C – The Doctrine of Grace

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C – The Doctrine of Grace2017-03-30T17:07:01-04:00


The doctrine of grace involves our posture with God and others.  Is our understanding of our relationship with Jesus Christ based on his work on the cross or on our efforts to prove ourselves worthy to him?  What are the implications of grace as we relate to God?  What are the implications of grace in how we live?  What are the implications of grace in how we treat others?  Because of the grace we have received, do we practice grace with others in the form of righteousness, love, patience, forgiveness and service?  Grace is what distinguishes Christianity from religion and makes it a relationship.  How well do we understand the grace we have received and the impact it should have on our thinking, our attitudes and our behavior?


Key Scriptures are designed to give a biblical overview of the topic in question.  They are extremely valuable for gaining an immediate general understanding of what the Bible teaches on a given subject.  Key Scriptures are the first place you should explore when starting a new subject.  They can be discussed individually, in part, or in whole.  Generic inductive Bible study questions are provided to assist you in your discussion.  Key Scriptures are also good for memorizing and reference.


Proverbs 3:34 – He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. NIV

Isaiah 26:10 – Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the LORD. NIV

Colossians 1:6 – All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. NIV

1 Peter 1:13 – Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. NIV

1 Peter 5:5 – God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. NIV

See also Jonah 2:8, 2 Corinthians 6: 1-2 & James 4:6

Saved by grace

Acts 15:11 – No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” NIV

Acts 18:27-28 – On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. NIV

Galatians 2:21 – I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” NIV

Titus 2:11 – For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. NIV

See also 1 Peter 1:10 & John 1:17

Seasoned with grace

Luke 2:40 – And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. NIV

John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. NIV

Acts 4:33-34 – With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. NIV

Acts 6:8 – Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. NIV

2 Timothy 2:1 – You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. NIV

Inductive Bible Study Questions

to be used with individual Key Scriptures

  • What is the primary point of this passage?
  • How does this passage challenge us?
  • How does this passage comfort or encourage us?
  • What does this passage teach us about God?
  • What spiritual insights are found in this passage?
  • What are the personal & spiritual implications of this text?
  • What does this passage ask or require of us?

Key Scriptures Bible Study

to be used when studying all Key Scriptures together

  • Did any of the scriptures given surprise you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given confuse you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given comfort or excite you?
  • How would you sum up these scriptures to another?
  • What implications do these scriptures have for our lives?
  • Which of these scriptures would you find it valuable to memorize?


C01 – The One who was Pierced – Zechariah 12:10

Key Words: Grace, Cross, Salvation, Messiah, Prophecy, Sacrifice

  1. Who is the one who was pierced?
  2. Why was Jesus pierced or crucified?
  3. What grace do you suppose the text is referring to when it says he will pour out a spirit of grace?
  4. Does pouring out imply a spirit of liberality; if so, how does this apply to grace?
  5. If supplication means to earnestly or humbly beg, what supplication is God referring to?
  6. Do you suppose the prophet is referring to the people’s intense desire for the coming Messiah… explain?
  7. What clues does the prophet give regarding the nature of this Messiah?
  8. Why is the mourning/sacrifice necessary for the grace?
  9. Why is the cross such a bitter sweet event?
  10. How does this prophecy given centuries before Christ validate Jesus and his sacrifice for us today?
  • Approach all scripture prayerfully open
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C02 – Standing in God’s Grace – Romans 5: 1-11

Key Words: Grace, Salvation, Remnant, Forgiveness

  1. What benefits of salvation are given in verses 1-2?
  2. How does verse 2 identify grace?
  3. Would you say the passage indicates that grace is a state in our relationship with God?
  4. What does it mean to “stand in grace?”
  5. How does the rest of the passage describe the benefits for those who stand in grace?
  6. List the benefits of standing in grace.
  7. How does God work on behalf of those who stand in grace?
  8. List the ways God is active in the lives of those who stand in grace.
  9. Which aspect of salvation and the Christian life would be considered by grace?
  10. Do you have a hard time believing that your sins are forgiven?
  11. How does/would knowing that you are forgiven change your life?
  • Approach God’s Word with humility, honesty and teachability
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C03 – Chosen by Grace – Romans 11: 1-6

Key Words: Grace, Remnant, Works

  1. Chapter 10 speaks of the unbelief and unfaithfulness of Israel, how are these verses a continuation of that thought?
  2. Paul asks if God rejects his people Israel; what is the answer to that question?
  3. What is the point of the reference to Elijah and the prophets of Baal?
  4. God has always reserved a remnant, how is the remnant in Israel chosen?
  5. How does verse 2 indicate it was God’s plan to reserve a remnant?
  6. Who is the remnant today?
  7. How is the remnant chosen?
  8. What happens when we try to come to God by works?
  9. What happens when we begin to measure our spirituality by works?
  10. How can we tell if our spirituality is based primarily on works or grace?
  • These questions are only suggestions, allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C04 – Grace Verses Works – Ephesians 2: 4-9

Key Words: Grace, Works, Faith, Salvation

  1. What motivates God to forgive us and lavish his grace upon us?
  2. What triggers grace in our lives?
  3. With what concept does Paul contrast with faith?
  4. How are faith and works two completely different ways to relate to God?
  5. What does it look like to approach God by works?
  6. What does it look like to approach God by faith?
  7. Does grace sound too good to be true?
  8. How do we naturally desire to relate to God: grace or works?
  9. How do we continue in grace without falling back into works?
  10. What would you say to the idea that faith is a work?
  11. Does this passage associate faith with grace or with works?
  12. What does verse 10 reveal about the role of works in the life of a Christian?
  • These questions are simply a foundation for you to build upon
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C05 – Mercy and Love – Titus 3: 4-8

Key Words: Grace, Salvation, Spiritual Rest, God’s Love, Mercy, Holy Spirit, Justified

  1. What three words does Paul use to describe God’s motivation in saving us?
  2. Do we deserve God’s kindness, mercy and love?
  3. How does verse 5 say we are saved?
  4. How does verse 7 say we are justified?
  5. How are we made just before God?
  6. According to verse 5, what is the role of the Holy Spirit in our salvation?
  7. What does it mean to be heirs, and what are we heirs of?
  8. What is the hope of the justified? How do we obtain all these things?
  9. How much credit can we take for salvation?
  10. Does knowing this take the pressure off to impress God?
  11. How do you feel about God knowing that God feels this way about you?
  12. Does knowing this enable you to relax or rest in your relationship with God?
  • Create your own study by adding and subtracting questions as needed
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C06 – Justified by Faith – Romans 3: 21-30

Key Words: Justified, Faith, Law, Works, Righteousness, Self-Righteousness

  1. With what does Paul juxtapose faith in this passage?
  2. How and why are faith/grace and law/works two different approaches to God?
  3. Whose righteousness counts in a law approach to God?
  4. Who does the work in a law approach to God?
  5. Whose righteousness counts in a faith approach to God?
  6. Who does the work in a faith approach to God?
  7. According to the passage who is this righteousness in Christ available to?
  8. What did Christ do for us that we may be justified by faith?
  9. How does the text respond to those who boast in their own spirituality?
  10. How does Paul respond to those who are self-righteous?
  11. What should our attitude be towards those who have not yet found the grace we have found?
  • Your questions are probably better than mine
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C07 – The Triumph of Grace – Romans 5: 15-21

Key Words: Grace, Gift of Salvation, Sin, Law

  1. How many times does Paul use the word “gift” in verses 15-17?
  2. What is a gift?
  3. What happens when we try to earn a gift?
  4. What gift do you suppose Paul is talking about?
  5. Verse 15 twice indicates that the gift is by grace, in what way is salvation by grace?
  6. How many times does Paul use the word “trespass” in these same verses?
  7. How is Paul contrasting gift and trespass in this text?
  8. What does the trespass accomplish?
  9. What does the gift accomplish?
  10. Explain verse 20. How does the law increase sin?
  11. How does grace increase as sin increases?
  12. Verse 21 refers to grace reigning in righteousness which means right relationship. How does sin impact our relationship with God?
  13. How does grace remedy or rule over the sin in our lives that leads to death?
  • Interrogatives are keys that unlock wonderful secrets 
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C08 – Rest for the Weary – Matthew 11: 28-29

Key Words: Grace, Spiritual Rest, Humble Jesus, Peace, Religion, Following Jesus, Relationship with God

  1. Describe the kind of rest Jesus is referring to in this passage?
  2. How is the yoke or burden of Jesus lite and easy?
  3. Why do so many Christians find it hard to rest in their relationship with God?
  4. What is it about religion that often makes people weary and burdened?
  5. Should Christ’s commands be onerous or life-giving… explain?
  6. How do we sometimes make the commands of Christ onerous?
  7. Why should a relationship with Jesus be different from the way most people relate to God?
  8. In what specific ways should grace make a difference in how Christians live and relate to God?
  9. Why do so many Christians miss this and insist on relating to God through rules and performance religion?
  10. What should we keep in mind for our relationship with Christ to always bring peace, contentment, joy and rest?
  • Be like a detective who interrogates scripture 
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C09 – Living by Grace – 2 Timothy 1: 8-10

Key Words: Grace, Living by Grace, Suffering, Following Jesus, Power

  1. Christians like to think of being saved by grace, what does Paul add to that in verse 9?
  2. Does this passage indicate that holy living is also by grace… explain?
  3. Does the text indicate that boldness and suffering for the gospel are works of grace… explain?
  4. What is the relationship between the “Power of God” mentioned in verse 8 and the grace mentioned in verse 9?
  5. How and why do people need grace in everyday life?
  6. In what specific areas of your life do you need grace?
  7. Is it even possible to effectively live the Christian life without grace… explain?
  8. What does it mean to walk in grace or live in grace?
  9. What does it mean to not walk or live in grace?
  10. According to the text, where does this grace or power to live come from?
  11. How do we access this grace and power to live?
  • The insight is found in scripture; questions are simply tools to mine the ore
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C10 – Grace and Glory – 2 Corinthians 4:15

Key Words: Grace, God’s Glory, Gratitude, Self-Righteousness, Pride, Righteousness

  1. What does grace accomplish according to verse 15?
  2. How does grace result in thanksgiving to God?
  3. How does grace result in glory to God?
  4. How much can we boast in our own spirituality?
  5. Who should receive all the credit for any spiritual work in our lives?
  6. How should this impact our pride? …our being judgmental?  …our being self-righteous?  …our being critical towards others?  …our being gracious and forgiving?
  7. What happens in our relationship with others when we believe we are the source of our own spirituality or righteousness?
  8. What happens in our relationship with others when we truly rest in God’s righteousness?
  9. Based on insight from this passage, how should we as Christians carry ourselves before others?
  • Follow the lines of curiosity 
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C11 – Trampling Grace – Hebrews 10: 26–31

Key Words: Grace, Trampling Grace, Sin, Repentance

  1. How does the Lord view those who pursue sin once they have heard the knowledge of the truth?
  2. How do such people trample Christ underfoot?
  3. How do they insult the spirit of grace?
  4. We all continue to sin after we become Christians, so is this verse talking about Christians who stumble while trying to seek God?
  5. Who then is it speaking of?
  6. Describe the attitude of a person who does this?
  7. Would you say this person has ever truly repented of their sins?
  8. How does the attitude and life of such a person run contrary to true repentance?
  9. Is there any indication such a person is saved?
  10. How should a knowledge of Christ impact our view of sin?
  • Group leaders may wish to consult a commentary for background information 
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C12 – Abusing Grace – Romans 6: 1-18

Key Words: Grace, Trampling Grace, Sin, Spiritual Death

  1. Describe the rationale of Christians who feel they can live however they want because they are under grace?
  2. What does this text say to that mindset?
  3. What does Christ save us from?
  4. What does sin and death accomplish in our lives?
  5. How does sin lead to misery and bondage?
  6. Do some people desire to use their freedom in Christ to go back into bondage… explain?
  7. Why is Paul so distressed about people who seek out sin while under grace?
  8. How and why does he express concern about them personally?
  9. What specific danger are they in?
  10. What do such people misunderstand about sin?
  11. What do such people misunderstand about grace?
  • Group leaders may wish to consult a commentary for background information 
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C13 – Grace, a License for Immorality? – Jude 4 – 13

Key Words: Grace, Trampling Grace, Sin, Spiritual Leaders

  1. What does it mean to use grace as a license for immorality?”
  2. How does the text describe those who turn the grace of God into a license for immorality?
  3. How does this deny Christ?
  4. Why would Jude emphasize Jesus as our sovereign and Lord in verse 4?
  5. What kind of behavior are these men accused of in this passage?
  6. Describe the type of spirituality they promote.
  7. Are these men true spiritual leaders?
  8. How should we respond to leaders who lives or teach ideas that run counter to scripture?
  9. When should we demonstrate grace towards our spiritual leaders?
  10. What does this text teach regarding the types of leaders we should reject?
  11. What does it teach regarding the types of leaders we should seek?
  • There are no greater tools for effective Bible study than humility, honesty, and diligence
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C14 – A People of Grace – Colossians 4:5-6

Key Words: Grace, Living by Grace, Speech, Christlikeness

  1. How do we extend or exhibit grace to others?
  2. Why do you suppose Paul encouraged believers to have their conversations be full of grace and seasoned with salt?
  3. How does salt work in food?
  4. How does grace work in relationships?
  5. Describe a person whose conversation is full of grace?
  6. What do both verses 5 and 6 reveal as the reason for being gracious?
  7. Contrast gracious with ungracious speech.
  8. How does ungracious speech reflect on believers?
  9. How is such grace wise as the text indicates?
  10. How does grace provide and make the most of every opportunity?
  11. How does grace enable and empower us to answer everyone?
  12. How does grace enable us to emulate and represent Christ well?
  • You are responsible for your level of engagement
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C15 – Growing in Grace – 2 Peter 3:18

Key Words: Grace, Christlikeness, Living by Grace, Spirituality

  1. How do we embrace and demonstrate grace in our lives?
  2. What does it mean to grow in the grace of Jesus Christ?
  3. How do we grow in grace with others?
  4. How do we grow in grace with God?
  5. The text pairs growing in grace with growing in knowledge, are grace and knowledge related… how are they related?
  6. What does an ungracious Christian look like?
  7. How does an ungracious Christian reflect on Jesus?
  8. How do we grow in what some call, “un-grace?”
  9. Why is growing in grace essential for true spirituality or Christlikeness?
  • Go beyond the obvious by avoiding “Yes” or “No” answers
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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C16 –Grace on Display – 1 Peter 4:10

Key Words: Grace, Living by Grace, Gift of Salvation

  1. Does it surprise you that the Greek word for gift is related to grace?
  2. How are gift and grace related in our culture?
  3. What does this text say about why we give grace to others?
  4. What is the source of the grace we give?
  5. What does an ungracious Christian reveal about him or herself?
  6. Make a list of the forms of grace you have received from God.
  7. How can or should you administer these gifts back to others?
  8. In what way are people who in turn share the grace they have received faithful?
  9. How easy is it to share grace with others if we have not fully accepted grace in our own lives?
  10. What do you need to do to more fully embrace God’s grace?
  11. What do you need to do to more fully express or share God’s grace?
  • Sit and think before answering
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C17 – The Blessings of Grace

The following verses reveal various aspect of the Christian life that come through grace.  As you review and study these verses, pay attention to how much of the Christian life is attained through our own effort and how much is attained by simply yielding to God and his work in our lives.  The following list is a sober reminder of how dependent we should be on God.  Ask the following questions of each of these verses:

  1. What does this verse teach regarding the manifestation of grace in my life?
  2. What is the difference between seeking this quality on my own verses resting in God?
  3. What area of my relationship with God should this new grace improve?
  4. What is the attitude this new grace ought to produce in my heart?
  5. What is the posture towards others this new grace ought to produce in my life?

John 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1: 4-5 – All Blessings are from God’s grace.

Acts 20:32 – God’s word is an expression of his grace.

Romans 1:5-6 – Calling for ministry is an expression of his grace

Romans 12:3-4 – Self awareness and understanding come as a result of God’s grace.

Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 3: 10; Ephesians 4: 7-12; 1 Peter 4: 10 – Spiritual gifts and abilities come through God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 15:10-11 – Ministry commitment and faithfulness come through God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 1:12 – Personal holiness and character come through God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 2 Corinthians 9: 14 – Giving and generosity come through God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 9:8 – Supply for ministry comes through God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – Strength in hard times comes through God’s grace.

Ephesians 3:2-3 – Spiritual insight and understanding come through God’s grace.

Ephesians 3:7-9 – Ministry calling and understanding come through God’s grace.

2 Thessalonians 1:12 – God’s glory in our lives comes through God’s grace.

1 Timothy 1:13-14 – Faith and love come through God’s grace.

Hebrews 4:16 – God’s mercy in times of need comes through God’s grace.

Hebrews 13:9-10 – Spiritual maturity comes through God’s grace.

1 Peter 5:10-11 – Steadfastness and faithfulness come through God’s grace.

  • Sit and think before answering
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  1. Sit down and make an exhaustive list of the various blessings and resources you have in your life: possessions, abilities, relationships, spiritual realities, etc… Go through the list and examine how each one is given to you by the grace of God.  Spend time thanking God for gift he has given you.
  2. Once you have examined the various graces you have received, make a list of 10 ways you can pass on the grace given to you. Discuss with your coach.  Ask your coach to hold you accountable for implementing these in your life.
  3. Using a computer based concordance find all of the times in scripture where grace is contrasted with law or works. Examine the similarity to these passages and what each individual passage adds to your understanding of the text.  Discuss with your coach.
  4. Christians are good at being saved by grace, but not so good at living by grace. Make a list of at least 10 implications of grace in your daily life?  Discuss with your coach.
  5. Look at the beginning and end of all the New Testament books starting with Romans noting how many start and end with salutations and benedictions of grace. You should find a total of 31 different entries encompassing nearly every single book.  Examine each of these verses.  Reflect on the significance of the writings of nearly every New Testament book being sandwiched with exhortations of grace.   Meditate on this incredible reality.  Discuss with your coach.


  1. What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancy
  2. Healing Grace – David Seamands
  3. Accidental Pharisees – Larry Osborne
  4. 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe – Larry Osborne
  5. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennen Manning
  6. Chosen but Free by Norman Geisler
  7. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
  8. Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton
  9. Radical Forgiveness: God’s Call to Unconditional Love – Brian Zahnd
  10. Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine – Max Lucado
  11. The Case for Grace – Lee Strobel