How it works: First, read the scripture (it is also included in the video). Second, watch the message. Third, work through the reflection questions. While it is not required, we do recommend that you write down your answers in a journal of some kind. Blessings to you as you engage in the spiritual disciplines for a holy Lent.
Scripture: Luke 4:1-13
- The temptation of Jesus appears in three of the four gospels but only Luke specifically mentions that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit.”
- This story in Luke implies that Jesus was tempted by the devil throughout the forty days, whereas the Matthew account implies Jesus was tempted after forty days of fasting.
- Traditionally the wilderness this takes place in is thought to be a rocky, hilly area between Jericho and Jerusalem. Even to this day it is a fairly barren region.
- Pastor said that the temptations Jesus faced are like the temptations we face. Specifically, Jesus was tempted with selfishness, power, and pride. Do you think those are common temptations people face today? How might you have faced those temptations?
- In response to the three temptations, Jesus responded with a different scripture. Which of those responses feels like a reminder that you need most right now?
- It was mentioned that Jesus being fully human is a foundational Christian belief. Why do you think that belief is so important?
- Pastor said: “The truth of grace is it does not matter how far we feel we have move from God. No matter the distance between you and God, the return trip is only one step.” If this is true, why does it matter if we resist temptation?
The sermon mentioned the belief of Christian perfection. The United Methodist Book of Discipline gives a definition for this in Article XI of the confession of faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church:
“Entire sanctification is a state of perfect love, righteousness, and true holiness which every regenerate believer may obtain by being delivered from the power of sin, by loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and by loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. Through faith in Jesus Christ this gracious gift may be received in this life both gradually and instantaneously, and should be sought earnestly by every child of God.”
Consider and possibly journal about the following questions: Do you believe that it is possible for you to achieve such a state? If not, what holds you back from believing such a state of sanctification is possible? How are you earnestly seeking entire sanctification/Christian perfection in your life?