Pastor Barry's "Chapter & Verse" Day 234
August 21; Matthew 23:25; 23/260(II); ‘Inside & Outside’
Mathew 23:25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
In this chapter the Lord Jesus unleashes a scathing denunciation of the hypocritical Pharisees and religious leaders. Seven times in this chapter, Jesus says, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.” Jesus clearly and accurately differentiates between religious, external works and attitudes of the heart. The religious leaders spent a great deal of time washing the outside of their cups and dishes, washing their hands in a religious, doctrine of men manner, recruiting proselytes only to make them more legalistic than they are. On and on the doctrines of men goes. Religion is rules and regulations made up by men, in their efforts to be pleasing to the Lord. Religion is endeavoring to earn heaven, man’s way. Religion is a lie. Christianity, a personal relationship with Jesus, begins by understanding what the Bible teaches concerning the Lord Jesus’ willing sacrifice on our behalf. Once that is understood, a decision is made to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When someone becomes Born Again, the Lord changes their spirit, the inside. God’s love and the fruit of the Spirit are imparted. A Christ like character is then possible and vitally important, allowing others to see what a relationship with Jesus is like. Religion cannot do that. A person can legalistically do all of the made up external religious rituals and yet be prideful, arrogant and brutal on the inside. Religion cannot change a person’s heart. It is a counterfeit and often causes unsaved people to ‘shy away’ from the things of God. Thinking if that is God I do not want Him. Real Christianity draws men from the inside out.