Sunday, July 12, 2009
Woe to the Pharisees
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!... they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 5:21, 24b)
There is only one measure of right and wrong, and that is the Law of the Lord of hosts. God's word is a statement of His holiness, and the measure of the holiness that He expects of all who would live in His presence. Anything less is wicked, evil and unacceptable to His holy sensitivities.
Pharisees, for the purpose of self-justification, twist the plain reading of the law of God so that the things that God calls evil, the Pharisee calls good; the things that God calls darkness, the Pharisee calls light; the things that God calls bitter, the Pharisee calls sweet; in short, the Pharisee is wise in His own eyes and scorns the wisdom of the law of God, with pragmatism being his modus operendi.
Legalism is not hungering after the holiness that is define by the Law of God; legalism is the Pharisaic litany of extra-Biblical rules that self-righteously makes one outwardly appear to be holy, but in fact the rules disguise the actual lawlessness and disregard for the commandments of God.
All our efforts of self-righteuousness and self-justification are useless. We are justified freely by the grace of God through the atonement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. However, our justification is not an excuse for antinomian lawlessness, nor is it a call to Pharisaic legalism. Being justified freely, is a call to a walk with the Holy Spirit, of whom the Scriptures say, shall cause us to walk in the Law of the Lord.
Oh how I love Thy Law; it is my meditation all the day. Oh how I love Thy Holy Spirit, who is my teacher and enabler. Oh how I love Thy Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is my Saviour and Lord. Father, help me to love you with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all mind, and let that love be evidenced in my obedience to your holy commandments. Amen!