Saturday, January 1, 2011

Are You A Pharisee?

Good standing with God is based on only one thing according to the New Testament: faith in what Jesus did for us.  That alone is what makes us right with God. Not our works, but Jesus' work.

LUKE 12:1 NKJ ... He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

The Pharisees were hypocrites. That is, they put on an act.  What they pretended to be in public was not really what they were like in private. They claimed to be perfect in keeping God's law, but as humans they were all sinners, just like the rest of the people were. Yet, in public, they insisted that  others keep the Law perfectly, or be condemned.

They were quick to pass judgment on others, and slow to extend mercy or help. The Pharisees had a legalistic view of God's Word and did not realize that God was merciful and wanted to help people.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:6 NKJ ... who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

God's Word is meant to help people and lift them up, not place such hard demands on them that they cannot ever measure up. When we load people down with heavy loads of rules to be kept in order to be right with God, we are ministers of death.

MATTHEW 23:1-5 NLT … 1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,  2 "The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. 5 "Everything they do is for show. . . .

If your "Christianity" is nothing more than a list of "do's and don'ts" then you are missing real Christianity, which is a living relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus does not want me to act like a Pharisee.
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