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Good Questions on Ezekiel 18

by Josh Hunt www.joshhunt.com

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Introduction


There are few issues more important to the formation of disciples than the issue of taking responsibility for your own life. "For each one should carry his own load" Galatians 6:5 says. There is no progress in Christian discipleship until we are willing to carry our own load. Until we are willing to take responsibility for our own lives, we will not show much progress. It is oh-too easy to blame. The tendency to blame others, rather than taking responsibility for our own lives is as old as the Garden of Eden. Blaming others comes so naturally, it is often difficult to see. As in many areas, we are blinded by sin (Revelation 3:17). Lead your class to see their blaming tendency and become willing to be responsible for their own lives and you will have served your Master well in teaching today.

 

Background


  1. Ezekiel is part of the Bible known as the major prophets. Who can state, in order, all the major prophets?
  2. Let's all say them together. Now, who can say them by themselves?
  3. Who can say the minor prophets?
  4. Let's work on learning to say these just a bit. Let's say the first six together. . . (1)
  5. Let's talk about historical chronology. Can you guess, within a hundred years when Ezekiel lived?
  6. Anyone have a study Bible? What are some events just before and just after the life of Ezekiel?
  7. One last question: spell Ezekiel!

 

Ezekiel 18:1 - 4, 17 - 23, 30 - 32


OPEN

DIG

  1. As we read this passage, look for the what were the existing beliefs of Ezekiel's audience.
  2. Who can explain the metaphor of the grapes found in verse 2?
  3. Historically, what is happening? How could these people have the idea that they are being blamed for their father's sins?(2)
  4. How does God, through Ezekiel, answer this idea that they are being punished for their parents' sins?
  5. The problem of blaming goes way, way, back. Someone look up Genesis 3:9 - 13.(3) As we read this, look at who the woman blames and who the man blames.
  6. Why this tendency to avoid responsibility? Why not just own up to our sins? Why didn't Adam and Eve just say, "We blew it; we are sorry"? Why did the Jews in Ezekiel's day blame their parents?
  7. Do you see this in modern life? Give an example where someone failed to take responsibility for his own sin?
  8. Does your respect for someone tend to go up or go down when they admit they blew it?(4)
  9. Let me get slightly more personal. Has there every been a time, maybe way, way back in time, when you blamed others for what you were responsible for? . . . Anyone else?
  10. Think about this one: what are the advantages for you for taking responsibility for your own life? What is in it for you to admit that you sinned, you blew it, you need forgiveness?
  11. With these advantages, why don't we do it?
  12. Can God forgive sin we won't admit and take responsibility for?
  13. Here is an interesting question: can this be overdone? Is there such a thing as taking too much responsibility? Ever known anyone who is willing to take all the blame, not only for their own sin, but also for the sins of everyone around them? Is this good or bad?(5)
  14. Look again in your Bibles to Ezekiel 18:23, 32. What do we learn about God from these verses?
  15. I'd like to ask you to bow your heads just now. I'd like to ask you to pray this prayer,

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalms 139:23) Show me any area of my life in which I am blaming others and failing to take responsibility for my own life. Right now I repent of my failure to take responsibility for my life, and I just now take responsibility again. Forgive me where I have sinned. Cleanse me, and empower me to do what I should. Thank you, for taking pleasure in my repentance.


1. Keep working at this as long as is appropriate to your group.

2. They were in captivity directly because of the sins of their fathers and grandfathers. What they didn't realize is that they had plenty of sins of their own.

3. Genesis 3:9 - 13 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

4. Jim Bakker, for example, just came out with a book entitled, I Was Wrong.

5. It often seems noble and humble and all that, but it is not. It is the sick stuff of codependency. It is just another way to control another person. The whole point is that we are to take responsibility for our own lives, not that we are to take blame for other's sins.

 
 

 

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