Monday, February 13, 2012

You Might Be A Pharisee If.....

The following is application from Mark 3:5 when Christ was angered at the hardness of the Pharisees hearts.  It is good for some self examination and personal reflection since most of us at some point have acted like the Pharisees.  

You might be a hard-hearted Pharisee if:

1.     You think that you are always right and everyone else is wrong.  You might even use the category (biblical)—“I’m just being biblical.”  The Pharisees were very “biblical” but had hard hearts.  They were more concerned about being right that having the right heart. 

2.     You use the Word of God in an external way rather than an internal way.  What I mean is that you show off how much you know in front of others, you can quote Scripture but it never penetrates your heart.  You are never convicted by the Word, instead you use it to state your convictions but it never hits your heart.

3.     You don’t love lost people, instead you quickly judge them.  When you see a person in sin you are quick to comment about how bad they are, but you never pray for them or think of sharing the gospel with them or inviting them to church.  You are more concerned about judging sin than seeing someone restored. 

4.     You don’t find joy in what God is doing if it is not within your circle.  The Pharisees hung around with Pharisees; they failed to see and embrace what God was doing with the tax-collectors. If you are critical of everything that happens outside your circles, you may be like a Pharisee. 

5.     You don’t understand the nature of grace. The Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 is not as much directed at the younger son, but the older brother who represents the Pharisees listening to Jesus.  If you don’t understand that God by His nature is overflowing in grace and mercy toward sinners and is drawing them to Himself and you think that by your church membership and Bible knowledge that you have a special standing with the Father, they you are probably a Pharisee.

Hope for the Pharisee: If you identify with any of these five points of Phariseeism, there is still hope for you.  The Lord Jesus stopped a Pharisee on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians and changed his life forever…his became the apostle Paul. 
But he had to be knocked off his horse, he had to be humbled.  This is the challenge of the Pharisee—humility.  Pharisees are full of pride, which is why their hearts are hard.  The promise of the New Covenant is that God gives you a new heart (Ezek 36:26)--one that is not hard. 
If you believe that you are a Pharisee, then you need to seek Christ in humility, asking Him to give you a new heart.  Your hard heart angers and grieves Christ….but there is hope, you can be a new creation.  Recall, it was a former Pharisee that wrote those words in 2 Cor 5:17.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation"  

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