Summary: There are several spiritual "games" which we play,legalistically, in an attempt to justify ourselves (look better, even before God). But only an internal, true change, counts before God.
Outline for CBF AM June 28, 2009
2:1-16 -- the error of self-justification by performance comparison with other people.
2:17-29 -- the error of self-justification by other minor externals
I. Confidence in religious posturing, 17-20
- This includes:
A. Religious affiliation, 17 a.
B. Knowledge of, and allegiance to a body of religious truth, 17 b - 18
1.I claim to agree with it. 17
2.I trust it. (But what do I mean by trust? Doesn’t the law point to someone?) 17
3.I believe that through it, God accepts me, since "I am on the right side."
4.I’m conversant with it, 18.
C. I position myself "ahead" of others in "the religion race," 19-20
II.Equating profession with obedience! 21-24
- Remember God’s standard is performance & He requires perfection!
A. Mere profession doesn’t satisfy God, 21-23.
B. Mere profession doesn’t satisfy the "unchurched, 24"
C. Read Ezekiel 36:15-28
TS. Notice that even Ezekiel, over 500 years before Christ, proclaimed that God wanted something more!
Which brings us to our last point, which is not an error!
III. God requires an inward reality which only He can impart, 25-29.
A. Externals are only good if they are backed up with that which is the substance! 25
B. Externals don’t make the man! 26-27
C.The substance in the result of an inward work of God, 28-29.
"12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
"13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation." Galatians 6:13-15
"8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, ..." Colossians 2:8-10
Conclusion & Invitation.