Old Habits hard to Break

Acts 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

The Pharisees were the legalist of the day.  Jesus dealt with them.  They started out right.  They were the get back to the scriptures type folks.  That is excellent!  I totally am for this.  Its Gods word that matters and changes things.  His word however remains the same.  Its not changing due to the times that often change.  Yet where the Pharisees went wrong was their pride in their heart in that they assumed they became the gold standard for biblical living.  "We have not done any of those things, or we have never committed such things" which leads to self righteousness.  We are definitely supposed to walk a life of holiness unto the LORD but never forget that we will not be perfected until the Day the LORD brings us home.  What is interesting here is that the early church had many of these pharisee converts but also the headache of them bringing their preconceived ideas instead of forsaking them.  I see this pride on many jobs from those who have come from other jobs.  "My old employer  did it this way" which means the new employer is wrong!  I've asked, so why aren't you there now?  
I think these Pharisees, and those like them, have a lot of good qualities and experiences they bring to Christianity but what they must do is in humility leave the old religious man behind and come to Jesus with a open heart to learn, be changed, grow in grace.  To start leaning on the Holy Spirit to change them day by day.  Not to rely upon the flesh.  
Now, how do I apply this?  Well, as I came to Christ while a sinner, began in the Spirit, will I be made perfect by the flesh?  Never.  I didn't just need a jump start, I needed a completely upgraded and new engine!  My Spiritual birth did just that and my walk today must be that of exercising those spiritual senses that only God gives.  LORD, I come to You today asking You to fill me and lead me with Your Spirit.  Nothing is impossible for You.  I am saved by grace through faith alone and not of works lest I brag.  I can be, but I never want to be, a pharisee!  I always want to be a Christian, marked by my Savior. 

7 Comments


Sondra McKee - November 20th, 2023 at 7:12am

No longer I who live, but Christ in me. This is the promise to all who receive Jesus. As you wrote, we didn't need an overhaul or upgrade, we required our heart of stone to be transformed into a heart of flesh with Jesus as the reason that heart beats.

Jon - November 20th, 2023 at 7:45am

Amen! The bible refers this as regeneration, being born again. The world tries to rehabilitate a person, its a miserable failure, with over 80% of hardened criminals released from prisons will return, and return soon due to a series of pitfalls. God doesnt reform us, He transformed us after His image.

Michelle Martin - November 20th, 2023 at 8:12am

To start leaning on the Holy Spirit to change them day by day. Not to rely upon the flesh.



This part is where I struggle, it’s so easy for me to say give it to God but to actually do that and trust in it is another.



I know that my whole life is Gods plan, it’s just wholeheartedly believing it and letting it just be in his hands.



The more I read and learn and use my spiritual senses the more I feel the comfort of Jesus.

Jon Holaday - November 20th, 2023 at 3:39pm

Michelle, I love you honesty of your heart on this matter. What you may think is a weakness, God will strengthen day by day as you trust and believe His word. Before Jesus came into our lives, we didnt care nor have any power to live a godly life. But now, by the Holy Spirit, we are changed daily! Our failures now are setting us up for great success. We see them and never want to experience them again. You just keep exercising those spiritual senses from God and watch what He can do in you!

Gayle Adams - November 20th, 2023 at 8:47am

Thanks Pastor Jon. I can relate to this message today. I tend to be a strict rule follower and I never thought of myself like a Pharisee . I am reminded to let the spirit guide me and exercise the spiritual senses instilled in me by the Holy Spirit.

Jon Holaday - November 20th, 2023 at 3:44pm

Our nature pushes us to become like the pharisee. All of us who love and do the word of God. But, we must never forget where we came from. Walk in grace always. But for His grace, I could be in that horrible sinners shoes. Im never above anybody. But I seek to pick them up and never pull them down. You do well when you see your capability to be like that pharisee, so you dont walk in his ways.

Michelle Martin - November 20th, 2023 at 4:13pm

To start leaning on the Holy Spirit to change them day by day. Not to rely upon the flesh.



This part is where I struggle, it’s so easy for me to say give it to God but to actually do that and trust in it is another.



I know that my whole life is Gods plan, it’s just wholeheartedly believing it and letting it just be in his hands.



The more I read and learn and use my spiritual senses the more I feel the comfort of Jesus.

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