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Outwardly, Inwardly

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Genuine Hope | 0 comments

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 1: 7-10

Today I read Jesus’ words of warning to the spiritual leaders of his day from Matthew 23: 27-28: 

 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

It’s quite easy to deceive ourselves, wouldn’t you agree? It’s sometimes even easier when we wear the label of Christian.

The passage above from 1 John is offensive to many because of the repeated use of a single word – sin.  The very sight of that three-letter word causes people to cringe.  Not only is the word “sin” not popular, but it is also considered provocative, crude, and even improper in twenty-first century America. So instead of using the “s” word, many in the church opt for words that are less disrespectful.

Sin is an unpleasant word, but “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It’s a fact. Not one or some, but all of us have sinned, but there is great hope in the truth that if we will own up to our sins, He will certainly forgive us. He will make us clean and alive. 

Sugarcoating the truth is an act of self-deception. Jesus didn’t sugarcoat the truth. Neither did John. And neither should we, especially as it deal with our own lives.

This is a passage I refer to often, but take a moment to read and consider Psalm 139:23-24 today.

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