Lesson 13: A Humanitarian by Giving Us Saving Faith
Study Guide Pages 100-107
Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus arrived. Many mourners had gathered to comfort Lazarus’ two sisters, Mary and Martha. They all accompanied Jesus as he visited Lazarus’ tomb. At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary as Jesus wept at the death of his friend. But suddenly it all changed! Jesus ordered them to roll away the stone from the tomb’s entrance. Then he cried out, “Lazarus, come forth.” And he came out!
Talk about a mind-blowing sight. Here is a man who had been dead four days coming out of his tomb. If this wasn’t enough, we get the impression he didn’t walk out normally because Scripture says he was bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and Jesus had to tell the people to unbind him. It had to be a jaw-dropping, unforgettable experience for all who witnessed it. We can well imagine them telling their friends and family about it for years to come.
What happened to Lazarus physically happens spiritually to everybody who believes in Jesus. Conversion is nothing less than a spiritual resurrection. Scripture says:
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)Ephesians 2:4-5
Quickened is a word we don’t use much anymore. It means to make alive. God makes the spiritually dead alive. He does this by giving them faith in Jesus. In other words, he causes a conversion to happen within them. Instead of thinking they must do things to live with God for all eternity, they now believe and trust that Jesus has already done everything necessary for that to happen.
Just like Lazarus couldn’t do anything to be raised from the dead, neither could they – or you. Conversion is entirely a work of God. Faith itself is a gift of God. This is how wonderful God is.
Key Bible Verses
By nature, we were spiritually dead, but in his great mercy, our God has made us spiritually alive. We now enjoy God’s spiritual blessings of forgiveness, hope, peace, joy, and much more.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Paul clarifies that believing, having faith in our Savior, is not something we can do or even help to do. Faith is a gift of God’s grace, worked by the Holy Spirit.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Questions to Consider
- Jesus’ friend Lazarus was dead in the grave for four days before Jesus raised him. Why did Jesus wait so long to bring his friend back to life?
- What did Jesus prove when he raised Lazarus back from the dead?
- The Bible tells us that God loved us even when we were dead in our sins. What does this kind of love tell us about God?
- Just as physically dead people cannot bring themselves back to life, so spiritually dead people are unable to make themselves spiritually alive. How does someone then come to have faith in Jesus?
- Agree/disagree: Some people are better prospects for conversion than others.
- Explain: Saving faith is specifically and solely trusting in Jesus’ saving acts for us.
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