LifeGroup Resource Guide for the week of 5 October

Romans 5.1-11 is one of the most thematically dense passages of the New Testament. These verses are not easy to label because Paul mentions so many different topics: “peace with God”/“reconciliation” (vv. 1, 10, 11), “access to grace” (v. 2), hope in the glory of God and for final salvation (vv. 2, 5, 9, 10), joy in suffering (vv. 3–4), and God’s love for us (vv. 5–8).

One thing is clear: these verses reveal the importance of the term "grace". Grace reminds us that God intervenes on behalf of his rebellious creation out of his own free will and without any obligation (see 4:4–5). But what we sometimes forget, and what Paul’s words in 5:2 remind us of, is that grace stands over the entire Christian experience. We not only get into relationship with God by grace; we live out that relationship day-by-day by grace. Thus, we must never fall into the trap of thinking that we can put grace behind us.

We can never outgrow grace. Our relationship with God is the fruit of His gracious visitation. The blessings (friends, fellowship, opportunities) we enjoy are an expression of His grace. Here is a simple truth: every dimension of the Christian life is lived out within the sphere of God's grace in Jesus. Grace is both our "gravity" and it is our "oxygen". Sever gravity's pull and you will find yourself adrift in a spiritual universe that is filled with hundreds of alternatives that ultimately express some version of legalism. Deprive yourself of oxygen and you will suffocate in a spiritual vacuum of insecurity with God because only grace can embrace us with God's love and assurance.

LifeGroups are a great place to welcome and celebrate God's grace together…

ENJOY your LifeGroup!

Mark

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