Summary: We must get out of a Traditional Obligation and develop a Realistic Commitment. Get right church and lets go home.
Get Right Church and Let’s Go Home
Mark 7:3-9 → Traditional Obligation
Luke 9:23-26 → Realistic Commitment
What do I mean when I say Get Right Church and Let’s Go Home, We must get out of a Traditional Obligation and develop a Realistic Commitment
We find in these scriptures that it was a time that that the Jews and the Pharisees had come to regard certain traditions to be as equal in authority to the Old Testament itself. They had become so wrapped up in being ritually righteous and ceremonially clean that they failed to understand that or realize that all they had was a form of what they thought to be godliness and denied the power there of. They began to question Jesus on why His disciples did not hold to the traditions of the elders and eat without washing their hands has well as work on the Sabbath.
Jesus begins to answer them and begins to explain that they only honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. He says to them that they are just hypocrites.
Hypocrite is a person who pretends to be what he or she is not; one that pretends to be better than they really are, they claim to be pious, virtuous, Holy, and righteous without being so. Back in history a hypocrite would be an actor that hid behind a mask, their true identity was not known. These people were hiding behind the mask of traditionalism acting as though they were Holy and righteous, offering up lip services but their hearts was far from the truth. They had a form of godliness, they appeared to be holy on the outside, they knew the law, but on the inside where it truly matters they were undevoted, unaffectionate, unreal, and just down right fake.
They had become so ritually righteous and traditionally obligated that they failed to realize truly what their commitment was.
Today we have people that have a form of godliness in the church; they have become so traditionally obligated to church, but have failed to develop a realistic commitment to God. They are hiding behind a mask of ritualism, but their hearts are undevoted, unreal, and fake.
The Bible says in Luke 9:23 “If any man come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
The cross represents commitment. When Jesus was crucified on the cross He sacrificed His life for you and me. If we look at a sacrifice it was a total commitment, the whole animal was given in the sacrifice not just a part of it. A sacrifice is the surrender or destruction of something valued for the sake of something else. I think about the story my father tells sometimes about the chicken and the pig. A chicken and a pig were going down the street when they saw a sign that said ham and eggs 2.99, the chicken looked at the pig and said aren’t you glad we had a part in that, the pig said you may be glad but for me it is a total commitment. In other words you must give yourself 100% to the Lord, like the song says 99 ½ just wont do.
When the Bible says If any man come after me, let him deny himself, this means give himself totally and take up his cross, this is a realistic and totally committed commitment, not just a form, not just lip service, but a totally true and 100% commitment and follow me.
The reason why the people of the church and I am talking about the body of Christ more than the building right now, do not have a realistic commitment is because they have forgotten the reason of their existence, which is to save the lost. The church is to be a beacon of hope, a place of refuge for the wayward. It is supposed to be the place where the world is transformed into the image and likeness of God; however, the church instead of transforming the world is being conformed by the world. WHY because they have lost their savour.
The Bible says in Matthew 5:13 says “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
When we allow the church to conform to the world you cannot transform the world because you are now part of the world only with a different name.
We must not loose our savour; we are the salt of the earth. Salt changes everything it comes in contact with, but the salt itself remains unchanged. We are the salt of the earth, we (the church) are to change everything that we come in contact with, the world, is not to change us. But when you operate only out of tradition and you fail to develop a true commitment you become unstable and like water which ever way the wind blows you’ll find yourself going that way, but when you develop a realistic commitment you will be like the tree planted by the rivers of water. Then when the storm winds of life begin to blow you may bend, but when it’s all over you not only are still standing, but your commitment has become even more rooted and grounded in God and you say with confidence Nothing shall separate me from His love.