Pharisee

Do you live a good Christian life?


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Every good Christian dream of the day when you stand before Jesus Christ and hear Him say, “Welcome to my Fathers’ Kingdom, thou good and faithful servant. Unfortunately, not every so-called good Christian will see their dream turn into reality. As a matter of fact, Jesus, in one of His discourses made it clear, “Not every one that says unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). That begs the question. Is living a good Christian life enough to get you into heaven?

Anyone can seem to live a good Christian life, until the truth comes out.  The Scribes and Pharisees appeared good until Jesus exposed them for what they were; hypocrites. In one, instance, He referred to them as: “You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:26). This pious group was more concerned about outward appearance than they were about the heart.

Unlike the Biblical Scribes and Pharisees, we Christians, must not only seem to live a good Christian life, but our hearts, words and actions must be in sync with the teachings of Jesus Christ. In other words, we must practice what we preach in public and in private. “For I say to you, this is Jesus talking, unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:21). The blue print for a good Christian life can be found in Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount‘. (Read Matthew 5,6,7)

Are you ready to embrace the new life?


The new life is not a myth, and it is not like going on a low-fat or low carbs diet. Neither is it like setting a New Year Resolution. If, anything, it is part spiritual and part physical. The spiritual — is completely out of the control of the flesh, but the physical–is like a ball in your court. Therefore, whatever we say and do will say a lot about the life we live.

Naturally, the heavenly father carved out a new life for us when He sent His Son to die. Sadly, though, none of us can embrace this new life until we get rid of the old life. In essence, the old life died with Christ, but many of us continue to hold on to its memories that we find it difficult to embrace the new life.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul hinted at the new life when he writes, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.

Of course, Paul was speaking from experience. We have read about his dramatic conversion on the Damascus road. The Bible states that Paul then Saul was breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples. He even went to the high priest requesting authorization to go down to Damascus and bound anyone he finds spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, all that furor and hatred would change once Paul experienced the new life. (Read Acts 9:1-19, Acts 22:6-21, Acts 26:12-18).

Therefore, the apostle knew first hand that without the new life we are like the unruly Israelite who could not shake the memories of the meat they ate in Egypt and Lot’s wife who hung on to the memories of Sodom to her death. Still, if anyone doubted Paul’s thesis, then He need not look further than the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3:1-8.

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one can do the signs you are doing, unless God is with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”.

“How can someone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to the flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Is condemning the fallen bad for the Church?


Christ and fhe Adulterous Woman

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).

Everybody stumbles and everybody fall sometimes; including the most pious among us. However, as Christians we routinely ignore these fundamental biblical facts, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)… “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Still many in Christendom and other religions too, have adopted the holier-than-thou personality and set themselves up as judge and jury. Consequently, instead of helping to strengthen and pick up the fallen, they selflessly unleash judgment base on their emotions. This is a dangerous practice, especially when the judge and jury themselves have bigger planks in their eyes than that they seek to remove from another person’s eye.

I have seen many young Christian women got thrown out of the Church because they got pregnant. Sometimes even the parents side with the draconian tribunal, leaving the victim feeling hopeless and abandoned. Everyone in the Church understands that salvation is a gift from God, which none of us deserve. The apostle Paul said it best, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. It is not by your own merit; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Hence, when a brother or a sister falls it is the duty of the Church to encourage and support the person rather than being judge and jury.

This premise that a sin committed publicly, deserves a harsher punishment than that  committed privately is a fallacy. Jesus debunk this argument when religious leaders brought a women caught committing adultery to Him. The religious leaders of the day were expecting Jesus to hand down the ultimate punishment–death by stoning, but He surprised them. Jesus did not condemn the woman or her accusers. As a matter of fact, He did not utter a condemning word.

Here, is John’s account of the incident: Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery. Furthermore, when they set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, we caught this woman in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. What do you say” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accused Him. However, Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, became convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. Then Jesus was alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had straightened Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has not anyone one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11).

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Religion Cannot Save You, Only Jesus Can


Christ talking with Nicodemus at night (Christ...

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A long, long time ago a very prominent Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling Council or Sanhedrin–heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. His heart was pierced, and he needed to learn more about the Kingdom of Heaven“– that Jesus was telling people to prepare for.

Nicodemus visited Jesus under the cover of darkness, apparently to disguise himself from his peers, who were bitter opponents of Jesus. But clearly, in his heart, Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was not just a street preacher, or the son of a carpenter. He was the Messiah, the prophets spoke about.

The meeting that took place that night was the most important one in human history. Jesus demonstrated that it is not hard to love those who hate you. (“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you,”..Matthew 5:44)

John 3:1-21 

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.