BETHEL ASSEMBLY OF GOD

 

JULY

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and He spoke this Parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the Temple to pray; the one, a Pharisee, and the other a Publican (Lk. 18:9–10).

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, as given by Christ, proclaims, in no uncertain terms, the rudiments of relative righteousness, works righteousness, and imputed Righteousness; only the last one is acceptable to the Lord.

The Pharisee projected, first of all, “relative righteousness.” In other words, he measured his supposed righteousness by comparing himself with others. Those who rely on such always select those who they think are worse than they themselves; somehow, this seems to make them feel better. God, however, can never accept relative righteousness.

The Pharisee also was relying on “work righteousness,” which spoke of his twice-weekly fasts and his paying tithe on all that he possessed (or at least this was his claim). Millions in the world today, like this Pharisee of old, trust in “works righteousness,” which God also will never accept. The two, “works righteousness” and “relative righteousness,” are the two types of supposed righteousness which are claimed by most of the world.

The “Publican, standing afar off,” which meant he was probably in the Court of the Gentiles, began to pray, but would not so much as “lift up his eyes unto Heaven.” He felt his acute unworthiness, and conducted himself accordingly. When the Scripture says, “he smote upon his breast,” it means that he kept doing this over and over. When he said, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” the original Text actually says, “the sinner,” meaning that, in his own eyes, he felt he was the greatest sinner in the world.

Every afternoon at 3 o’clock, the evening lamb was offered up as a propitiation for the sins of that day. The Publican pleaded forgiveness and acceptance because of the merit of that atoning blood. It foreshadowed the atoning death of the Lamb of God, Who was Himself the Propitiation, i.e., the “Mercy Seat.” As a result, the Lord imputed unto him a perfect Righteousness, all made possible by the atoning death of the Lamb of God.

Imputed Righteousness” is Righteousness that we do not earn, and cannot earn, and neither can we merit such. It is freely given to the believing sinner upon confession of Faith in Christ. It is the only type of Righteousness that God will accept, because it’s based on the perfect Righteousness of Christ. It is obtained by evidencing Faith in Christ and His Perfect Sacrifice of Himself.

The Scripture says that this man “went down to his house justified rather than the other.” In other words, he was declared a righteous man. The Pharisee was not justified at all. There are no degrees in Justification. The Verse does not mean that the Pharisee was partly justified and the Publican fully; it means that the one was wholly justified and the other, not at all.

In reference to all of this, the Lord said, “For every one who exalts himself shall be abased; and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Lk. 18:14). The Lord evidently repeated this frequently (Mat. 23:12).


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Read Ezekiel 43:1 through 48:35

Published: Aug 22, 2017

There is no shortage of towns called Franklin, Clinton, Washington, Arlington, Salem, or Madison. These are among the most common city names in the United States, according to the US Postal Service. However, some places stand out for their unique and interesting labels. Looneyville, New York; Rough and Ready, California; Hoot and Holler Crossing, Texas; Scratch Ankle, Alabama; and Whynot, Mississippi, are some of the more amusing examples of real geographic locations.

“The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).

The future city Ezekiel foresaw had an unusual but beautifully descriptive name: The Lord Is There. Earthly cities rise and fall, but God is preparing a glorious place His people can call home forever. Best of all, Jesus will be there as Ruler and Lord. Christians can look forward to spending eternity in Christ’s presence. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart to the hope of heaven.

Challenge for Today: Take time to acknowledge God’s presence and meditate on His eternal promises.

Quicklook: Ezekiel 48:30–35

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