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Brace Yourself

As the Lord has been peeling off layer after layer of perfectionism and legalism and works righteousness, I have been totally blown away through study of how little the Pharisees actually knew or wanted to know about Jesus. So steeped in the comfortability of their religion and traditions, they had no faith or trust for anything different. Shocking revelations below:

Pharisees/Saducees were steeped in a spirit of RELIGION. Jesus lived and operated in a spirit of HOLINESS. There was a massive difference between the two. And, I believe that many in the Church struggle in this same area today.  Brace yourselves....

Spirit of RELIGION :

-Focuses on power of sin, not power of God.  (Romans 5.20)

-Takes pride in genealogy (fear of man), not spiritual inheritance. (Matthew 39)

-Separates from "bad people" (fear of defilement), staying close to "good people" and only within certain circles, not allowing the process of sanctification to leave us and use us in the world but not be of it. (Matthew 9.10-13)

-Believes that if any activity is different from past experiences it is demonic or not "of God", not realizing that God constantly acts/moves in NEW ways.  (Matthew 12.33-34)

-Gives the devil too much attention and God too little glory.

-Loves to accuse by quoting scripture but doesn't value the truth.  The Holy Spirit frees and convicts (no condemnation) through scripture.  Satan actually misquoted scripture several times in order to tempt or confuse or cause doubt.  He tempted Jesus in Matthew 4 by this same device.  Because Jesus knew the true word of God, He was able to fight.

-Requires man's "holy" traditions, not God's holiness.  (We must throw off any human tradition if it hinders deeper walk & love relationshp with Jesus!)

-Gives man authority, not God.  When their own authority is questioned, use confrontation/disdain as a wapon.  (The Holy Spirit will confirm God's delegated authority of a man as His vessel.) (Matthew 21.33-37)

-Appeals to ego through flattery, false admiration.  (Matthew 22.15-22)

-Appears deeply spiritual, but actually denies the supernatural power of God; trusts in man's strength or scoffs at supernatural altogether.  (Matthew 22.29)

-So convinced of its own 'rightness' that it is unteachable and therefore divisive. (Matthew 22.34)

-Causes men to walk in fear of punishment/disapproval of God, not the righteousness of Christ.  To APPEAR holy, rather than to BE holy. 

As the Holy Spirit reveals in me an increasing knowledge of God, His sovereignty, authority, mercy, love my heart will be transformed in such awe of Him and my need of a Savior.  So, sanctification progresses, pulling me closer and closer to God, more aware of my shortcomings and need for Him.  Healthy fear of the Lord is mine!