Matthew 23:1-15 ESV
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
1. TURNING KNOWLEDGE INTO LUMBER (1-4)
A. Pharisees knew their stuff. Problem was not knowledge but their elevation & misapplication of it.
B. Turned the Gospel into heavy lumber upon people’s backs & made personal preferences into ironclad commands of God.
II. CHASING TITLES AND NOT TRUE HEARTS (5-12)
A. Pharisees turned following God into a role a person played rather than a relationship a person pursued.
B. Human titles are empty. No one can Jesus’ place in our lives.
C. Honor on earth without a true heart ends in heartache for eternity.
III. FIRST AND SECOND WOE: LEADING OTHERS TO HELL (13-15)
A. Pharisees were dragging others to Hell by teaching them to be like them and try to please God by following rules.
B. Jesus stands against false demonic gospels. His church must do the same to not just protect the truth but to protect the eternity of others.
C. Doctrine divides us b/c it is doctrine that defines the Gospel.
IV. THE SOUTHERN GOSPEL
A. Our Gospel is same as Pharisees. Be a good girl, real man, & avoid the big sins and God will allow you into His presence for eternity.
B. Just like the Pharisees we add cultural and personal preferences to the commands that must be obeyed for salvation.
V. DRAGGING OTHERS TO HELL WITH US
A. By misunderstanding the Gospel we not only damn ourselves. We also drag others to Hell with us by converting them to a lie.
B. The test to what Gospel we believe: Do we share the Gospel with others or give them tips born out of human wisdom.
APPLICATION: THE GOSPEL
1. God created us to love us and to know Him. First humans rejected God. Now, we are all born in sin & against God. (Genesis 1-3)
2. God promised death would come with sin. All humans are now born numb to the truth about ourselves and God. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
3. To receive new life, we respond in repentance & faith in Jesus as having already done all the work that needs to be done. (Rom 10:9-11)
CLOSING THOUGHT: If we get the Gospel wrong, we get everything wrong!