What’s inside? – Matthew 23:27-28

As Jesus cuts into the religious hypocrites of his day, one of the “woes” he pronounces on them is this:

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

It’s a graphic picture.  Rotting corpses lying behind clean, newly painted, white outer walls.  The smells of fresh paint and decomposition combine in an oddly unpleasant mixture.  We might only wish the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus referred to were the only ones ever to be found guilty as charged.  

Unfortunately, as long as there shall be religion in a fallen world, we can count on the existence of religious hypocrisy.  If the world, the flesh and the devil can’t get us to fall headlong into sin and drown, they will keep trying to find something for us to dip our toes in when no one is looking.  It may be some secret dishonesty or indiscretion.  It may be a smug self-satisfaction that we are not as evil as someone else.  It doesn’t matter what the rottenness is caused by, it only matters that it is there.

The starting point in reversing the process is simple honesty that hypocrisy is real, wicked, and consistently knocking at our door.  Basic honesty with ourselves and others removes the need for religious hypocrisy and is almost already its opposite.  We don’t have to clean up the outside to impress anyone and the inside will not deteriorate beyond a certain point.  The Holy Spirit, if he dwells within, will see to it.

It’s the confessing sinner that is able to repent of sin and the humble servant that can somehow live with an outward flaw.  Hypocrisy is an obstacle in the way of genuine spiritual growth.  The highway toward true holiness has many off-ramps that lead to hypocrisy.  We need to be sure not to take any of them.  When our inside and outside are in harmony, both trending toward a Christlike end, all is well.  One day we shall be inwardly and outwardly pure.

Make Disciples. Week 9: Holiness

make-disciples

Tomorrow, we will get together for Week 9 of 12 in our “Make Disciples.” series. Below you will find links to an overview of the full 12 weeks and for the ninth area on the map, Experiencing God’s Power: Holiness.

Overview

Make Disciples. Week 09

During the 12 weeks, we are addressing areas on a comprehensive discipleship map.  After discussing each area, we will try to establish Milestones that would provide evidence of personal spiritual growth – markers that we work toward. 

Central Streaming: Waiting for Jesus

The Letters of Paulapostle-paul

Paul writes to encourage an exemplary church.  Despite their affliction, they need to stand firm and continue waiting for Jesus.

                     1 Thess.pdf              1 Thess.mp3

Central Streaming: Commissioned

Logo 1

Isaiah goes into the Temple with unexpected results.

Isaiah 6.pdf                    Isaiah 6.mp3

The Prophet Isaiah

Palmer St. Podcast: Dedicated

Our radical dedication to holiness should be an attractive option in a hopeless world – and a source of severe conviction to a compromised or hypocritical church.

Numbers 6.1-21.mp3

Numbers 6.1-21.pdf

Numbers 6.1-21.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: A Pure Church

A pure church. A healthy church. A church that can overcome unhealthy or corrupting influences. That’s what we want and that’s what we need. More importantly that’s what Christ desires for His bride.

Jude 20-25.mp3

Jude 20-25.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: A Life Full of Hope

God has prepared an inheritance for us and we are waiting for that day when we will fully come into it. Prophets in ancient times spoke of the salvation that we experience in Jesus Christ. We are living each day filled with hope, looking for the fulfillment of all that God has had planned since the very beginning. Belonging to Jesus for eternity is supposed to transform how we live right now.

1 Peter 1.13-25.mp3

1 Peter 1.13-25.pdf

1 Peter 1.13-25.pptx