Elements City Church
The Stories of Jesus - week 1: The Parable of the Two Sons
The Stories of Jesus: A Study in the Parables There are over 30 recorded parables Jesus told His followers. These stories help us better understand God’s truth, our calling, and the principles around which followers of Jesus are to base their lives.
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  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    domingo 10:00 AM, domingo 5:00 PM
The Stories of Jesus: A Study in the Parables
This week: The Parable of the Two Sons
5 Minute Nerd-out:
What's the context of this story?
Jesus tells this story in the temple in Jerusalem. He's cleared the temple and taken over, much to the anger of the Pharisees.
Jesus is telling this parable to the Pharisees, knowing His followers are also crowded around, listening.
What's the point of the parable?
The true people of God are those who repent and are then obedient to Him.
“Jesus’ interrogators had known what John demanded all right. But they did not respond. They did not believe. People whom they despised, the tax collectors and the harlots, were more open to John’s message. They did believe him, which means that they responded to his call for repentance and amended their whole way of living and of approach to God. Clearly the change was evident, for Jesus says, “you had seen this.” But even the evidence of what a true response to John’s preaching could do in people’s lives did not produce a change in the conventionally religious. They did not repent afterward . . . they did not believe John.”
Leon Morris
Are we so convinced of our religious intentions that our actions no longer align with them?
God is more impressed by our performance than He is by our promises.

Obedience is about what you actually do, not about what you intend to do.
Truth - believing an idea that corresponds to reality
Lie - believing in an idea that does not correspond with reality
Our disobedience is rooted in a lack of trust that God ultimately wants our deepest happiness.
Deceptive ideas get as far as they do because they appeal to our disordered desires (our sinful nature).

The devil's goal is to first isolate us, then implant in our minds deceitful ideas that play to our disordered desires, which we feel comfortable with because they are normalized by the status quo of our society.
The deception (or really temptation) is and has always been twofold: (1) to seize autonomy from God and (2) to redefine good and evil based on the voice in our heads and the inclination of our hearts, rather than trust in the loving word of God.

Here's another way to frame it. There are three great questions in life:
1. Who is God? (Or the gods? Or is there a God or gods?)
2. Who are we?
3. How do we live?
When we believe truth — that is, ideas that correspond to reality — we show up to reality in such a way that we flourish and thrive. We show up to our bodies, . . . to our interpersonal relationships, and, above all, to God Himself in a way that is congruent with the Creator's wisdom and good intentions for his creation. As a result, we tend to be happy.

This is the fullness of joy Jesus promises in John 15:11
So how do we grow in obedience? How do we get the renewed mind?
1. Commit to the practices that foster our spiritual formation:
- Prayer
- Silence and solitude
- Fasting
- Confessing our sins to someone
- Repentance
- Scripture

The key to spiritual formation is to change what we can control (our habits) to influence what we can't control (our flesh).

Practicing the Way

If you want to better define these practices, as well as find helpful ways to implement the practices in your life, use this site.
This site is an excellent resource to go through with your EGroup!

https://practicingtheway.org/practices
2. Commit to the Church
By following Jesus together — not alone — we are able to:

a. Discern Jesus's truth from the devil's lies

b. Help one another override our flesh by the Spirit

c. Form a robust community of deep relationships that functions as a counterculture to the world
“Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him ... Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of the unexpressed it poisons the whole being of a person." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"It is better to confess our temptation before we get to the point of having to confess our sin."
Steve Gladen