Romans 8:5–11 (CSB) For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.
You Are Either For God or Against God
Luke 11:14–23 (CSB) Now he was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon came out, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He drives out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” And others, as a test, were demanding of him a sign from heaven. Knowing their thoughts, he told them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and a house divided against itself falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say I drive out demons by Beelzebul. And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason they will be your judges. If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his estate, his possessions are secure. But when one stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, he takes from him all his weapons he trusted in, and divides up his plunder. Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not gather with me scatters.
1. Can Satan cast out demons? 2. What if Hell went to war with itself? 3. Is Satan as strong as God? 4. Who is the fully armed strong man in this illustration? 5. Who is the "one stronger than he" who "attacks and overpowers" the fully armed strong man?
Either God Dwells In You or He Does Not
Luke 11:24–26 (CSB) “When an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it roams through waterless places looking for rest, and not finding rest, it then says, ‘I’ll go back to my house that I came from.’ Returning, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that person’s last condition is worse than the first.”
1. Is it enough to have our sins washed away? 2. What else does God do for those who come to trust and obey Him?
Either You Hear From God or You Hear From the World
Luke 11:27–32 (CSB) As he was saying these things, a woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the one who nursed you!” He said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”
As the crowds were increasing, he began saying, “This generation is an evil generation. It demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the south will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and look—something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s preaching, and look—something greater than Jonah is here.
1. When does God call us to repent of our sin? 2. How often? 3. What happens when we confess our sin to God?
1 John 1:5–10 (CSB) This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Either the Light of God Shines Within You or Darkness Consumes You
Luke 11:33–36 (CSB) “No one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see its light. Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is also full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness. Take care, then, that the light in you is not darkness. If, therefore, your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be entirely illuminated, as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
1. Can light and darkness appear at the same time?
John 1:1–5 (CSB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
You Are Either Righteous or Unrighteous
Luke 11:38–54 (CSB) When the Pharisee saw this, he was amazed that he did not first perform the ritual washing before dinner.
But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and evil. Fools! Didn’t he who made the outside make the inside too? But give from what is within to the poor, and then everything is clean for you.
“But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass justice and love for God. These things you should have done without neglecting the others.
“Woe to you Pharisees! You love the front seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
“Woe to you! You are like unmarked graves; the people who walk over them don’t know it.”
One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things you insult us too.” Then he said, “Woe also to you experts in the law! You load people with burdens that are hard to carry, and yet you yourselves don’t touch these burdens with one of your fingers.
“Woe to you! You build tombs for the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Therefore, you are witnesses that you approve the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their monuments. Because of this, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ so that this generation may be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world— from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. “Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible.
“Woe to you experts in the law! You have taken away the key to knowledge. You didn’t go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were trying to go in."
When he left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to oppose him fiercely and to cross-examine him about many things; they were lying in wait for him to trap him in something he said.
1. Why was Jesus so hard on the Pharisees? 2. What happens when we tried to earn God's love? Is that even possible? 3. What happens when we come to God as sinners?
Either You Look Like Christ or You Will Be Humbled
Luke 12:1–3 (CSB) Meanwhile, a crowd of many thousands came together, so that they were trampling on one another. He began to say to his disciples first, “Be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered, nothing hidden that won’t be made known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in an ear in private rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
Philippians 2:5-11 (CSB)
Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be exploited.
Instead he emptied himself
by assuming the form of a servant,
taking on the likeness of humanity.
And when he had come as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
and every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
1. How can we hid our sin from God? 2. Why do we even tried? 3. How does God view our pride? 4. How does God view our sin? 5. How does God view our confessions of sin?
Either You Fear God or You Fear Man
Luke 12:4–7 (CSB) “I say to you, my friends, don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will show you the one to fear: Fear him who has authority to throw people into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the one to fear! Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
1. What does it look like to fear man rather than God? 2. Why should we care?
Either God Saves You or Condemns You
Luke 12:8–12 (CSB) “And I say to you, anyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God, but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Whenever they bring you before synagogues and rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you should defend yourselves or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said.”
What does it really mean to deny Christ? Is it mere words or the heart?
John 18:15-18 (CSB) Simon Peter was following Jesus, as was another disciple. That disciple was an acquaintance of the high priest; so he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. But Peter remained standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the girl who was the doorkeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?”
“I am not,” he said. Now the servants and the officials had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them, warming himself.
John 18:25-27 (CSB) Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”
He denied it and said, “I am not.”
One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Peter denied it again. Immediately a rooster crowed.
John 21:15-19 (CSB) When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to him, “you know that I love you.”
“Feed my lambs,” he told him. A second time he asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to him, “you know that I love you.”
“Shepherd my sheep,” he told him.
He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved that he asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
“Feed my sheep,” Jesus said. “Truly I tell you, when you were younger, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. After saying this, he told him, “Follow me.”