Bible Study: Our Relationship with God

Read the Following Passages:

Galatians 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

Ephesians 2:3 Like the rest, we were by nature objects of (God’s) wrath.

Romans 8:15-17 You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (in Greek: adoption). And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Ephesians 1:4-6 [God] chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Romans 8:9-10 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Romans 3:22 Righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

Ephesians 2:10 We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Discussion Questions:

1. What relationship do people who are not Christians have with their “gods”?

2. What relationship do all people have with the true God by nature?

3. Many people say, “God hates sin but loves sinners.” What does God say about this in the Bible?

4. What new relationship do we have with God as Christians?

5. How did we achieve this new relationship with God?

6. How can sinners be holy people before God?

7. How can we tell what God’s will is for our lives?

8. Before making life issues decisions should we ask ourselves “What would God want me to do?” and say a prayer asking God to guide us to the right choice?

9. What if we don’t know what the Bible says we should do?

Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for leading us out of our slavery to sin and adopting us as your children by faith in Jesus our Savior. May your Holy Spirit guide our faith through your word so that we can know and follow your will in our lives, and thus glorify you as our God and Lord. We ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


Answers to Discussion Questions:

1. What relationship do people who are not Christians have with their “gods”?
They are kept in a position of slavery to their “gods” because of their fear of these supposed beings.

2. What relationship do all people have with the true God by nature?
All people by nature are sinful. Our sins make God angry at us and bring his condemnation and punishment upon us.

3. Many people say, “God hates sin but loves sinners.” What does God say about this in the Bible?
God does not forbid “sin” in the commandments, but “sinning.” “Sin” is not the object of God’s anger, sinners are. God does not punish “sin,” only sinners. There is no such thing as “sin” without sinners who commit it. That is why we sinners were the objects of God’s wrath, and not just our sins. This idea is therefore wrong, and it does lead people to ignore God’s will and to sin against him.

4. What new relationship do we have with God as Christians?
As Christians we are God’s children and heirs.

5. How did we achieve this new relationship with God?
God adopted us as his children through our faith in Christ Jesus. This faith was created in us by God’s Holy Spirit, who now lives in us and guides us in living for God by faith.

6. How can sinners be holy people before God?
(A.) God forgives our sins and declares us righteous before him through our faith in Jesus Christ, who paid for our sins with his suffering and death in our place. (B.) As his children by faith in Christ, God now calls us to follow the voice of his Holy Spirit in the Bible instead of following the sinful desires of our human nature. This dedication to following God and living his way is the basic meaning of the word “holy” in the Bible.

7. How can we tell what God’s will is for our lives?
God has told us what is right and wrong in his Law in the Bible. The 10 Commandments are one brief summary of this Law, Dr. Martin Luther fleshed out what God says in Scripture in his explanations to the commandments.

8. Before making life issues decisions should we ask ourselves “What would God want me to do?” and say a prayer asking God to guide us to the right choice?
No, that flings the door wide open for our human nature to make the real decision, while we pretend it was God guiding us. The questions which we should ask are, “What does God tell me to do in the Scriptures,” and “What did Jesus and his apostles do under similar circumstances?” Then search the Bible for the right answer. This is what St. Paul means when he says that God “prepared in advance” the good works which he wants us to do in our lives.

9. What if we don’t know what the Bible says we should do?
Ask your pastor for guidance and advice. Study your Bible daily to grow in your knowledge of God’s will. It is there that God’s Holy Spirit speaks to you to strengthen your faith and to guide you in your life.

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