In Luke chapter 18 Jesus tells a parable about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. He does this, so that we will not look down on each other in self-righteousness. He also wants us to know what a true heart of repentance looks like. To repent means to turn away from sin and turn towards God. Imagine a person going one way, then doing a 180 degree turn to go the exact opposite way in which they were going. Repentance in the Greek (the language of the New Testament) is translated metánoia, which literally means to “change your mind” or a “change in the inner man.” That is what Jesus wants us to do regarding sin. Turn away from sin and death and turn to Him and live! He preached that all people need to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 4:17). Turn to Jesus today and receive His forgiveness and love! He loves you more than you could ever imagine and He will shower you with grace and mercy! No sin is too big for the Lord. He will wash away your sins and remember them no more!
With that in mind, here is the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
That is a heart of true repentance that stands before God in humility ready to receive the amazing grace of the Lord!
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
God extends that gift to every person in the whole world! Now at Christmastime is a beautiful time to receive His free gift of salvation! He longs to shower you with forgiveness and make you a new creation! All you have to do is receive it by faith. God is handing you this precious gift this very moment. I hope you receive it with joy!
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Come now, let us reason
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like
they shall be as white as
though they are red as
they shall be like wool.”
We receive Jesus Christ by faith and we are saved by grace. No matter who you are and no matter what sins and burdens you are carrying, lay it down to Jesus and He will lift you up! Let Him wash away all of your sins and make you a new creation filled with the power of the Holy Spirit! It all starts with having the true heart of repentance Jesus told us about. Turn to Jesus today and receive Him by faith. He will never leave you nor forsake you and He will receive you as His own!
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”
There is no boasting in Heaven folks. We are not saved by works. We are not righteous in ourselves and we never will be. We all need forgiveness and not one can look down on another. We are only made righteous in the sight of God through faith in Jesus Christ!
“David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are they
whose transgressions are
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord will
never count against
Come to Jesus! He is the wonder and miracle of Christmas! He will forgive you and never count your sin against you, and that is the most incredible gift ever given to us!
Grace and peace to you all in the precious Name of Jesus!