We often base our holiness on standards that are much different than the standard that God bases it on. Our righteousness is a result of the redemptive work of Jesus and not on how much we have given this month or on how many hours we have “served” at our churches.
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 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.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
The Pharisee in this story was a man who based his righteousness on works. He bragged of not sinning like other men; of fasting; and of tithing. His attitude was one filled with pride!
There is another man who is described in the parable. He showed humility and would not even look upward as he cried out for mercy in true repentance. Jesus said this man was the only one of the two who was justified.
A justified man is a righteous man. Outwardly the Pharisee lived a much holier life but not according to God’s standard. God will always reject any work birthed from our self nature.
The vast majority of churches have a list of things people must do to please God. This is totally contrary to Hebrews 11:6 which tells us that the only way to please God is through faith.
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
God is not looking at our works. He is aware of them but does not love us or accept us based on them. There will be times that we will be dealt with as a result of our works creating inroads for Satan but our relationship with Him will never be based on them.
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Paul instructed his readers to put on their “new man” which was “created in righteousness and true holiness”. This is the new man he also referred in in 2 Corinthians 5:17. We were created spirit, soul, and body. The spirit is what God recreates when a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is the recreated human spirit Paul references as being”new”.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Jesus told His disciples that worship must be “in spirit and in truth”. This shows us the importance of understanding our true nature. We will never connect with God in our soul or body because He is spirit and our fellowship therefore must be in the spirit.
There are a lot of good people in hell today. They did not receive Jesus as their Lord and savior. It does not matter how good of a life any of us lead. We will never be worthy enough with first accepting Jesus and becoming new creatures spiritually.
A person’s spirit is changed when they become a Christian. Their mind will still need to be renewed with God’s Word and their bodies will need to be kept under.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
It seems like far too many Christians have stumbled over this verse. They are trying to understand it from their mind and do not understand how all things are new if nothing looks different. Most people will only acknowledge the natural physical realm. This is why it is impossible to understand Paul’s statement separate from it being revealed by the Holy Spirit.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
We see our three parts in this verse. We are spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Most of us lack a clear understanding of our spirit which is the part of our being that fellowships with God.
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