Phillip Yancey called grace “the last great word.” It is the one thing that differentiates Christianity from all other religions. Only Christianity presents the idea that God loves us unconditionally without strings attached, without demands, and without exceptions. Christianity alone dares to make the love of God unconditional. In the first century, people were categorized in a variety of ways as either good and bad. When Jesus came, He shattered that idea by the way he lived his life and taught. He changed the way people thought about God and about others.
1. ”Guilt doesn’t disqualify you from grace. It is the prerequisite for grace." Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Was this how you viewed grace before? Does this change anything about how you think about grace?
2. Do you think that the message of grace has been under-emphasized in the American church? Why or why not?
3. What can we learn about God from Jesus’ story about the shepherd and woman in Luke 15?
4. To religious people, the statement, “Who you are is more important to God that what you’ve done,” can be disturbing. Do you really think most people believe that you are more important to God than your past? Why or why not?
5. Why is it important to understand that God doesn’t get angry at lost things?
6. Do you have a different perspective of how God views you as his son or daughter now? Have you changed your perspective of why God hates sin?
7. The Father welcomed back the prodigal son without strings attached, without demands, or requirements. Jesus said that is how you should think about God. How can thinking of God like that affect our lives in practical ways?
No matter how far from or near to God you are, take the next step you can towards Him.
John 3:17 (NIV) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.