Bible Study: What Makes Godly Living Truly God-Pleasing?
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Read: Luke 10:25-37
What do we know about the characters of the story?
- Man who asks the question:
- Man who answers it:
- The man in the ditch:
- The first man to walk by:
- The second man to walk by:
- The man who helped:
- The man who continued to care:
- What did the man who asked the question hope to do?
What do we know about Samaritans?
- John 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
- What was the point Jesus was making with the parable?
What similar point is made in the story of the Pharisee and the publican?
- Luke 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself ‘God I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even him 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”
- What similar point is made on the subject of circumcision?
- Romans 2:25 “Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have not become as though you had not been circumcised.”
- Romans 2:28-29 “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.” “No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God”
- Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love”
- The Ends Justifying the Means
Read Acts 5:25-42
What was the command given to the disciples?
What was their response?
What punishment did they want to give the disciples?
Who was Gamaliel?
- Acts 5:34 “But a Pharisee named Gamaliel a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the met be put outside for a little while”
- Acts 22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today”
- What was his point in arguing against the punishment?
What kind of evidence did he have for his case?
In modern terms what is the point Gamaliel is making?
Read Matthew 27:39-42
What claims did they know about Jesus?
What would have provided convincing evidence for them?
If Gamaliel’s approach is correct what conclusion would we reach?
Apply this to modern events.
- Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
- Truly God-Pleasing Living
Exodus 25:2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.
- What was the circumstance?
- What was the guide for the amount given?
Deuteronomy 8:2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart whether or not you would keep his commands.
- What determined the proper obedience to the commandments?
- 1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
- What is the motive for service to God?
- 1 Kings 15:14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.
- Judging only from what is seen what would one suspect of Asa?
- What is it that made Asa pleasing before God?
- Proverbs 21:2 All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.
- How does man judge what is right and wrong?
- How does God make the judgment?
- Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
- Can a kind, humble and generous unbeliever please God?
- What does this say about those who do good but don’t believe?
- Romans 14:23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
- Does the eating in this matter make it wrong?
- What makes this not pleasing to God?
- 2 Corinthians 13:7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.
- What should not be the measuring tool for what is right?
- What is the measure for what is truly right?
- Principles v. Applications
The two words that are used frequently in Christian ethics are principles and applications, principles are fundamental doctrines or assumptions based upon an established authority. In our instance, all valid principles are derived from the authoritative Word of God.
Applications are built from one or more principles and adapted to a particular circumstance. While the principles are unchanging, a change in circumstances may call for the application of different principles. The important point here is that the principles are absolute in their nature. Changing circumstances will vary the pertinent principles. Circumstances, however, do not determine the course of action. The principles determine the course of action.
July 27, 2017
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