pastor Trevor’s illustration about the guy who ate Saltine crackers all throughout his cruise?
- If you think you have holiness, you probably don’t. Why is that?
- Describe someone you’ve known personally who is the best example of holiness that you can think of. What were some factors that helped that person grow toward holiness?
- God’s part in our journey toward holiness is described in Ephesians 2:8 – he does the actual work of holiness in your life. Holiness is NOT works righteousness, but we do have a role to play. What is our human part in growing more holy?