Date: September 5, 2021
Sure of Forgiveness
The Point: We are forgiven when we confess our sin and walk with Christ.
Get Into the Study
Use the following story as an alternate introduction to today’s session.
If you had asked anyone who follows the Olympics what the most probable, reliable, for sure outcome of the women’s gymnastics competition would be, they would have said, “Simone Biles leading her team to win gold, and winning most if not all individual competitions she was entered into.” Simon Biles hadn’t lost an all-around competition since she was 16 years old–she was referred to widely as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time), one of the world’s most elite, capable athletes to ever step foot in the Olympic arena.
But during the first round of team competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Biles got what is referred to as the “twisties” during her first vault, in which she got completely lost mid-air. A compiled photo of the full vault by the New York Times shows her face in complete terror as her body is hurled through the air with no plan of how to land safely. Biles immediately withdrew from the competition, not returning until the beam final the next week. With the pressure mounting and some personal mental health issues arising, Biles, one of the most confident athletes to ever set foot on a gym floor, said she felt unsure that she would be able to compete safely.
While we can often feel unsettled when the “for sure” thing doesn’t happen, we can still trust that we have assurance in our salvation. As a matter of fact, when we stop putting our trust in the “sure” things of this world, we are freed to put our trust fully in Christ.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two busy little boys.
Share the following as you transition to the Live It Out section.
The Taliban have regained control of Afghanistan 20 years after having been ousted by US troops. The Taliban’s former reign in Afghanistan from 1996-2001 was marked by severe oppression of women, who were required to wear head-to-toe coverings, not allowed to work or pursue an education, and who were banned from traveling alone. However, the current Taliban rulers have said they want a peaceful transition and claim that women will be allowed to continue their education. A member of the Taliban told the BBC that “there will be no revenge. We assure the people in Afghanistan…that their properties, their lives are safe.” Nonetheless, many doubt these assurances. Videos have shown droves of people storming the Kabul airport in attempts to flee the country. The people seem unsure of their safety and their future.
As Christians, we need not doubt what will happen under the rule of our King, Jesus Christ. He is faithful and righteous. We don’t have to worry about whether He will follow through on His promise to forgive us or whether He can make good on His word of salvation. We are putting our lives in the hands of the creator of the universe, who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
- What are some “sure things” you can count on happening in life?
- Where do you go when you need to be certain of your facts?
- What’s your favorite story of forgiveness?
1 John 1:5-7
- What images come to mind when you read this passage?
- What types of pressures do we face each day that try to draw us into darkness?
- Why do some people prefer the darkness to light?
1 John 1:8-10
- What is the most difficult part of confessing our sin to God and others?
- How can we better recognize sin?
- What do you think causes a self-righteous attitude?
1 John 2:1-2
- What obstacles often prevent people from receiving forgiveness for their sin?
- In what ways has Jesus been your Advocate?
- How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is there to stand with you, no matter what?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – A New Name