TEXT: MATTHEW 23: 23&24
READING: PSALM 86: 1-17
SUBJ: The deadly errors of the Pharisees and the weightier things that characterize the life of the true believer.
AIM: That we should desire and delight in having the nature of Christ imparted to us
1. Consider the hard condemnation of the Pharisees and Pharisee-ism - See the some of the issues is this context: vv. 25, 27, 29-32, 33.
2. Pharisee-ism is the religion of the flesh - It is a terrible misread of the principles of the Word of God.
3. We will consider here those characteristics that truly distinguish God's people.
THESIS: The Pharisees majored on minor precepts of the Law (which was the revelation of God up to that time) and they equated obedience with salvation. The weightier matters were, however, the considerations of a new heart.
I. The Nature of Pharisee-ism
1. Knowledge and explicit execution constitute salvation.
2. In their blindness, they have they have no concept of hypocrisy (v. 24)
3. Their zeal is for a conformity and loyalty to their system. (v. 15)
4. They use the methods of extortion. (v. 25)
5. They want to be the controlling influence in menâ€™s lives. (Read, but, we will interpret)
6. They would imply a mediatorial role -- blind man excommunicated.
7. They eventually crucified Christ (v. 32).
II. Of Judgment, Mercy, and Faith (Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
1) The biblical principle: Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
2) We are warned not to Judge in the sense of deciding guilt, but to be just in our dealings.
3) Consider the son of Josiah: Jeremiah 22:15-16 15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? 16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.
1) Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. With: Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
2) That God showed mercy was ever before them: Psalms 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
3) See: James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
1) The Old Testament issue of faith: Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. And Compare: Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
2) An essential element: Hebrews 10:38-39 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
3) Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
4) And see that the each of the issues is resolved in faith: Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
III. Why are these things so important to us?
1. It is commanded and becomes the delight of the believer by the enabling grace of God.
2. Christ did justly and
1) Suffered because of justice - that we might be just
2) Mercy is obtained from Christ - that we might know grace and not judgment.
3) Faith is empowered toward Christ - that we might serve Him with reverence and godly fear.
3. Even as we hear the harsh reality of Divine Judgment, we have a sense of the greatness of His mercy.
4. The life of a true believer reflects the nature of Christ in us and the faith that lays hold on the mercy of God in Christ.
5. See again on Micah 6:8 (To do justly - to love mercy, both to show it and receive it - And to walk humbly or by faith).