False Security

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Think about the moment you realized you needed to trust Jesus as your Savior. Journal about your experience.

“They do everything to be observed by others . . . They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.”

—Matthew 23:5a,6-7

Read Matthew 23:1-15. Answer these questions:

Jesus identified the Pharisees as hypocrites who burdened people with strict rules and regulations; they claimed that abiding by these rules would help people find favor with God. They loved the structure of religion, but they didn’t know God.

• Ponder verse 12. What does it mean to be humble? Why is this important? Explain.

The Pharisees had a false understanding of salvation and were setting others up for hardship and heartache by teaching that salvation came from following rules.

• When you talk about your faith with someone, should you focus more on the rules you follow or what Jesus did for you? Why?

• Why is it important to recognize that your relationship with Jesus is not a checklist or long list of rules?

RESPOND

Without a relationship with Jesus, you can’t experience salvation or true reconciliation with God. You can know about God and even talk about God without knowing Him personally.

• Explore your own thoughts about your relationship with Jesus. Do you believe your salvation is based on how well you follow the rules or solely on the work of Jesus? Why? Journal your answer.

• For further study on assurance of salvation read JD Greear’s book Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart (LifeWay Christian Resources, 2013).

BEHIND THE STORY

To “sit in Moses’ seat” was to have the highest authority to instruct people in the law. Phylacteries were leather boxes containing small scrolls and were worn on the arm or the forehead. Religious leaders often increased the size of the Phylacteries to appear more righteous.

THE POINT

Our standing before God is not based on outward actions, but on our relationship with Jesus.


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