Summary: There are many who would argue that a Pharisee and one who believes in holiness are one in the same. I beg to differ. True holiness affects the external and the internal. It affects the acts and the attitude.
Are you a Pharisee or are you Holiness?
Let us see if there is a difference and determine to understand why some people have trouble differentiating between the two.
Pharisee = a person in the role of religious service who believes that his or her title and/or office automatically make him or her holy, regardless of personal deeds or actions.
Holiness = one who has made it their goal to be like Jesus in all areas of life and to pursue peace with their fellowman.
Matthew 23 gives us a good look at what Christ has to say about Pharisees.
He continuously calls them hypocrites.
Hypocrite = One who does live up to what they teach, proclaim, or preach.
Jewish teachers always stood to read the law, but they sat down to expound the Scriptures. Their office was holy but they were trecharous in their manner of legislation.
Twenty-one Caracteristics of Hypocrites--from Matthew 23
1. They demand respect rather than seek to earn it. (v .2)
2. They teach but do not practice what they teach. (v.3)
3. They demand service, but seldom give it out. (v. 4)
4. They seek the praise of men. (v. 5)
5. They parade their religion (v. 6)
6. They expect special public privileges (v. 6)
7. They expect religious recognition and pampering. (v.6)
8. They gloat in affection and attention showed to them. (v. 7)
9. Titles and expressions of exaltation. (v. 7)
10. They steal the opportunity of others to find eternal life. (v. 13)
11. They reject truth for themselves. (v. 13)
12. They prey upon widows. (v. 14)
13. They pray long prayers that are not from the heart. (v. 14)
14. They work to win men to their religious group, but without thought of them knowing God. (v. 15)
15. They create converts that are even more corrupt than themselves. (v. 15)
16. They blindly endeavor to lead others in something they personally have not experienced. (v. 16-22)
17. They manipulate to make merchandise of their religion, and thus make personal gain. (v. 16-22)
18. They major on minors and minor on majors. (v. 23,24)
19. They are strict on exterior/outward cleanness and appearance without consideration of what is on the inside.
20. They exalt their self-righteousness but ignore inward holiness. (v. 27,28)
21. They really think that they are holier, smarter, and superior to all who have gone before them. (v. 29-33)