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1. God made us in His image as free-will agents. Life is a series of decisions.
Our decisions have consequences.
2. We can learn from decisions of Jesus and the consequences.

I. Jesus Decided to Come to Earth to Die for Our Sins.

A. Phil. 2:1-11 Those who are in Christ must have the mind of Christ: unselfish love, humility, & service.
1. In verses 1-4, if we have received abundant spiritual blessings in union with Christ,
we should always be ready to share those blessings with each other.
a. Blessings given to us in Christ include consolation (encouragement), comforted by Christ’s love,
fellowship with God & His family in the Holy Spirit, tenderness, and compassion.
b. Therefore, we should be united in loving & serving one another. We are saved to serve!
2. In verses 5-11, Christ is presented as the perfect model or example we should emulate to attain
the goal of unity in unselfish love.
a. In verses 6-8, he completely emptied himself of the glory of his heavenly state to come to earth
as a man in order to give his life for our sins. Though fully God, he made a decision to become
a servant of the Father and of all mankind! Thus he came as fully God & fully man to save us!
b. In verses 9-11, because of his loving humble service Jesus was exalted to his glorious role
as the Lord, Savior, & Judge before whom all men must bow.

B. We can learn from the decision-making process of Jesus.
1. What is the basic struggle every person has within himself which affects every decision we make?
2. How does focusing on Jesus help us to overcome this struggle?
3. What will be the difference in the results between a family full of selfishness,
& a family filled with unselfish love?
4. What will be the difference in the results between a local church full of selfish members,
& a church filled with unselfish love?

II. Jesus Decided While Young to Make Studying God’s Word a Priority.

A. Lk. 2:41-52 Jesus spent several days with teachers of God’s Word when taken to Jerusalem
for the Passover at the age of 12.
1. He spent at least 4 days in classes taught by some of the best teachers of the Law.
One of the primary methods of teaching was for instructors to read passages, then ask the students
questions about the proper interpretation and application of the Scriptures.
2. With a mixture of relief & anxiety, Mary asked why he had remained behind (vs. 48).
a. With a mixture of frustration & amazement, he asked why they did not know to find him
attending to his Father’s affairs by engaging in Bible studies (vs. 49, his first recorded words).
b. They should have known because of previous revelations, his character, & his evident interest in spiritual things.
B. We can learn from the decision-making process of Jesus.
1. How do we see his parents’ commitment to learn & obey God’s Word?
2. Jesus respected both his earthly parents & his heavenly Father from his youth, but how did he make
God the first priority in Lk. 2? How can we cultivate this commitment in the young today?
3. How can a 12 year old today really make the decision Jesus did, or was his case miraculous?

III. Jesus Decided to Talk to Anyone & Everyone Who Would Listen about Their Salvation.

A. Jn. 4:5-10 Jesus initiated a discussion with a Samaritan woman about her salvation.
1. The animosity between Jews & Samaritans was deep rooted & well known. Jesus violated cultural
& religious taboos by teaching this woman.
a.The Samaritan race was a mixture of Jews & Gentiles as a result of the Assyrian defeat of Israel in 721 B.C.
Their religion mixed Judaism and paganism (2 Kgs. 17:41).
b. The rabbis taught that Jews passing through the region of Samaria or using vessels
belonging to Samaritans defiled a person.
c. The rabbis taught a man should not be seen alone with a woman in private or public places
lest his reputation be destroyed.
d. The violation of these taboos would have been compounded by her moral condition.
2. Jesus looked past these taboos & saw a person made in God’s image, lost in sin, needing salvation.
He was more concerned about her salvation than about what people might think & say about him for trying to teach her.
His own disciples were shocked when they saw this scene (vs. 27).
3. Contrary to typical expectations of such a case, she was converted & opened doors for many others to be saved!

B. We can learn from the decision-making process of Jesus.
1. What are some groups or categories of people who might make good prospects to obey the gospel?
2. What are some groups or categories who might make poor prospects?
3. Why is it wrong to automatically categorize people & make no effort to teach & save them?

IV. Jesus Decided to Yield His Will in the Flesh to the Will of the Father in Heaven.

A. Matt. 26:36-46 Shortly before his arrest Jesus struggled in prayer over his decision to obey the Father’s will
& the imminent horrors of crucifixion.
1. Crucifixion involved a violent, cruel, bloody, painful, & horrific death. Especially for Jesus,
“the cup” of death by crucifixion was filled with “mental, moral, physical and spiritual suffering”
(J.W. McGarvey, The Fourfold Gospel, p. 687).
2. Each time Jesus prayed that the Father’s will be fulfilled, knowing full well the cup of sorrow
& suffering he faced. He was seeking strength to maintain his decision to obey God’s plan.

B. We can learn from the decision-making process of Jesus.
1. What decisions might a person face today involving physical pain to fulfill God’s will?
2. What decisions might someone face involving mental, moral, & spiritual pain?
3. What are some factors which might help us make the right decision in such cases?

V. Jesus Decided to Complete His Work from Start to Finish.

A. Lk. 13:31-33 The Pharisees tried to scare Jesus out of Perea. He determined to finish his work there,
not fearing either Herod or the Pharisees, and knowing it was not time for him to die.
B. Jn. 11:1-7 Jesus was called to Lazarus’ sick bed but delayed 2 days to finish his work in Perea.

C. Jn. 19:28-30 Only when he completed his mission, Jesus left his body in death.

D. We can learn from the decision-making process of Jesus.
1. What are some things we should complete from start to finish to fulfill God’s will?

By Ron Halbrook

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