When Goodness Keeps Us From God | Luke: Season 2, Part 3

February 5, 2023   /   Crosstown Alliance Church

Luke Season 2, pt 3 – “When goodness keeps us from God”

Luke 18:9-14
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat 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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Our perceived goodness has a way of keeping us from God.

Pharisee: dignified, honorable, serious about God.
Tax Collector: greedy, dishonorable, despised.

The Pharisee is known for his goodness
The tax collector is known for his badness

The Pharisee is known for his religion
The tax collector is known for his rebellion

3 questions to consider from this parable:
How did they view themselves?
How did they view others?
How did they view God?

1. How did they view themselves?

Luke 18:11-12 (Pharisee)
“The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’”

Luke 18:13 (tax collector)
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’”

The Pharisee comes with his pride.
The tax collector comes with his brokenness.

Do you see yourself as a good person or a sinner in need of mercy?

2. How dId they view others?

Luke 18:9
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:”

It’s hard to genuinely love and lift up other people when your sense of worth directly depends on putting them down.

So what’s the solution?

Humility

3. How did they view God?

Luke 18:13-14
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat 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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Pharisee—high view of himself, low view of God.
Tax collector—low view of himself, high view of God.

Humble yourself before God:
Admit you fall short of God’s standard
Believe Christ paid the penalty for sin
Confess your sin to God and receive forgiveness

Application:

1. Let God rewrite your story
2. Gain no confidence from your goodness

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