Most of us have at least one. It's that one question that comes to mind whenever people talk about God, faith, or church - that question that makes us unsure of God, and if believing in Him makes any sense.
What is your one question about God, faith or church?
This week we talked about two different questions as part of the You Asked For It Series. The first addressed whether drinking or doing legal drugs is a sin.
Have someone read John 2:1-11.
Jesus first recorded miracle is turning water into wine. There are references throughout the Old and New Testament about wine and it is recorded that Jesus drank wine several times.
Have someone read Ephesians 5:18 & 1 Corinthians 6:12
The Bible gives us loving limits for our lives around this subject matter: First, it says when you drink there’s to be no intoxication. The second is to not become addicted to anything or any substance that would control or master your mind, your body, and your behavior.
Depending on the family you grew up in there were different outlooks about drinking.
Share what your family’s views towards alcohol were and how they impact you.
Even though drinking is not a sin, there are times we need to limit our freedom and be sensitive to others who may struggle or be in recovery.
While some really struggle with alcohol or drugs, there are many other struggles we face daily. We turn to overeating, become workaholics, over shop, are addicted to social media, struggle with pornography and many other things, in order to numb the pain. Jesus wants us to be filled with something better than alcohol. He wants so much better for our lives. The Bible says to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we let God control our life, we don’t need to turn to these other things to fill that void.
What in your life stands between you and spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental health?
“Can a saved person lose their salvation?” was the second question.
This is a question that many of us have thought about at some point in our life. We fear we have wandered too far away from God, or perhaps someone we care about doesn’t show any signs of following Jesus anymore.
Briefly share a time when you wrestled with the question of losing your salvation.
Have someone read each of the truths and verses below.
There are three truths that can help you live with the assurance of your salvation if you’re a follower of Jesus.
Our salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13)
Our salvation is secured by the Son and Father (John 10:27-29)
Our salvation is based on grace, not works. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
The more important question is have you really ever been saved? Gene shared how we can evaluate that question. Ask yourself “If my salvation has never really changed me, has it ever really saved me?” Has your life been marked by what Jesus did for you?
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV) says “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession….”
Grace is messy and hard to accept. We can be so hard on ourselves refusing to believe that grace could overcome our sin. When we doubt our salvation, what we’re really doing is doubting our ability to be a good person. Thankfully good works are not the basis of our salvation. It is grace that God offers us.
If we doubt our salvation we don’t understand the extent of what Jesus did on a cross for us. There is not one sin God cannot forgive. We, as flawed people, have made lists of the deeds we believe are unforgiveable. That is not what the Bible says. The Bible says where sin increases, grace increases all the more. Faith activates God’s grace. We just have to believe, and we are forgiven.
The end of this passage says, “for we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” Stop and consider the immense value God has for us. Often our insecurities keep us from viewing see ourselves as God’s handiwork. We allow those insecurities and the lies that go with them to cause us to doubt.
If you have been saved you can live with that assurance and that confidence and security.
Are there hurts, habits, or hang-ups that create doubt and keep you from living in assurance of your salvation? What are some practical things you can do when doubt creeps in?
Every one of us experiences a moment of doubt, and it can be helpful to have tools like prayer, journaling and verse memorization to fall back on and remind you of God’s truth. Something as simple as keeping the verses from this week’s message on index cards in our desk or toolbox or or glove box can become a powerful word of truth to strengthen us.
Gene encouraged everyone to memorize 1 John 5:13. Commit to memorizing it this week. Spend time praying for each other to overcome the things that keep you from resting in the assurance of your salvation.