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Making Our Own Law

February 1, 2015 Speaker: Fred Greco Series: Luke

Topic: AM Service Passage: Luke 16:14–16:17

Looking at the Pharisees in the Gospels is an easy way of building our self-esteem. We see them regularly bumble as they oppose Jesus - acting proud, being selfish, and missing Jesus’ point. This allows us to think about how much better we are they were. After all, we are not like them, making up our own rules in order to take advantage of others! But the truth is that it is far too easy to set our standards as the only right and proper ones. Everyone who is not as strict as we are is lawless, and everyone who is stricter is a legalist. If there were ever a “golden mean” of Biblical Law, we sure do occupy it! That is why Jesus so often shows us the confrontations with the Pharisees, so that we can see the temptation in our own hearts to be a Pharisee. Being a Pharisee is not primarily about being uptight; it is primarily about thinking we can make God our debtor as long as we meet our self-imposed standards of righteousness. The Law of God is an expression of His character and is never changing. It is a very dangerous thing to ignore that, and even more dangerous to be found “Making Our Own Law” (Luke 16:14-17).

I. Legalism Seeks Self-Justification
A. What Legalism Is Not
B. What Legalism Is
C. Appearance is Reality

II. Legalism Lessens the Law
A. Lower Standards
B. Incubator for Sin

III. Legalism Misses the Gospel
A. The Law is About God
B. We Need God’s Law
C. Giving it All to Jesus

Questions for consideration: (1) In what areas of your life are you sure you are doing what God requires? Why do you think so? (2) Where do you “cut corners” on what the Bible says, because you find it easier? What can you do about that? (3) Why does Jesus say that the good news is like forcing your way in? What efforts are you making in your life with the gospel?

More in Luke

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The Reality of Jesus

December 6, 2015

The Road to Emmaus

November 29, 2015

The Resurrection of Jesus