Friday, April 19, 2013

Am I, are you, a Pharisee?

In my personal time today, I came across the condemnations of Christ to the Pharisees whom he called hypocrites.  This was in the book of Matthew, right before his crucifixion.  He does not hold back in Him comments and takes no prisoners.  I simply would like to list how Jesus himself describes hypocrites in Matthew 23:

1.  You shut up salvation to others.  You don't have it, and you keep men from having it. v.13

2.  You take advantage of the vulnerable (like widows) for your own interest - you want the things of others.  v.14

3.  You pray in ways that others will think "good" of you; perhaps long, perhaps emotional, perhaps fancy prayers. v.14

4.  You proselyte (what we would consider "soul-winning" for your own advantages.  Perhaps to be seen, perhaps to "count numbers", perhaps to be thought of as spiritual.  v.15

5.  You are not straightforward with your word, but rather look for ways around the truth when it would work to your own advantage.  v.16-23

6.  You are extremely particular in some spiritual obligations, but in many of the greater things that are the true spirit of what God wants - you are not interested.  (legalism)  v.23

7.  You do external religious things and look "spiritual", but inside you are full of extortion (taking from others) and self-indulgence.  v.25

8.  You are admired by others as godly, and play the part beautifully, but inside you willfully are unclean (thoughts, motives); a hypocrite; and lawless (you don't keep God's Word inside yourself. v.28

9.  You give truly Godly people a hard time; you persecute God's true people.  v.29-35

A few of these things are convicting for me this morning, and remind me that the Lord sees right through me. All my inner secrets are the same as my externals to Him.  In repentance and the need for grace I must earnestly see the Lord by His power to make me holy within, and without.


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