Summary: We’ve begun a series of sermons that deal with the "Pharisee Syndrome."

INTRO: Two cars were waiting at a stoplight. The light turned green, but the man didn’t notice it. A woman in the car behind him is watching traffic pass around them. The woman begins pounding on her steering wheel and yelling at the man to move. The man doesn’t move.

The woman is going ballistic inside her car, ranting and raving at the man, pounding on her steering wheel and dash. The light turns yellow and the woman begins to blow the car horn, flips him off, and screams profanity and curses at the man.

The man, looks up, sees the yellow light and accelerates through the intersection just as the light turns red.

The woman is beside herself, screaming in frustration as she misses the chance to get through the intersection. As she is still in mid-rant she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the barrel of a gun held by a very serious looking policeman.

The policeman tells her to shut off her car while keeping both hands in sight. She complies, speechless at what is happening. After she shuts off the engine, the policeman orders to exit her car with her hands up. She gets out of the car and orders her to turn and place her hands on her car.

She turns, places her hands on the car roof and quickly is cuffed and hustled into the patrol car. She is too bewildered by the chain of events to ask any questions and is driven to the police station where she is fingerprinted, photographed, searched, booked, and placed in a cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door for her. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the original officer is waiting with her personal effects.

He hands her the bag containing her things, and says, "I’m really sorry for this mistake. But you see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. Then I noticed the "Choose Life" license plate holder, the "What Would Jesus Do" bumper sticker, the "Follow Me to Sunday School" bumper sticker, and the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. So, naturally...I assumed you had stolen the car."

We’ve begun a series of sermons that deal with the "Pharisee Syndrome."

Last week we looked at the Lord’s warning in Matthew 16:5-6: Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees.

-We saw how they diluted and distorted the word so by the time it reached the hearts of the people it had relatively little effect.

TITLE: What Every Christian Should Know – Part 2

TEXT: Luke 18:9-14

I. The deceived Pharisee. Throughout his public ministry, Jesus exposed the self-righteousness and unbelief of the Pharisees. He pictured them as debtors too bankrupt to pay what they owed God (Luke 7) and guests fighting for the best seats (Luke 14).

A. The sad thing – the Pharisees were completely deluded and thought they were right with God.

-So Jesus told them about this parable.

1. Two men go off to pray – one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

-From the natural eye, one was used to the place of prayer (a Pharisee) and the other one the scum of the earth (a tax collector) who probably never walked through the doors of the temple.

2. They both came to pray – one would be blessed by God and one wouldn’t.

Thought: Did you ever realize (coming to a prayer meeting) that you could walk away with no blessing, in fact you could walk away under judgment. It’s dependent on your attitude.

B. Look at the Pharisee zeal.

1. The Pharisee stood up and prayed – this takes courage to stand and pray out loud.

-There’s only a few that can stand and pray in comfort. I could ask and folks would pray, but you’d feel uncomfortable. But to just stand and pray with no one prodding, this shows his passion.

a. The problem: He was praying about himself and all he had done.

2. List of works.

a.He fasted twice a week. The Jews were required to fast only once a year - on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29).

-This man fasted 104 days a year - almost 1/3 of a year.

b.He tithed everything that came into his possession.

-In Matthew 23 Jesus gives information that they even tithed off the smallest of herbs in their possession.

Thought: Fasting and tithing are great things to do. That’s what Christians are supposed to do but if you do them for the wrong reasons it’s wrong.

Example. If you fast to try and twist God’s arm to get your way, it’s wrong. If you tithe to get something in return, it’s wrong.

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