If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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Jesus is concerned about the motivations behind our actions. Many people want to live by a list of rules, Jesus points to our heart attitudes. He was constantly pointing to the attitude with which people did things rather than the end result.
Our attitudes and beliefs are seen through the way we live. So in the final evaluation, it is by our actions that we will be judged, and those actions will have exposed our attitudes.
This overview points to the main teaching on the subject in the Bible. To understand more, there is a web page on each subject.
Love is an amazing quality. It is one that shines out in our selfish world. John says God is love, and so He who is love is on the look out for love in us. So, what is love? How much does he find it in our lives?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Humility is the natural place of anyone before their Creator. As someone begins to grasp the fact that God has authority to do anything He chooses, so they learn to be humble before all of God’s people on earth. Jesus, God on earth walked in humility. He said ‘The first shall be last and the last first.’
Matthew 18:1-4 1 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?"
2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them.3 Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Justice is found when the law condemns wrong doers and helps those who have been harmed. Many people are very keen for those who have harmed them to be brought to justice, while looking for their own wrongs to somehow be covered over. Those looking for justice need to have a long look at how they would stand before a holy God. Justice is precious to God who is the Father of all and shows no partiality between His children.
Isaiah 58:9-12 "Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. 12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
Mercy is shown by someone with power over another, when they do not treat them as their power enables, or as justice might demand.
As trust breaks down in our society people increasingly turn to following rights, rules, procedures and guidelines. Less space is given for people to show mercy, yet mercy is something the Lord values highly.
James 2:12-13 12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
Many Christians make bold claims. Being faithful through suffering demonstrates that the words are real. It also tempers and enriches the ideas behind the words.
1 Peter 1:4-7 we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 6 So be truly glad.* There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
The attitudes that God desires are highly esteemed but poorly practiced. Why is it that so few people, though knowing how they should live, fail to live up to Jesus’ desire and example?
John 13:3-5 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples' feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.