Theme: THE PRACTICE OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS
Text: “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican, I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.” – Luke 18:11,12.
Comment: The case of the Pharisee is a clear case of self-righteousness, or holier-than-thou attitude. This is personal righteousness. The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican narrated by Jesus Christ gives an insight into the self-righteous character of the Pharisees, those “…which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despise others” – Luke 18:9.
While praying to God, the Pharisees enumerated his good works as evidence that he righteous, unlike the Publican whom he termed “unjust”. (Luke 18:10-12) The Bible tells us that it is not he who commends himself that is approved but he whom God commends. – 2 Corinthians 10:18.
God sees the heart of man, and He knows the intents and motives behind our righteous deeds in His Service. (Psalm 7:8) This is why regardless of King Amaziah’s (outwardly) righteous deeds in the service of God, he did not get the favour of God because of he was not doing them from a good heart condition, with faith in God. – 2 Chronicles 25:1, 2.
Finally, Jesus Christ warned us of the danger in the self- righteous character of the Pharisees when he said: “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” – Matthew 5:20.