Faith: absolute trust, no matter what happens.
Faith in Jesus: trusting in who He is and what He did (dying for our sins, coming back to life, King over all)
Faith in Jesus that produces obedience: believing in Jesus, experiencing a change in your heart to desire righteousness, and actively living in a way that kills sin and makes God glorified.
Faith in Jesus that produces obedience is what God desires from us: People who have put their trust/belief/faith in Jesus are now followers of Jesus. They call Him King and aim to live a life that honors God. Christians actively follow God by choosing to do the right thing for the right reason.
(We are justified by our faith in Jesus and we show this justification by living the right way in the spirit: sanctification)
Faith in Jesus that produces obedience is what god desires from us
Faith in Jesus that causes us to live the right way is what God wants to see
A faith in ourselves or others that causes us to act a certain way to get their approval.
Outside: Looking Good
Outside: Looking Good
1. Outside: MANmade RULES
Hand washing, rituals, holidays, attendance, clothing, language, the way you present yourself to others.
Pharisees and their standards: READ
Pharisees are religious big shots.
Heart vs Lips (v6-7)
The heart overflows
As long as they looked good to everyone, it was fine.
Even if it caused them to do the wrong thing. (v13)
But just changing how you behave or look or act is not what will matter (v15)
2. We NULLIFY God’s Word by focusing on the OUTSIDE---(v8-9,13)
Nothing is better if we are fake.
In fact, we are worse.
We end up being worse people.
We will be using what God designed to worship Him to be about us.
No one knows Jesus better if we use church to make ourselves look better.
And this is what matters, this is what is judged- not our falseness, our realness
Relevance: Our outside rules are not what God wants to see. He wants to see real change. We want to see real change.--- Don’t you desire a real change?
3. Inside: GODmade LIFESTYLE
compassion, caring, love, goodness—Faith
Jesus’ explanations of what is acceptable to God: READ
4. We ALWAYS change from the INSIDE OUT
Jesus didn’t ask us to act good enough and then He would die for us.
Actually, He tells us that if we look at WHY we do things it is because we are evil.
“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. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“Why did you do that?” idk.
The “unclean” woman’s example: READ
She is from the wrong place, wrong family, dealing with a demon, chasing Him down.
Jesus uses the term “dog” here to highlight how people thought about them at the time. He was using a popular term to test her faith in Him.
Did she really believe that He had power over demons? Would she humble herself? Would what people thought of her mess up her faith?
What did she have on the inside? Or did she just look good on the outside?
She had faith. Beautiful faith that God is good and Jesus is who He says He is.
God Knows the Inside
God Knows the Inside
Three types people can hear this sermon
1. Someone who doesn’t care at all--- I hope none of those are here.
2. Someone who has never put true faith in God
3. Someone who has faith in God, but should take a second to evaluate themselves
But, really quickly let me talk to #2’s and #3’s.
Take a second and think through what makes you most proud?
Is it how much people think of you?
Is it how much money you make or give?
Is it about what you accomplish?
Is it how pure and good you are? (swearing, dressing rightly, movies, etc.)
This story shows us that the rules we follow or the part we pretend to play is not the important part.
The question is: Why? Why are you living the way that you are? Making those choices?
When you do the right thing is it because your faith pushes you to be obedient to God or because you want others to see you a certain way?
The Challenge: What actions need to be reviewed?
I want to ask you to go to God right now. He can see you. He knows you. There are no secrets. He knows what is inside.
The Bible tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ()
For the #3’s
Who already know God as their Father, who already know Jesus as their Savior and King- this can be a time to confess where you have been just cleaning the outside, but leaving or ignoring the sinful, dirty thoughts and feelings inside.
He will forgive you and give you strength to live in faithful obedience. Go and ask Him.
For the #2’s
Who have maybe never thought about this before. Maybe you didn’t think about how dirty you are inside. Maybe you have been trying to just act right and want that to be enough.
It isn’t enough. God loves you and if you put your faith in Him, He will save you from Hell. If you believe that Jesus came down and died for you, came back to life, if you will turn from a life of just washing the outside of your grave- He will give you eternal life.
So, this might be a moment that you want to take that step. You want to put your faith in Him. You want to turn away from how you have been living, and live for Him. You want to follow Jesus.
We are going to have a longer prayer time now. And if you want to come pray with me about that: taking a real step in trusting Jesus and becoming a Child of God, then come up to me.