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Who is Righteous?

April 5, 2015 Speaker: Fred Greco Series: Luke

Topic: AM Service Passage: Luke 18:9–18:14

Many people think that the way to enter heaven depends on themselves and their own actions. In turn, this causes them to focus on what they think God wants most from them. In fact, it can also cause them to believe that they deserve to be blessed by God. The Pharisees had this mentality. They spent a great deal of time trying to establish rules and standards that they could live by, always making sure that they were able to meet those standards. It actually brought them joy when they saw others failing to follow their prescriptions – because that meant the Pharisees were working hard enough to merit heaven. Jesus tells us a parable about just such a Pharisee, who was confident in his own ability to please God and who was glad he was not like the tax collectors. We must resist the temptation to seek justification in works-righteousness, and instead realize that we are lost sinners apart from Jesus. It is only by grace-righteousness, by humbling ourselves and seeking the gracious merit of Christ, that we can be right with God. It comes when we ask ourselves, “Who is Righteous?” and answer: Jesus!

Introduction: Seeing in a new way with old eyes

I. The Famous Pharisee
A. Who is He?
B. How Does He Pray?

II. The Terrible Tax Collector
A. Who is He?
B. How Does He Pray?

III. Jesus the Justifier
A. The Surprising Good News
B. Victory in Jesus

Questions for consideration: (1) What is so dangerous about the Pharisee’s way of thinking? How are you tempted to have the same thoughts? (2) What is the danger of identifying with the tax collector too quickly or lightly? (3) What does this parable teach you about the resurrection?

More in Luke

December 20, 2015

The Reality of Jesus

December 6, 2015

The Road to Emmaus

November 29, 2015

The Resurrection of Jesus