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Parable of the Publican & Pharisee, only one was justified.

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Luke 18:9-14
9And He spoke this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves, that they were righteous, and despised others: 10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-collector. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed within himself in this way: God, I thank You that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. 12I fast twice on the Sabbath, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13And standing afar off, the tax-collector would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but struck on his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner! 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself shall be abased, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.
  • The Pharisee prayed within himself, he was proud and self-righteous believing that he was a self made man.
  • The Pharisee attempted to justify himself, by speaking of his service to God, (fasting and tithing).
  • It is not wrong to thank God that you are not unjust, an adulterer, etc., but the Pharisee was exalting himself above other men and at the same time putting other men down. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted, Matthew 23:12.
  • The Publican realized his condition compared to a holy God, simply asked for mercy. This man went away being justified by God.
  • Man is justified in the sight of God, only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ; But, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you, Matthew 6:33.
  • Men cannot be justified by their works; For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast, Ephesians 2:8-9.
    For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 5:20.