Wednesday, September 15, 2004

CHRISTIAN INSIDE AND OUT

The Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, told of the Christian age when religion would not be cold and superficial, but would "be written on the heart" (Jer. 31:31-34). Jesus introduced this theme in the 'Sermon on the Mount' by addressing the mentality of being religious inside and out. "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder'...but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court;.... (Mt. 5:21,22)" Along with this, He addressed Mosaic Law on adultery and the making of oaths to show that God is not only interested in what we are on the outside, but also what we are in the heart. This was a hard pill for the elitist priests and teachers to swallow as He spoke pointedly of them. Jesus said, "do not be like them" who pray, fast, and give to get praise from men (Mt. 6:1,5,8,16). To His sincere listeners, Jesus said, "unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 5:20). How would a disciple be different from the Pharisee? Clearly, the law of God was to be on their heart. The Pharisees were religious, but it was all show and no go. They honored God with their lips, but their hearts were far away from Him" (Mt. 15:7-19). When Jesus concluded His sermon in Matthew 7, He said the wise person is the one who hears His words and does them (Mt. 7:24ff). This is different. While the Scribes and Pharisees heard the words, they did their own thing. A Disciple, with the word of God written on his heart does the word of God. Such a person is a Christian inside and out.

1 comment:

  1. Teaching this March 27, 2017 on Monday night class.

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