Ch. 2: Religious Man “Most High”

Attitudes of a Transformed Heart

by, Martha Peace

Ch. 2: Religious Man “Most High”

  • What religious man believes p.14
    1.  He believes that doing good works will earn him his salvation p.14
      • the Bible makes it clear that no one deserves to go to heaven p.14
      •  “… by the works of the Law [doing good deeds] no flesh will be justified [declared righteous by God] in His [God’s] sight…” Romans 3:20
      •  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
    2. He believes being faithful to church will either save him or at least permit him to keep his salvation p.14
      • the problem was not that they observed the external rituals but what they thought about those rituals p.15
      • do I think that external rituals such as having a quiet time or doing bible study or going to church or volunteering for church activities helps save me?
      • “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
    3. He may think that he is good enough that he can choose to be saved p.15
      • Man is responsible to repent and believe and the offer of salvation is available to him, [but] his will has been totally corrupted by sin p.15
      • [believers] are drawn by God and given a desire by God to turn from their sin and give God glory p.15-16
      • left to himself, man would never choose God p.16
      • “No man can come unto me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” John 6:44
  • Man’s obligation to God cannot be realized through faithfully attending church, partaking of the sacraments, doing good works, or making a decision for Christ. Instead… he must go to the only authoritative, completely truthful book that we have – the Bible. It is the Word of God which is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) from which we should formulate our beliefs, not from a deceitful heart p.17
    • We must go to the Bible to seek answers to our questions and verify what we have learned from other sources. We should not settle for what people tell us in their opinions or what the world tells us but everything must come from God’s Word. For hot topics such as abortion, homosexuality, sexual immorality (pornography, sex outside of marriage, infidelity), divorce, etc. we cannot formulate our own opinions based on what we want to hear or what feels right or what oru society tells us but our stance has to come from what the Bible tells us followed by our commitment to be obedient regardless of the cost (like Daniel in Ch. 1)
  • The Proper Perspective of Man: p.16-19
    1. Man is made by God in His image p.17 – Genesis 1:27
    2. Man is dead in his trespasses and sins apart from Christ p.17  – Ephesians 2:1-3
    3. Man thinks more highly of himself than he ought p.17 – Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3-4
    4. Man loves himself whether he is thinking how wonderful he is or he is putting himself down in the grip of self-pity. Either way, his focus is sinfully on self p.17-18 – 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 22:35-39
    5. Man is enticed to sin by his own lusts p.18- James 1:13-16 This is why it is so important for us to have our foundations of truth set in the Bible so we know what is right or wrong and can avoid putting ourselves in positions where temptation can arise
    6. Man is responsible to God to repent and believe and therefore is in desperate need of Christ. Unless God draws him, convicts him of his sin, and grants him repentance, he will not believe God, however religious he becomes p.18 – Acts 17:30-31; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-7
  • Pray for: God to reveal to us any ways we are putting ourselves higher than Him and how to correct those ways of thinking
  • Application Questions:
    1.  Have you or do you hold any of the 3 beliefs of religious man? (doing good works will earn your salvation; being faithful to church will save you; you are good enough to choose to be saved)
    2.  Think about your salvation experience. Do you believe 100% that God drew you to Him or do you struggle to think you chose Him on your own?
    3. Do you go to the Bible first to seek answers to questions and to formulate your beliefs? If not, what do you go to first (friends, spouse, family, secular sources – Oprah, non-Christian self-help books, views you’ve held from childhood)? How can you change your pattern so you go to the Bible first
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