LESSON 3: ACCEPTING GOD’S GIFT OF GRACE
MAIN IDEA: Salvation is a matter of accepting God’s gift of grace by faith.
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
After spending my whole adult life in church leadership, I know firsthand just how easy it is to sing this hymn yet not be convinced that the message is completely true on a personal level. The Bible is filled with standards, principles, and challenges that call believers like you and me to live a godly life — and we often fall short of perfection. As a result, there are many in the church today who carry an unspoken concern that maybe, just maybe, there is something else they must do to be fully His.
Believe … Belong … Become
Often the unstated message of the church today goes like this: If you believe, and if you behave, then you can belong. The Bible, however, presents a different message: If you believe, then you belong to Christ; and you can become the person God created you to be.
As we make a conscious decision to embrace God’s Word by faith — to believe what it says about Jesus and receive Him as our Lord and Savior — we truly belong to Him! Then as we put our faith into action and begin to follow the instructions God provides in His written Word, we really can become the persons we were designed to be, as the following verses affirm:
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil excess, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you. James 1:21
Once we believe, we really do belong. And in order to become, we simply must walk in the light we have been given through God’s Word, fellowshipping with one another, confessing our sins, and setting our minds on things of the Spirit rather than on things of the flesh. As we read in the Book of Hebrews, we must …
Hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25, NKJV
Today Is the Day
If there is any doubt in your mind that you have received God’s ultimate gift of grace by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of your own life, today is the day to settle the matter once and for all. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth in order to make a way for you to be reconciled to God. It doesn’t matter what you have done or where you have been. Jesus is waiting to receive you right now.
The first question you must answer is this: Do I need a Savior, or is my life sufficient to obtain eternal life with God by its own merit? In other words, is there any other way to get to God?
Jesus made it clear that He is the only way to the Father, the only way to living an abundant life and spending eternity in the presence of Almighty God:
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
Your salvation truly is a matter of life and death. If you agree that you need a Savior today, He is available. Jesus is ready right now to welcome you into His glorious kingdom. And the Bible is very clear about how this happens:
“The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” This is the message of faith that we proclaim: if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:8-9
If you have any doubt about your salvation, you can be born of the Spirit right now, and you will never have to wonder again. You will be a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17-18). Jesus not only made it clear that no one comes to the Father except through Him; He also told us that no one comes to Him unless the Father draws that person to Him (John 14:6; 6:43-44). And the fact that you are drawn to Jesus is a clear indication that the Father has determined this is the day you are to repent of your sins — turn from them — and receive Jesus as Lord.
You can exchange your life of sin and failure for His life of righteousness and favor with God and man right now! Please read and repeat aloud the prayer of salvation at the end of this lesson. Be sure to tell someone you know who is a Christian about your decision so that he or she may help you walk out the next steps of your life in Christ.
Your Salvation Is Secure
If you have already accepted Jesus yet continue to have doubts about your salvation, He wants to give you unshakable confidence and peace in knowing that your salvation is secure. You don’t have to be a criminal or trapped in some sin pattern to doubt your position in Christ. In fact, many Christians carry around a nagging concern about their salvation, wondering if they “measure up.” But as we have seen, there is no way to work your way to salvation. Salvation is a matter of grace and faith alone. It is available by the grace of God and is received by your expression of faith in Jesus as Lord of your life.
By grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:10
Don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:35-3
[God] Himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
If you are one who continues to struggle with doubts about your salvation, read Romans 8:38-39: For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! Which of the illustrations that Paul uses best demonstrates the permanence of God’s commitment to you?
Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). As you declare the Word of God aloud, it will enter your heart and your faith will be strengthened. Once Jesus is Lord of your life, you can have confidence that you are always saved. And as Romans 8:38-39 assures us, nothing can ever separate us from the love of God!
Now that is revelation! Jesus is indeed Lord of your life, and He will never, ever “leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). As you meditate for a few minutes on who He is and what He has already done, worship will be your only reasonable and adequate response!
Prayer of Salvation
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. Your Word says that if I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that God has raised Him from the dead, I will be saved. I take You at Your word, Lord God. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead. I invite You to be Lord of my life, and I thank You for coming into my heart and giving me Your Holy Spirit as You promised. I believe in You and Your Son, Jesus, and I commit my life to You this day. Amen.
LESSON 3 REVIEW
• What statement or Scripture you read in this lesson was most meaningful?
• Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response.
• What does God want you to do in response to this lesson?