Big Idea: Even as we are aware of who we were before grace, we focus on God and on our future. It is our constant and abiding status in Christ that releases all of God’s gifts of love, mercy, kindness, life, resurrection, exaltation and glorification.
I. Focus on what God is doing. Contrast then and now, but also what the enemy is doing and what God is doing. So what is God doing?
B. We are loved even when we are not lovely.
II. I am with Him – solidarity with Christ
A. God made us alive together with Christ. (v. 5b)
B. His grace saves us. (v. 5c)
C. Resurrection is linked to glorification.
D. Heaven bound
III. Glory on display
A. God wants to convey his love, grace, mercy and kindness toward us. (v. 7a)
B. This blessing is released in our identity with Christ. (v. 7c)
C. It is in the age to come. (v. 7a)
A. Focus on the right things. Shift your focus. Focus on God and what he is doing.
B. Don’t let the past keep you from what God is doing now and the future God is calling you to.
C. Let Jesus be your only hope.
D. Take the long view.
1) Is Christianity primarily on the defensive or the offensive? Do you personally focus more on what the enemy is doing or on what God is doing?
2) Can you think of a time when you were loved when you felt unlovable? Please share. Who is the most unlovable group in your spheres of relationship? How do you love the unlovable?
3) What is the most amazing table or seat you have ever been at? Tell the story. How did you get there? How did you feel?
4) How much of God’s blessing is for now and how much is for later? Why does God make us wait for so many good gifts?
5) How connected do you feel with Jesus right now? When do you feel most connected with Him? What keeps you from connecting with Christ?
6) How much do you think about heaven? How often do you think about what God has in store for you? Is heaven only for the old and those who are getting ready to die?
7) What one single step of obedience should you take in light of this message? Who will you tell, who will hold you accountable? When will you do it?