Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inside the Cup

The one thing that separates Christianity from every other world religion is that God came down and did for us what we could not do for ourselves. It's a complete dependance on the One who's name is the Word of God. It's a complete turn from ourselves to a mighty God who is able to save us, change us and call us by a new name. When we embrace Jesus we release the things of this world and our purpose and vision will be about glorifying Him in word and deed. When we turn to Him, he changes us from the inside out and the Holy Spirit comes into our frail and broken bodies and begins the amazing process of conforming us into the image of our Savior. When the Holy Spirit comes within us, our desires change. The Spirit begins to wage war against our flesh and our flesh against the Spirit and during these intense times of inner struggle our desire must be to glorify Him no matter how we feel and trust Him as He begins to change us from within.
It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:31,32. The gospel of Matthew expounds on this verse with these words, "But go and learn what it means :'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13
The Pharisees' loved their rituals and religious ceremonies, they focused on the outward appearance of their faith and neglected the inward renewal of their heart. They were more concerned with appearances than dealing with the inner secret sins, the sins that put their rituals and religious ceremonies above human compassion. They believed the lie that righteousness was to be acheived by their works and sacrifices alone. Their salvation was all about them. It was an acts of service based religion. It was a religion based on appearances. Jesus, put's it this way, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. First clean the inside of the cup and the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. " Luke 11:39; Matthew 23:26 The people were more concerned with their outward appearances than with their inward morality.
I have found personally that it is much easier "to do" for the Lord than "to be" in the Lord and in His Holy Word. For when I am in the Word I am reminded of my need for Him to do what only He can do, to change me from within.
"I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance", What does this mean? This verse is directly linked to those who will likely oppose the message of Salvation. It will be the people, like the religious leaders, who do not recognize their need for a Savior. It will be people who replace their inner need of salvation with acts of service instead of repentance, which is a COMPLETE turn from self to God. Jesus came to save all who would come to repentance. When He stated that He came to save the sick but not the righteous, what He was saying was one has to realize they are sick to be saved. The religious leaders of Christ's day didn't recognize their need for the Savior. They trusted in their abilities and their ways and not in the way of repentance and inner renewal. Therefore, bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8
Post written December 13, 2010

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