Justified

 The one who humbles himself will be exalted.     Luke 18:14

When Jesus taught his disciples through parables, the Scribes and Pharisees were listening in, ready to pounce on anything He said to try to prove Him wrong (Luke 16:14). They knew if Jesus was who He said He was, they would have to repent. They would no longer be able to believe they were God’s examples of what was good and right.  

In the parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus, again, addressed their hypocrisy. He even used a Pharisee as an example. In His story, the Pharisee proudly listed his acts of righteousness before God, virtually patting himself on the back for being so good. The tax collector, who had the reputation of being dishonest and greedy, beat himself on the chest and would not even look up to God, but pleaded for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Jesus said that this man was justified rather than the Pharisee. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).  

How many believers fall into justifying themselves by how often they go to church, pray, or pay their tithe? These things are important actions, but followers of Christ receive their justification from God alone. People are to receive the gift of righteousness that Jesus paid for on the cross, “not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

Intercede for citizens and officials of the United States to receive a clear understanding of the gift of the gospel of Christ. Pray for the Church to identify with those around them, knowing all are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness (Romans 3:23). 

Today’s Verse: Luke 18:14

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended for further reading: Romans 3:21-26

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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