Recovering Pharisee-Step 6

Notes from the book,
“12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me)”, by John Fischer

Step 6:  We are ready to have God remove all these defects of attitude and character.

     This pharisaical cloak we wear does not come off very easily.   Righteousness for the Pharisees was a system, not an inner reality.  It was a manipulation of the law that awarded them technical righteousness, albeit through a cold heart.  John 15:13; Rom 10:1-4; 13:10; Matt 22:35-40

     Paul typified a new humility forced upon someone by the truth.  When anyone has an encounter with God, the end result will be a new empowerment to do God’s will, but that comes only through the realization that you have not been doing God’s will heretofore.  You have actually been working against Him.  It would take a complete reeducation of Saul to adjust to God’s way.  Acts 23:6; 9:1-20; 26:9-19; Gal 1:17; 2:1; Luke 22:32; Psa 51:12-19;

     Leaders have a hard time being led. Leaders have to become students.  Guides must learn to follow.  The implication is that suffering will smooth the sharp edges; it will turn Saul into a compassionate Paul.  We need to accept that there are some weaknesses God leaves as a reminder, lest the pride return and we think that by our own righteousness we have gotten our victories.  Matt 15:14; 2 Cor 12:1-11;

     Why did Paul have such distaste for his roots and zeal?  It must be that he hated the role they played in his life.  He did not hate their value, but he hated how he used them.  Every recovering Pharisee should make a list of human assets that, like Paul’s list, keep them from knowing Christ.  These are the natural things we trust in.  Psa 9:10; Isa 30:1-3; Phil 3:3-9;


2 thoughts on “Recovering Pharisee-Step 6

  1. It is a daily death to self, my brother. And I only read books that I need to read to first help myself and then others.

    Just when we think we have attained a level of “no sin in me” the Lord shows us ourselves and we can hardly stand what we see. So when he does, either we will say, “of sinners, I am chief” and purge ourselves deeper in His Word, in prayer and in fasting so our egos are in check and our spirits and lives are continually and progressively perfected. Or, we will become deceived and deceiving by denying our errors, faults and sins so we can feel righteous/saved and perpetrate a fraud that leads others to be in self-denial and unable to come boldly before the throne of God for help.

    That’s why we need the grace of God not only to be saved, but to remain saved. Some people believe that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost solves all their problems. As long as we dwell in a sinful world and in a sinful body, there will continue to be things that The Lord has to correct or perfect. Call them sin, error, faults or issues. Whatever they are, we need the blood of Jesus and a committment to walk in holiness to overcome them so we are ready before He returns.

  2. “Righteousness for the Pharisees was a system, not an inner reality”.

    So they seem to have essentially been plugged into the matrix of their system? And there was no need to look beyond where they were at becaus it afforded them a level of comfort, esteem, and acceptance?

    Thats how I see it anyway. And this so describes circumstances and organizations that I have been a part of at different times. Including church groups that nurture the culture of its members being in some manner a distinct chosen few. Not all church groups are this way. And not only church groups can become this way.

    I think I have just described elitism. Which can be fostered in any organization of people including but not limited to a workplace/company, union, government organization, or groups like AA of which I am also a member.

    It appears to be a danger of all humanity that when we get wrapped in an organization that meets many of our needs, we can become insulated in it and lose touch with some of the realities of life. Including the reality of the pain and destruction that got us to the very organization that now enables our elitism.

    Yet is this not just typical of man kind? Has it not always been? Didnt David after being God’s chosen and used of God in so many amazing ways eventually become somewhat self-consumed to the point where he knocked boots with another man’s wife and then had him killed?

    So if the likes of David are vulnerable, why can’t we be? I wonder if any of us would have any less suceptible to the temptations the pharisees seem to have fallen into. I suppose not, otherwise the book on which you are blogging and your blog itself would not have been written.

    Jeremiah 17:9 paraphrased… The heart is wickedly deceitful and no man can know his own heart. But with God’s help, the truth of a person’s heart can be revealed to him.

    I guess this is what step 6 refers to. I am always amazed at what is revealed to me about my heart. Any time I think I am at humility’s door step, God shows me something new again…. if I remain in a teachable place and avoid systematic enabling.



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