And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. he Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Luke 8:9-12
Are you going to Heaven? Most people would answer Yes, and if you ask why, then would say because they are a “good person”. This is the same mentality in the parable Jesus is teaching here, the Pharisee went on about how righteous he was and even thanked God that he was not a sinner like this tax collector. The fact is God says “All our righteous deeds or good works are filthy rags “ (Isaiah 64:6)
The only reason anyone is saved or can get to Heaven is because of the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This Pharisee did some noble things, but he was a sinner just like everyone else (Romans 3:23) Instead of thanking God that he was not like the other sinners, we should thank God that we are saved at all! It’s only by the blood of Jesus Christ that we can be declared righteous before God
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:13-14
Notice the difference with the prayer from the Tax Collector, he asked for God’s mercy on him because he admitted he was a sinner. This is true repentance, you can’t earn or work your way into Heaven. You can only be saved through Jesus Christ, why? Because he paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. All your good deeds are filthy rags when it comes to salvation.
Now does that mean we shouldn’t do any good deeds? Of course not, Jesus said “They will be known by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16) Meaning if we are Born Again in Christ, then there should be results to prove that. Somebody who says they are a Christian yet still behave like their old self, didn’t truly become Born Again
Jesus ends this parable by saying “The sinner was justified by repentance, but the Pharisee needs to be humbled” I know I’m paraphrasing here, but it’s simple, good works doesn’t make you righteous or saved. It’s only by the blood of Jesus Christ you can be saved, repent to The Lord Amen!
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8