Mar 17, 2019 | Thad Key, Senior Pastor

The Pharisee and The Tax Collector

Luke 18:9-14

Luke 18:9-14

You will never be right with God until you cast yourself on the mercy of Jesus’ for- giving sacrifice.

How to Be Right with God...

Stop Trusting in Yourself (18:9)

Your heart is infected with malware that deceives you into believing you can make yourself “righteous” before God (18:9).

“For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin...None is righteous, no, not one.”-Romans 3:10

“Self-exaltation leads to showing “contempt” to others who you believe do not mea- sure up to you (18:9; Lk. 23:11; Acts 4:11; Rms. 14:3, 10; 2 Cor. 10:12).

Why You Should Not Trust in Yourself...
1) You Can Be Self-Deceived
“You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.”

-Jesus to the Pharisees in Luke 16:15

What if your belief that you can make yourself right with God is what is preventing you from being right with God?

2) Your Perception May Not Be Reality

You can attend church regularly, read your Bible daily, pray without ceasing and have no true relationship with God and Jesus (Jn. 17:3; Phil. 3:8).

“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of law- lessness.’”-Jesus in Matthew 7:22-23

How to Be Right with God...

Reject Self-Righteousness (18:10-12)

Pharisees are moral and religious legalists who believe their rule-keeping makes them right with God (18:10).

Tax collectors are social outcasts who are despised and ostracized by both secular and religious society (Lk. 19:8).

When you thank God that you are “not like other” people, you are conveniently con- cealing your own guilt by pointing to the guilt of others (18:11; 1 Jn. 1:8).

Moral self-righteousness is false belief that your good character and good life make you right with God who accepts good people.

“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”-Romans 3:12

Religious self-righteousness is the belief that zealous pious practice supersedes any wrong you may have done.

“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”-Romans 3:20

Why You Should Reject Self-Righteousness...

1) You are Guilty of Hypocritical Morality

72% of unchurched people believe in God while the same percentage believe the church is full of hypocrites.-Lifeway Research

“So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypoc- risy and lawlessness.”-Jesus in Matthew 23:28

2) You Possess Religious Phariseeism

51% of North American Christians possess Pharisee-like attitudes and actions to- ward others.-Barna Research Study, Christians More Like Jesus or Pharisees?

The American Church is increasingly ineffective and irrelevant in the mission of mak- ing disciples because of religious phariseeism that leads to isolation from unbeliev- ers.

How to Be Right with God...

Start Trusting Jesus ONLY (18:13-14)

You have to move from a place to where you repent of sins you do to repenting of who you are- “the sinner” (18:13).

The sinner’s prayer-“God, be merciful to me the sinner”-is a plea for an atoning sub- stitute who can take your place and cover your sins (18:13).

“God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”-2 Corinthians 5:21

At the cross, God was taking everything that was wrong with you so when you be- lieve in Jesus you receive everything that is right about Jesus.

You are “justified”-right with God-when you believe in Jesus by faith (Rms. 3:22; 9:30; Gal. 2:16).

Pride “exalts” oneself because of a false sense of merit while a mercy-seeker “hum- bles” himself only to be “exalted” by God in Jesus (18:14).

Why You Must Trust in Jesus Alone...
1) Jesus Is Your Only Hope
“The tax collector was a rotter and he knew it. He asked God for mercy because mercy was the only thing he dared ask for.”-William Manson

“If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”-1 John 2:1-2

2) You Need the Hope of Forgiveness

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we con- fess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”-1 John 1:8-9

Jesus’ church is a place where you can take off the mask through confessing your sins (Jms. 5:16), receiving Jesus’ salvation (Rms. 10:9), and experiencing the freedom of forgiveness (Gal. 5:1).

Challenge: Am I casting myself upon the mercy of Jesus?


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