Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Exceeding the Righteousness of the Pharisees

Image The Pharisees were a sect of Jews during the time of Jesus known for a strict adherence to the Law of Moses. The name means “separatists”, and the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia notes that they were, “those who carefully kept themselves from any legal contamination, distinguishing themselves by their care in such matters from the common people, … who had fewer scruples.”

The scrupulosity of the Pharisee is acknowledged by the Lord in Matthew 23:23, when in speaking with them he said, “For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin…” Earlier in the chapter, He told his disciples “whatever they [the Pharisees] tell you to observe, that observe and do.”

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Sermon: Concepts of Authority (2) – Those Terrible Pharisees

Faithful Christians who contend for truth, and claim authority for religious practices are often unfairly called Pharisees, or referred to with derision as legalists and patternists. This sermon describes the sins of the Pharisees, and defends the concept of obedience to God’s authority.

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Sermon: Denouncing the Pharisee

This sermon examines the severe denunciation of the Pharisee, spoken by the Lord in Matthew 23.

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Sermon: Lost Religious People

Whether it be the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, the imperfect knowledge of Christ exhibited by Saul, The Eunuch and Cornelius prior to their exposure to the gospel of Christ, or the Lukewarmness of the Laodiceans, just being “religious” does not guarantee salvation.

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During Jesus’ ministry, there were three main sects of the Jews that influenced Jewish politics and culture. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes.

Interestingly, the Essenes are not mentioned in the New Testament writings. Perhaps their tendencies toward asceticism and monasticism separated them from the common Jew, and limited their influence upon Jewish culture. (Note: It is believed that it was an Essene community, Qumran, that was responsible for the penning of the Dead Sea Scrolls).

The Sadducees were characteristically liberal and secular in their outlook. They were political animals, often affluent, and held the highest political offices among the Jews. “They were a political party, of priestly and aristocratic tendency, as against the more religious and democratic Pharisees” (ISBE, Vol. IV, pg. 2659).

The Pharisees were, as noted above, more religious. In fact, at least in outward form, the Pharisee seemed to mirror most closely the teaching and philosophy of our Lord. For example: 1) The Pharisee contended for the importance of separating himself from ungodly and worldly influences; 2) The Pharisee was very attentive to the Law of God, and careful in his exposition of its teaching; 3) The Pharisee emphasized the importance of diligent obedience to the Law of God; 4) The Pharisee was eager to convert others to his beliefs, and was active in proselytizing; 5) The Pharisee was very active religiously, and many saw the expressions of his faith.

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