SWAG through Faith!

Part 1: Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Gracious God, free us to live the lives you prepared for us.
Guide us to live in your love.
Help us to leave our old lives behind,
To live in your gracious gift of life
Given to us by Your Son, Jesus Christ
Our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

Part 2: Story

SWAG Through Faith! As Lutherans we believe we are Saved by Grace through Faith.

SWAG is

Saved
With
Amazing
Grace

Here is the song from which the title of this lesson was taken by AGAPE*

Here is a song by Jonathan Rundman  which might be a little easier to understand

And here is a song about faith…

Part 3: Message

Read Ephesians 2:8-10:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God
9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

So this assertion we are saved by grace through faith makes me think of at least 3 questions:

What does it mean we are saved?
What is grace?
What is faith?

What does it mean to be saved?

Salvation is not based on us. It is not saying the correct pray, or doing the right things.

Salvation is a freeing from our sins and our past to the life God has prepared for us.

Salvation is a relationship with our creator.

Being saved in the scriptures includes:

freedom from slavery of any kind
welcoming back into relationship with God (a homecoming)
healing
assurance of eternal life

What is Grace?

Grace is the unmerited love of God given to us freely.

Desmond Tutu said “there is nothing we can do to make God love us more because God already loves us perfectly. [And] there is absolutely nothing we can do to make God love us less” (from a sermon at St. Paul’s Chapel, Manhattan, Feb. 26, 2005). This is Grace!

What is Faith?

Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith is trust. Faith is hope. Faith is love.

So what does it mean we are saved by grace through faith?

Martin Luther said that our faith is a gift from God. It is not something we do, but is something God does in and through us.  Luther said in his explanation of the third article of the Apostle’s Creed, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.”

Faith as Grace is a gift of God. It is nothing we do. Our Salvation then is a gift from God through the love and mercy of Christ to trust in God the Father and follow the plan to bring us into relationship with Him.

Here are 2 other Lutheran pastors’ answers to what does it mean to be saved by grace through faith.

Part 4: Learn and Engage

For Learning and engaging, please ask your parent what each of these words means, saved, grace, and faith. The ask them what it means to be saved by grace through faith. Comment below on the conversation you had.

You could tell them you want to interview them and ask them 4 simple questions:

  1. What does it mean to be saved?
  2. What is grace?
  3. What is faith?
  4. What does it mean to be saved by grace through faith?

Comment below on the conversation you had.

Then also include in the comment if your understanding of saved, grace, and faith has changed through this lesson, or because of the conversation with your parents.

Part 5: Closing Prayer

Let us pray.
Merciful God,
your Son was gave His life as a ransom for many,
and helped all of those in need.
Guide us to be just like your Son,
to live our lives outloud.
To give to the needy,
to help the down trouden,
to uphold His love for all creation.
Guide us to give the mercy we have received from him, Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.