| The Pharisee In Us|
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"
What exactly did the Pharisees do and teach that the Lord Jesus warned us to shun?
There are five basic characteristics that we would like to discuss in this message which demonstrate to us what to steer clear of in our Christian walk, lest we also find ourselves in the same hypocrisy and under the same judgment.
1. SAY AND DO NOT
Matthew 23:3 - "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
The Pharisees' practice of the teachings of the law was not consistent with their preaching. They professed to have great piety but, in all actuality, they did not possess it. They talked about the statutes of the law to other men, but they did not do them.
2. BIND HEAVY BURDENS THAT THEY
THEMSELVES WILL NOT CARRY
Matthew 23:4 - "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."
The Pharisees were notorious for placing great restrictions on others to which they themselves did not adhere. They depicted the Road of Life as being extremely narrow, yet they themselves walked on the broad road. They imposed upon others a strictness in religion, yet they lived a life of indulgence and ease. They loved to exercise authority, dominance, force, and cruelty over others, yet they refused to submit to any burden in their own life.
3. DO ALL TO BE SEEN OF
Matthew 23:5 - "...they make broad their phylacteries..."
In order to show others that they were more holy, strict, and zealous for the law, they broadened their phylacteries. What is a phylactery? It is a small case containing strips of parchment or vellum on which certain portions of the Old Testament were written. It was bound to the forehead and the left arm by thongs or ribbons.
Matthew 23:6 - "And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues."
4. EMPHASIZE THE NONESSENTIALS
AND IGNORE THE ESSENTIALS
Matthew 23:24 - "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
The Pharisees took great pains to keep their traditions, yet they committed scandalous sins of hypocrisy, deceit, and lust before God and men.
5. HAVE OUTWARD HOLINESS WITHOUT
Matthew 23:25-28 - "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
...ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
The Pharisees strove to appear pure and holy before men, yet their hearts were filthy and full of uncleanness and deceit. They pretended to be pious and extremely devoted to God while their hearts were filled with hypocrisy, envy, pride, lust, and malice.
Are we like the Pharisees?
Do we exhort and teach others to stop sinning and to live holy and separated unto the Lord, yet we entertain SIN in our own lives?
Are we trying to clean up every one else's backyard, so to speak, when ours is a total mess?
Do we preach unto others about following the strait and narrow way when we ourselves are taking the broad way - the way of anything goes, compromise, worldliness, and
Do we -
...crave for the attention of others?
...want the approval of man as well as pats on our back for the good deeds that we do?
...strive for recognition from others?
...like to feel spiritually superior unto others?
What have we been doing in our Christian walk to draw people's attention to ourselves rather than to Jesus?
When we testify for the Lord, do we seek to draw people's attention to our greatness or God's greatness?
Are we so haughty and proud, searching and expecting recognition from all because of our great wisdom, knowledge, gifts, talents, financial status, or spirituality?
Do we have a tendency to emphasize the nonessentials in our Christian walk, only to ignore the crucial essentials?
Is our Christianity an outward show?
Are we Great Pretenders?
How do we appear before others?
What kind of Christian are we really?
Are there any Skeletons in our closet that are hidden from men but are open to God's sight?
I am feeling myself very convicted here. Just when I think I surrendered so much of myself- I see that I have much work to go.
I guess this is what they mean by "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling!"
In His perfect love, Chanin
| 2004/1/12 12:00||Profile|
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
| Re: The Pharisee In Us|
You're one of the reasons that I believe in women preachers! :-o An excellent word on "working out", a subject that is apparently a constant thread running through your life. :-D I believe what you described is exactly what He meant by "working out our own salvation with fear and trembling" ( reverance and awe), and in the context of the message, a perfect 10 . 8-)
| 2004/1/12 15:03||Profile|
I must make sure that I don't get the credit for the article. It was written by someone named Connie Giordono (another lady!)
When I read it, it was exactly what I was pondering myself this morning. I had a dream last night that convicted me of my pride. All I could think was "how I am ever supposed to speak to people, reach people- if I can't even get myself where I am supposed to be. It was a "confessional" of sorts.
I have allowed the Lord to be very convicting with me by always responding to His convictions (instead of ignoring them- hence becoming immune to them) I keep thinking about how teachers are going to be judged more harshly- I know this and am willing to be judged more harshly- (I thought- just kidding) It is hard because just when you think you've "arrived" to a new level- bam! There He is saying "lose the pride".
One day when I am really old - I might be where He wants me to be- to be able to teach others. I feel I am falling short. My zeal gets the best of me, my hunger to see people glorifying the Lord with their lives totally and completely- gets the best of me.
Lord, ruin me again.
| 2004/1/12 15:49||Profile|
| Re: Some additional thoughts from Oswald Chambers.|
Oswald Chambers has some thoughts on Pharisaism and Sadducees which might be considered with this theme.
| 2004/1/12 15:51||Profile|
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
You don't have to wait until you're "REALLY OLD" like me and Ron.
II Cor.3:5 thru 4:7 Says that; because we know that we are not sufficient in ourselves to minister, but our sufficiency is of God.That, He has made us " able" ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit.
In my opinion, there are two requirements to be in ministry.
2.Desire to serve people.
PREACH on Sister!
Please read 3:5 thru 4:7, I think you'll get it.
| 2004/1/12 23:52||Profile|
Got it! Thank you, Clutch.
In Him, Chanin
| 2004/1/13 8:12||Profile|
Cluth wrote You don't have to wait until you're "REALLY OLD" like me and Ron.
Of course, I don't know how old Clutch is. I just hope that I am as sprightly as him when I am his age! :-D
| 2004/1/13 8:54||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Moved this from the other Oswald Chambers thread, didn't want to disrupt the flow...
Thanks you guy's, that CD-rom will have to go up on the wish list.
Had been listening to an Art Katz message
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=2788]Prophetic Reality versus Fantasy[/url] about midway through he quotes from Oswald Chambers something that has been stuck with me for about a week now and I could not find it in "Utmost".
That is until this morning. You can do a search here [url=http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/utmost/]http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/utmost/[/url] for those of us without the benefit of the complete works.
From [b]August 18[/b]
[u]Have You Ever Been Speechless with Sorrow?[/u]
[i]When he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich
Luke 18:23 [/i]
The rich young ruler went away from Jesus speechless with sorrow, having nothing to say in response to Jesus words. He had no doubt about what Jesus had said or what it meant, and it produced in him a sorrow with no words with which to respond. Have you ever been there? Has Gods Word ever come to you, pointing out an area of your life, requiring you to yield it to Him? Maybe He has pointed out certain personal qualities, desires, and interests, or possibly relationships of your heart and mind. If so, then you have often been speechless with sorrow. The Lord will not go after you, and He will not plead with you. But every time He meets you at the place where He has pointed, He will simply repeat His words, saying, "If you really mean what you say, these are the conditions."
"Sell all that you have . . ." ( Luke 18:22 ). In other words, rid yourself before God of everything that might be considered a possession until you are a mere conscious human being standing before Him, and then give God that. That is where the battle is truly foughtin the realm of your will before God. Are you more devoted to your idea of what Jesus wants than to Jesus Himself? If so, you are likely to hear one of His harsh and unyielding statements that will produce sorrow in you. What Jesus says is difficultit is only easy when it is heard by those who have His nature in them. Beware of allowing anything to soften the hard words of Jesus Christ.
I can be so rich in my own poverty, or in the awareness of the fact that I am nobody, that I will never be a disciple of Jesus. Or I can be so rich in the awareness that I am somebody that I will never be a disciple. Am I willing to be destitute and poor even in my sense of awareness of my destitution and poverty? If not, that is why I become discouraged. Discouragement is disillusioned self-love, and self-love may be love for my devotion to Jesusnot love for Jesus Himself.
| 2004/1/13 9:42||Profile|