I see the sea – glassed off – calm, with light reflecting off the slow and slight swells – then I see Jesus walking on the water towards me – behind Him a great light is shining – brighter even than the sun. “Praise the Lord” the words of the hymn flow off my tongue, “let the whole earth rejoice – let the whole earth hear His voice”.
Then He speaks to me “Yes there are a myriad voices out there of those who love Me, who are praising Me – those past and present – you can look into the chambers of heaven and see all the saints you know who have gone before you – praising Me. Yes but even so, although the mighty throng sings in unison – each one is different – each one is unique – created and sculpted by Me as a masterpiece – together an enormous choir – individually fused to Me. You are not greater than any other, neither are you any less – I love each one of you to the same degree. Your eye is good so you will receive My word and understand it – so pass it on, that is your task at the moment”.
My reading is Luke 11:33-44, even though I already included 33-36 in yesterday’s reading. (Hence the reference to the good eye.) But reading 37 – 44 I realized that the previous few vv were really introductory to what I was reading today. So the message to the Pharisees was that they were so busy polishing up their outward appearance that they were completely neglecting the evil inside their hearts. Who did they think they were fooling? Was their view of God so small that they thought He would be satisfied with their behaviour. Well I suppose they were first of all spiritually blind and unable to comprehend the superficiality of it all. We have been reading in the last few paragraphs of the importance of “hearing” God speak through His word and demonstrating the transformation which takes place by our “obedience” to His word. 11:28. Secondly their motivation appears not to have arisen from the “love of God” 11:42, but rather the desire to be worshiped themselves 11:43. Their pride, like most unbelievers, was making it impossible to understand the real message of God.
So coming back to the piece describing the body being “full of light”, I can now see that the true believer’s whole body, especially the inside is lit up by the gospel and the Holy Spirit, which can be seen and appreciated by many.(Lamp on a hill). Whereas those who legalistically try to “live their Christian life” by applying a series of rules and rituals, find that the light only shines on the outside and the windows of their souls are ominously dark.
For me: The question I had to ask myself and I ask you dear reader, stop and take a deep draught of thought, is “how much of my life is governed by keeping rules and rituals, without my being sensitive to it?” If your answer is “none” then I ask you to apply to the Lord the question in Psalm 139:23,24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is ANY offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”.
So I again realized that I, and maybe you also need regular washing? It came to me that we should be seeking two biblical washings regularly: Ephesians 5:26, “a cleansing through the washing with the water through the word” and Hebr 9:14 “let the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences….” Which is just the practical way to reach the point the Ninevites had reached of true repentance Luke 11:32. What are you saying Ian? Read and study the word of the Lord, applying it through the Spirit to yourself and your heart and then run to Jesus to cleanse you in confession with His blood shed for you for this purpose. Then go out and obey.
Friends I have said it many times Christianity is often really unattractive to the outsider because all they see is a condemnatory set of rules to live by, whereas it is actually a life of great joy as we draw closer to God through Jesus who continually washes us from the inside.
- The Israelites, an Example of Drifting Away.
- God can use Anyone to Accomplish His Purposes.
- Thankfulness and Witness.
- God's Majesty meets our Humanity.
- Choose to Listen to Instruction and Gain Wisdom.
- God's Glory.
- Healing for 2022.
- How do I respond to the King?
- King Hezekiah, an Ordinary Man.
- Do Not Drift Away.
3 Replies to “Its the Inside that needs washing.”
The teachings of Christ to the Pharisees and the Torah teacher are of highest importance to me. I am very grateful that Ian has given his recent blog to the subject. I have given the subject much meditation and thought because it is of life saving importance the core of Christianity for me. With Ian’s permission here is my explanation. The Lord Himself who is the Spirit transforms our hesrt in Christ as promised in Ezekiel I will give you a new heart I will put a new spirit within you . I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put MY SPIRIT within you. Ezekiel 36 24 ….. The life giving Spirit of the new covenant brings unsurpassed Glory and freedom in Christ. Paul faults the law used by the religious leaders from without on tablets of stone rather than from within the human heart. He faults this for producing death not life and for leading to judgement and condemnation. Rejecting Christ and the new covenant leads to blindness of the eyes of the heart and covers the senses. The person cannot perceive the overwhelming light of the Gospel. Dullness of the mind and the old veil remain. The letter kills and the Spirit gives life. In their case the god of the world has blinded the mind of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the good news of the Glory of Messiah who is the image of God. The new covenant of the HOLY SPIRIT is based on the knowledge that the Spirit removes the veil of unbelief and false wisdom from those who surrender to Christ in trust and transforms the believer in the image of Christ. We all who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s Glory are being transformed into His image with ever increasing Glory. 2 Corinthians 3 18. The new covenant of the SPIRIT is by far superior therefore i have given my heart to the Lord. Every dominion and power is submissive to Christ . We are victorious in Christ who has triumphed over darkness and is now enthroned at the right hand of the Father. All power and glory be to the Lord forever and ever.
Concerning our discussion of our inner being our psychologic emotional constitution our character being transformed through our faith in Christ i want to remind all members of Ian’s Bible study of Ephesians of Ephesians 3 16 19. because it is so very very important. I pray that from His glorious riches He would grant you to be strengthened in your inner being with power through His Holy Spirit so that Messiah may dwell in your heart through faith. I pray that you may be rooted and grounded in love may have the strength to grasp with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth and to know the love of Messiah which surpasses knowledge so that you may be filled up with all the fullness of God.
It is great to see how the sinfulness of the Pharisees has provoked Lilly to gloryfy the work of the Holy Spirit. May I add an additional word? It is important to remember that the work of the Holy Spirit is not separate from Jesus but is the outflow of His work on the cross where He made the great sacrifice which brought the change that is possible to experience the new life through the Spirit, who then gives us the power, after our hearts have been softened to live the Christian life.
The victory over sin in our lives is also not automatic once we have been saved and received the Spirit but requires our active desire and cooperation to overcome. Hence the importance of the sort of passage in Luke which shows us the nature of the sin of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, so that we can measure ourselves against that and if necessary repent and with the Spirit’s help live changed lives.
The sin of the Pharisees is still hugely prevalent among Christians today, where legalism abounds and therefore requires us to embark daily on some spiritual housekeeping in the light of God’s Word to keep from falling into it.
Thanks again for all of your comments