Are You a Pharisee Matt. 23 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We must be careful not to be Pharisees. From our text in Matt 23:1-33, we find what constitutes a Pharisee. You are a Pharisee if:
You exalt men above God – Matt 23:1-5 – you work to be seen of men. Man’s approval is more important to you than God’s approval.
You exalt yourself above your brethren – Matt 23:6-12 – all ye are brethren [v.8]. One of us is not better than the others. Though the pastors are overseers we are servants. Jesus girded himself with a towel and washed the disciples’ feet to demonstrate the humility of service.
You exalt your religion above God’s kingdom – 23:13-15 – your religious practice is more important to you than doing what God said. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are classic examples of those who proselyte. They are damning the souls of men to promote their religion.
You exalt the temporal over the eternal – 23:16-24 – Pharisees see more value in the gold and the gift than they do in the altar and the temple. The temple’s value is in, God, the unseen resident.
You exalt the outside over the inside – 23:25-28 – in your dealings with God you are more concerned with looking clean than being clean. God knows what’s on the inside and if you will let him clean that up, then you will be clean on the outside, too. God is not impressed with your look. An original painting is valuable because of the artist who painted it. Copies by other artists are simply imitations. God doesn’t want an imitation. He wants the real McCoy, with his signature on the work.
You exalt yourself above God – 23:29-33 – the Pharisees killed the Lord Jesus, God manifest in the flesh. They exalted themselves and damned themselves to hell. You cannot escape the damnation of hell unless you humble yourself and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you reject him, you have exalted yourself above God and you will not escape the damnation of hell.
Conclusion: Christian Pharisee, acknowledge where you are a Pharisee and repent. Lost sinner, don’t leave here without Jesus Christ and the assurance that you will not be damned to hell.