Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees

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StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Just watched this, and wanted to share some things:


It was pretty good and an eye-opener. One can seem to be on a "godly path" studying the scriptures and doing other things (the four points in the video) and yet be on the wrong path.

Mat 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I've always taken that verse to mean how Sproul spoke about it at the start there, that the way "your" righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. After that, it can be easy to say that we can clean our hands and rest easy. But the way Sproul spoke about it was soul searching. It's bad, almost chilling when we can come up with things that are great but that the "bad people" in the gospels themselves did! If I can say it like this:

Bob: "I evangelize!"
Jesus: "So did the Pharisees."

You can't use externals like that to say, "I'm okay because I do x activity." as if that lets me off the hook. It seems quite a few good things we can do, were done by them. Suddenly it makes you think.

After watching the video I had to think about how my life is going. I'll admit here that I know I've become more irritable and frustrated. The more I look into reformed theology the more I wish other Christians in the church were reading this. Then I get angry at bad / different / off teaching. Then the verse comes to mind:

Eph 4:15 "But speaking the truth in love..."

I know I haven't lived up to that as I should be.

As we learn truth, we ought to be able now to teach others the truth in a way that's loving. Not, "Look here! You need to know what Owen said!". People will get scared. And you'll be none the better. But knowing truth and coming under someone in love.

Act 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

It's such a short story but it's one that I'm loving more and more. Here's this great guy that's out there guns blazing! Then this couple takes him in and explains things a bit more clearly. Not with sledgehammers, but in love.

So I need to watch over my own heart, praying God will help me not to let learning become a trap. It can lead to arrogance.

Anyways I could go on, but maybe I'll stop there.

The video made me think about how a Christian should walk and that the external things like those Sproul listed are in no ways the report card that if checked off, you're doing good.

I want to be so clothed with Christ and hungering for righteousness. Not that of my own but...living so much for our Lord. I fail so much. I need His help day by day.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Mat 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

As you (and Sproul) say, the passage might be been interpreted two ways:

1. The Pharisees were meticulous about righteousness. But even they could not be perfect, and God requires perfection. Therefore, Jesus is pointing us to his imputed righteousness.

2. The Pharisees were meticulous about external righteousness. But Jesus is telling us that a true believer will display an internal, heart-level righteousness that exceeds what most of the Pharisees attained.

Context should tell which truth Jesus meant to communicate on this occasion. With the passage coming where it does in the Sermon on the Mount, I agree that interpretation #2 seems best.

This should be sobering and challenging, but not disheartening. Your response at the end of your post — "I need His help day by day" — is a good place for this teaching to take us.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Just watched this, and wanted to share some things:


It was pretty good and an eye-opener. One can seem to be on a "godly path" studying the scriptures and doing other things (the four points in the video) and yet be on the wrong path.

Mat 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I've always taken that verse to mean how Sproul spoke about it at the start there, that the way "your" righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. After that, it can be easy to say that we can clean our hands and rest easy. But the way Sproul spoke about it was soul searching. It's bad, almost chilling when we can come up with things that are great but that the "bad people" in the gospels themselves did! If I can say it like this:

Bob: "I evangelize!"
Jesus: "So did the Pharisees."

You can't use externals like that to say, "I'm okay because I do x activity." as if that lets me off the hook. It seems quite a few good things we can do, were done by them. Suddenly it makes you think.

After watching the video I had to think about how my life is going. I'll admit here that I know I've become more irritable and frustrated. The more I look into reformed theology the more I wish other Christians in the church were reading this. Then I get angry at bad / different / off teaching. Then the verse comes to mind:

Eph 4:15 "But speaking the truth in love..."

I know I haven't lived up to that as I should be.

As we learn truth, we ought to be able now to teach others the truth in a way that's loving. Not, "Look here! You need to know what Owen said!". People will get scared. And you'll be none the better. But knowing truth and coming under someone in love.

Act 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

It's such a short story but it's one that I'm loving more and more. Here's this great guy that's out there guns blazing! Then this couple takes him in and explains things a bit more clearly. Not with sledgehammers, but in love.

So I need to watch over my own heart, praying God will help me not to let learning become a trap. It can lead to arrogance.

Anyways I could go on, but maybe I'll stop there.

The video made me think about how a Christian should walk and that the external things like those Sproul listed are in no ways the report card that if checked off, you're doing good.

I want to be so clothed with Christ and hungering for righteousness. Not that of my own but...living so much for our Lord. I fail so much. I need His help day by day.
I thought it was because they had no bread...
 
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