This is our continuation on our series called Clear: Theological Foundations of Faith (based from the book written by Chris Folmsbee)
*I was away this particular week, interestingly enough visiting Chris and others in Kansas City. My good friend and colleague Eric “Pelly” Peloquin Follow Pelly on Twitter lead the evening and shared the lesson with the group.
Rather than try to rework his lesson or thoughts, I asked him to contribute to this blog and share with us
So, without further delay, the inaugural blog birth of Pelly…..
This week we looked at, and had a great conversation about Salvation.
Unfortunately Dan was unable to make it out tonight, so I (Pelly) had the honor and privilege to teach. Also the Nyackers where unable to come as well, so it was just me and two other leaders. But we enjoyed every minute of this night!
This chapter was broken down into three basic parts:
What is salvation?
What are the components of salvation?
What does it mean to grow spiritually?
For the opening story of “What is salvation” we looked at an illustration of the difference between camera’s through the ages.
Back in the day we see that old people (who may not have been old then) took 100 pictures to get one good picture. They didn’t have camera’s like there are today, where you can point and shoot, and then look to see if the picture came out perfect.
We looked at this illustration and tied it into our topic of salvation.
Are you the person who (like myself growing up) said 100 “salvation” prayers, because you just didn’t know if you were saved every time you “backslid”. Taking 100 pictures to get the perfect one, to get it right finally.
Are you the person who says the “salvation” prayer once and thinks they can do whatever they want. Because well…. your “saved”. Take one good family picture, and then treat your family like trash right after the picture is taken.
Off of this topic, and illustration, I could see the students thinking about this, it was great!
Like myself growing up, I didn’t know what salvation actually meant. I know for many of our students, they don’t actually know what it means too! God doesn’t want us to question salvation, and more importantly our personal salvation, so he gives us ways that we don’t have to question.
1) We start out in life disconnected from God
2) On our own we remain disconnected from God
3) God chose to be reconnected with us
4) We can start a new life reconnected with God
2 Cor. 5:16-17, Colossians 1:21-23, 1 Pet. 1:23
This brought up some great discussion mostly, on the justice, and love of God.
Because God is “Just” He needs to punish sin, but because He “loves” us so much its hard for Him to punish us. So He sent His Son to take that punishment for us.
It’s almost as if we are in serious trouble, and there is a big punishment coming our way, that needs to be carried out, because of justice. But because our parents love us so much they don’t want us to endure whatever the punishment is, so the step in and take it for us.
The wheels were turning at this point…..
Then we moved into what are the components of salvation?
What does a person need or not need to be “saved”.
I broke the group up and handed out a bunch of verses to each group, and had them read through each one, and tell the rest of the group based off their verses what do we need or not need to be saved?
There was an overwhelming thread of doing God’s will, and believing and following Jesus!
We walked through the general components of salvation:
Person realizes that God’s figure prints are on everything, He created everything.
We start to hear truth preached and see truth happen, the more we see truth the more out of the darkness we step
People start to realize their sin and repent.
We confess, and believe Jesus is Lord, we become a new creation, the old is gone the new has come.
The Holy Spirit takes control of our lives, and will help us make decisions concerning God’s will.
Are you going to be in the game or on the sideline watching the game when it comes to sharing about the impact God has made on your life?
And then we moved into the last section: “What does it mean to grow spiritually?”
We basically looked at the fruits of the spirit, and someone who is living in God’s will, Loving God, and Loving Others, you should see these fruits. We learned that the writer doesn’t say fruits, he says fruit. Meaning you don’t only have a couple of these, but you get them all.
Love: Are you willing to love, or are you focused on yourself, and things of this world.
Joy: Do people get a sense that joy is bursting forth from your life, or are do you live in bitterness.
Peace: Are you content with your life, or insecure.
Patience: Do you take time to enter the world of others, or demand people do things your way.
Kindness: Are you kind to others, or known for speaking against other people
Goodness: Do I practice my faith to help others see God’s goodness, or do i frustrate, and anger people because of my attitude.
Faithfulness: Are you following God’s plan, or selective with the scriptures you read.
Gentleness: Are you a vise holding an unbroken egg, or a vise holding a smashed egg?
Self-Control: Are you watching what your saying and doing, or is your attitude that which you just don’t care.
In conclusion I ended by saying these fruits aren’t just what is supposed to happen when you are growing with Jesus, they make your life easier. You love more, you have joy, your more gentle, you find peace within stress, and so on. Following Jesus is the right way to live, the way He wants us to live
And we ended with this prayer:
Father, I want to keep growing so I remain on the fully alive path you have for me.
Cause me to be uncomfortable with comfort.
Create in me a love for the people I say I love, but don’t show love to.
Inspire me to think, Someone else will do it.
Deepen my understanding of you and my obedience to you.
Help me lead a person to you every day, and then please do your thing.
Show me how to help the Christian around me become fully devoted disciples.
Protect the relationships in my household with your sticky bond of love (try and pray that with out laughing… thanks Chris!)
And bless your church to do mighty things for you!