Sin Study

Purpose:
 While we want all seekers to be saved by grace, there is no grace if we perceive no sin. Of course, all have sinned (Romans 3:23); therefore, we all desperately need the grace of God (Romans 6:23). Thus, the aim of this study is to help seekers see themselves as our Holy God sees them: utterly sinful and separated from our God. This realization brings about a desire for both forgiveness and repentance. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict seekers in this study (John 16:8).
Scriptures:
  • Romans 3:23, 6:23. See comments above.
  • Luke 7:36-50.  Jesus is a bridge between your sin and your potential for love. The more you appreciate your sinful indebtedness to Jesus; the more you will be grateful for his grace. The end result: you love much (i.e. Discipleship). Conversely, the less you appreciate your sinful indebtedness, the smaller your gratitude and the less you love. Is your attitude toward your sin more like Simon’s or more like the sinful woman’s? Suggest some practicals to get in touch with your sinful indebtedness: Study specific sins as detailed by the Bible. Consider the most recent time you committed that sin; consider the first time; consider your attitude towards God each time you indulged that sin. Journals/discussions/ time lines all help increase one’s appreciation of our debt through sin. 
  • Mark 7:21-22.  Take ownership for sin! We are responsible for our own sin. Despite genetics, parenting, peer pressures, and socio-economic conditions, sin comes from within our own hearts and makes us unclean. What is the consequence of being unclean before God? Discuss the sins catalogued by Jesus. Add scriptures, which catalog sins - if needed.
  • Galatians 5:19-21.   Sinful deeds are obvious. What does “will not inherit the Kingdom of God” mean?  Be as specific as necessary to both explain and share about the sins listed. 
  • Ephesians 5:3-13.  Not even a hint or a mention of sin should be the standard for followers of Jesus. Has anyone ever shared “empty words” with you in order to minimize God’s wrath to sin and sinners? Exposing sin to the light is a great step toward proclaiming a real need for grace.
  • James 4:17.  Sins of commission (sins you commit) vs. sins of omission (virtues you omit).
  • Isaiah 59:1-3.  Your sin has made a separation between you and your God. This study is not just about a list of sins, but instead about the depth of your separation from your Father.
Additional Helpful Scriptures:
  •  Revelation 21:8 
  • Revelation 21:24-27
  • Romans 1:21-32 
  • 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 
  • Col 3:5-11 
  • 2nd Timothy 3:1-5 
  • Matthew 5:48
Repentance
Purpose:
After believing grace, the biblical response is to repent and be baptized for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:36-38). Repentance, however, is a powerful blessing from God that has been stripped of its potency. The Greek word for repentance, metanoia, means “after – mindset.” With this gift of ‘hindsight,’ we see clearly to take the right path… the path of living for God rather than for self. Be careful not to present repentance as a work that leads to salvation; rather, it is our awakening to come to our senses and live the way God had always intended for us. It is more than a decision; it is adopting Jesus’ worldview, which alwaysresults in the fruit of a turned, changed life.
Scriptures:
  • 2nd Corinthians 5:14-21.  Why does Peter call us to repent as a response to the cross (Acts 2:38)? Because we are convinced of Jesus’ love for us through the cross. His love motivates us to repent; that is, to live for Him rather than for ourselves. Jesus’ resurrection opens our eyes to look beyond the earthly realm. The old is gone, the new has come! What does the new life look like? How do we view people through our new repentant eyes?
  • Luke 3:7-14.  The fruit of repentance is the evidence of a changed mindset. John the Baptist insisted on repentance before baptism. If you were to ask John, “What should I do?” – how would he respond to you? (Notice that he directs no one to pray and weep before God, confessing how bad he or she feels about his or her sins – which many people today confuse for repentance.)
  • Luke 13:1-5, 6-9.  Jesus preaches that without repentance, we will all perish. He likewise expects to find fruit every time there is true repentance. 
  • Acts 26:15-21.  Jesus gives Paul the charge to “open their eyes” (e.g. “red pill” of the Matrix, the Christmas ghosts for Scrooge, or “wake up call”) so that “they may turn” and prove repentance by their deeds. Repentance involves a new perspective, a turning of allegiance, and fruit. 
  • 2 Corinthians 7:8-11.  Beware of worldly sorrow. Have you previously confused sorrow(s) with true repentance? Thoroughly examine godly sorrow, because it leads to repentance and salvation. 
  • Acts 3:19.  Repentance results in both a turned life and a refreshed life. What does your life look like if you have truly turned to God? Have you ever been refreshed? What does that feel like? Refreshment is a great indicator for the joy that accompanies a changed life. 
Additional Helpful Scriptures:
  •  Luke 16:19-31
  • 2Tim 2:24-26
  • Acts 28:25-28
  • Romans 12:1-2 
  • Romans 2:4
  • Acts 5:30-31; 11:18 
  • Luke 19:1-10 vs. Luke 18:18-30
  • Col 2:20-23 v. Titus 2:11-12
  • Luke 15:1-2, 11-32

 

Grace I: The Cross

Purpose:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

Here, the gospel message reaches its peak. We are saved through grace. There is hope! We are saved through Jesus’ loving sacrifice. Be sure that the seeker has seen his/her need for grace, and this study in grace will be powerful. It’s also important for the seeker to understand his/her responsibility for Jesus’ death. Establishing personal responsibility will later reap great gratitude and joy for Jesus’ personal love and forgiveness.

Scriptures:
  • Romans 3:21-27.  All are in complete need of grace for all have sinned. Christ is propitiation or atonement (temple illustration) for the wrath we’ve earned. He redeems (slavery illustration) us; he justifies (legal illustration) us. Discuss the illustrations.

  • Romans 4:22-25.  We have Jesus’ righteousness credited to us via faith. Jesus died for our sins and was raised for our justification. He takes our sins and gives His righteousness!

  • Romans 5:6-11.   Jesus died for us while we were at our worst, enemies of God, weak and sinful. His blood changes all that and reconciles us to God.

  • Mark 14:26-15:41.  Jesus chose to die for us. Who killed Jesus? I did. You did. Reflect on the reasons why Jesus endures these afflictions (my sins require it, and His love offers it).

  • 1st Peter 2:21-25.  Why did Jesus die on the cross for us? So that we might die to sin and live for the new righteousness that the cross provides. This is our response to the cross. 

  • Acts 2:36-41. Peter has preached the message of the cross. What are the next steps?

  • John 3:16-21. Do you prefer the darkness over the light? Are you ready to move into the light of God’s grace? 

Additional Helpful Scriptures:
  • Matthew 26:17-27:56 (suggest reading this before the study; viewing The Passion of the Christ is also highly recommeded

  • Isaiah 52:13-53:13 

  • Psalm 22

  • Acts 2:22-38 

  • Colossians 2:13-14

  • Ephesians 2:1-10 

  • John 1:29