Blake Coffee and Kellie Hooker taught on Sunday, September 14. The videos and listening guides from that lesson, followed by the scripture, are below.
Core Lesson (Kellie Hooker)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)
Dead in sin Human beings were created by God to be people of a dignity which reflects His glory. But we are born in the condition of living marred by sin’s depravity.
Q: Paul is addressing believers. Why do you think believers need to be reminded of this truth?
Objects of wrath Our sinfulness places us under God’s judgment of sin.
Q: How do we excuse or explain away sin? Why do we do that?
But God God is rich in love and mercy. He has made us alive in Christ.
Q: How is God’s wrath a reflection of His love?
Salvation by grace through faith Redemption has been accomplished by God alone in Christ. Our redemption is a gift from a gracious God which we accept by faith. [“Abraham believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6]
Q: How does a redeemed community of faith live out faith in Christ?
Not by works Even our “work” of believing and receiving is made possible by God through His Holy Spirit. [“But let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:24)]
Q: Even though we know we are saved by grace, why do we often act as if we have to earn God’s favor? What does that look like for you?
We are His workmanship. We are created to do good works. God’s redemption restores us to the position of dignity for which He created us.
Q: How are these “good works” different from earning salvation by “works”? What do they look like?
Venture Lesson (Blake Coffee)
The Gospel-Centered Church
Without Christ, all of us are utterly and completely dead, without hope of life. All of us. Dead.
God’s grace, taught correctly, comes from and calls us to an unconditional love relationship.
In the church, with Christ I have access to anything and everything; without Christ, I have nothing.
The greatest benefit, both in this life and beyond, of abiding in Christ is being identified with Him in the spiritual realms.
The key to understanding grace versus works is not one to the exclusion of the other; rather, it is just getting them in the right order.
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.