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EVEN THE MOST RELIGIOUS PERSON (DEVOUT JEW) CANNOT ESCAPE GOD'S RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT--TRUE SPIRITUALITY IS MUCH MORE THAN POSSESSING RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGES AND PRACTICING RELIGIOUS RITUALS

1. True Spirituality is much more than Possessing Religious Privileges (:17-24)

a. Religious Privileges can produce false security if you are trusting in: (:17-20)

1) Special Identity

2) Special Revelation -- possession of Scriptures and discernment

3) Special Ministry -- Jews viewed themselves as spiritual teachers

b. Religious Privileges mean nothing if your life doesn't measure up (:21-24) -- your life will show whether or not you truly belong to God

1) General principle: you must practice what you preach

2) Three specific examples of law breaking

a) Stealing

b) Adultery

c) Compromising with idols

3) Such law breaking on the part of those who claim to uphold the law especially dishonors God (Is. 52:5)

2. True Spirituality is much more than Practicing Religious Rituals (:25-27)

a. Religious rituals have no value apart from obedience

b. People who haven't practiced the rituals may be further ahead spiritually than those who have

3. True Spirituality that pleases God is An Inward Reality Accomplished by the Holy Spirit (:28-29) What you see outwardly is often deceiving.

a. Only inward reality validates our spiritual identity

b. Only inward reality gives significance to religious rites

c. Inward reality is only accomplished by the Holy Spirit

d. Only inward reality pleases God


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