The Pharisees and Sadducees of this Generation

January 24, 2020

 

 

 I saw a post on one of the Christian groups on FB.

 

 A beautiful young lady posted, “I like wearing short skirts and sleeveless shirts, but I am a Christian.”

 

 As expected, negative comments flooded the post.

 

 One comment said, “you’re causing others to sin.”

 

 Another said, “you’re not a Christian if that’s how you dress.”

 

 And one said, “you should read the Bible and pray for wisdom.”

 

 The post probably got at least a thousand reactions and comments.

 

 On the other hand, the lady could be aiming to get attention. Maybe.

 

 This goes to show that a lot of Christians are becoming the new Pharisees and Sadducees of this generation. We claim that we are not legalistic, but when someone expresses views on clothing, food, and even the topic of worship, we would argue without blinking our eyes. We would engage in heated debates about how people’s views do not adhere to the Bible.

 

 To those who are not familiar with the term Christian legalism, it is putting merit on works for your own salvation or righteousness.

 

 Why is this wrong?

 

 Ephesians 2:8-9

 New International Version (NIV)

 

 8 For it is by grace, you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works so that no one can boast.

 

 Galatians 2:21

 New International Version (NIV)

 

 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

 

 First, it is clearly stated in the Bible that our righteousness is through faith. If we’re sincere, we could admit that we do despicable things in the eyes of God multiple times a day. We are not in any position to judge and argue with people about religion and traditions in the Bible.

 

 Second, God doesn’t like it. If we think that God is pleased that we argue and make people feel dumb because of our knowledge of scripture, then we are so wrong.

 

 2 Timothy 2:23-26

 New International Version (NIV)

 

 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

 

 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

 

 We should be careful with our comments on social media because there are a lot of atheists, non-believers and young believers that may be driven away from Christianity.

 

 What can we do differently?

 

 Believe that righteousness is a faith issue.

 

 Galatians 2:16

 New International Version (NIV)

 

 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So, we too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

 

 Romans 3:28

 New International Version (NIV)

 

 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

 

 Again, our righteousness is by faith. We will never be righteous on our own. If one thinks he’s living perfectly in the eyes of God, then he’s guilty of arrogance and already failed.

 

 Don’t pressure others because of traditions.

 

 If we receive salvation by grace, why are we making it hard for other Christians, especially new believers?

 

 Matthew 23:1-4

 New International Version (NIV)

 

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:

 

 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

 

 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

 

 Ecclesiastes 7:16-20

 New International Version (NIV)

 

 16

 Do not be over righteous,

     neither be overwise—

     why destroy yourself?

 17

 Do not be overwicked,

     and do not be a fool—

     why die before your time?

 18

 It is good to grasp the one

     and not let go of the other.

     Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.

 19

 Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful

     than ten rulers in a city.

 20

 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous,

     no one who does what is right and never sins.

 

 God appreciates everything we do. If we do something for God, He will surely acknowledge it. We will get eternal rewards for it.

 

 Now, if we start forcing our beliefs and routines to people, we will surely be disappointed. Everyone is different, and God created people to be diverse. What works for you may or may not work for others, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

 You can’t be more righteous by working on it.

 

 Romans 11:6

 New International Version (NIV)

 

 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

 

 Grace cannot be based on works. If that’s the case, why are we expecting others to work so hard in the aim of righteousness? Isn’t Jesus enough?

 

 If we’re asking people to grow, it is not because they will be more righteous when they do it but more of a personal development issue.

 

 God is not turned off when we sin. He knows everything, and He still loves us unconditionally.

 

 The reason why we need to live morally is because we benefit from it.  Sin has consequences, and it destroys our spirit.

 

 However, we are only righteous because Jesus made us righteous, and if we believe that Jesus is our Saviour, then there’s nothing we can do to add or lessen our gift of righteousness. Jesus’ sacrifice is perfect.

 

 Sum it up

 

 Let’s be careful. Our passion for sharing the Gospel is turning us into the Pharisees and Sadducees of this generation.

 

 Again, Jesus is about love. He reached out to sinners in perfect, unconditional love.

 

 Why are we using His words and His name in hate?

 

 Let’s be more aware of the concept of legalism.

 

 Jesus didn’t save the world by imposing religion and traditions to people, He saved the world by sacrificing His life. He gave His life as payment for our sins because He knew that we cannot achieve righteousness on our own.

 

Let’s enjoy the gift of grace and salvation and start encouraging one another.

 

Thank you for reading this devotional story, and I pray that it encouraged and empowered you in your walk with Christ. Please read other devotional stories on the website. You might find Beautiful Places, Beautiful God, Beyond Fathom and Get Ready appealing.

 

If you're interested in supporting this ministry of sharing the Gospel online, please subscribe, like and share this devotional story so we can spread God's goodness, empowerment and love. God bless you!

 

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