Tag: law

Dirty on the inside!

Scripture reading for January 26th: Mark 7

Key Scriptures: Mark 7:17-23 “And when He had entered the house and left the people, His disciples asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart, but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.””

After a discourse with the Pharisees concerning Jesus and His disciples not holding to the traditions of the elders, Jesus made the statement that nothing from outside a person can defile him. This challenged the Pharisees rules about washing and eating certain foods that were unclean. The disciples also struggled to understand what Jesus had meant and asked Him privately to explain. He explained that food enters the stomach and is eliminated. Food is not a source of inner contamination. But evil resides in the heart and comes out of the mouth and heart through sinful attitudes, judgements, immorality and pride and slander. These all come from inside the heart and render all men unclean. Only God can remedy the inner state. No rules or laws can make one clean or righteous.

Romans 3:20 “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am thankful for Your inner cleansing by the blood of my Savior through faith by grace. Help me daily through the Holy Spirit to walk in my redeemed identity, a child of God. Give me discernment of any legalism or attempts to earn Your favor.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”

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God shows no favorites!

Scripture reading for July 14th: Romans 2:1-23

So all men are without excuse.  All have been given a basic knowledge of God’s power and nature through the creation we live in. When we look at others and judge them, we must realize that we are no different ourselves.  We have not responded to truth as we should either.  It is only the kindness and goodness of God that has led us to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  (Romans 2:4)

In this section, Paul is making a case that God shows no partiality.  Jew and Gentile alike must come to Him by faith for their righteousness.  No one can work their way into God’s grace!  God has given the Jew His law, and they will be judged by their failure to keep that law.  God wrote the law on the hearts of the Gentiles and their consciences help them to know right and wrong behavior and attitudes.  (Romans 2:12-15)  Indeed, God will judge all men and their secrets through His Son Jesus Christ on a day He has chosen!  (Romans 2:16)  (Acts 17:31)

For those who would not repent, their own stubbornness and unrepentant hearts were storing up wrath for them on the day of God’s wrath.  (Romans 2:6)  God will judge evil deeds and those who reject the truth.  Jews will be judged as well as Gentiles.  Jews, in fact, were more responsible because of God’s law.  They should have know clearly what God required in the way of actions.  They knew the commandments.  Yet, knowing and obeying are different!  It is easy to judge others and still be disobedient yourself.  Paul encouraged the Jew to learn first their own need of grace and repentance to avoid the wrath of God!  (Romans 2:21-23)

As we look at this passage, we should examine our own hearts.  Do we judge others while remaining in sin ourselves?  Today is a good day to repent and ask God for mercy!  Do we claim to be righteous because we are Christians, yet live in a state of breaking God’s laws?  These laws are now written on our hearts and we have the Holy Spirit to bring conviction and godly sorrow enabling repentance!  God will not and does not show favorites!  There is a day of judgment when all secrets will come to light!

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God’s Eternal Word!

Scripture reading for June 27th: Psalm 119

My favorite person to study is God!  In order to know Him, I must study His matchless Word!  Jesus was the Word made flesh who lived among us.  (John 1:14)  His Word is truth just as He is the Truth! (John 17:17)   His Word is eternal just as He is eternal, without beginning or ending! (Psalm 119:89) (Matthew 24:35)  His Word contains all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge just as in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3) His Word is Spirit and Life, bringing God’s Spirit and Life into my inner man and bringing Light to my eyes instead of darkness! (Psalm 119:105) (John 6:63)  His Word keeps me from sin and purifies my life, because the Word is righteous and true for all peoples of all time and into eternity!  (Psalm 119:11) (John 17:17)

In all but two verses, this psalm uses one of six different terms that refer to the Word of God.  These words help us to understand the nature of God’s Word and to honor and respect it and God Himself!  The first term is the “law” of the Lord (Psalm 119:1)  Laws are unchanging truths written down to know God’s will.  Laws are used to judge and to decree acceptable and unacceptable behavior.  They are written down to be learned and obeyed!  The next word is “statutes” (Psalm 119:2)  A statute gives us instruction.  They are like laws, but with more wisdom and instruction.  “Precepts” is another term used by the psalmist.  A precept is a statement of truth that is binding and permanent.  God’s precepts are made for obedience!  (Psalm 119:4)  The next word is “decree”.  A decree is a statement of revealed truth about any given subject.  God’s decrees are truth to be obeyed! (Psalm 119:5)  The next term used is “commands”.  Commands are forceful statements used to declare a direction or act that is imperative.  Commands possess authority to command action!  God is a God with absolute authority whose “Word” is to be respected, heeded, taken into our hearts, and obeyed!  (Psalm 119:9, 11) “Promise” is another term used in Psalm 119:38.  A promise is something that is decreed to happen or be fulfilled by the giver of the promise!  God’s promises are true and trustworthy!

These terms help us to understand the beautiful holiness of God and His matchless Word.  In the final chapter of Scripture, an angel tells the Apostle John that his Words are trustworthy and true! (Revelation 22:6)  He is further warned against adding to or taking away from the Word given to him!  Anyone who tries to change God’s Word is in danger of losing their share in the tree of Life and the Holy City!  (Revelation 22:18-19)  Let us honor God’s Word every day by reading it, meditating on it, memorizing it, and putting it into daily practice!

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