Lesson 6: Doctrines 6 & 7 Jesus SAVES!
- Doctrine 6: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made atonement for the whole world, so that whosoever will may be saved.
- Doctrine 7: We believe that repentance toward God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit are necessary to salvation.
God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross in our place for our sins. Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Using a highlighter- “highlight” or underline any of this weeks’ reading that stands out to you, that catches your attention, or that brings up questions. Have this ready for group time. Click LINK: Read before Lesson 6: Jesus SAVES!. You may also download and print this reading: Lesson 6-Reading Handout.
Group Activity / Discussion:
Technological espionage and piracy have become huge issues. Getting around the law without breaking it is key. To learn strategic information about their enemies military scientists reverse engineer technology and weapons. IT companies gain information and market their own reverse-engineered copies, undercutting competitors’ prices without having to innovate themselves. The challenge is in putting the puzzle back together again.
Rather than buy an assembled Lego spaceship, we buy pieces. Bags of tiny, plastic pieces. While there may be an initial sigh, there is also satisfaction in the process of taking the instruction manual and building the masterpiece we see “on the box” one block at a time. We have become reverse engineers of a sort.
- What are some advantages of being able to re-create the original…or an almost exact replica?
- What are some disadvantages you see with a “copy”?
- What are some things that can never be put together again?
In our last lesson, we learned about the SIN PROBLEM. As you watch the video below, look at God’s response to our “spiritual trash”/ our sins. He could have ignored it or simply judged us for what we had made of ourselves and our world. He could have reassembled or rearranged what we had become. He could have walked by, but He didn’t. * Jesus takes our trash and sets us free.
The task seemed impossible. Restoration to the innocence of the original Garden could never be. Separation, the result. Judgment certain.
Imagine sitting in a room of the most brilliant minds on the planet. Your task is to reverse engineer something you have never seen. A common task in your field, you genius! And yet there are limitations to reverse engineering when dealing with something that is not man made. Then it happens-your assignment. An egg is brought into the laboratory and your team’s task becomes clear. You are to reverse engineer a hen. What? This becomes especially difficult as you have lived your whole life in the lab, and never been a part of the outside world…a chicken from an egg? It’s impossible. Ludacris. This goes against all natural sciences that can be applied.
So it is with SIN. There are so many philosophies, religions, self-help products. Therapies and pop culture lies which are adept at reverse engineering the whole problem for us. They set about redefining sin, erasing it, excusing it, or reworking it all together. There are so many distractions and ways that we can self-medicate that we can pretty well ignore the “problem” altogether. If not for the Spirit’s call. Everything within us recognizes that “thrum” of God’s heartbeat. We were created to be so much more. There is a longing for relationship with the very one who set our DNA in motion.
NOW the Bible records Christ’s death from the perspective of the prophets (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Mark 8:31, Luke 9:22, and history (Matt 27:32-66; Mark 15:21-47; Luke 23:26-56; John 19:16-42; Rom 5:6; 1 Cor 15:3; 2 Cor 5:15; Rev 5:9). It’s all there for our study, BUT there are theological “words” to help us understand what happens at the moment of Christ’s death / SALVATION. SALVATION: One single word that carries the magnitude of God’s love, eternal grace, obedience, and sacrifice for you and I. In this lesson we are going to try to get a picture of the theological workings behind the words. Secondly, we need to look at the choice mankind is offered. Remember, we get to choose!
- Atonement: this is a word that is found only in the Old Testament and it is used to describe a “covering”…that hides sin. There have been those scholars who saw this word’s meaning as broken down to its syllables: “at-one-ment”… to reconcile, or to make-ONE with God again (which is actually pretty genius and easy to understand!) More recently theologians use this word to include the weight of everything that was accomplished in the Death of Christ. “Atonement” is then, much like a word that describes the theological process of how salvation words. SO- Atonement is not only the “covering of sins”-but points to the “once and for all” aspect of what was accomplished to bring about salvation. *It might be a little like learning “the entire game of baseball” instead of merely being taught to hold a bat and “swing!”
- Expiation: the bearing of the penalty of sin. Christ BORE the entire weight of our sins upon himself. Though He had never sinned, he carried ours on that day.
- Forgiveness: removal of all the sins, a “magnificent cleanup job” supernaturally transforming us and proclaiming that we are innocent standing before God.
- Guilt: A just-fair-deserved charge has been made against us for our violations of God’s laws. We have chosen against his will-and are deemed guilty.
- Justice: Taken from the Latin word, “justus” meaning that there is something “due” when a law has been broken. There is a payment due….and we stand bankrupt on our own behalf.
- Justification: God has given his righteousness to us, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We are seen by Him “just-as-if” we’d never sinned. We are seen as “justified”.
- Penalty: Christ’s suffering was equal to the price that was demanded for payment of our sins. He paid the penalty. Eternal Justice.
- Propitiation: (sometimes defined the same as reconciliation) Harmony is restored between God and his creation- sinful humans and their loving Creator through Christ’s act this is accomplished. We do not stand condemned any longer!
- Ransom: the “price” that was paid” for redemption.
- Remission: (from Latin-a word meaning to “send back”) Sin is sent back-sent away and we are given forgiveness, a pardon, freedom…a new beginning.
- Righteousness: the concept used throughout the Bible is that of a high moral standard that has been set which is acceptable to a holy God. Because of Christ’s sacrifice we are SEEN as righteous, which is pretty confusing-since we feel far from righteous in light of our past sins. This is where we go back to that original concept of being “covered”. It’s almost as if a cloaking device were placed over all the sins we had ever committed and God sees only his Son (who became sin for us). Miraculously, we are SEEN as clean. But this is no Hollywood special effect! We ARE forgiven. Transformed. Amazing grace!
- Satisfaction: Restoration is accomplished. The moral requirement has been met.
- Substitution: His payment for our sin was vicariously given on our behalf by Jesus Christ. Lambs were used in the Old Testament to be the “substitution for sin”. Christ was “the Lamb of God, who took away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Because he was the substitute for us it made it possible for God to justify you and I in that he was our representation.
Hebrews 9:5; Isaiah 53:4-5; Mark 10:45; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 3:23-26; I Corinthians 5:7b; II Corinthians 5: 14-15,21.
Let’s all watch the “DOODLE version of atonement”. Whether you are a seasoned theologian or new to the faith the truth and simplicity is marvelous!
NOW YOU ARE ALL THEOLOGICAL ROAD SCHOLARS! Hooray! You KNOW the WORDS and the CONCEPTS! These are HEAVY theological concepts. But let’s be honest. Even though theological words and concepts “explain”, they do not cause us to “engage”. A way to illustrate this might be to share about those who have a fear of water, never having learned to swim. It might be helpful for them to read about water, see pictures of it or videos of others swimming. And in consultation with a skilled therapist steps can be made to alleviate some of the fear by trying some cognitive-behavioral exposure therapies where they move inch by inch towards the edge of the water; and finally, putting their feet into it. In time our fearful-friend might even enjoy splashing from the sidelines. But the goal wasn’t to let go of the fear. The goal was to swim- to let go, to fully enter the water.
In this lesson we have each looked at the death of Christ as being a substitute; He, standing in our place to pay the price that we could not pay. The penalty has been paid at a great cost. Christ’s sacrifice gives us the forgiveness we long for, restoration with God, the righteousness we do not deserve and the Holy Spirit’s presence. Atonement originated in the heart of God. But like our water-fearing friend, we NEED to ENGAGE. Chances are, that you have made the decision to engage – to reach out and accept what has been offered at so great a price; but we never want to fully make that assumption. Doctrine 7 is about ACTING- STEPPING FORWARD…Making it ours. Atonement is ours as we call out to Him acknowledging the reality of our own sinful choices. Pure and simple…this is where transformation begins: with forgiveness and acceptance of grace. If you have not yet received Christ, my friend; Consider it today. (Matthew 4:17; Matthew 21:32; Acts 3:19-20; Romans 10:9-10; Galatians 2:15-16a; Ephesians 2:8-9)
How excellent that you and I become the most powerful sources of the witness for the reality of God’s presence and His love in this world. We are living out this new life, and the very fact that we give testimony to God’s working in our lives is witness to the power of the atonement. Without Christ, there would be no sacrifice for sin, no salvation, no resurrection. The church has marched forward through the centuries because of the absolute belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who actually died, rose, and ascended into heaven.
Watch our Doctrine video as Salvationists share from their hearts.
Boots on the Ground:
As you close your time together, ask each one to share:
“I am grateful for grace because….” (*individually sharing how their life has been transformed”) Just a sentence or two. Leader: close in prayer.
Assignment this week…. write 3 things per day that you are grateful for – (*in a journal, as a facebook post, on a pc. of paper). A Gratefulness Challenge! Often we walk through our days and moments unaware of all that surrounds us which reinforces his love and care. We face challenges every day…our world is in crises…sometimes the darkness hides the light; so we must look for it. We are never alone. We are not forgotten. We are loved beyond what we can comprehend or deserve. In doing this exercise you are compelled to “look” for ways in which God, in the person of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; are involved in your life. He speaks through creation, His Word, others, music, art…. Look for Him.
DOWNLOAD YOUR LESSON 6 POWERPOINT WITH LEADER’S NOTES, VIDEOS LINKED FROM INSIDE THE PRESENTATION: Doctrine 6-7 Jesus Saves Presenter PPT
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DOWNLOAD LESSON 6 READING AS A PDF: Lesson 6-Reading Handout
DOCTRINES VIDEO for Presentation: