The problems of humanity cannot be fixed by humanity. We need a hero from the outside to fix what we have irreparably broken. In this message, we will find out how God does for us what we could not do for ourselves.
I. Our Salvation Begins with God’s Favor.
II. Our Salvation is Secured by God’s Promise.
III. Our Salvation is Accomplished by God’s Power.
Sermon Discussion Questions:
1. Why do you think some people are so slow to recognize that we have a sin problem we cannot solve ourselves? How can we help people see this sin problem in ways that are helpful?
2. Many sincere people in the Roman Catholic tradition pray to Mary believing that she is “full of grace” and able to give grace to those who ask. If someone asked why you don’t pray to Mary, how would you gently and respectfully engage with such view from this text? What light does Ephesians 1:3-10 shed on the question as to where grace is to be sought?
3. Re-read Isaiah 9:6-7. What is it about this promise that excites you the most and why?
4. Compare or contrast Zechariah’s question to Gabriel in Luke 1:18 to Mary’s question in Luke 1:34. Why do you suppose Zechariah is struck mute and Mary is not?
5. Does being a servant of the Lord relieve us from suffering in this life? How does Mary’s life speak to this question? How does Jesus’ life speak to it? (You may want to also visit Isaiah 52:13-53:12.)