Monday, May 10, 2010

Who are the New Pharisees?

It wasn't the Pharisees who were demanding allegiance to the righteousness of the Law - it was Jesus who was doing that!

The Pharisees were twisting the Law in order to justify their own sexual immorality, covetousness and murder while hypocritically expecting more from others who weren't able to find the same false loop-holes.

Jesus, on the other hand, explained the true intent of the Law, and expected people to follow it with all their hearts.

For example, the Pharisees were twisting "eye for an eye" making it an excuse for harsh revenge.

But Jesus explained what "eye for an eye" really meant - and He expected people to comply with it. It was an expression that was intended to prevent the very thing the Pharisees were doing. It was intended to ensure that compensation at law must only be equal to the actual loss that was incurred, nothing more than that.

That remains an important principle in compensation law today. But the Pharisees twisted it to justify all kinds of harshness. In contrast to the Pharisees' harsh misuse of that Law, Jesus explained that that Law was actually designed to make people to become patient and fair.

Another example, the Pharisees were twisting the verse about writing a bill of divorce for finding uncleanness in your wife. They were allowing divorce for virtually any reason. They were actually using it to justify adultery.

But Jesus explained that the true intent of that Law was to allow divorce only for marital unfaithfulness. He even said it's wrong to fantisize over adultery. Jesus explained and demanded the true morality of the Law, unlike the Pharisees who used the Law to justify immorality.

So someone today who wants to live a godly life and who lovingly urges others to repent is not guilty of Phariseeism. Phariseeism is when someone uses the Scriptures and twists it in order to justify their own sexually immoral life, or extortion or murderer and yet hypocritically demands better of others. That's Phariseeism.

Humbly acknowledging God's standard of holiness is not Phariseeism.

"The grace of God," said Paul, "teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust".

Notice it is God's grace - and not Phariseeism - which teaches us to do that - to deny ungodliness and wordly lust.

Did you know that God's grace actually teaches? It instructs. It disciplines.

But not in a self-justifying, hypocritical, self-serving harsh way like the Pharisees were doing.

It teaches us to honestly live a godly life.

Also, the term "least in the Kingdom" may not mean that the person is admitted into the Kingdom but on a lower level. It probably means that in the estimation of the Kingdom, such people are considered the least and will therefore probably not enter the Kingdom. Just a thought.

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