bad news - good news
Passport - Week 1
Week 1 of Passport covers 5 facets of our salvation:
1. Saved or Rescued
3. Born Again
4. Redeemed from Slavery
Titus 3:3-8 is an excellent summary of all the facets. Read the passage all the way through once and then read it slowly again asking, Which image of salvation goes with each verse or phrase in the passage?
3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.
Which of the 5 facets speaks to you the most and why?
Which facet would be good for you to spend some time thinking about and why?
Some people really struggle with the concept of grace - that salvation is free gift that we receive by repenting of our sin and believing in Jesus. They say, "There's no free lunch." So they feel that have to add their own goodness to God's grace. Have you struggled with grace as well? How and why? What does verse 5 and 8 say to this?
What does the story of the thief on the cross say about the relationship of our goodness to God's grace?
Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Many also struggle with the assurance of salvation. They doubt if they are really saved. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being no assurance of salvation and 10 being full assurance of salvation) where is your assurance? How could you move yourself toward a perfect 10?
What does 1 John 5:13 have to say about this?
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
In Day 2 on page 15 there was this reflection exercise:
Reflection: Take a few moments to be quiet and imagine this story again. Imagine yourself as the lost son or daughter. As you think about turning to God, what words do you think of saying to him? Imagine yourself a long way from “God’s house”. You look up and see that your Father God is running toward you. What does he do? What does he say? What do you say? Write down your thoughts.
Take some time to once again reflect on this. What did you imagine or write down?
And Day 3 ends with this "sinner's prayer" or better yet, salvation prayer. Have you made this prayer your own? Do you remember when that happen? When was it and what were the circumstances? if you can't remember when, do you know that it has happened in your life?
I want to be your child. I want to know you. I want the spiritual life that is found only in you. I acknowledge that I cannot make myself your child and that my sin makes me your enemy. Forgive my sin and the selfishness of my heart. I trust that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection give me the right to be called your child. Give me the life of this new birth. Holy Spirit, live in me. Come, Lord. I love you, Father. In the name of Jesus, I ask this. Amen.