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Warning Against 'Outward Spirituality'

Lesson No.


Feb 18, 2023

Subject: Warning Against 'Outward Spirituality'

Scripture Reading: Matthew 23: 1 – 25

Memory Verses: Matthew 5: 19 – 20

Objective: To understand the behaviour of the Pharisees in an effort to avoid displaying them.

Introduction: The Pharisees were religious leaders who clearly did not understand the essence of what God was doing through Jesus Christ. Their concerns were centered on playing a role instead of lovingly caring for God's people.

1. Jesus often rebuked the Pharisees for their pretentious relationship with God; what did He say about:

(a) Their talk and no action

(b) The burden they placed on others

(c) Them pretending to be spiritual to impress others? Matthew 23: 1 – 5

2. What fed their egos and made them feel superior to others and how did they hinder others? Matthew 23: 6 – 7 & 13

3. How did Matthew 23: 14 – 25 show the Pharisees’ disregard for the poor and their habit of placing emphasis on minor things?

4. Who did Christ say that these teachers of the law were intent on impressing? Matthew 23: 5 (first part); and despite all this what did Christ command? Matthew 23: 3 (first part)

Note: It is absolutely clear that the Pharisees' behaviour was an act to elevate themselves as the standard of righteousness. They lost the true mission of genuine service to the people. It is never about us; it is always about God's love through Jesus Christ.

5. How can we avoid being labelled a Pharisee? Ephesians 5: 1 – 2, 1 Thessalonians 5: 12 – 15, 23 & 24

6. What are the elders’ best defense against exhibiting external holiness? 1 Peter 5: 1 – 4

7. What is our current lifestyle preparing us for? 1 Corinthians 6: 2 – 3

Conclusion: The kingdom of God was designed to accommodate all those who choose to live godly unto the end. We must avoid the pharisee-attitude and take on the character of Christ completely.

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