Over the past few weeks we have been talking about the nature of the Trinity, its three parts, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, and how we interact with each of those parts. This week we talked about what separates us from God.
Sin, what is it?
The word for sin comes from an archery term meaning to miss the mark and that is what sin is, it is when we miss the mark of being in perfect union with God. It is our inward desire to do what feels right despite the consequences. It happens when we trust in ourselves instead of in God. We worry about popularity, money, or what others might think of us instead. It's in our "human condition," which is love of self/selfishness, pleasure seeking, a false sense of self-sufficiency, and wanting to do things our own way. Sin causes us to have a broken relationship with God, and we all do it. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
If the relationship is broken, how do we fix it?
Jesus is our means of a right relationship with God. Because of Jesus' sacrifice we have been redeemed. All that we have to do to accept this gift of grace is to accept Jesus as our personal savior and to follow him.
That's it? That doesn't seem fair.
That's because it isn't fair. Our salvation is a gift of God's grace. We talked about three different types of grace that God gives us.
Prevenient Grace is God's grace that comes before we are aware of it. It is always with us. We are born with His grace and love. But, just as in any relationship we have to accept this love in order to be in right relationship with Him.
Sanctifying Grace allows us to develop a closer and deeper relationship with God. We receive sanctifying grace as we grow closer to God.
Justifying Grace is God's continuing work to bring us to a realization that we have sinned and to a desire to turn away from sin, to be forgiven, and to experience a right relationship with Him - to change us to be right with God.
So what is involved in a right relationship with God
First we have to accept that we are in need of God's grace, and to accept Jesus' sacrifice. We also have to look at what God says important for us to do in our lives and we see a good idea of this in the 10 commandments. The 10 commandments are all about relationships. The first four are directly tied to our relationship with God, and 4-10 have something to say about our relationship with those around us. Out of our love for God we should strive to live by these 10 commandments, or as Jesus sums them up, we should love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and we should love our neighbor as ourself.
Weekly Scripture to Memorize:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Have them write their Scripture on a note card. Put this card somewhere that they will see it at home all week.
Read over the Ten Commandments in your Bible (Exodus 20: 1-17)
In your journal think about and answer these questions:
1. Look over the 10 Commandments. Pick 3 Commandments this week that you struggle with doing and really concentrate on following God’s commands.
2. Knowing what you know about sin, what does it mean to you that we call Jesus our Savior?
3. Look on pg. 43 of your book, What is grace? Think of a time you received Grace. How did it make you feel?
4. Look at the Seven Deadly Sins on pg. 46 of your student book. What sin is the one that you have the hardest time not doing? What can you do to help yourself not do this sin?
5. Think of a sin you committed this week and practice repenting or asking forgiveness for it.
The Journey Continues Next Week: Lesson 6: Prayer and the Bible. In preparation for next week read about Intercessory prayer on pg. 50. Who is someone you could be praying for now? Write their name in your journal.
Read John Chapters 12-13. Write down in your journal one thing you learned from these Chapters.
1. Have each family member share things that they are tempted by. How can you support each other to not give into your temptations?
2. Establish a “grace jar” at home. Take a plain jar or cup and take slips of paper write consequences for actions such as, “no TV for a day” “Clean Bathroom,” “No computer for a day.” Etc. Then also insert a few “grace” slips. When you, or your student or their siblings do something that requires a consequence ask them to pull a slip from the jar. They either follow the consequence on the slip or they could receive a “Grace” slip. Discuss that they were given grace. Something they were not expecting or deserving to receive. Just like God’s grace for us.