Lesson 5 - Man's Way

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    We established in Lesson #1 and #2 the reliability of the Bible and the understanding that God will one day judge us according to the truth that is found in the Bible. In Lesson #3 and #4, we saw that man was originally created to fellowship with God. However, man fell in sin and has been alienated from God ever since because of his sin.

    We have seen that:

    Man is spiritually in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1

    Man is already. John 3:18

    Man has the of God abiding on him. John 3:36

    Man is a of sin. Romans 6:17

    Man is , yet sought by Jesus. Luke 19:10

    How Do People Try to Erase Their Sin before God?

    In an attempt to rebuild a friendship or a relationship with God, man has attempted many ways of erasing his sin before God.

    If you remember from the last study, Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin with fig leaves. When that didn't work, they tried to themselves from God. (Genesis 3:8 )

    Do you think people are the same today? Do they try to hide themselves from God?

    A. Some People Try Good Works

    But God says that a man's good works are nothing more than "fig leaves." Good works are man's attempt to cover his sin, and God will NOT accept that!

    1. Read Ephesians 2:8-9 How are we saved?
    "By , through ."

    What cannot save us?
    "not of , lest any man should boast."

    2. Read Isaiah 64:6
    "All our righteousnesses (good works) are as ."

    It is not that good works are without value from a human point of view, but that they are no good from God's point of view. That is because they do not deal with the basic sin problem. They do nothing to take our sin away, which is what God requires.

    B. Some People Try Religion

    A person who is religious is very strict in carrying out his beliefs and rituals. His confidence is in the careful performance of his religious duties.

    Read Romans 2:17-29, Paul in verse 28, when speaking about a religious Jew stated that-
    "he is not a Jew, which is one ."

    Paul concluded in verse 29 that-
    "he is a Jew which is one ."

    Who gets the praise and glory when man allows God to do the work on the inside - in his heart?

    A religious person is trying to make himself righteous by all his religious deeds which he carries out. But he still has a wicked heart. Religious deeds can never take our sins away. He looks good on the outside, but God sees deep down inside of us. He can see our wicked, sinful heart. Therefore, the outward acts of religion without a changed heart are just "fig leaves" in the sight of God.

    C. Some People Try Baptism

    Others try baptism to make themselves right with God. But what does the Bible say about the ability of baptism to save a man from his sin and erase his guilt before God?

    Ephesians 2:8 What is the channel of God's saving grace?
    " ," not baptism!

    What are we not saved by according to Titus 3:5 ?
    " of ."

    How are our sins washed away? Ephesians 5:26
    "washing of water by the ," (speaking of the Word of God).

    Read Luke 23:32-33, 39-43
    One of the thieves on the cross was saved. Was he ever baptized?

    From your study of these Scriptures what part does baptism have to do with erasing your sins?
    Essential?Some Part?No Part?

    D. Some People Try Sincerity

    They believe that simply being sincere in what they believe will be enough when they stand before God. Surely if they just do what they think is best it will satisfy God, and He will accept them into heaven.

    But consider what God says in Proverbs 14:12.
    "There is a way which right unto a man, but the thereof are the ways of ."

    God doesn't think like man does. The ways of getting to heaven that seem right to men are not what God accepts. In fact, they lead to eternal death: eternal separation from God. We saw in Lesson #4 that the end result of man's sin is death: physical death and spiritual death which includes separation from God. This separation not only affects us now, but will also affect us for all of eternity!

    Read Romans 6:23
    "For the of sin is ;"

    Read Revelation 20:13-15
    "And the sea gave up the which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and were cast into the lake of . This is the death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of was cast into the lake of ."

    All of man's attempts to cover his sin and make himself right with God are no good. For a man to be saved and be right with God, he must come to God on God's terms, not on his own terms. We will talk about God's way of salvation in our next lesson.

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    Here are the past lessons for your review:
    Lesson 1 - Where Do We Find Truth?
    Lesson 2 - Is The Bible the Word of God?
    Lesson 3 - Creation and Fall of Man
    Lesson 4 - Man's Problems

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