THE WOMAN WHO LIVED A SINFUL LIFE

Bible Study Lesson 6/25/2016 Key Scriptures: Luke 7:36-50

Supporting Scriptures: Luke 19:2-3; Romans 3:23; Is. 55:8; Rom. 6:23;

Matt. 7:1; Matt.23:2-3,13-14; Rev. 3:20; Zec.1:3; Matt. 28:19-20; John 3:16; Matt.22:37-38; John 14:23; Matt. 10:33; Prov. 3:6; Hebrews 8:12

  1. THE TITLE:

Many times in scripture the main character is named, such as Zacchaeus, a man of short stature who climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. (Luke 19:2-3). Other times, as in this lesson, no name is given. While pondering the reason why, consider this: any name would be appropriate; male or female. Romans 3:23 tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

  1. HER CHARACTER:

“She was a notorious sinner, possibly a prostitute or adulteress. Rather than trying to defend what was indefensible in her life, she admitted her sin and made a spectacle of herself in a passionate display of love and gratitude.”  WOB, pg. 171.

In our humanness, we often attempt to categorize sin. For many a “LITTLE SIN” like lying is insignificant, while a “BIG SIN” such as murder is unforgiveable. In opposition to our thinking, let us look at Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, declares the Lord. We know that God hates all sin, for He tells us “the wages of sin is death…”. (Romans 6:23) Therefore, as we look at the character of the lady in this lesson; ourselves; and the many others in which we come in contact, let us remember “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”. (Matt. 7:1)

  1. HER SORROW:

“That she had offended God so grievously”. (biblegateway.com)

  1. HER JOY:

“That Jesus forgave her sins and commended her great faith and love.” (biblegateway.com)

  1. THE INVITATION:

One of the Pharisees named Simon invited Jesus into his home for dinner and Jesus went and reclined at the table. (Luke 7:36) Based on scripture, we know that the Pharisees were experts in the law. They believed in God, but not that Jesus was the Messiah. Repeatedly, they attempted to entice Jesus into saying something they could use to bring about his arrest, imprisonment and crucifixion. In regard to the Pharisees, Jesus stated “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach”. (Matt. 23:2-3). Repeatedly, he referred to them as “hypocrites”. (Matt. 23:13-14)

Initially, we don’t know why Simon extended the invitation or why Jesus accepted; we simply know that it was done. Here is something we do know in full detail, Jesus has extended an open invitation to all of us. He says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me”. (Rev. 3:20) We can rejoice in the knowledge that God’s invitation remains open even when we err and fall into sin, if we will sincerely repent (as the woman in this lesson). Let us remember the words of the Lord in Zechariah 1:3, “Return to me”, declares the Lord Almighty, “and I will return to you”.

  1. SHARING THE GOSPEL:

A woman in town who lived a sinful life heard that Jesus was dining at Simon’s house, so she arrived uninvited with an alabaster jar filled with perfume. (Luke 7:37)

Apparently, the woman had already heard Jesus speak or at least had heard about Him. She had seen or heard of His many miracles, healings and teachings. After hearing, she responded by seeking Him out and going to where He was. Obviously, she desired to connect with Him, learn more and pay homage to Him since she brought along a gift- love offering.

As children of God, it is our responsibility to spread the good news telling others about Jesus. He commands us to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20)

Like the woman in our lesson, after hearing about Jesus our desire should be to make that connection with Him. We can rest assured that “God desires a continuing love relationship with us that is real and personal”. (Experiencing God; Henry and Richard Blackaby; pg. 52 2007).  In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment.”  While requiring our love, remember that God first demonstrated His love for us in that “…..He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)  How appropriate is that age-old childhood song: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so”.

  1. WE SHOULD DEMONSTRATE OUR LOVE FOR JESUS OPENLY!

After entering Simon’s home, the woman stood behind Jesus at His feet weeping; wet His feet with her tears; wiped them with her hair; kissed them and poured perfume on them. (Luke7:38). Her love for Jesus was shown through her humility (the washing of His feet); tears (outward display of love and devotion); and unselfish giving (the alabaster jar filled with  perfume). Scripture doesn’t indicate that she ever spoke a word, but her love and devotion was evident.

As believers, we should demonstrate our love for Jesus openly by living righteously and loving others as He commands. He tells us in John 14:23 “anyone who loves me will obey my teaching”.  He further states in Matthew 10:33, that, if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father.

  1. HATERS WILL HATE

When Simon saw what the woman was doing, his mind went straight to the negative. He thought to himself, “If Jesus is a prophet he would know that the woman touching him is a sinner”. (Luke 7:39)  Now Simon reveals his true character and doubt of who Jesus is. How quickly he was ready to judge, placing himself above the woman, as though he was not also a sinner. Additionally, he seemingly places himself above Jesus, believing that he knows more because he recognizes the woman as a sinner while Jesus does not.

  1. IGNORE STUMBLING BLOCKS

Jesus knew Simon’s thoughts and responded by explaining a parable about two men who owed a debt, one 500 denarii and the other 50. Neither man could repay the moneylender, so he forgave both debts.  Jesus then asked the question, which of the debtors would love the most (be the most grateful). Simon answered the one who owed the most and Jesus replied that he was correct. (Luke 7:43-44)

The parable was meant to teach a lesson. Both Simon and the woman owed a debt that could never repay. Consider this summarization from Bible Gateway: “Though Simon’s sin was less obvious, it was the more dangerous. He was like a man who was following a map he was certain would lead to heaven—but when heaven came down and walked into his house, he didn’t even know it. The woman on the other hand, realized just how lost she had been. Forgiven much, she loved much. She found heaven at the feet of Jesus.”

Jesus went on to point out all the expected amenities Simon had failed to offer as a proper host, such as water to clean His feet; a welcoming kiss; or oil for His head. The woman, however, had done all these acts of love by washing His feet, kissing them and anointing them with oil. (Luke 7:44-46)

In our daily lives, there will be stumbling blocks. There will people who question our commitment to God; criticize our actions; intentionally place obstacles in our way, and even slander our name and more. Remember that God is omniscience, omnipresent and omnipotent.  Trust completely in Him, stand firmly on His promises and “in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths”. (Prov.3:6)

  1. JESUS RESPONDS TO OUR FAITH

Jesus supports the woman and says to Simon, “Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown”. (Luke7:47). He also says directly to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven”. (Luke 7:48)

We know that the woman was not saved because of her actions or the expensive perfume, for it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us”. (Titus 3:5) Jesus makes it perfectly clear in Luke7:50 when he says to The Woman Who Has Lived A Sinful Life, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”.

  1. STANDING ON THE WORD

God has promised, “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more”. (Hebrews 8:12)  “This story isn’t included in scripture just so we can see the forgiveness given to one sinful woman, it is included so that we can know that no matter how sinful, how broken, how entrenched in error we might be, forgiveness is available if only we seek it in faith—he’s promised.”  biblegateway.com/devotionals/women of the bible/2014/09/29.

Bibliography:

Holy Bible, New International Version, (NIV) Study Bible, Copyright 1985, Zondervan Corporation

Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Copyright 1999,2002 by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda; Zondervan

Experiencing God, Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Henry and Richard Blackaby, Claude King; Copyright 2007, Reprinted 2015

biblegateway.com/devotionals/women-of-the-bible/2014/09/29

 

 

Priscilla Bible Study Key Points – for Bible Study March 28, 2015

For our lesson of Priscilla, Acts 18-19, Romans 16:3-4, I Corinthians 16-19, Timothy 4:19 on pages 221-224, in our main text Women of the Bible by Jean E Syswerda.

1.  Her name, diminutive of “Prisca”, means “worthy” or “venerable.” (1.)

2.  Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times in four different books of the New Testament and they are always named as a couple and never individually. (See number 4)

3. Of those six references, Priscilla’s name is mentioned first, four times, which is unusual for such a male dominated society.  (2.)

4. Through out Scripture the man is usually named first: Adam and Eve, and Ananias and Sapphira, making the four appearances of Priscilla’s name first, a notable exception.  Examples:

A. Acts 18:2-3: “There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome.  And because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.”

B. Acts 18:18: “Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time.  Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila.  Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken.”

C.  Acts 18:26: “He began to speak boldly in the synagogue.  When Priscila and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.”

D.  Romans 16:3-4: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.  They risked their lives for me.  Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”

E. I Corinthians 16:19: “The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings.  Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.”

F. 2 Timothy 4:19: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.”

5. While this view is not likely among scholars, some scholars have suggested that Priscilla was the author of Hebrews.  Hebrews is the only book in the New Testament with author anonymity. (3)

6.  Paul met them in Corinth, Acts 18:2: “There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Cladius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome.  Paul went to see them.”  Priscilla and Aquila were tent makers, as was Paul.  Priscilla and Aquila had  been among the Jews expelled from Rome by Roman Emperor Claudius in the year 49.  They ended up in Corinth for many months.

7. Priscilla and Aquila were among known the earliest known missionaries. Acts 18:24-26: Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.  He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.  He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately”.

1. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999, pg. 221.

2. Beyond Sex Roles:What the Bible Says about a Woman’s Place in Church and Family, Gilbert Bilezikian, Baker Academy, 2006, pp 200-201.

3. NIV Study Bible  (All Scriptures)

Women of the Bible – Priscilla– 03/28/2015

Priscilla is our twenty-second study in our series from Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Jean E Syswerda. The study of Priscilla is found on page 221. The Bible Study will meet 4:00p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For complete information contact Glenda at 727-542-4683.

Our Spring Pot Luck and Open House is scheduled for April 11, 2015. If you have not attended one of our Bible Studies, this is a good time to come and see what we are about. We welcome all visitors, no participation on the Pot-Luck items required, Come and be Our Guest.

For information contact Glenda at 727-542-4683.

“When a Christian Freaks Out!” Romans 6:11-14

Romans 6:11-14

“In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do no let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

Have you seen Christians who freak out (v. lose or cause to lose emotional control from extreme excitement, shock, fear, joy, despair, etc.) regularly?  I mean someone who is prone to lose all self-control.  If you stood next to a professing non-believer when they’re in the middle of their tirade; you’d be unable to distinguish who was the unbeliever.

Have you talked to a Christian friend who was able to openly admit to “freaking out” due to a major unexpected life-event? It may have been losing a job, a home foreclosure, adult children issues, older-parent issues, or maybe even the unexpected death of a loved-one.

What can we do when a Christian is “freaking-out?”  That’s the time to encourage them to fervently pray to God. (Psalm 32:5-6) Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.”

I had an occasion just last week when I was “freaking-out”.  It was just a little thing.  My work schedule changed, unexpectedly and I allowed it to cause a domino-effect, because there were things I needed to get done before leaving home for work. My well-ordered morning schedule of the past weeks was in disarray, and I needed to either move faster, slow the clock down, or just leave some things undone.  Instead of choosing, I “freaked out” , the old sin-nature took over faster than you can imagine and it scared me to the point that I stopped, got a pen and completed a Behavioral Observation on myself.  I spoke to God, “Lord, you are too good to me, for me to act like this!”

When I finished the exercise, God had taken control of the situation, and put me back together again in an amazing way! God’s grace (Unmerited favor) is sufficient. I’m hoping that admitting to “freaking-out” though embarrasing, may help someone during a “crisis of belief” to trust God instead of “freaking-out.”

Prayer: “Lord, please help us to confidently put our trust in you to keep us and life’s situations under control before we over-react, during our crisis of belief. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Article Originally in Homewords News, July 2011

 

 

“Thank You God, for The Times You’ve Said “No”

When we ask God (through prayer) to meet our needs, we expect Him to answer “yes,” every time. We’ve already had the time to assess and examine our situation; therefore, we know that we do need God’s help. The help we want from Him (as our Father) is His endorsement, His permission, and His granting of our wish. God’s love for us and His moral attributes will not allow Him to give us His endorsement, His permission, or His wish fulfillment to all that his beloved children request of Him.

“God is just and righteous because He reacts to law—His Law. His love has a self-imparting quality that leads God to seek the highest good for His Creation (us) and to seek complete possession of us”. Psalm 145:9, 15-20a: – “The Lord is good to all he has made. You give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him.” Romans 2:2-4 “You, therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience not realizing that God’s kindness leads toward repentance?” (Cook pg. 6) Thank you God, for the times you’ve said “no.”

“God’s love seeks to reclaim those who wander from Him”. Jeremiah 50:6 – “My people have been lost; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountains and hill and forgot their own resting place. Whoever found them devoured them; their enemies said, “We are not guilty, for they sinned against the Lord, their true pasture, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.” (Cook pg. 7) Thank you God, for the times you’ve said, “No” to us economically. You’ve changed our financial structure, financial contracts, resources, job security, positions, titles, and our tenure. This has caused a domino effect in the whole world’s finance system.

“He desires to seek and to save those who are lost because of His Love.”

2 Peter 3:3-9 – “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is the coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water by water. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness. He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (Cook Pg 6) Thank you God, for the times you’ve said “no” to our hanging out with the wrong crowd.

“God is all powerful. He can do any/all things consistent with His nature and purpose. He is able to do all that He wills to do. God does what is right.” Romans 1:16-17a – “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith.” (Cook pg 5) Thank you God, for the times you’ve said “no” by preventing us from moving forward, without your direction. We were packed up and ready to go to what we perceived as the next logical step, you, God were able to bring everything to a screeching halt.

We often respond negatively to God’s refusals to us, His answers of “no.” Some of us truly grieve at the loss of God’s endorsement, His permission, and His granting of our wishes. Others may resort to pouting, complaining, passive-aggressive behavior, or by shutting down to a life-long pity party. Still others may decide to try another god who is permissive, and caters to all of their whims until it’s time for the natural and logical consequences to occur. James 1:2-8 reminds us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If anyone likes wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

When we are faced with any situation, know that all things begin and end with God for the Believer. When answers are needed, be humble and courageous enough to go to the source (God) for all answers, for the Believer.

Prayer: Thank you God, for restraining us by saying, “No.” We humbly receive your corrections with gratitude to you, in the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.

Rev. Glenda Brunson

1.All scriptures from the NIV Study Bible, The Zondervan Corporation, 1995

2.Cook, James L., Introduction to Theology, A Summery Outline, St. Petersburg Theological Seminary

(Reprint from August 2010 Facebook)

Living The Sane Life

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church of Ephesus 2,000 years ago, that message speaks to us today. He was advising the Ephesians on how to live a sane, Spirit-filled life every day. Paul compared and contrasted a life lived which was led by the sin-nature, with a life led by the Holy Spirit. Afterwards the choice of which life-style to follow was left to the recipients of the letter. He did, however, strongly encourage the Ephesians and us to live a life led by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:1-21:
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

We, like the Ephesians, choose the kind of life-style that meets our needs. Fortunately, when we learn to make better choices, we can make more positive changes in our lives. The questions I submit to us are: “Are we wanting something more from our lives?” “Have we outgrown the life-style we’re living?” “Have we become bored with happy-hour, and now desire a happy life that pleases God?” “Do we feel tired of playing the same game because we know the outcome?” “Are we ready to get out of the kindergarten of life and strap-on the “big-boy” issues under God’s direction?”

I recommend Jesus, He is the answer. Invite Him into your heart and allow Him to take control of everything. Some of us remember this Sunday School song: “Into My Heart.” Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in to-day, come in to stay. Come into my heart Lord Jesus.

We gain and regain our sanity when we become a child of God. Romans 10:9-10 teaches: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Prayer: Father, let all come to repentance, let none be lost. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

(Reprint from Facebook, August 2010)

Glenda BrunsonWe are thankful for the life-lessons of the “God-breathed” Scriptures. As God blew his breath into the first Adam, the Bible is available to breathe life into us. The Bible is indeed a” lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” August 20, 2010 

The Process of Coming to God’s Perfect Placement

The Process of becoming what we feel God wants us to be is not easy. When a prefect God, brings us closer to His perfection, for His use, our adjustments to His requirements are not easy. But the adjustments we call difficult, can’t in any way be compared with the difficult task Jesus had of dying for the sins of others. Every day, we must continue to hope that  “just at the right time” we will experience the feeling of accomplishing exactly what God wants. However remember, the process of becoming is not easy.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance , character; and character , hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:1-8)