While it is easy for modern Bible readers simply to place the Pharisees into the “bad guy” category and read on, such over-simplifications do not help us understand or avoid their errors.
Join us for mid-week Bible study during the month of December as Pastor McShaffrey helps us understand the historical origins and specific errors of Phariseeism.
The schedule/outlines are below:
12/02/15 – A Good Enough Beginning
When Moses ratified God’s covenant with Israel, the condition of obedience was central (vv. 1,6,14, etc.).
One of the sanctions for disobedience was exile in heathen lands (vv. 27-28).
After such an exile, a group arose who longed to see the covenant relationship restored (vv. 29-31).
Many therefore “separated” themselves unto strict obedience in hope of full restoration (vv. 40).
12/09/15 – A Serious Wrong Turn
In separating themselves unto strict obedience to the Law of Moses, the pharisees (inadvertently?) broke one of the most important commands (i.e., Deuteronomy 4:2) in two distinct ways:
1. To assist their obedience, the pharisees ADDED TO the law by “fencing in” God’s commands with traditions (Matthew 15:1-9).
2. To avoid the inevitable, the pharisees TOOK AWAY from the law its “pedagogical” function to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).
As a result, phariseeism was inherently flawed from the beginning and doubly doomed.
12/16/15 – A Tragic Dead End
The great tragedy of phariseeism was this: Those who should have recognized Christ (Matthew 3:7, John 3:10) rejected him (Matthew 12:14,24; 15:12; 16:6; 22:15).
After years of patient reasoning with the pharisees, the Mediator of the Covenant reinstated covenant sanctions (Matthew 23-24).
Today, over two-thousand years later, these sanctions are still in tact, but hope has not been entirely lost (Romans 10:1-4).