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The Blessings of Salvation
This week’s Bible Reading Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Psalms 81-82 Luke 17 Luke 18 Luke 19 Luke 20 Luke 21 Luke 22 Memorise Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places...”
This chapter comes immediately after the study on the Cost of Commitment, with its emphasis on possible suffering, self denial, hardship and sacrifice. Maybe by now you have the impression that the follower of Christ can have no joy, no pleasure, no excitement – only sorrow and difficulty. It is therefore suitable that this study is a brief look at the blessings of salvation – the great privilege it is for us to be saved, to have received freely by grace from God through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. By the end of this lesson you should be saying: “Anyone who refuses the offer of salvation must be a blind fool – God has given us such honour and privilege as His children!” We must begin by realising that this lesson will be far from complete. We can only begin to list and look at a few of the privileges that a believer receives through Christ. Our memory verse says that in Christ “we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” How can we begin to look at the meaning of EVERY BLESSING? What do you think is the meaning of the word: ‘Blessing’?
One definition states: ‘It means that God is gracious and that He is in control, and brings all things to pass in a way that benefits His People.’ We will look at the blessings and privileges of salvation under three headings – past, present and future. Salvation has three tenses: • • • Immediate salvation – once-for-all rescue from bad things Constant salvation – everyday experience of good things Future salvation – the promise of the best things still ahead of us
1. Immediate salvation – once-for-all rescue A. Freedom from sin, guilt and punishment
No criminal, who thinks he is innocent, can be grateful when he is acquitted and set free. If you think you never did anything wrong, you will not be happy when you are told you will not be punished. When you consider the Law of God, have you done wrong? Have you kept God’s law? ___________________ Read Romans 3:19-21 Who has kept the whole of God’s Law? _____________________________ Who is innocent before God? _______________________________________ Who has no guilt before the standard of God’s perfect law? _______________ Read Romans 3:21-26 Find the 3 words that describe how God has rescued sinners from guilt and the penalties of sin. 1. _______________________________________________ (verse 24) 2. _______________________________________________ (verse 25) 3. _______________________________________________ (verse 26) Find out the meaning of those three words – you will discuss them in your team study). Write briefly what you think they mean in your own words: 1. ________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________________________ B. Deliverance and Freedom Freedom from guilt and punishment is not the only benefit we receive when we put our trust in Christ for salvation. Freedom is a blessing that applies to many areas of our new lives in Christ. Study the following Scriptures and note in what areas Christ has set you free. John 8:31-36 _______________________________________________________ Luke 4:18-19 _______________________________________________________ Romans 6:20-23 ____________________________________________________ Galatians 1:4 _______________________________________________________ Colossians 1:13-14 __________________________________________________ Hebrews 2:14-15 ____________________________________________________ As you study each passage, think to what extent you have experienced the freedom and deliverance that is promised to you in these Scriptures. These are the privileges
we have been granted in Christ. But have we received them? Do we enjoy them? And if not, why not? 2. Constant salvation – everyday experience of blessing A. Safety and security For those who have put their trust in Christ and become a child of God, one of the greatest privileges is the assurance that we are safe and secure. There is some suggestion in the Bible that it is possible to lose our salvation if we deliberately turn our backs on Christ, deny Him and return wilfully to sin (see Hebrews 6:4-6). However, the writer to the Hebrews is writing this passage to those who have deliberately turned their back on Christ – not for those who fall into sin and remain repentant and willing to follow Christ. For us there are great assurances that our salvation is safe and secure. to Read the following Bible verses and answer the questions. Examine your own life, ensure that you are enjoying the privileges of knowing that you are saved. John 10:27-30 Jesus speaks of His disciples as His “sheep”. What does verse 27 say about His sheep? They ___________________________ and ___________________________. Is that true of you? Then what promise does Jesus give to you in verse 28? _____________________________________________________________________ Who can snatch the followers of Christ from the Father’s hand (verse 29)? ______________________. Ephesians 1:3-6 What blessings have we received who trust in Christ? Verse 3_______________________________________________________________ Verse 4_______________________________________________________________ Verse 5_______________________________________________________________ When and how were you chosen and destined to belong to Christ?
Does that make you feel safe? How can you be sure that you will never lose your salvation?
B. Power for Living Everyday living for Christ is not easy however greatly we may feel privileged. The Bible makes it clear that we live in a hostile world and have a powerful enemy. One of the great privileges therefore – and essential equipment for victorious living – is the inner power provided for believers through the Holy Spirit. Read the promises of Jesus to His disciples: Acts 1:8 What power did Jesus promise to His disciples? ______________________________ What was this power for? ________________________________________________ How and when did this promise become reality in the disciples’ lives? Is this a promise for us today? ____________________________________________ Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 1:18 Is this also a promise for those who believe the Gospel? _______________________ What is promised to those who have faith? __________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Colossians 1:11 What did Paul pray for the Colossian Christians? ____________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ What is your experience of this power for living?
3. Future salvation – the best that is still ahead A. Hope for the Future Not all our blessings are to be enjoyed here and now. The best still lies in the future. See how many references there are to Hope in the New Testament – hope speaks about things that are still to come. Sometimes, in the midst of present difficulty, even though we enjoy His presence and His power, we still must cling to better things to come. Read about Jesus’s own experience in Hebrews 12:1-2. What was He looking forward to? _____________________________________________________ and how did it help Him in his present suffering?_________________________________ Read and cling to the following promises: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
What was Paul looking forward to? ______________________________________ Hebrews 11:10 and 16 Abraham was a man of faith because he had his hope firmly planted in the future. What was he looking forward to?________________________________________ How did it keep him going in hard times? Romans 8:24-25 What are you looking forward to? ________________________________________ B. The Promise of Glory The writer to the Hebrews in the verse we have just read (Hebrews 12:2) tells us to look to Jesus as our example, fore-runner and guarantee of promised glory. Read His promises to the disciples in John 14:1-7. Are you looking forward to being with Christ? __________________ Of all the blessings we have looked at in this chapter – there are many more which we have not had space to look at – what is the most important blessing for you personally?
♦ Apply this lesson to your life 1. Look back on your life to the day when you gave your life to Christ. What did you receive at that moment, which remains a great blessing in your life? Pause to THANK GOD for this blessing. Then count your blessings – name them – and give thanks for God’s goodness. 2. A blessing is multiplied by being shared. Every time you give public testimony – or share with someone what God has done in your life – you should list some of the ways in which God has blessed you because you follow Christ. That is what a testimony is. And it will increase the blessing when you share it! A Prayer while you study this lesson: Father in heaven, Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to the world. every blessing in heaven is to be found in Him. Thank you for what I have received when I trusted Him as my Saviour. Thank you for what I continue to receive as I follow Him as my Lord. Thank you that the greatest blessing of all still lies in the future when I will see Him face to face. Please make my life a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen
♦ Team group study questions:
1. In Romans 3:21-26 we read that we have received redemption, propitiation and justification through faith in Christ. Discuss together the meaning of these three words and how they have changed your life. Give thanks for the benefits of each aspect of your salvation. 2. Several Bible passages make it clear that we will never lose our salvation. See John 10:27-30 and Ephesians 1:3-6. Discuss other similar Bible promises. Share together whether any of you have ever doubted the promises or feared that you might lose your salvation. How can you be sure? 3. What have you experienced of the power of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, in your life? Share honestly together. Do you sometimes feel powerless? What has God given us the power for? Is it possible to use this power for the wrong purpose? 4. Share together what is the greatest blessing you are still looking forward to.
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