Lesson 2/Week 2: Death to Sin’s Penalty Is the Gate to a Life of Justification
(Parables of the Cross, pages 10–15)

DAY 1 (Monday):

Read the Section Summary (below). Then read the assigned pages (above). Jot down some initial impressions. Ask God to give you insight into the idea of dying to self and what that might mean in your life. Note those as well.

Section summary:  It is impossible for anyone to grow in the spiritual life apart from the cross of Jesus Christ.  God’s final goal for the believer is not mere safety, but holy living.  If a believer relies on personal striving, there will be a constant struggling with sin.  There must be a barrier “between ourselves and the old nature” (p. 15).  That barrier is found at the cross. 


DAY 2 (Tuesday):
Read the Scripture passages (below). Make notes of any insights. If you find this topic hard, note your questions as well. Read and respond to the questions given. You will see that the questions correspond to the scripture.

Scripture reading:  1 Peter 3:18; Romans 3:23-26; Romans 6:1-14
What did the death of Christ accomplish for the Christian?

According to Romans 3:23-26, how is the believer justified?  To clarify your thoughts, write a statement defining justification as you understand it.

How was our justification or freedom from the penalty of sin accomplished and by whom (Rom. 3:23-26)?

Where do you struggle with recurring sin?  What are some truths that we can access in our frustration with our sin?  Begin listing those truths from Romans 6.  Add to the list as you discover others.


DAY 3 (Wednesday): 
Re-read the Parables of the Cross pages that are noted. Then read and respond to the questions (below).

Parables of the Cross:  Read pages 10-15 and consider the following:

  • How does LT define justification?  What does she say about any other way to find peace with God?
  • As you read through the book, consider LT’s definition of holiness (p. 11).  Is it similar or different from your own?  What does Romans 8:28-30 describe as God’s goal for us?
  • Have you at times sensed a dwindling or weakening in your life?  What might be the cause?  LT reminds us of the struggle from Romans 7:24:  “Oh wretched man that I am . . .”
  • On page 12, how does LT bring the reader from the struggle of Romans 7 to the freedom of Romans 8:1
  • How does the example of leaves on a plant expand her idea of “back to the Cross again”?
  • Begin a personal spiritual timeline that shows deaths to self in your life journey.  Add signs of Christ’s new life growing in your life.


DAY 4 (Thursday):
Review your responses of the previous readings. You may want to re-read the scripture passages. Then read the quotes (below) for further consideration.

For further consideration:
Timothy Keller, on Romans 3:26:

A wrathful God without grace will never give you the motivation to live a decent life.  You will feel crushed and despairing, or angry and defiant, and always be unloving, because fear can’t produce love.  If you have a God only made of standards and judgement, you will be a driven person, never able to live to his standards, always fleeing from him.

The wonder of the cross is that in the very same stroke it satisfies both the love of God and the justice of God.  At the very same moment it shows us that God is both the Judge, who cares enough about his world to set standards and hold us accountable to them; and the Justifier, who has done everything necessary to forgive and restore us.  He is a Father worth having, and he is a Father we can have.  — Romans 1-7 for You


Rankin Wilbourne and Brian Grego:

The Gospel says that in Christ you have been completely and definitely accepted.  You want to be holy – not so you can be accepted but because you have already been.  You want to be holy so you can experience more and more communion with God (1 John 2:6).  You want to be holy – not so you will be loved but because you want to experience the love of God more and more.  You want to experience God’s loving embrace.  You want to know God more each day through obeying him more each day.  

When the beauty of holiness and the joy of communion come together in your desire, the call to cruciform living becomes a call to holiness and happiness . . . Communion with God is the joy set before us and our very great reward.  — The Cross before Us


DAY 5 (Friday):
Use the hymn given (below) and others you can think of for a time of worship and reflection. Ask God to help you understand the ideas given and apply them to your life.  Read again any of the scriptures or other favorite readings from this lesson.

Hymn reflection:

What Wondrous Love is This
American Folk Hymn

What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
that caused the Lord of bliss
to lay aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
to lay aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb,
I will sing, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM,
while millions join the theme,
I will sing, I will sing.
While millions join the theme I will sing.


DAYS 6 and 7 (Saturday/Sunday):
Enjoy God. Worship Him as your Father. Thank Him for his many gifts. Perhaps get out in nature to see what God has created. You may also want to view more of Lilias’ artwork at liliastrotter.com (or on the Lilias Trotter Legacy Facebook page). Ask Him what He especially wants you to learn through this Lenten study. 



For the full printable Parables of the Cross Study Guide, click here: Parables-of-Cross-Study-Guide.pdf (liliastrotter.com)

For the printable weekly study tips, click here: Parables-of-the-Cross-Study-Guide-Lenten-Suggestions.pdf (liliastrotter.com)



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