Summary: There is a necessary appropriate attitude in prayer so that it can be answered by God. The Pharisee belonged to a Jewish religious sect that believed that salvation came by obeying the letter of the law and precepts that they and their ancestors had esta
Ice Breaker: Can you describe the characteristics of a humble person?
Scripture: Lucas 18:9-14.
There is a necessary appropriate attitude in prayer so that it can be answered by God. The Pharisee belonged to a Jewish religious sect that believed that salvation came by obeying the letter of the law and precepts that they and their ancestors had established. The publican was a Jewish official of the despised Roman government who knew very little about the law and he longed for a better life. He was hungry to feel an internal peace. These two men went to the house of God, the holy temple, with the desire of getting closer to the eternal King.
1. Will our good works be counted as justice to God? (Verses 11-12)
a. The root of spiritual pride is when we compare ourselves with "other people." It does not involve God. The mind looks around instead of looking up.
b. The fruit of spiritual pride is to be religious without being able to experience what it feels to have a contrite spirit and humility. This person considers himself/herself just. He wants God, just like he or she, to admire his/her own virtues by which he/she is considered over others.
C. It would have been better that the Pharisee would have said the words of the prophet Elijah: "Am not I better than my parents" (1 Kings 19:4).
2. What is humility? It is not in itself self-conscience as the conscience of God. It is not a way to think of ourselves as a penetrating conscience of Him that is perfect holiness and truth.
a. The publican hit his chest. He felt God in his heart and also His holiness. This awoke a yearning to be holy, and such yearning caused him to see that his life was not going along the correct way.
b. The heart of the sinner feels remorse when it repents. Isaiah, in spite of the fact that was a great prophet, when he saw God in all his splendor and majesty, he exclaimed: "Woe unto me that am dead; being filthy of lips. ..!" (Isaiah 6:5) Is better to say of ourselves: "I am not better than...”
3. The blood of the lamb cleans us of every sin. (Verse 13)
a. The publican, being far away did not want to even raise his eyes, he only hit his chest. He only wanted to pour his heart in front of God. He had the correct attitude, not asking anything for him. He was very conscious that he was a sinner.
b. The power of the grace of God. The grace of God caused over abundance of kindness in the middle of wickedness. The publican had been a sinner, and in the middle of all his sin, there was a great sign of repentance.
How good it was that the Pharisee was not a scrooge neither unjust, but the devil made him feel proud to his own ruin. The publican was accepted and justified by God. His sins were forgiven. He found a better life and the peace that he sought, but for the Pharisee, this was not so.
Why do you believe that your prayers may not be listened to?
Do you want your prayers answered?
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