Recap: MIND – Are you hungry for healthy spiritual food?
Isaiah 55:6-7 (NKJV) – “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts…
The Hateful 8 – Rated R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.
“Without the heartbeat of HOLINESS, the body of Christ will resemble a CORPSE.”
Mind over Matter – the brain responds to the mind
THE BIG LIE – you do not control your actions as much as you think.
Loving God with all your _______ begins in the mind – its the foundation on which everything else is built.
You are not a product of your environment. You may be influenced by it, but it doesn’t need to control you.
The brain is neuroplastic – meaning it can change – Lamentations 3, “The Lord’s mercies…are renewed every morning,” and Romans 12, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
KEY: CHANGE YOUR MIND or it will damage your relationship with God.
3. SOUL: Are you hungry for heaven? Why don’t many truly seek God? They don’t want to…
“I just don’t feel like seeking Him.” But we must first discipline ourselves before desire comes. We must first empty ourselves in order to be filled. We must first obey before receiving the blessing. We must first pray before there is transformation. We must praise Him before there is peace. And we must first seek Him if we are to truly find Him.
HOW MUCH OF GOD DO YOU WANT?
The fire of God does not fall on an empty altar: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1).
FINALLY, it may be that one is not genuinely saved. They may have “religion” but not a true “relationship” with the living God.
Isaiah 55:6-7, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
7 Traits of a Pharisee
Intro: A Pharisee vs. someone struggling with Phariseeism
PRIDE is very prevalent in Pharisee’s and Phariseeism. But those struggling realize it and repent.
Example: Saul and then Paul
God’s Word is Truth AND Spirit – Pharisees have the truth but not the Spirit.
“In today’s terms, Jesus was thundering against many popular preachers and people who seemed to be living holy lives – because they were practicing human religion rather than serving God with purified hearts” (InterVarsity Press).
They are very serious about their faith, but they are also very arrogant.
They may teach, but they don’t know the Teacher.
They have zeal, but it’s without love.
They’ve been attending church for many years, but they don’t know God.
A.W. Tozer said: “When people find that after being in the church for years they are not making much progress, they ought to examine themselves and wonder whether they have been truly converted.”
Is the fruit of the Spirit present?
‘Woe’ to the Scribes and Pharisees – grief; sorrow; misery; heavy calamity.
1. They “say” but do not “do.” This person loves preaching at you, but not obeying God’s Word.
They add heavy burdens – you shouldn’t go there, or do that! Like many cults, they are very controlling.
Matt. 23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
We can instruct others, but it must come from a humble, loving heart.
Jesus said – “go and sin no more”, but He didn’t follow them around to check up on them every hour.
Again, there is a difference between a Struggler and a Hypocrite.
2. They love to show off – they enjoy the praise of men
Ulterior Motives: When they “do” something, they are in “show off” mode.
Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries [a small leather box containing Hebrew texts worn at morning prayer as a reminder to keep the law] broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Put my name in the bulletin, or I want to be a leader – recognize me!
Excerpt from Contentiously Contending (Anton Bosch): “Sometimes I think that many people who get into apologetic type ministries do so simply because they love an argument…Many just love the excitement of the scrap, and they get their kicks out of proving how right they are and how wrong others are. I know a few who will disagree with anything one says – just to pick an argument. (If you are irritated by this writing, you may well be one of these.) Others enjoy the fact that engaging in debate makes them feel intellectual, while others just must have the last word. Then there are those who have to win every argument and who, like bulldogs, cannot release once their jaws have locked onto the prey.”
“Father”, in this sense, is elevating beyond what was acceptable – The Most Reverend, or The Most Right Reverend, or Worshipful Master, or the Pope.
Because they love recognition and want to show off, they look for opportunities to pull others down:
What do you think when you see someone caught in sin? Do you help, or hurt? Pull up, or pulldown?
Our love for one another proves to the world that we are Jesus’ disciples. Our lack of love proves that we are not [cf. John 13:35].
3. They twist God’s Word – they are blind guides
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Sincere seekers can be led astray – “shut up” is “shut out”
Here is the protection: Stay, Pray, and Obey
“For you neither go in yourselves” – They are unteachable
14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
They use the Word to manipulate – the poor widow who gave all she had.