Tag Archives: Romans 3:24

Ephesians Study: Least of the Saints

[Ephesians 3:1-13]

Paul wrote over half of the books in the New Testament. Paul knew the Scriptures well. Paul had an encounter with Jesus and a special calling to preach to the Gentiles. He had many reasons to be puffed up. Instead we read:

1 Corinthians 15:9 “least of the apostles,” Ephesians 3:8 “very least of all the saints,” 1 Timothy 1:15 “foremost of sinners”

  • We are dead – we need to be made alive

Romans 3:23-24We are all sinners – we all fall short of the glory of God

Ephesians 2:1 – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins”

Ephesians 2:5 – “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”

Colossians 2:13 – “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins”

  • God humbles Himself – He makes us alive

Psalm 113:5-6 – “Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?”

Psalm 18:35 – “You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your right hand supports me. Your gentleness makes me great.”

Philippians 2:7-8 – “Rather, He (Jesus Christ) made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!”

  • Exalt self = humbled, humble self = exalted

Luke 18:9-14 (Parable of the Two Men Who Prayed / Pharisee and the Tax Collector) – We get full of ourselves – We become like the self-exalting man Pharisee from parable – he prayed that he wasn’t like that sinner

1 Peter 5:6 – “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

Numbers 12:3 – “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” Aaron and Miriam trash talked Moses, God exalted Moses – with him I speak face to face

Proverbs 29:23 – “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Bible Study Questions:

  1. In the Bible, humility is seen as submissiveness toward God. What are some things we need to recognize to be humble?
  1. If we are humble, we recognize God’s power and wisdom. This leads to accepting His will and leads to obedience. How do we see this in life?
  1. With humility comes suffering, hardships, and even persecution. Why do you think these things related?
  1. We are to be humble / meek; however, this does not mean we submit to everything. When are we not supposed to submit?
  1. How can we stay humble?

6.  How does humility keep us from sin?

 

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

 

Grace and Truth

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:14, 17 [ESV]

God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17)

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the life (John 14:6) – The Way to the Father, Truth itself, Life eternal

What about Grace?

Grace is Enough / Amazing Grace / Scandal of Grace / Sufficiency of Grace / Outrageous Grace

Grace Abounds / Only Grace / Saving Grace / Irresistible Grace / Unmeasured Grace

Beauty of Grace/ Fields of Grace / Grace Changes Everything / Grace Flood

 

Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.

  • Gift – Gift from God (Romans 3:24)
  • Received – Received by Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:16)
  • Available – Available to Everyone (Romans 4:16, Romans 10:13)
  • Christ – Grace comes through Christ (John 1:17, Romans 5:15, Galatians 2:21)
  • Eternity – It’s Extended Throughout Eternity (Romans 6:23)

(Acrostic Credit – Rick Warren)

Grace is…

  • Restoring – wipes out guilt & helps you start over (Isaiah 43:25)
  • Sustaining – gives you power to endure (Philippians 2:13)
  • Healing – does miracles in your life (Psalm 147:3)
  • Liberating – helps you break free from perfectionism / upholding the Law (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • Assuring – helps you defeat your fear & doubt (Romans 8:37)

Vertical Grace (God to us) vs. Horizontal Grace (us to others)

Love that reaches up is adoration. Love that reaches out is compassion. But love that stoops is grace.

– Charles Swindoll

Grace brings conviction faster than rebuke!

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. – Ephesians 4:29 [NLT]

Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! – Romans 12:16 [NLT]

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 [ESV]

See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15 [NASB]

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. – Ephesians 4:2 [NLT]

More Than a Story: Humility

[Two Men Who Prayed: Luke 18:9-14]

“Be humble or you’ll stumble.” – Dwight L. Moody

  • I am the least of the apostles – 1 Corinthians 15:9
  • I am the very least of all the saints. – Ephesians 3:8
  • I am the foremost of sinners. – 1 Timothy 1:15

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:14 [ESV]

Humbles HimselfTapeinoó – humiliate, abase, bring low, humble self

Exaltedhupsoó – raise on high, lift up, set on high

“A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor.” – Proverbs 29:23 [HCSB]

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:6 [NIV]

We all fall short / Through Christ alone we are justified (Romans 3:23-24)

“Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me; Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.” – Job 9:20 [NASB]

You cannot fake it / God knows your heart

“And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15 [NASB]

“I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his opinion. But really great men have a … feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them.” – John Riskin

Bible Study Questions:

1) What are some of the positive attributes of the Pharisee who prayed?

2) What are some of the negative attributes of the Pharisee who prayed?

3) How would you describe the Tax Collector who prayed? What were his good points?

4) What gets in the way of your humility?

5) What are some things you can do to help you live a humble life?

6) Luke 18:14 says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (ESV).

What does it mean to be justified?

What does it mean that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled?

What does it mean that one who humbles himself will be exalted?

 

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

He Didn’t Leave

    I have two children and one thing they know is that they can count on me. Throughout the years, I have made it known to them that I’m here for them no matter what happens. The other day, my daughter needed help. She tried to do something on her own and things didn’t work the way she desired. She wasn’t afraid though, because she knew that I had not left her.

    In John 8, the scribes and the Pharisees took an adulterous woman to Jesus. When they attempted to get her condemned and stoned, Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7 NASB). One by one, everyone left– everyone but Jesus.

    Jesus was the only one who actually could condemn her. He was the only one that was present that was without sin. Not only did He not condemn her, but He also did not leave her. This is an important reminder to all of us. He does not leave us, even when we are not having a good day. When we fall short, when we make mistakes, when we aren’t so pleasant to be around, He is right there waiting for us with open arms.

    At times we need to show ourselves the grace that God shows us. Too often because society is so quick to condemn us, we follow suit. We fear we won’t be accepted or good enough. Today, show yourself some grace. Don’t be afraid. Seek Jesus– He has not left. Understand that no matter what you have done, He awaits with open arms.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:23-24 [NASB]

Removing the Trash

Today I took a walk and the lake I walk by was frozen. What was interesting was the fact that you could see all the garbage, all the trash that had floated to the top of the lake was all standing out. The first thing you would see was the garbage; it stuck out like a sore thumb. It reminds me of how when we sin, a lot of the times that sticks out like garbage too. When we are Christians, people think we can’t do this and we can’t do that. Even so, Christians aren’t perfect and we slip up here and there. That’s what everyone sees all the time. They always see those slip ups. They always see when you do something wrong– when you let a naughty word slip out of your mouth, when at a moment of weakness you start gossiping, when you get in danger of bragging about something, or when you get jealous. There are so many different things and it’s so easy to fall into sin. I am not making an excuse for it, but we all do it and it sticks out.

The thing is with that trash, it was there before. Some of it you could see and some you could not see. Now that the lake is frozen, you cannot get it out. It’s stuck until the ice melts. It’s a long process for it to melt so we must wait. In the same way, we are a work in progress. When you accept Christ, don’t expect the next day you are not going to be sinning at all and you’re going to be the perfect little thing. Romans 3:23 states that we all fall short. We all sin. We all fall short. That’s not something that anyone can argue. We can pretend, but no one is perfect. Verse 24 states that it is by His grace alone that we are justified.

After we accept Christ and we allow Him to chip away at the things that need fixed in our lives and we allow Him to move in our lives and do wonderful things and we transform and we stick to reading the Word and doing the Word, it ends up that there are not so many things floating on top of the water. Perhaps we all have some things that are frozen on the top right now that we are working on. There is great hope in knowing that God loves us anyway and He is right here with us trying to help us to get all of that stuff fixed in our lives, to repair the brokenness.

God is working in our lives as the ice is slowly melting. He is there right with us. He doesn’t turn His back and say He is done dealing with all of our garbage. He sticks there right with us. It’s a long process. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time. There is no greater time than the present to allow God to help you with the trash in your life. He’s willing to help, it’s just a matter of will you have Him or not. There’s no way to get rid of the trash without God.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:23-24 [NASB]

A Gentle Blowing

I have been so busy with this semester’s coursework that my writing has been very scarce lately. More recently I have be plagued with a cold which has taken its wrath upon my ear. I went to the doctor only to find out that I had a very bad ear infection, and I was given antibiotics to aid in the healing process. As I opened the bottle and peered at the pills inside, I started to remember a time I’d like to forget.

Some people take pills daily for whatever health reasons or simply to fulfill a vitamin regimen. Most people have no problems taking pills; however, I am not most people. I can remember a day when ibuprofen and I didn’t get along. It wasn’t so much the medicine that left a mark, but how the medicine was administered.

When my children were younger and unable to take a particular kind of medicine, I always went to the store to get the appropriate medicine in a form they could take best. Perhaps I took that extra time because of this image still stuck in my head, or possibly it was because I wanted to show some grace.

God is so very gracious with us. We are all sinners. Romans 3:23-24 states: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (NIV). The love He has for us is incredible, with no words great enough to describe how amazing. His grace is something we all receive, and we are all to share it with others.

There are many people who look at God as an angry God in the Old Testament. People will page through the books and read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and not see His love. But if we look solely at the story and don’t grasp the full picture, we miss God’s grace and we miss seeing the love that has been there since the very beginning. 1 John 4 tells us that “God is love.” When reading the Bible front to back cover, it can be seen that God is love. God is faithful. God is just. And God is so very gracious with all of us.

I know some people who believe God will just toss a lightning bolt down to remedy a situation without seeking another solution. What these people do not understand is that from the very beginning, God has been moving and working in our lives for us. He is not against us and not looking for any of us to fall, to hurt, or to not be with Him. And He is not so forceful, administering what He wants without grace. At times He is so gentle, that He is like the wind gently blowing by. If you read about Elijah’s encounter with the prophets of Baal, you will note that God’s glory was shown. It was a great victory. When Elijah was on Mount Carmel he believed that God would be faithful and God answered with fire. Yet after that event, Elijah ran away and hid. He got fearful and let his fear get the best of him. In 1 Kings 19, God did not go after Elijah and pour His wrath upon him for not continuing his mission. He was “a sound of gentle blowing.”

God comes to us again and again with His loving arms wide open. He meets us wherever we are and asks us if we are ready to come back to Him. He is not forceful. He gives us an invitation, not an order. We have the free will to make the decision. As John 3:16 states, “whoever believes in Him will not perish.” It doesn’t say all will believe. He put out the invitation and He simply wants us to respond. He would love if we all checked yes, but He will never force us in the matter.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” – Isaiah 49:15-16 [NIV]