growth group week nine:
Understanding Grace (Part 1)

Week 9
Day 1: Luke 13-14
Day 2: Luke 15-16
Day 3: Luke 17-18
Day 4: Luke 19-20
Day 5: Luke 21-22

Section 2 “I Will Make You”

Our first section of this discipleship curriculum was focused on the “Follow Me” part of the Matthew 4:19 passage. In this second section we will be focussing on the “And I will make you” part pf our theme verse and we will look at how the Lord MAKES us into His instruments for disciple making. As we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ He is the one that transforms us into His image. In fact, Romans 8:29 gives us a promise that through God's grace we will be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. This is God’s work. This is God's promise. This is God’s amazing grace.
In the weeks to come we will look at the practical ways that God conforms us into the image of His Son. This is what we call the “Sanctifying process of salvation.” Or in layman's terms, “how we grow in our walk with God to become what He has created us for.”

Memory verse: 

Romans 8:29a. 
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…

Focal passage: Romans 8:29–39 (Read Together)

If we are going to truly follow Christ and be His disciples, we need to realize that the only way we can do this is through His grace. The grace of God will strengthen you in your walk with God and empower you to live a victorious Christian life. This is the key for us to be able to move forward and to grow with the Lord. It is through God's grace that Jesus will make you into the instrument that He has called you to be.

What is Grace? Grace is God's unmerited favor upon you. Meaning that God loves you not because of who you are or what you've done, but simply because He loves you. Meaning that, God cannot love you more or less than He already does. In fact, God knows everything about you. Yes. He knows all of your sins! And in spite of that, He has chosen to favor you and call you His own. Think about it. Before you were saved God already knew your past, present, and future sins and in light of that He chose to set His love upon you and call you to Himself. God's love will never be altered by what we do for Him or what we do against Him. In Romans 8:29–30 we see that God knows everything about us and with that knowledge He has set His love upon us and declared that we will be conformed to the image of His Son. In verse 30, Paul sees our salvation as if it has already been completed. This is what scholars call,  “already but not yet.” Which simply means that from God's point of view, it's a finished work but in our lives practically, we are still in process. But you must know this! God has declared that you are going to make it! You are going to be conformed to the image of Jesus. This beautiful truth of God’s amazing grace and incredible love is very difficult for many believers to comprehend and live their lives based upon. In Romans 8:31–39, Paul is summoning up our response to God's amazing grace. He boldly and powerfully declares in the beginning of verse 31, “What then shall we say to these things?” In other words, “What is your response to the grace of God?” According to Paul, it’s to believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

In the next several weeks we are going to look at the grace of God from several different angles. The apostle Peter refers to the manifold grace of God in 1 Peter 4:10. The word “manifold” means "Many sided or many colored”. The grace of God has many different aspects for us to examine, much like a diamond has many different sides to it, or facets. In these next several weeks we are going to take a look at the different sides of God's grace as we survey Romans 1-8. I encourage you to meditate in this section of scripture as much as possible as we go through it these next several weeks.

  1. Do you think you understand the grace of God? Please define in your own words what the grace of God means to you.
  2. When you sin are you quick to repent and approach God? Or do you feel like you need to wait a little bit as if God was angry with you and there needs to be some time between you and Him before you talk to Him again? Why do you think that is?
  3. When you sin, do you feel like God doesn't love you the same as when you are walking in righteousness? Why do you think that is?
  4. When you are doing really good in your walk with the Lord, do you feel like the Lord loves you more than at other times when you are struggling? Why do you think that is?
  5. Do you feel like the grace of God is producing spiritual growth in your life? If so, please give some examples of how you have grown through grace.

Action steps:
  • Be committed to read Romans 1–8 the next several weeks and pray that God would open up your heart to the gospel of His grace. 
  • Next time you feel like God must be fed up with you, approach Him through prayer knowing that He loves you and and accepts you based on what His Son did for you at the cross and not on anything you have done or haven't done.