Monday, July 8, 2013

54. The In and the Out

“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”  (Matthew 23:26)
When Jesus accused the scribes and the Pharisees of preventing people from entering into the kingdom of heaven, He continues to talk about two distinct places. These two places are the inside of the man and the outside of the man. The Kingdom of God is within you. When we abide ‘in’ Him, He abides ‘in’ us. “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.” (John 14:11, RSV). “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do…” (v.14:12). Believe Jesus, yes! And the demons also believe Jesus. (James 2:19). But the demons do not ‘believe “in” Jesus’. You have to be “in” Him to believe “in” Him. For Truth to be “in” a man, he has to be “in” Christ. The True believer doesn’t simply outwardly say he believes, but the True believer is “in” Christ in his believing. He is in a place and the place is the Kingdom of God.
Many religion teachers teach people that all they have to do to become a Christian is simply believe. Do you understand how errant that is? Religionists boil Jesus and the New Testament down to one word, ‘believe’. Again, even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19), but they are not heart-changed, born again, denying the self, true believers. The demonic forces serve their father, the father of lies; that is just one fruit of their spirit. I pray that you are seeing the major difference here. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, that which is dealing with the inside. Religion preaches the external and doesn’t really know how to deal with the internal. It is an unworthy substitute for the Truth of Jesus Christ even though now it preaches Jesus Christ as a Savior. Religion eventually rolls the external into doing something to earn your salvation, or to keep it. The doing of things is the outside, washing the outside of the cup so that it looks clean, but inside, at home, or in relationships, it is abusive, using, and undermining in order to get its own way. Religion is the way and spirit of the hypocrite. It is not real and true, nor does it lead to the real and true. It hinders people from entering into Truth. All religion, whether it be a version of Christianity or otherwise, always leads to doing something in order to receive peace or to maintain it. In Christ, He is our peace for He dwells within us. (Ephesians 2:14).
“Jesus answered him, ‘If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” (John 14:23-24, RSV). “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  (John 15:4, RSV).

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