Faith saves! This is the main takeaway from today’s Bible study covering the book of Luke. We began with the story of Simon the Pharisee and the sinful woman. Jesus goes to Simon’s home to have dinner, when a sinful woman comes to him with a jar of perfume. She begins weeping at the feet of Jesus. She covers his feet in kisses and pours her perfume on them. The Pharisee sees this and begins to doubt the credibility of Jesus. He believed that if Jesus were a prophet, he would know this woman was sinful and would stay far away from her. Jesus then tells Simon that her great faith and love for the Lord has granted forgiveness for the sins she has committed. I mean how merciful is our God!
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.
Straying from sin alone will not grant salvation. In the second story, we read in Luke 18 about a Pharisee and a tax collector coming before God. The Pharisee thanks the Lord for not making him like the sinners of the world, he stands proud of his repentance from sin. The tax collector speaks to the Lord with humility. He asks the Lord for forgiveness and mercy for his sins. The Lord looked highly upon the tax collector for coming to him with a fearful and sheepish heart.
I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
To wrap up the Bible study the campers were asked to compare their lives to the Pharisee and the tax collector/sinful woman. How are we approaching the Lord? Is our head low in submission or high in hopes of exaltation?