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For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Luke 18:14b

Listen: Luke 18


Philippian Christians are in danger from false teachers preaching a “Jesus+” gospel. They are pressuring new believers into “good works” that follow the Law to please God. These “good works” are in direct opposition to the righteousness that comes from God based on faith in Jesus alone.

Relying on good works to save you is “self-rescue.” Last weekend, Senior Pastor Jeff Manion emphasized the liability of goodness by comparing the Pharisee and tax collector in a parable told by Jesus. Both pray in the temple. While the tax collector begs God for mercy, the Pharisee tells God of his good works and thanks him he isn’t like the tax collector.

Jesus says the Pharisee won’t be justified for his goodness because God is looking into his heart, past his behavior and sees the sin of pride beneath his good works. The repentant tax collector will be justified.

In his book The Prodigal God, Tim Keller compares the elder brother from the Prodigal Son parable to a Pharisee (Luke 15:11–32). The elder brother believes he’s entitled because of his righteous living, not seeing the “pride in his good deeds he uses his self-righteousness the way he uses his moral record to put God and others in his debt.”  Watch the video clip below as Senior Pastor Jeff Manion explains the liability of goodness.


Keller says, “We must learn how to repent of the sin under all our other sins and under all our righteousness.”  Today ask God, “Please help me see any ‘sin underneath’ I do not recognize, and help me change.” Turn to page 38 in your journal and write what he shows you.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.