TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28
"… ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men,
but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
THE DOCTRINE OF THE PHARISEES: SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
Being descended from Abraham, and having him as their father, the Pharisees mistakenly thought that they were not in peril of hell fire like other men. Their descent from him was a kind of title for them to enter into heaven. In Luke 18:9, the reasons why the Pharisee was rejected are stated to be these two: he trusted in himself that he was righteous, and he despised others. Pharisees believed that all Pharisees were bound for heaven and that all non-Pharisees were bound for hell.
They had great conceit of themselves and of their own goodness. They thought themselves as holier than all others. They were proud to think of themselves as examples to the rest of the Jews. They had a confidence in themselves before God and not only had a high opinion of their own righteousness, but depended upon the merit of it. They trusted in themselves as being righteous and believed that as such, they could enter the kingdom of God. They thought they had made God their debtor and could demand anything from Him. These were the Pharisees who had trusted in their own righteousness but rejected the righteousness of God.
These and many such-like things the Pharisees did. Every Christian must be aware of these and avoid these atrocious characters. Today, many professing Christians also have the "holier than thou attitude." They appear pious and religious, but they despise other Christians in the church. They trust in their own merit of having served God in whatever capacities they had, yet they love not their brethren. They can boast of their knowledge in theology but not let it touch their hearts to win souls, thus causing them to stumble others instead. Do not be a modern-day Pharisee by being self-righteous!
THOUGHT: Am I a self-righteous Christian?
PRAYER: "I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation" (Ps 40:10).