Pharisaism, Cash, and the Greatness of God


I want to converse to you for a couple of minutes at this time about Pharisaism, the love of cash, and the greatness of God.

  • Pharisaism (legalism or moralism) —a life constructed out of doctrinal vigilance, ethical rigor, and a way of entitlement that’s not rooted in a brokenhearted dependence on the undeserved mercy of God purchased by the blood of Jesus.

  • The love of cash — a situation of the center that feels extra safety, extra pleasure, and extra hope in earthly possessions than it does within the fellowship and faithfulness of God.

  • The greatness of God — his majesty, his magnificence, his price, which, if we see it, and savor it within the face of Christ as we ought, units us free from the deceitfulness of riches and the duplicity of Pharisaism.

4 Causes for Concern

There are 4 the explanation why I’ve chosen to speak about this with you at this time:

1. At 73 I really feel extra keenly than I ever bear in mind feeling that the remaining corruption in my coronary heart, which Paul calls indwelling sin (Romans 7:17, 20, 23), is exceedingly deceitful relating to cash and possessions and safety and luxury. I really feel the necessity for extra vigilance at this time than ever.

“Beneath Pharisaism, legalism, and moralism is the type of coronary heart that loves cash greater than God.”

2. Only a few weeks in the past, in a matter of some days, the web carried the information of 1 pastor who has a ten million greenback house with a fortune of sixty million; one other pastor with compensation of just about one million with one other million for discretionary bills; the amazingly small charitable giving of the Democratic candidates — all of which was sufficient to make one weep.

3. I’ve been working my approach by way of Philippians for Have a look at the Guide and got here to Philippians 3:18–19:

Many, of whom I’ve typically advised you and now let you know even with tears, stroll as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their finish is destruction, their god is their stomach, and so they glory of their disgrace, with minds set on earthly issues.

Who’re these individuals, whose god is their stomach and whose hearts are drawn like a magnet to earthly issues? Are they the identical because the “canines” in verse 2? Are they the Jewish moralists who vie with Paul and his pharisaic pedigree?

4. And fourth, the Crossway web site says that you’re “a not-for-profit ministry” and exist “solely for the aim of proclaiming the gospel by way of publishing and different means. . . . Any surplus which will come up shall be used solely to additional the ministry and shall not inure to the advantage of any particular person.”

I would love my phrases at this time to encourage you in that posture and protect your hearts and your ministry for this imaginative and prescient till Jesus comes.

Legalist or Libertine?

The primary factor I would like us to see is the connection between Pharisaism and the love of cash. As a result of if you happen to’re like me, you might be inclined to segregate these two varieties of individuals: spiritual rigorists on the facet of legalism, and lovers of cash on the facet of libertinism. And what I would like us to see is that that segregation is a mistake. And that beneath Pharisaism, legalism, and moralism is the type of coronary heart that loves cash greater than God.

In different phrases, when Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:10, “The love of cash is a root of all evils” and a few by needing this, “have wandered away from the religion,” he actually does imply that all evils are rooted within the type of coronary heart that finds extra safety, extra hope, and extra pleasure in cash (possessions) than in God.

The love of cash, Paul says, leads away from religion, and with out religion nobody can please God (Hebrews 11:6), as a result of what shouldn’t be from religion is sin (Romans 14:23). Which implies that Pharisaism, legalism, and moralism (as one occasion of “all evils”) are rooted within the type of coronary heart that loves cash. So, watch out for segregating sinners into separate teams of legalists and lovers of cash.

4 Glimpses of Disordered Want

Listed here are 4 very temporary glimpses from the Bible as an instance this level. We are going to take a look at

  1. Pharisees,
  2. the wealthy younger man,
  3. Judas, and
  4. the enemies of the cross in Philippians 3.

1. Pharisees

“No servant can serve two masters, for both he’ll hate the one and love the opposite, or he will probably be dedicated to the one and despise the opposite. You can not serve God and cash.” The Pharisees, who have been lovers of cash, heard all this stuff, and so they ridiculed him. (Luke 16:13–14)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clear the skin of the cup and the plate, however inside they’re filled with greed (harpagē) and self-indulgence (arkasia). . . . Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you might be like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly seem lovely, however inside are filled with lifeless individuals’s bones and all uncleanness (akatharsia, which most frequently within the New Testomony is utilized in reference to sexual impurity). So that you additionally outwardly seem righteous to others, however inside you might be filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness (anomia). (Matthew 23:25, 27–28)

So, Jesus shatters my instinct that legalists and lovers of cash are completely different teams. No, he says that Pharisaic lovers of law-keeping — who could even take vows of poverty and chastity — are deep down, beneath their whitewashed ethical look, lovers of cash (Luke 16:14), grasping and self-indulgent (Matthew 23:26), unclean (Matthew 23:27), and lawless (Matthew 23:28).

“The one commandment-keeping that counts with God is the type that comes from a coronary heart that loves Jesus greater than cash.”

In different phrases, those that are most rigorously dedicated to law-keeping are utilizing law-keeping to cloak a coronary heart that’s lawless. Which means: God and his phrase will not be their authority (their legislation); their stomach, their sexual organs — their appetites — are their god. That’s what “self-indulgence” and “uncleanness” means.

So, I have to rid myself of the type of considering that separates sinners into the doctrinally vigilant, morally rigorous spiritual individuals on the one facet, and the grasping, self-indulgent, worldly lovers of cash over on the opposite facet. No. The love of cash is the basis of all evils, together with Pharisaism.

2. Wealthy Younger Man

As he was setting out on his journey, a person ran up and knelt earlier than him and requested him, “Good Trainer, what should I do to inherit everlasting life?” And Jesus mentioned to him, “Why do you name me good? Nobody is sweet besides God alone. You understand the commandments: ‘Don’t homicide, Don’t commit adultery, Don’t steal, Don’t bear false witness, Don’t defraud, Honor your father and mom.’” And he mentioned to him, “Trainer, all these I’ve stored from my youth.” And Jesus, him, cherished him, and mentioned to him, “You lack one factor: go, promote all that you’ve got and provides to the poor, and you should have treasure in heaven; and are available, comply with me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had nice possessions. (Mark 10:17–22)

So, what do we’ve right here? Now we have a lifelong keeper of the commandments: “Trainer, all these I’ve stored from my youth” (Mark 10:20). And we’ve a lover of cash and possessions: “He went away sorrowful, for he had nice possessions” (Mark 10:22), and he wouldn’t allow them to go to have Jesus.

So no matter else his rigorous commandment-keeping meant, it was, actually, a cloak for the love of cash. The one commandment-keeping that counts with God is the type that comes from a coronary heart that loves Jesus greater than cash. However to the likes of this wealthy younger man Jesus mentioned, “If God have been your Father, you’ll love me” (John 8:42). However you don’t. So, your commandment-keeping is one thing very completely different than the mark of a trusting baby of God.

3. Judas

The purpose of mentioning Judas shouldn’t be that he was recognized as a commandment-keeper (although, he little question was), however that he was a preacher of the dominion and a employee of miracles — and a lover of cash.

He [Jesus] known as the twelve [that includes Judas] and commenced to ship them out two by two [someone paired with Judas], and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. . . . In order that they went out and proclaimed that folks ought to repent [Judas preached repentance!]. They usually solid out many demons and anointed with oil many who have been sick and healed them. (Mark 6:7, 12–13)

Judas solid out demons and healed the sick. We all know this for 2 causes:

  1. If all of them had this energy besides Judas, he would have been uncovered as a charlatan. However actually, the eleven trusted him to the tip because the keeper of the moneybag (John 13:29).

  2. Jesus made clear that unbelievers like Judas can work miracles, even within the title of Jesus.

Jesus mentioned in Matthew 7:21–23,

Not everybody who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the dominion of heaven, however the one who does the need of my Father who’s in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your title, and solid out demons in your title, and do many mighty works in your title?” After which will I declare to them, “I by no means knew you; depart from me, you employees of lawlessness.”

What number of occasions should Judas have mentioned, “Lord, Lord!” What number of demons should he have solid out! What number of mighty works should he have performed!

However he was a lover of cash. Judas didn’t care in regards to the poor, however “he was a thief, and having cost of the moneybag he used to assist himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6). Ultimately, he bought Jesus for thirty items of silver (Matthew 26:15).

So not solely should we watch out for segregating spiritual Pharisees from the lovers of cash, but in addition of segregating lawless (Matthew 7:23) miracle employees from the lovers of cash. As a result of the love of cash is the basis of all evils, together with Pharisaism and lawless miracle working.

4. Enemies of the Cross

Which brings me lastly to Philippians 3:18–19. Students debate whether or not the “enemies of the cross” in verse 18 are the circumcising Pharisee-types in verse 2, or these whose “god is their stomach” and who “glory of their disgrace” in verse 19.

“This was the key: the greatness of all that God was for him in Christ.”

I feel Jesus would say that circumcision and self-indulgence will not be alternate options in the actual world. The Pharisee, who is able to problem Paul’s law-keeping, is a lover of cash. His god is his stomach, he glories in his disgrace, and his thoughts is about on earthly issues. As a result of the center that loves cash greater than Christ is the basis of all evils — not simply the basis of lawless ethical decadence, but in addition the basis of Pharisaic ethical diligence.

I mentioned there have been three issues I wished to speak about: Pharisaism, the love of cash, and the greatness of God. So, I shut with Paul’s secret for the deliverance from the love of cash and from Pharisaism. It’s the identical secret for each.

Gripped by Grandeur

Paul mentioned in Philippians 3:5–6 that he was “a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the legislation, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness below the legislation, innocent.” Which meant, in Jesus’s thoughts, that deep down beneath Paul’s legalism was an insatiable coronary heart of discontent that cherished cash greater than the Messiah. In chapter 4, Paul admits that this had been the case and tells us how he was let loose.

Not that I’m talking of being in want, for I’ve discovered [this is his confession and his deliverance — it wasn’t always this way — he had to learn it] in no matter scenario I’m to be content material. I understand how to be introduced low, and I understand how to abound. In any and each circumstance, I’ve discovered [he didn’t know this contentment in the days of his Pharisaic diligence] the key of dealing with lots and starvation, abundance and wish. I can do all issues by way of him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11–13)

And what was the key? What had he discovered? What freed him from the money-loving coronary heart that cloaked itself with Pharisaic zeal? He tells us very plainly in Philippians 3:7–8:

No matter achieve I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Certainly, I rely all the pieces as loss due to the surpassing price of figuring out Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I’ve suffered the lack of all issues and rely them as garbage, so that I’ll achieve Christ.

This was the key: the greatness of all that God was for him in Christ — the surpassing price of figuring out Christ Jesus. In comparison with him, all the pieces — all cash and all ethical achievements — is garbage.

So, I pray that everybody who leads and serves Crossway Books will know the all-satisfying greatness of God in Christ — and so be let loose from the love of cash and thus sever the basis of Pharisaism.


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