WHAT IS YOUR "WORKS" ETHIC?
- Key Verse
- For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:3)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Salvation is available to anyone by receiving it through faith as God's free gift.
This life is a lot of work, and we learn early that a strong work ethic will lead to success. In school we strive to complete assignments, pass tests, and make grades to reach an academic standard the school has set. Later in life, we usually get a job (whether inside or outside the home) and work more. It's a lot of effort and pressure. Add in God's standard, which is perfection, and it's quite daunting.
Now imagine if you woke up one day and someone said, "Don't worry. You don't need to work today. It's all taken care of. Just rest." After being hardwired to strive and work hard, an offer like that might not even compute.
In Romans 10, Paul is deeply concerned because even though the Jewish people had a zeal for God they did not understand His righteousness. They were still trying to gain God's favor through their actions and moral living (a works-based approach) rather than through faith. "[T]hat if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
And 2,000 years later, we are still struggling with salvation as a free gift. Often, people go to church, talk church talk and do church things in order to be in good standing with God. But Scripture tells us, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
No work is involved for our salvation. Just faith.
I am someone who has accepted this free gift from God, but I find myself working hard just like the people in this passage to meet my personal standard, the culture's standard, and God's standard. It is futile. My prayer is, "Lord, today help me to rest in the fact the work has already been done."
Discussion Questions1. Have you considered the free gift of God's salvation that is available to you? If not, what is your next step in considering this gift?
2. If you have accepted this gift, what are some ways you find yourself still striving to be acceptable to God?
3. What can you do today to be the "feet of those who bring good news of good things" (Romans 10:15)?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
Romans 8-12 (June 4-9)
Read Romans 12:1-8.
* What does it mean to be a living sacrifice to God?
* How does this show your worship of Him?
* In what ways are you tempted to copy the "patterns of this world"?
* What does it mean to let God transform (change) the way you think? (Read as a family 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Galatians 5:22-26.)
* The Scripture says we all have something that is useful for the church body, what is that "something" in your life?
* Do you know what your gifts and abilities are?
* How can you use these to bring glory to God?
Activity: Get two pieces of blank paper for every person. On the first piece of paper, draw the earth. Within the earth, write or draw the things that represent the "patterns of this world" (examples: being all about money, popularity, success, grades, wearing inappropriate clothes to be "cool," etc.).
On the second piece of paper, draw a bowl of fruit and write all the ways you can be transformed by God changing you.