May 14 Bible Study

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Lms526, May 14, 2007.

  1. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Hi Everyone!
    I know that I'm posting this kind of late. Things have been crazy. So I apologize.

    Please join me for a brief word of prayer "Heavenly Father, I pray that You would reveal the truth of your Word to each one of us. Please speak to us and help us to be open to whatever You wish to say to us. May we rightly divide Your Word of truth. May we bring You honor and glory through this study. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

    Okay, The passage I have selected for study/discussion this week is Luke 18:9-14 Here is the text from the NIV.

    To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
    But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

    I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

    Discussion Questions
    1. What lesson do you think Jesus was trying to teach in this parable?

    2. The two men in the parable react in two very different ways. What do you think caused each man to react the way he did?

    3. Why do you think the Pharasee made such a big deal about things he had done? Why do you think he judged the tax collector so harshly?

    4. Which of the two men in the parable do you most identify with? Why?

    5. When and where is the temptation to exalt ourselves the strongest? The Bible makes it clear that temptation is not a sin. However, yielding to the temptation is a sin. What are some ways that we can resist this temptation to exalt ourselves and give God an opportunity to exalt us? How can you tell the difference between a person who is exalting him/herself and a person whom God has exalted?

    Well...there you go. That should get a pretty good discussion going. I look foward to reading the responses. God bless!

  2. caffey

    caffey New Member

    1. God is not impressed with what we do "In His Name". He is not interested in us trying to tell Him how good we are. He knows we aren't good at all.
    2. The Pharisee was full of pride and arrogance and acted like the life he was living was doing God a favor. He was basing his relationship with God on works. The sinner knew who he was before a holy God.
    3. Because he was used to people worshipping him because he was an important man and he wanted to remind God of that. Kind of like God you did well in creating me. The tax collector was judged harshly because that is what the religious leaders did. They loved to show how holy they were and how every body else didn't match up. They loved being God's mouthpeice. They liked to keep people in bondage and reinforce that there was no hope for them.
    4.I identify with the tax collector. Man there is so much about me that I don't like and I do so many stupid things. I know that all that I am and have is from God.
    5. A) For me personally the temptation is the greatest after God has used me in a supernatural way and someone's life is instantanously changed and they are so grateful and they start thanking you and telling others that I did it when I didn't.
    B) I have to literally distance myself from the situation and thank God for the privelege of being able to do whatever. I also have to tell people it wasn't me it was God who touched them. I just happened to be there. Don't thank me.
    C) If someone is exalting themselves it reeks of pride. You just know. If they are exalting God. He gets the praise and the person involved usually again walks away from the situation so people can't compliment them.

    Great study. Lots of good reminders.
  3. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Wow. You sure are a deep thinker. I am too. I am always so blessed by your posts. Thanks for responding.

  4. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    Hi Lms-
    You have done a great job again with the Bible study. I like really looking at the word of God and talking about what it means. I have been reading even if I don't respond. The closer my walk with God and the deeper in his word I live the more Satan attacks me right now so I didn't want to bring him with me on the board. I hope you understand that and that when I don't respond it has nothing to do with what you are saying. You're doing a wonderful job and are a blessing not only to me but I'm sure to a lot of others who just may not be able to respond right now. I've really learned in reading this board for a while now and not responding to many posts and just watching a lot of it, is that it's just about different priorties in our lives.

    OK, I'll shut up and get to the questions:
    1.I think Jesus was trying to teach us not to get too full of ourselves.

    2.I think maybe the two men reacted differently because their relationship with God was different. Also because their relationship to man was different. The Pharisee thought so highly of himself his praises to God were thanking him that he was not like the tax collector and focused on the ritual of what HE does in the form of some deed that he thinks will get him to heaven. The tax collector was repentant, aware of his own sin and asking forgiveness.

    3. The pharisee did not understand faith and thought his relationship with God was based on his own goodness and deeds. He was a brick stacker in a way and thought that he has to have his stack of bricks higher than anyone elses to be seen or heard by God.

    4. I can identify with the tax collector. I am so aware of my own sinfulness it hurts, and more than anything else I want him to forgive me of those sins. I also want to stay within his will and I have to focus on him for that, not myself.

    5. This is a tough one to put into words. I think it is more tempting for us to exalt ourselves when we have a revelation about something that others don't or appear not to have.

    I think it becomes sin when we make others feel bad that they don't understand or have the same revelation, or condemn them about it.

    I resist the temptation to exalt myself by remembering who I am in the grand sceme of things. I'm just one really small part of a huge puzzle. The Bible talks about the church as the body of Christ and I remember in a Sunday School class years ago we were talking about the physical body and what part each of us would be (yeah! I know what you're thinking and yes we laughed hysterically) I told my friend Frieda that she would be the big toe. That sounds so funny and we had a big laugh and no one really understood it until I explained that the big toe is largely responsible for our balance and that was her personality. She was the type that always saw the good in every thing and everyone and seemed to bring balance to any situation in the church. She could analyze things from every side and always find the center.

    A person who God has exalted is not pompous or arrogant about their relationship with God or whether or not they know every verse of the bible. They are in such a relationship with God that his glory just seems to glow from them. I have only met 2 people in my life that I knew to be like this and neither one ever even said that they were Christians, they never spewed scripture all the time or were condeming. They never told me I was going to hell or didn't know God or that what I beleived about God was even wrong (it was at the time) but they didn't say so. They just gently guided me in the right direction and showed by their own behavior and life how wonderful God is. They both knew I needed to take baby steps and drink milk before I could down a steak. God sent both of these remarkable people into my life right at the times I needed it most and I didn't even realize at the time that I did need them. God is so good like that, if we let him be.

    Thanks again for a wonderful Bible Study.

    God Bless
    [This Message was Edited on 05/16/2007]
  5. ixoye

    ixoye New Member

    I am pleased that you brought this subject to light. It is very important not to judge others in this area. Only God knows the heart of man. I want to believe that it was unintentional and not maliciously that some have judged others for speaking the word of God with power and boldness. No one benefits when people mistakenly and critically accuse others of being boastful in themselves; as a result, those here on the board are getting confused listening to mixed messages. It is likely the reason why these people are judging others is because they do not recognize this teaching, due to lack of knowledge.

    First off, it is imperative that I clarify that If you are saved, then you are the righteousness of God, (Romans 3:22) and through Christ Jesus we can do all things, and We are all created for God’s glory, (Isaiah 43:7) and we are called through the gospel that we might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15) Additionally, using Jesus name is crucial for getting prayers answered and it is not to be taken lightly. (John 15:16)

    Here are some important scriptures to meditate on. It will free many from the bondage you speak of.

    Proverbs 16:20 “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”

    (2 Timothy 1:7:5)
    “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord.”

    (1 Timothy 1:3-11)
    “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work-which is by faith.”

    “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk, They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”

    “We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

    1 Timothy 1:18-19
    “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.”

    “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.”

    “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

    “And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”

    “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

    (2 Timothy 2:14-19) “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and, Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

    (2 Timothy 2:22-26) “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

    2 Timothy 3:1-17) “But mark this; There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth- men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”

    “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings-what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    (2 Timothy 4:1-5) “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge; Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

    End of scriptures.

    I trust that many eyes have been opened after reading these scriptures:

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I am grateful, and not ashamed or prideful that God is using me to help get the truth across to others in order that everyone can learn to live a victorious life. I hope that after everyone has meditated on the above scriptures it explains why I have and will continue to preach the word with power, with the same power we are taught through scriptures.

    I am sorry if this teaching doesn’t sit well with some but I choose to please God over people. I hope and pray that we can forgive putting all the past mistakes behind us and collectively we begin walking in love.

    (Ephesians 4:1-6) “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

    God bless,

    Mouthpiece (for) God

    P.S. Everyone would benefit by reading the book of Ephesians. If you would like to look up additional scriptures regarding preaching the word with boldness; See (Acts 4:29-31) (Ps 138:3) (Proverbs 28:1) (1 Co 1:31)

  6. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    Hi Lms!
    I just wanted you and anyone else reading this to know that 143alan is my new user name. My old user name was "manager". It seems some people were having problems with distinguishing me from Prohealth personnel or something.

    Good luck on your exams Willow77. I'll be praying for you.
  7. caffey

    caffey New Member

    My opinion for what is worth. We are not judging either one. They are types of attitudes. There are people who think they can impress God by doing all the good things and putting on a show so people will notice them and think they are great and spiritual for example they are the ones in prayer meeting who sometimes like to pray the loudest and the longest and then there are people who know that it is only because of God that they have a relationship with God because they are understanding who He is, He is holy and we are not and come humbly before HIm. What you said about boundaries is what it is all about. The is the journey and the struggle. Every day I have to ask God how do you want me to live my life. It is a balance between walking in pride and arrogance and "look at me" attitude and how great I am to the other end that I am a low down dirty rotten scummy sinner. I don't know if we ever truly arrive at balance. I think if we did we wouldn't need the Lord. I guess the bottom line is what is our motive in everything we do. I hope that helps you a bit. I hope I didn't confuse you.
  8. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Hi Sweetpotatoe,
    Sorry to hear you found this study a little confusing. I hope that I can clarify a couple things for you.

    First, I think it's important to remember that this is a parable of Jesus. If anyone other than Jesus was telling this story, then I would agree yeah, it would sound judgemental. But you have to remember the character of Jesus. He NEVER judged or condemned anyone. But He also never condoned sin. I think that the purpose of this parable is to cause His disciples (and us) to examine our own hearts. Pride can take so many forms, and I think that often we are not even aware it is in our hearts. I know that has been my experience. The Pharasee was judging and looking down on the tax collector. You have to understand that in Jesus' day, tax collectors worked for Rome. They were some of the most hated people around. They were not only working for Israel's hated rival, but they were also often corrupt and padding their own pockets. The Pharasees were well known for being self-righteous. Self-righteousness is a form of pride. Jesus is the one who said that the tax collector went away justified before God. In fact, the Pharasees judgement of the tax collector is one of the things Jesus was trying to correct. I think what Jesus is doing here is making a contrast between pride and humility.

    Second, 2nd Timothy 3:16 says
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.

    Every parable Jesus told had a purpose. He wasn't just trying to tell a story. He was also trying to teach a lesson and to help His disciples and us to examine their own hearts and to be honest before God. God knows our hearts better than we do. But stories like this help us to see what is truly in our hearts.

    Hebrews 4:12 says
    For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit; joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    I hope that is clear.

    In regards to your question about low-self esteem and boundaries. There is a big difference between humility and low self-esteem. I used to think that in order to be humble, I had to hate myself. But now, I know that is not true. In fact, I now believe that low self-esteem can be a subtle form of pride. If you think about it, it is basically calling God a liar. The Bible makes it crystal clear that each person has value and worth to God. If we are in Christ, we have been made righteous by Christ and forgiven of our sins. I think we need to have a balanced view of ourselves. We don't want to be eaten up with pride and go around bragging about how great we are. But I also don't think God wants us to go around hating ourselves all the time. I think this solution to this is to simply take God at His word. This is not always an easy thing to do, especially when our circumstances and feelings seem to be telling us that God doesn't care about us. I happen to believe that learning to see yourself as God sees you in a lifelong process. It is not going to happen instaneously. Having a healthy and balanced view of yourself is something that only God can do. It is no something that can be done through self-effort or willpower. If we allow Him to, I believe that God will help us to see ourselves as He sees us.

    About boundaries, yes, I think that boundaries are important. There have been many times in my life when I have had very few boundaries. I allowed myself to be bullied and put up with a lot of things from others that I shouldn't have. I did that because I felt that I deserved to be mistreated. The Bible makes it clear. All Christians will suffer. If you are truly trying to live in a way that honors the Lord, you will suffer persecution. Count on it. That said, I believe there are times when boundaries need to be put up. This is something that must be done with wisdom. For example, if a woman is being beaten on a regular basis, she should leave and do what she needs to do keep her children and herself safe. There are some in the church who would tell her to stay and that she is forbidden to leave her husband for any reason. I don't believe that. Second, God does not call us to be a doormat. We are not to allow people to say and do whatever they want to us. There are times when we will need to confront. It's not an easy thing to do, but there are some times when it needs to happen. Talk is cheap, especially if it is not backed up by action. It's so easy to say you will change. It's an all together different thing to allow God to bring that change about. I think it is also important to remember that there is suffering that God allows into our lives. But there is also suffering that we bring on ourselves because of sin, bad choices etc. But I believe that God uses both kinds of suffering for our good, and that nothing can hinder His purposes. God can and does redeem even the worst of situations. There is an excellent book on the subject of Boundaries. It is called "Boundaries" and the authors are Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. If anyone is struggling with the whole area of boundaries, I highly suggest that book.

    I hope that I've helped me clear a few things up. I don't claim to have all the answers. But I know the One who does.

    God Bless,
  9. caffey

    caffey New Member

    LMS WOW I had never thought of low self-esteem of being a form of pride. That is an incredible revelation. Man I am going to think on that one for a while. I love the way you go into the background of the passage. Again WOW.
    What a great gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.
  10. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    I really like how you answered the questions. I was blessed by the information you gave and how you gave it. Exploring God's word like this is really good for me and so many others and really blesses and enriches our relationships with God.

    Thanks again!

  11. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    I too, was really blessed by what you wrote. I especially liked what the commentary had to say about the self-condemned being justified and not the self righteous. I think that is so true. Thanks for your input.

  12. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    I'm bumping the Bible Study to the top so people won't forget who may have wanted to participate.
  13. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Hi everyone!
    This is a wrap-up of this week's study. I will post a new study either tomorrow or Monday. God Bless