Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Reflect on the Passages
Take a moment to read through the passages slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through them.
Is there a word or phrase that God is drawing to your attention? What is He saying to you through these passages?
Engage with the Message
1) What stood out to you from the Scripture passages and/or this week's message?
2) In what ways is God challenging you and/or encouraging you through the message?
3) How would you define grace? What do you think of Dallas Willard's definition: God acting in your life to accomplish what you cannot accomplish on your own.
4) As we transition into this next season after two years in the pandemic, what do you sense that God is calling the church to repent of? What do you sense that He is calling the church to step out into?
5) What are some of the things that we try to hold onto in the church that can get in the way of our ability to step out into what new things God has for us next?
6) What do you think it would look like for the church to be a community of grace in our divided world? What will it take to get there?
7) Do you tend to lean more towards shame and a sense of inadequacy, or pride and self-sufficiency? How does this show up in your life? What would it look like to live in dependence on God's grace?
8) Often we make the mistake of believing that we should become less dependent on God's grace as we mature spiritually. Why is this a misconception? What do you think it looks like to live by grace?