Grace in Our Failures

Discussion Guide
ONE Message Series
Grace in Our Failures

“He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (1 Tim 1:12b).

Spend a few minutes reflecting on the themes of grace, assurance of salvation, and security
for God’s people. As background for questions below that are built around Sunday’s primary
text, please read these Scriptures aloud: John 10:27-29, Romans 8:38-39, and 1 John 1:5–2:2.

Sermons for the past few Sundays have focused on faithful discipleship and have been
designed to challenge our church family to embrace the high calling of holiness. Today’s
focus on 2 Timothy 1:9-12 is designed to remind us that God’s love and grace always
surround us – especially in our times of struggle, confusion, or failure.

From verse 9, notice that our text links salvation to a call for holy behavior. (“He has saved us
and called us to a holy life . . .”)

First, notice the order of salvation and holy living. We are not ordered to live a holy life
in order to deserve salvation. Quite the opposite! We are saved by God’s mercy and
then called to honor him with a holy life. (Note: Did Israel keep the 10 Commandments
to deserve rescue from Egypt? Or did God rescue Israel and then give them his
covenant instructions at Mount Sinai?)

Second, look at the strong affirmation of grace. (“Not because of anything we have done
but because of his own purpose and grace.”) Define grace in your own words.

Third, don’t overlook the fact that grace is no “afterthought” on God’s part; it was always
his plan to provide rescue from our human failures. (“This grace was given us in Christ
Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the
appearing of our Savior . . .”)

Does “grace” negate the call to lead a “holy life”? Does the serious pursuit of a “holy life” deny
the reality of “grace” and reduce the gospel to legalism and trying to earn salvation? Explain
how Paul links the two in this text – making them “both/and,” not “either/or.”

The one thing grace does not cover in a Christian’s life is deliberate and unrepented sin.
Contrast a text such as 1 John 1:9 with Hebrews 10:26. How do these verses balance Paul’s
dual theme from our text today?

End your study today by thanking God for the security and assurance that his love, grace, and
mercy provide his people. Ask him to keep your heart tender enough to fear and avoid sin, to
confess failure when you do fail, and to know that Christ’s blood continually cleanses you.

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