The two men who go to the Temple to pray contrast in character, belief, and self-examination. The contrast shows how to be justified before God.
The Pharisees were in the office or seat of Moses. Jesus taught His followers to follow their words (pertaining to the Law of God), but not their personal examples.
Richard Ritenbaugh analyzes Jesus unambiguous, scathing indictment of the Pharisees in Matthew 23. Using abundant sarcasm, Jesus accuses them of presumptuously arrogating to themselves authority and prerogatives they had no title to. Although the Pharisees imposed harsh regulations on "the blind" or …
Richard Ritenbaugh continues his exposition on the Pharisees, a group seemingly starting off on the right track under Ezra, but getting hopelessly sidetracked over the years, ultimately placing impossible burdens on the people they supposedly served. These zealous dedicated legalists elevated the traditions of man (and their …
On the heels of self-deception and self-justification often comes self-righteousness. This obstacle to overcoming occurs when we set our own standards rather than God's.
Self-righteousness lies at the root of many other sins. Because we are self-centered, self-righteousness will follow as surely as water runs downhill.
Any time we feel prompted to exalt ourselves, we demonstrate Satan's spirit of pride, thereby jeopardizing our entry into God's family.
Self-righteousness is defined as being smugly proud of one's own opinion and intolerant of others. What Job repented of was his misunderstanding of God.
Richard Ritenbaugh introduces his topic of covering sins by reflecting on the illegal trial of Jesus, in which false witnesses and false accusations were trumped up by the presumptuous Jewish religious leaders against the very Son of God. The Pharisees and Sadducees demonstrated hypocrisy, professing righteousness and teaching …
God's forgiveness of us is directly tied to our forgiveness of those who have sinned against us! We must reciprocate God's forgiveness by forgiving others.
Atonement, when we are commanded to afflict our souls, is a time of self-evaluation and repentance. This is the only way to have real unity with God.
Martin Collins, acknowledging that the expression "woe" (suggesting agony, despair, and grave calamity) gets our immediate attention, reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything, including fashion, thought, and evil endlessly recycle. America, as well as the rest of the world, has gone through a …
Paradoxically, God stoops to us when we humble ourselves. Humility produces honor from God; if we humble ourselves, He will hear us.
We must have both perseverance and humility in prayer to keep our vision sharp and clear. Without humility, the doorway to acceptance by God is closed.
What is it to be poor in spirit? This attribute is foundational to Christian living. Those who are truly poor in spirit are on the road to true spiritual riches.
Two tests to reveal the presence of pride are the way we treat others (especially our own family) and the way we receive instruction or correction.
The hallmark of Christian character is humility, which comes about only when one sees himself in comparison to God. Pride makes distorted comparisons.
David Grabbe, examining the saying, "ignorance is bliss," implying that a measure of peace may come to us if we do not know something that might be disturbing, cautions us that this ignorance is dangerous when it comes to the spiritual preparation of self-examination before the Passover. Self-evaluation is foundational …
Our human nature is pure vanity with a heart that is desperately deceitful and wicked, motivated by self-centeredness, a deadly combination for producing sin.
Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.
Vanquish the sins at their point of origin—the human heart—and our deeds will be clean before God.
In this sermon, Martin Collins marvels that hypocrisy has been elevated to a more egregious position than murder or adultery, used as a weapon to destroy political opponents. Having its roots in a Greek word denoting actor, hypocrisy suggests pretending or deceiving—a filthy inside disguised by a clean outside. Pride can …
Why does it mean to observe the Passover in a worthy manner? It is not about works. It begins with realizing the depth of our sin, yet our focus must go beyond this.
The intent of fasting is to deflate our pride—the major taproot of sin—the biggest deterrent to a positive relationship with God. Humility heals the breach.
Pride is a perverted comparison that elevates one above another. Because of its arrogant self-sufficiency, it hinders our faith. Faith depends on humility.
God wants us to walk—live our lives—by faith, but our pride and vanity frequently get in the way. Critically, pride causes us to reject God and His Word.
In our information culture where "seeing is believing" and we want "just the facts, Ma'am," it is difficult to have faith in anything we can't take in by the five senses. Richard Ritenbaugh shows the vital importance of establishing iron clad trust in God for spiritual matters (salvation, forgiveness, …
Self-righteous people tend to trust in their own heart, be wise in their own eyes, justify themselves, despise or disregard others, and judge or condemn others.
Faith and fidelity to God and His way of life should be a major part of our character. Here is what faith and fidelity are, how to recognize a lack of them.
A man with myopic judgment will take the good times he has as evidence of God's pleasure, and conclude that the bad times must be caused by Satan's persecution.
We may find God's means of correction discouraging, but when we place His actions in context with His overall plan, we can find peace in God's sovereignty.
Charles Whittaker, reflecting upon what Herbert W. Armstrong referred to as one of the most common as well as one of the most egregious sins, the sin of ingratitude, focuses upon the necessity of proper thanksgiving and the spirit of gratitude. Pride, the kind demonstrated by Nebuchadnezzar when he boasted about what he had …