The Is None Righteous, No Not One.
Luke 18:13-14 (KJV)
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.
In the text for today, there is a contrast drawn between two individuals with the same problem which sin. There are various ways to handle the sin problem but only one way gets the problem fixed.
Notice here first of all that publican, who is a tax collector has an occupation that all the Jews at this time in history despised. Being that the tax collector collected taxes that were to be paid to the Romans who were the oppressor over the Jewish people. The publican was not the most favorite person in town. The Pharisees were people who were keepers and practice some of the Law but not all of it. They were religiously correct but their hearts were not right.
- Notice The Honesty Of The Publican Sinner (v13
A) The publican sinner did not play any games with God
- 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
- The publican embraced his “sinful state” and knew his human efforts wouldn’t help his condition so he asked for God’s mercy(PS. 136:1) . Knowing that God is good all the time and His mercy is everlasting.
- The honesty of the publican confession reaped justification from God. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other… and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
( James 4:10 (KJV)
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.)
- Notice The Dishonesty Of The Other Self Righteous Sinner(v14a)
“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other”
A) The Identity Of The Other(11-12)
Luke 18:11-12 (KJV)
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.
B) The Selfishness evoked(11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,)
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed in himself(silently and aloof from the rest of the people present
- The “other sinner” catalogue his moral attributes as compared to “common and publican” sinners. “that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”
- The Self-Righteous Sinner was egotistical in his prayer show by the 4 I’s in this text.
- The Self-Righteous Sinner tried to show that he exceeded the righteousness that was required in the Law
“I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”
- All the human effort of the self-righteous sinner would not justify him in the sight of God.
Dear reader there is only 1 righteousness that has been acceptable to God and that was the Lord Jesus Christ who provided the sinless life that will be justified by God. All have sinned and the whole human kind has already been judged as guilty as charged. John 3:16-19 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Self-righteousness is not the answer. Romans 3:10 (KJV)
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: