We humans have the natural tendency to play the blame game and refuse to accept responsibility for our actions, beliefs, and even our lives. We want to do as we please, so we do not, nor want to see the long-term consequences for our actions. We live for the "here and now" with our nose firmly planted in our desires and expectations. Then, we become unable or unwilling to see the big picture of what life is all about. Thus, when we experience life's traumas from our own misdirected decisions, we go to God and blame Him. We must learn responsibility; we cannot hide behind the church, or, for the Jew, the Law. We must come to the realization that it is all about what Christ has done for us; therefore, we need to live our lives in response to what He has done for us.
This passage is telling us that everyone is condemned because of sin; no one can ever escape it. No one since Adam and Eve was ever born right; that is why we have to be born again (John 3). We also have to see God as pure and just and ourselves as not even close to that. If you choose to live as you please, be aware that one day there will be an accounting, and all of your excuses that may have worked in the past will wither before His Presence.
· When we do accept Christ, we should have the desire to please Him and excel to benefit society and His glory. We have no reason or basis to complain. We tend to always focus on the "whys"-why did God allow this or that to happen? However, God desires us not to focus on the why, for He is sovereign. He wants us to focus on the "who" and the "what." The "who" is Christ, and the "what" is His will. When we focus our lives, beliefs, and will upon Him, then the "whys" fall away. Because, it is not a question of why bad things happen to us, but what we can learn from them, and how we can grow to be better in character, faith, and strength for His purpose.
· Our faith is not a cover over our sin and unrighteousness, Christ is! We are totally lost and helpless without Christ!
· We must realize the impact of sin in all aspects of society and all aspects of our lives. If we do not see sin, we will not see Christ. Because, we will fail to realize our need for His cleansing. We have to be cleansed before we can help others understand and undertake Christ's cleansing (Matthew 7:1-5). With this mindset, we will realize that we are all under the same tent of offence, all in the same boat named peccadillo (sin); we are all the same-in Christ or outside of Christ. There are no favorites. We will realize our hypocrisy and pride and how we come across to others.
· We have no basis for pride. We will see Christ as who He is and be so overruled that He affects all of us all of the time!
1. What can we do to focus ourselves with the correct attitude?
2. When bad things happen, we tend to always focus on the "whys"-why did God allow this or that to happen, and so forth. Why do we do that?
3. How can we get over our distress by focusing only on the Way? What does God want us to focus on?
4. How do we learn when bad things happen to us?
5. How do we grow to be better in character and strength for His purpose? How would that affect your faith and church?
6. Why would some Christians place their confidence in their denomination or church, and reject the truth and practice of the faith?
7. Why must we not rationalize our behaviors or form excuses to cover our tracks?
8. What can you do to make sure your attitude is Christ-centered in regard to blame and responsibility? What does this have to do with your faith?
9. What can you do to be committed to the truth that there is nothing you can do to earn God's favor outside of Christ? How would that affect your witnessing and personal attitude toward life?
10. As a pastor, how would your having more faith benefit your church?