Before reading this passage from the Bible, I would like to make a couple comments about the two people in this story – these two people are complete opposites. The first person is a Pharisee, a very religious man who thought that he was the best and bragged that he would be accepted by God (however he was a hypocrite). This Pharisee represents people who think they can be good enough to get to heaven from their external religion. The second person in our story is a tax collector, a wicked sinner (who knew that he was wicked). This tax collector represents those people who see that they aren’t good enough to get to heaven on their own.
Luke 18:9-14 Also He (Jesus) spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In order to truly appreciate the salvation available in Christ, we need to first understand our sin before God. Once we understand the seriousness of our sin, then the good news of the Gospel truly becomes good news. If we keep justifying our actions and thinking how good and upright we are, then we will become self-righteous like this Pharisee.
God will save you if you humble yourself before him; not trusting in yourself, but trusting in Christ as your only means of salvation. Repent of your sins, look away from yourself and look to Christ to be saved.
For further teaching on this verse, I would recommend listening to John MacArthur preach on this topic. Here is a the sermon link: http://vimeo.com/59276275
Throughout my blog postings, I plan to post helpful table tennis articles as well as truths that I have been learning from the Bible.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The Gospel influences every area of my life - personal, table tennis, family, hobbies. With God's help, I want to live each moment for Him.