We're getting into the heart of our training session now. We're actually going to train you to teach a lesson—"Salvation by Grace"—to help you learn and understand the principles of teaching a lesson. After you've gone into an individual's home, played the cassette, and passed out the outline, turn off the cassette player and begin.
Before I get into this, however, do you have your pad? Are you taking notes? At the end of this session, I'm going to ask you to teach back to a trainer what I'm teaching you right now. If you don't have a trainer, make groups of two and teach the material back. Take thorough notes, because you're going to take the material that I give you now and teach it back. Through doing this process of role-playing in segments, we will put the entire lesson together. Then you're going to practice it with your spouse, your children, and your friends. After you are able teach it well, you will use it to reach the lost in a Bible study situation or however you've chosen to use it in your discipleship.
Let's say that the tape has been played, the outline has been produced, and you've turned the tape off. Begin your lesson in this way:
"John, would you turn to Romans 5:17 and read it aloud, please?"
"Okay. 'For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.'
"Now, John, I'd like to ask you a question. According to this verse, what kind of righteousness does God offer you and me and Rocky sitting here and Jim. What kind of righteousness does He offer us according to that verse? Now, I'm not trying to trick you; the answer is right in the verse."
Usually John, or whoever, will say something like, "Well, um, it's, uh, by grace."
"That's right! It is by grace! And we understand that grace is the unmerited favor of God toward us. That's a good answer, but it's not exactly what I'm looking for. What else would you say? What kind of righteousness is God offering you and me according to this verse?"
"Well, it's by Jesus."
"That's right, it is by Jesus! But I tell you what, John. I'm trying to get a particular point across and in order to do that, I'm going to ask you to read the verse again aloud. When you get to the point I'm trying to emphasize, I'll stop you. Okay?"
"For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of."
"Stop, John! And the what?" "And the gift."
"That's right! The gift of what? What do the next couple of words say there, John?" "The gift of righteousness."
"The gift of righteousness! That's right, John! God offers you and me and whoever will, because of the shed blood of Jesus—righteousness, right-standing with God, acquittal, forgiveness—just as if you'd never sinned, as a gift. It's a gift of righteousness. Now, John, I'd like to ask you a question: What does the word "gift" imply?"
"Well, a gift is free, I guess. Somebody might buy me something, maybe I don't even deserve it." "That' right, John; it's a gift! Righteousness, right-standing with God is a gift! John, if at Christmas I told my children I was going to buy bicycles for them, I bought the bicycles, and then I told them in January they could start making payments, is that a gift?"
"Oh, no, that's not a gift. You're making them pay for those bicycles."
"That's right, John, but anytime someone gives you a gift, it costs something. It cost God everything; it cost His very own Son. In giving His Son on the cross for your sins, He offers you righteousness and right-standing with Him as a gift, but if you don't receive it as a gift, if you have to work for it, it won't be a gift. John, I was teaching this lesson to a girl named Becky. There were actually two girls and a guy. When we first met Becky on a door to door Evangelism Discipleship outreach, we found she was in need, bought her some groceries, and brought them to her. We said, 'Rocky bought you some groceries. They're free, because you told us you had need of food. But, Becky, tonight when we leave after our lesson, we want you to give us $23.50. What do you think of our free gift?'"
Becky said, "It wouldn't be a gift if you ask me to pay for it!"
"That's exactly right, Becky! If it's a gift, it's offered free, but it does cost the person that gave you the gift something, and it cost God the death of His own Son to offer you, as a gift, right-standing with Him."
I want you now to turn off your cassette tape and take the teacher's guide outline to help you in today's study. When you become familiar with it, you can teach directly from it. Get the additional teaching information, the pages we supplied on lesson 2, "Salvation by Grace." Go through this first part and read it several times with the illustrations, thinking about what I said and also the notes you took. When you have studied for a few moments, give this portion of the lesson to your trainer. The trainer will help you by letting you know how you're doing and give you some suggestions. If you don't have a trainer today, give it to the person next to you. I believe you will do well. You are preparing to give people information that will change their lives. God bless you.
Turn to Romans 5:17. Have the person you are discipling read the verse out loud.
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the GIFT of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).
What kind of righteousness, according to this verse, is God offering you?
"I really don't know" (common answer).
Okay. Let's read the verse again, and I'm going to stop you when you get to the part of the verse that I want to emphasize. (You can do this with any verse to help people see a particular point that you want to bring out.)
What does the word "gift" imply? (Let the person respond; then you can answer and illustrate.)
Illustration: If I bought you some groceries as a gift and then asked you to give me $23.50, would that be a gift?
Illustration: If you bought your children bicycles as gifts for Christmas and then asked them to make payments, would that be a gift?
Conclusion: A gift does cost something, but not to those who receive it!
God's gift of righteousness cost God the death of His Son, but is offered freely as a gift to those who will receive it.