“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23 (NLT)

Grace is the comma instead of the period.

What do I mean?

Our sad human story could have ended with a period after those first seven words. “The wages of sin is death.” Period. We have earned it.

God, however, says, “Wait a second, the sentence isn’t over.” He added a comma.

The story doesn’t end. Instead of receiving what we deserve, separation from God forever, we are given the choice of a free gift.

We know what happens if we don’t take the gift, and we know what’s in the gift: life forever with Jesus!

Grace is the gift that says, “I know you don’t deserve this, but I’m yours.”

Use this youth ministry lesson on grace to drive this point home to your students.

Enjoy!

Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth

YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON GRACE

DOWNLOAD THE PDF OF THIS LESSON

Bible: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23 (NLT)

Bottom Line: What is so amazing about grace? Although we deserved to be separated from God forever because of our sin, God sent us Jesus as a free gift so we could be forever friends with God.

OPENING GAME

Supplies Needed: None

Space Requirements: Your normal meeting room will be fine.

HOW TO PLAY THE GAME

This is a lyric/song battle. Depending on the size of your group, either split everyone into two teams or grab about 10 volunteers and split into teams of 5. You will explain that everyone will be given a word, and when it’s your team’s turn, you must sing the lyrics of a song that contain that word.

This will be a battle back and forth. One team will be chosen to go first. They only have 10 seconds before they have to start singing. As soon as their song is accepted, it is the other team’s turn and they have 10 seconds to start singing a song. The team that fails to start singing within 10 seconds first, loses.

Pick random words for each round. Be sure the last word you choose is grace.

TEACH – Grace

The last word in our game was grace, which is our topic for today.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Is there any first long of a song more famous than this one? It has been sung by more people than most other songs ever written. But what does it mean? Grace is at the very core of the Gospel. It is a word that you will hear all the time if you attend church even just a few times a year. Still, it is often misunderstood or even ignored. Let’s look at this universe-altering five-letter word and see how it can and will change your life.

What is grace?

First, let’s take a look at its definition according to dictionary.com:

  • mercy; clemency; pardon:
  • favor or goodwill.

On one hand, grace is similar to mercy. Punishment is deserved, but because of grace, mercy or forgiveness is given instead. On the other hand, it could be somewhat synonymous with kindness and love. If a person is on a teacher’s good side, it could be said that he/she is in the teacher’s “good graces.”

So, we have looked at this definition, but if I’m being honest, this word doesn’t look all that universe-altering.

What is so amazing about grace?

What we deserve.

From the moment you drew your first breath as a baby, you were born with a problem. You entered a world covered with a thick, sticky substance that makes everything filthy. It coats every person who is alive now, just as it has everyone from the beginning of time. This substance is called sin.

This sin separates us from God. God wants to be in a close relationship with us, but this sin separates us all from him.

“For the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23 (NLT)

Well, there you have it, folks. Those are perhaps the most depressing seven words in the Bible.

This “death” is what we deserve for being born with our sin problem. It basically means we deserve to be separated from God forever.

But God wants to be close to us. He wants us to enjoy a relationship with Him. He wants to guide our lives and speak to us. He wants to be our best friend.

So, where does grace come in to play?

Thank God (literally) that those seven words were only the first half of the verse!

“…but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23 (NLT)

Grace is the comma instead of the period.

What do I mean?

Our sad human story could have ended with a period after those first seven words. “The wages of sin is death.” Period. We have earned it.

God, however, says, “Wait a second, the sentence isn’t over.” He added a comma.

The story doesn’t end. Instead of receiving what we deserve, we are given the choice of a free gift.

We know what happens if we don’t take the gift, and we already know what’s in the gift: life forever with Jesus!

Grace is the gift that says, “I know you don’t deserve this, but I’m yours.”

Grace and Forgiveness

Finally, I’d like to look at one more aspect of grace. Sometimes we make the mistake of substituting it with the word forgiveness. Forgiveness is also an amazing word. It is powerful, but it pales in comparison to grace.

Forgiveness is step one. Grace is the completion.

Imagine that you committed a horrible crime. You killed someone who had a family that loved him/her dearly. As you stand before the judge, you already know that your guilty. Everyone knows it. The victim’s parents show amazing strength by telling the judge that they forgive you. How awesome is that! But does it change what’s going to happen next? Not really. The judge will still sentence you for your crime. Forgiveness is step one.

Jesus didn’t stop there.

He gives us grace. Grace says, “I forgive you, and I am taking your punishment for you.” Back to that hypothetical scenario, forgiveness was demonstrated by the parents of the victim. They no longer hold the crime against you, but someone has to pay for the crime. Grace would be like the judge then saying, “What you did deserves the death penalty, but because of how much I love you, I am going to take the electric chair in your place.”

Forgiveness is awesome. Grace is amazing.

They work hand-in-hand when it comes to the way God feels about you.

What’s so amazing about grace? Everything!

You don’t deserve it. You can’t earn it.

All you can do is accept it.

It’s God’s free gift to you.

(Optional – give students an opportunity to accept personally accept God’s grace, surrendering their lives to Jesus).

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What is so amazing about grace for you personally?

What’s confusing to you about the Bible saying we deserve “death” because of our “sin”?

Do you think even “good people” deserve death because of their “sin”?

Is it a hard concept for you to grasp that a relationship with Jesus is a free gift and can’t be earned)? Why or why not?

DOWNLOAD THE PDF OF THIS LESSON

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2 thoughts on “Youth Group Lesson on Grace

  • July 3, 2016 at 12:11 am
    Permalink

    Powerful message, am really blessed and touched and hope to abide by this word and I pray God for grace

    Reply
    • July 5, 2016 at 2:49 pm
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      Awesome. Grace and peace to you.

      Reply

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