SHINING LIGHT    7 MINISTRIES
SHINING LIGHT    7 MINISTRIES
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SALVATION BY GRACE
Many times in scripture, Jesus used parables and stories, which illustrated spiritual truths.  Luke 18:9-14
begins in verse 9,
 also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous,
and despised others."
 Jesus was targeting a certain audience: those who trusted that they were
righteous, and they despised and looked down on everyone else.  Jesus told this parable to these people
who trusted in the things that they did (their works).  We would call them self-righteous, (right in their own
minds or heads),  which is what Jesus was speaking about when He said they looked down on everyone
else saying, "I am better than you",  in a most condescending manner.

In verse 10, Jesus says, "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax
collector."
 A pharisee was a very religious person. The word actually means "separated one", someone
who was so religious that in a sense they would say, "Don't get too close to me.  I am not like other men! I
am better than everyone else."  The other man Jesus mentioned was a publican.  Publicans were tax
collectors and were known to be very wicked, sinful people who cheated and defrauded.  They collected
taxes by any means they could, stoled a lot of the money and put it in their pockets, and gave some of it to
the Roman government, so they were not looked upon favorably by their peers.

The story continues in
verse 11, "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,'God, I thank You that I
am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector."  
Please notice here,
Who was this Pharisee praying to? He was actually praying to himself even though he was saying "God"
and using the right words.  God was not acknowledging his prayer, and we'll see later why that was so.  
Notice that he prayed, "God, I thank you that I am not like other men."  This Pharisee, this religious man,
said, "I am not like other men.  I am not sinful.  I am not an extortioner, not unjust, not an adulterer, and I am
not like this publican right here who came to pray."  You see, he despised and looked down on others
because he thought he was better than them.  

In verse 12, the Pharisee said, "I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess."  He was saying,
"Notice what I do?" Do you know what it means to fast?  It actually means to go without food.  He also gave
money to the church. He was one of those people who say, "Don't bother me!  I give to charity!  I give money
at my church!"

Then we come to the tax collector in
verse 13: " And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much
as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'
 Notice his body
language: "standing afar off."  He didn't even go all the way into the church. He was so ashamed of this life
and the things that he had done that he stood afar off and wouldn't lift his eyes to heaven, but smote his
breast.  When the Bible talks of smiting the breast in the Old Testament, many times they also tore their
garments, which was a way of saying, "I am sorry, God, for what I have done!  It was a sign of repentance, a
contrite heart, and a broken spirit, which God would not despise.  This tax collector, sinful man that he was,
cried out to God and prayed, "God be merciful to me, I am a sinner!"

Verse:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts
himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
The Pharisee went home justified,
declared righteous before God, in right-standing with God, and forgiven by God. Why was he forgiven?  Why
did he go to his home in right standing before God and not the religious Pharisee?  It was because the
Pharisee exalted himself saying, "I am better than other people! I am not sinful!  I am not like other men,",
while the tax collector knew he had no right standing before God, nothing that he could offer Him.  He was a
sinful person.  The Bible says Jesus didn't come to save righteous people but sinners, and we have all
sinned and come short of the glory of God. This tax collector humbled himself and found forgiveness and
pardon from God.

We are talking about salvation by grace.  Grace is a wonderful word, and its definition is bigger than a word
or even many words.  The New Testament was written in Greek, and grace in Greek means charis.  An
accepted definition of grace is this: the free, unmerited favor of God toward people who don't deserve it.
This tax collector didn't deserve anything from God, but he found God's favor because he humbled himself.  
There is another word in the Greek, charisma, which is charis with the suffix ma on the end.  It means a
specific manifestation or form of God's grace, and this tax collector found justification, right standing,
before God as a gift.

Rom 5:17 says, "For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who
receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
God offers you and me right standing before Him as a gift and, according to our passage, the tax collector
found that gift of justification, that gift of righteousness that only comes through Jesus Christ.  The Bible
says in
John 1:17, For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."  This grace
is only offered to one kind of person; only those who humble themselves and know they have no standing
before God, but cry out to Him in the sincerity of their heart. These people will find God's mercy and pardon.
1.  Read Luke 18:9.  What is a parable?________________________________________________________

2.
 Read Luke 18:9.  To whom did Jesus direct this parable? _______________________________________

3.
 Read Luke 18:9 (the last part of the verse).  People who are self-righteous always reveal an attitude
toward others.  According to Luke 18:9, what is that attitude?  A. They like others.  B. They despise
others or look down on others.  C. The love others.

4.  
Read Luke 18:10.  Two people went to pray; in modern language, where did they go to pray?
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5.  
Read Luke 18:10.  Who were these people?__________________________________________________

6.  
Read Luke 18:11.  What was the Pharisee's prayer?___________________________________________

7.  
Read Luke 18:12.  What does fasting mean?__________________________________________________

8.  
Read Luke 18:12.  What does it mean to give tithes?___________________________________________

9.  
Read Luke 18:13.  Where was the tax collector standing?__________________________________Why?
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10.  
Read Luke 18:13.  Why did the tax collector hang down his head and not look up?
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11.  
Read Luke 18:13.  What was this tax collector's prayer?_______________________________________

12.  
Read Luke 18:14.   Which one of these men was declared righteous before God when he went to his
home? _________________________________________________________________________________

13.
Read Luke 18:14.  Why was the tax collector declared righteous and not the Pharisee?
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14.
 Read Luke 18:14.  Did God forgive this tax
collector?__________________________________________

15.  
 Read Romans 10:13.  If you right now got down on your knees and cried out to God from the
sincerity of your heart "God be merciful to me, a sinner," would God treat you the same way He treated
the tax collector?
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Questions To Ask In Your
Growing Relationship As A Disciple Of Jesus Christ
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Scriptures Provided To Use With Questions
Luke 18:9
He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they
were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made
nothing of all the rest of men:

Luke 18:10
Two men went up into the temple [enclosure] to pray, the one a Pharisee and the
other a tax collector.

Luke 18:11
The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself:
God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men — extortioners (robbers), swindlers
[unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers — or even like this tax collector here.

Luke 18:12
I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I gain.

Luke 18:13
But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to
heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to
me, the especially wicked sinner that I am!

Luke 18:14
I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right
standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be
humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Romans 10:13
For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.

1 John 1:8-9
If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves
astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His
own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and
[continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in
purpose, thought, and action].
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Answers to Questions
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1.  Read Luke 18:9.  What is a parable?  A biblical parable is a story that illustrates spiritual truth.
Answers to Questions

2.  
Read Luke 18:9.  To whom did Jesus direct this parable? To those who trusted in themselves that
they were righteous; that is, they were self-righteous.

3.
 Read Luke 18:9 (the last part of the verse).  People who are self-righteous always reveal an attitude
toward others.  According to Luke 18:9, what is that attitude?  A. They like others.  B. They despise
others or look down on others.  C. The love others.

4.  
Read Luke 18:10.  Two people went to pray; in modern language, where did they go to pray?
To the Church.

5.  
Read Luke 18:10.  Who were these people?  A Pharisee and a publican /tax collector.

6.
 Read Luke 18:11.  What was the Pharisee's prayer? God, I thank you I am not like other men (I am
not a sinner).  I am not a swindler, unjust, an adulterer, or even like this tax collector.

7.
 Read Luke 18:12.  What does fasting mean? To go without food.

8.
 Read Luke 18:12.  What does it mean to give tithes? To give a tenth of one's income.

9.
 Read Luke 18:13.  Where was the tax collector standing?  Afar off.  Why?  He was ashamed to go
into the church (or temple) because he was such a terrible sinner, so he stayed outside.

10.  
Read Luke 18:13.  Why did the tax collector hang down his head and not look up?   He was
ashamed.  Have you ever done something wrong and would not look a person the face?

11.  
Read Luke 18:13.  What was this tax collector's prayer?  God be merciful to me; I am a sinner!

12.
Read Luke 18:14.  Why was the tax collector declared righteous and not the Pharisee?  Because
he humbled himself before God.  The Pharisee was full of pride; he didn't think he needed a savior.

13.  
Read Luke 18:14.   Which one of these men was declared righteous before God when he went to
his home?  The tax collector.

14.  
Read Luke 18:14.  Did God forgive this tax collector?  Yes.

15.
  Read Romans 10:13.  If you right now got down on  your knees and cried out to God from the
sincerity of your heart "God be merciful to me, a sinner," would God treat you the same way He
treated the tax collector?  Yes, He would.  He would forgive me and cleanse me from all
unrighteousness.  
See 1 John 1:8-9.
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©2007 Shining Light 7 Ministries · All Rights Reserved
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SHINING LIGHT    7 MINISTRIES
SHINING LIGHT    7 MINISTRIES
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