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BIBLE STUDY Diane Avenue Church of Christ August 28th 2011 The Choices We Make.

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1 BIBLE STUDY Diane Avenue Church of Christ August 28th 2011 The Choices We Make

2 The Choices We Make Romans 2:6-8 King James Version (KJV) 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

3 The Choices We Make Romans 11:19-22 New International Version (NIV) 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

4 The Choices We Make Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King Matthew 21: 1-11

5 The Choices We Make 1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

6 The Choices We Make 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

7 The Choices We Make “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

8 The Choices We Make Jesus at the Temple Matthew 21: 12-17

9 The Choices We Make 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers. 14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

10 The Choices We Make 16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” 17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

11 The Choices We Make The Authority of Jesus Questioned

12 The Choices We Make 23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism— where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

13 The Choices We Make They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

14 The Choices We Make  The Parable of the Two Sons  Matthew 21:28-32

15 The Choices We Make Introduction: 1. Jesus taught in the form of parables. 2. He used these stories to convey moral and ethical standards that were required of all men. 3. In doing so he captured the minds and hearts of His hearers to teach them eternal truth. 4. In this parable Jesus teaches us that the Father wants all men to be His sons. 5. Those potential sons have a choice to make.

16 The Choices We Make 6. By teaching the Jews this parable Jesus has revealed that the choice was made by what they had done. 7. Yet as always there was an opportunity to repent. 8. Let us never forget that as long as we are alive we can change. 9. That change must be governed by action rather than words. 10. Let’s examine this parable as it relates to the context, meaning and application so we may know what God expects of His sons.

17 The Choices We Make Background of the Parable Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem Five days before Jesus would be hung upon the cross He proclaimed His Lordship. Yet this proclamation would be short lived. Jesus has reached the final stage of His work. They shouted Hosanna (5614) which means “save now I pray”. It was a cry for help. They saw evidence of their occupation by the Romans everywhere. This cry of distress was reserved for a liberator or king. They wanted a deliverer to save them from this oppression.

18 The Choices We Make Teaching in the Temple Jesus returns to the Temple to teach. It was at this point that the elders came to ask Him some questions. The chief priests wanted to challenge Jesus’ authority. These chief priests are the heads of the classes of priests. They are the elders of the city. They were authorized to teach Law of Moses as they saw it. They comprised the Sanhedrin.

19 The Choices We Make Questioned by the Sanhedrin The Sanhedrin wanted to know what Jesus’ authority was for teaching things contrary to what the Sanhedrin taught. They wanted to know what authority He had for entering Jerusalem the way He did The Sanhedrin were cunning individuals. They did not immediately challenge Jesus. They waited until the following day in order to catch Jesus preaching false doctrine.

20 The Choices We Make Their questions were countered by the parable of the two sons. This was to reveal the true nature of John the Baptist’s purpose. This was to place these evil men in a dilemma. Their inability to escape the dilemma Jesus presses them to make a decision.

21 The Choices We Make  Matthew 21:28-30  28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

22 The Choices We Make Father’s Request The father asked each son to work in his vineyard. He asked each son only what that son could perform. There was no hardship involved on part of either. It was a request that was right for the father to make. It needed to be done immediately and without reason. This was not something that could wait. It was a request made with authority.

23 The Choices We Make Parents have the right to demand things of their children without the need to answer why or what for. To the children, Children, your parents have plans that you don’t understand and thus they will demand certain things from you without giving you a reason for it.

24 The Choices We Make Son’s Response The first son said that he was not going to do it. This answer was hasty and blunt. It was given without any regard for the authority of the father. Certainly this would create grief for the father.

25 The Choices We Make The second son said that he would go. It was given promptly. But it was given without a grateful or ready mind. He told the father what he wanted to hear but to the son it meant nothing.

26 The Choices We Make  Matthew 21:31-32 31Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

27 The Choices We Make This a simple enough story. A man owns a vineyard. This man has two sons. He commands the first son to go work in the vineyard, but the lad refuses. Later on, however, he changes his mind and goes to work. The man then tells his second son to do the same. This young fellow immediately agrees, but skips work. This leads to a question that Jesus asks. "Which of the two did the will of his father?"

28 The Choices We Make Interpretation- The People of the Parable Sanhedrin Two Sons The Father The Priest & Elders The Harlots The Publicans What message is Jesus conveying here?

29 The Choices We Make The first son repents of his response. The first son represents the publicans and harlots of Jesus’ day. They lived in open sin, opposition to God. They were condemned for their actions. But the messenger God provided; affected their hearts. They went from hopeless to hopeful knowing that there was an open gate to the kingdom of heaven if they repented. Who was the messenger God provided?

30 The Choices We Make The second son disregarded what he told his father and did not go. The chief priests, elders, and the Sanhedrin represent the second son. They are the ones that are respected as the religious men in Israel. They had spent their entire lives professing to be God’s servants. Yet they had one thing to do. They were to hear the voice crying in the wilderness. They were to heed the call of John the Baptist and prepare the way for the Messiah.

31 The Choices We Make Purpose of the Parable’s Message Jesus is teaching the Jewish leaders about authority. Jesus is saying that profession of obedience does not constitute Sonship. Sonship is tested by obedience not profession. The one who submits to the authority and obeys is the son. This is a stinging rebuke to the chief priests, scribes, and elders. Jesus says that those they hated were going to heaven before they were.

32 The Choices We Make John the Baptist was sent to call all men to the Messiah. Matthew 3: 1-2 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, (2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

33 The Choices We Make  Mark 1:1-3 - The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; (2) As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. (3) The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

34 The Choices We Make Mark 1:7-8 - And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. (8) I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. Christ affirmed that all those that accepted the message of John the Baptist were acceptable to God and in the kingdom because of their obedience.

35 The Choices We Make Application of the Parable God speaks to all men today. The father in this story is God. The first son represents all sinners who at some point in their lives repent of their sinful ways and turn to God in trust and obedience. The second son represents all those who appear to be zealous on the surface, but at heart are quite disobedient. The vineyard is the church.

36 The Choices We Make The command to work in the vineyard is God's call to us to obey and serve Him. (Note the manner in which the command is given is neither harsh nor tyrannical, but in the authoritative manner a parent would give instruction to a child.) Today is the period of work we are called for; which for a Christian's is a lifetime.

37 The Choices We Make  A closer look –  Jesus asked, “What think ye?”  God is trying to appeal to us through His word (John 6:44-45), thus we must learn to think and reason correctlyJohn 6:44-45

38 The Choices We Make John 6:44-45 (NIV) 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me..

39 The Choices We Make  Another look at the two sons. The first son comes across as disobedient, rebellious and insolent, as he tells his father, rather rudely, that he had no intention of obeying him. However, he later reverses his decision and goes to work in the vineyard as his father asked him to. This depicts a change of heart, undoubtedly brought about by the realization of the error of his ways. It was the same with the prostitutes and other "sinners" of the time. Generally indulging themselves in whatever they wanted to do, the words of John the Baptist and Jesus made them turn to God in repentance.

40 The Choices We Make  The second son, on the other hand, while appearing courteous, respectful and submissive, was a fraud. He promised his father he would obey him, even though he had no particular desire to. He just wanted to be seen as holy, very much like the priests and the scribes that Jesus was talking to. They tried to trap Jesus by their questioning, but Jesus turned the tables on them, making them convict themselves instead

41 The Choices We Make This first son, like so many of every generation, sought at first to evade his responsibility to do what was right. 1) Evading responsibility does not remove it 2) This son was not hypocritical – he was just stubborn, rebellious and disobedient 3) The first son in this parable did not obey his father’s command until he regretted, relented and repented of his rebellious spirit. He represented the publicans and harlots (v. 31). 4) There will come a time when we will not be able to change our minds. It is not how one has lived in the past that counts, but what one is doing now – Philippians 3:13Philippians 3:13

42 The Choices We Make  Philippians 3:13  New International Version (NIV)  13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

43 The Choices We Make This son, like so many, failed to: 1) Show proper respect 2) Recognize the authority of his father 3) To see that his father wanted the best for him 4) See the need to submit to the father

44 The Choices We Make The second son represented the audience to which Jesus here spoke (v. 32) 1) They had promised to accept the Messiah, but when He came, they rejected Him. 2) In their hypocrisy, they pretended respect for God by calling Him “sir” Matthew 15:8-9Matthew 15:8-9 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”

45 The Choices We Make 4) In Luke 7:29-30 – we show disrespect when we disobey the commands of GodLuke 7:29-30 29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

46 The Choices We Make  They were so full of a sense of their own righteousness, they couldn't recognize their own sinfulness, or even the presence of the long-awaited Messiah in their midst. By painting a picture of the despised tax collectors and prostitutes entering the kingdom of God before them, Jesus hoped that he would shock them to their senses, although it is doubtful it had any effect other than annoy them further.  Why?

47 The Choices We Make  It is important to note that he was not excluding them from the Kingdom; he was merely pushing them to the very end of the line, although willful disobedience would have them denied entry altogether.  In Matthew 7:21, Jesus is said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

48 The Choices We Make Man has the choice of two destinies and Jesus frequently made use of various illustrations to contrast these two destinies: 1) The broad way and the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14)Matthew 7:13-14 2) The rock and the sand of the two builders (Matthew 7:24-27)Matthew 7:24-27 3) The wheat and the chaff (Matthew 3:12)Matthew 3:12 4) The wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)Matthew 25:1-13 5) The sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:14-30)Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus used the example of the parable of the two sons to illustrate the two opposite courses that people have taken in response to God’s call through the gospel

49 The Choices We Make  How do we apply this parable to our lives? As we have seen here and will see in other parables (The Sheep and the Goats, the Wise and the Foolish Virgins, the Wheat and the Chaff) Jesus divides people into two categories: those who do the will of His Father and those who don't. Which category do we belong to? Are we doers of the word or are we merely sayers?

50 The Choices We Make  Scripture urges us to "be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like" (James 1:22-24).

51 The Choices We Make Both of these sons had: 1) The same father 2) The same instructions 3) The same opportunities and love There is no need to be in the vineyard if one will not work

52 The Choices We Make The Sahedrins had the seats of honour in the synagogues. They gave tithes for all to see. They appeared very holy to others. But, on the inside, they were full of hypocrisy and sin. They lived a lie. Their hearts were far from God. God, unlike people, sees all. "For the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

53 The Choices We Make  Today we participate in prayer, fellowship and generally engage in a lot of spiritual activities looking for all purposes like holy people, but what are we like when nobody is looking. A wise man once said that Christianity is what you do once the sermon is over. What are we like when the sermon is over? We may present an outward show of holiness, but are we really spiritual in the eyes of God?

54 The Choices We Make  Jelly on your Face !

55 The Choices We Make  Being spiritual doesn't mean being without sin, but it does mean stopping the sin in our lives once we know it is there. There is a story of a little boy who had jelly smeared all over his face, courtesy the donut he was eating. When his father saw him, he told the boy to quit eating the donuts and go wash his face. But the boy was enjoying his snack so much that he doesn't really care his face is dirty and goes on eating, making no effort to clean himself.

56 The Choices We Make  All of us sin, We are aware of our weaknesses. We know where we keep falling. For example, we know it is a sin to gossip but some have fun indulging in it. We actually enjoy sinning just like the little boy enjoyed his jelly donut. And just like the jelly messed up his face, our sin stains our souls. The question is: are we making any effort to change? Are we sorry for our behavior? If we are genuinely sorry, why do we not change our ways?

57 The Choices We Make Why do we struggle with obedience? Why do we fail to obey God? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Many of us claim to love Jesus, but don't do what he says.. If we genuinely love God, we will obey Him. Each of us has to think this way. “This is entirely between my savior Jesus Christ and me. He knows my every thought. He sees my heart.

58 The Choices We Make Nothing is hidden from him. He knows us better than I know ourselves. I may be able to fool the entire world but I cannot hide from Him. Despite all of my failings, Jesus loves me. Passionately. So much so that He died the most unimaginably agonizing and brutal and terrible death ever for my sake. As Christians, we are constantly told that God loves us. The question today, however, is not how much God loves us because that has been proved for all eternity in Jesus Christ. The question for us today is how much do we love God? Do we love him enough to obey Him? Let not Jesus Christ have to say to us: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)


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