how to kill your inner pharisee

by Pastor Josh Hughes

This week our fellowship group had a great discussion about the sufficiency of Jesus and the ways in which we are tempted to give in to “Jesus + _____.” In other words, we are tempted to think our relationship with God is based upon Jesus plus something we might add. Someone in the group shared that the greatest danger in this for her was “To think of my relationship with God primarily in terms of Jesus + my devotion to him, or plus my effectiveness in serving, my faithfulness in prayer, my discipline in reading the word or sharing the gospel.”

I thought this was incredibly insightful. You know that little voice inside your head that tells you God’s love for you is based on your obedience to him? How well you parent, how faithfully you evangelize, how early you get up? That’s your inner Pharisee. And as Daniel Montgomery recently reminded us, when we see our inner Pharisee, we should grab him by the throat and choke him to death!

If you’re in Christ, God loves you and approves of you because of Jesus Christ. Full stop. And it’s out of our security in that love, our settled identity in Christ, that we walk in the good works he’s prepared for us (Eph. 2:10). Isn’t that great news? Do you see how "Jesus plus” is a joy-stealer?

Church, look to Jesus today. Share Jesus with a co-worker. Invite someone to church. Not because you have to do it so God will love you. But because God already loves you and you get to do it.

I always look forward to gathering with you each Sunday to celebrate this good news in song and to consider God’s word together. 

For His Church,
Pastor Josh