Salvation 7

The Aim of this devotional study is to better understand and appreciate the fullness of God’s salvation in Christ.


Luke 18:9-14

9  [Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:

10  “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11  The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

13  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

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.”


This account of two men who approached God for righteousness, helps us to understand salvation and the basis of our relationship with God.

Note: “justified” is a legal term which means to be acquitted of all guilt, to be found innocent of all charges, thus to be righteous.

  1. To whom was this parable told? (v9) Give three contemporary words to describe such people.
  2. To see how well you understand the parable, indicate of who these verses are most true: [the Pharisee | the tax collector | or both men].
  • [ ] went to the temple because they believed in God’s existence and wanted a relationship with God. (v10)
  • [ ] came to God and showed that he was righteous by comparing his behavior with others. (v11)
  • [ ] thought that he was acceptable to God because he lived right according to the Law.  (v12)
  • [ ] approached God based on his own righteousness.
  • [ ] approached God based on God’s goodness and mercy.
  • [ ] was justified because he appealed to God’s mercy.
  1. Justified means “made right with God” means “saved”. What does this lesson teach us of God’s salvation and our approach?


  1. Write down your own short parable in contemporary terms (i.e. with no Biblical characters like tax collectors and Pharisees or temples – because we don’t have that around) so that, if you told it to your small group, they would get the same message than this parable above.
  2. Rick Godwin said once “each of us has a Pharisee inside of us”. Looking at the parable above, why could you agree with Rick Godwin?  What did this Pharisee do that we are easily tempted to do as well?


Spend some time in prayer to God, while NOT thinking of your behavior (not good nor bad), but only of his mercy and goodness.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you see hypocrisy and pride in you life, and ask God to forgive and cleanse you of it. “His mercy never ends!”

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