Freedom From Earned

Genesis 15:1–6, Romans 5:1–11, 1 John 1:5–2:2

One of the ongoing struggles that people have is earning their salvation. They think they can, or that they must. This is what is often called “works” in Christian circles. Theologians have discussed what “works” is from a more philosophical perspective. Some have d that Abraham completed a “work” when he believed. Others that belief is not a work as it is not an (especially an to receive something in return).

follows Abraham when he states that we (Christians) have been declared because of our . Because of that, we have between us and God. However, it’s what follows this that starts to cause problems for many. People will wear the costume of endurance, , and , often treating the costume as a way (still) to earn salvation, as if is not enough. The other “costume” problem is that we often think of ourselves as never having enough endurance, or . We then conclude we don’t have . This is a significant trap. If we have no improvement in the simple things, how could we to improve in the harder areas…like sin.

There is great freedom, if we accept in, in John’s words. There is a statement of fact: we have sinned. However, the forgiveness of our sins doesn’t rely on our effort (our works). It relies on Jesus’ sacrifice. We are to (i.e., have ) that it is enough. “Works” as help us train our minds and hearts away from wrong behavior. “Works” cannot us.

1) What good are works (yes, there is good)? What is bad with works?

2) Why do you think it is bad to try to “earn” one’s salvation?

3) Why do you think echoed Abraham’s story? Do you think his audience connected the stories?