© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved|
Clean On The Outside But Filthy On The Inside
"How unthinking are you to imagine that God can be pleased with this outward purification, when all within is unholy." - Adam Clarke
"Always has the Holy One of Israel estimated men by their inner nature, and not by their outward professions; to Him the inward is as visible as the outward, and He rightly judges that the essential character of an action lies in the motive of him who works it."
- Charles Spurgeon
"A man may appear clean without, who is unclean within; but outward purity will not avail in the sight of God, where inward holiness is wanting."
- Adam Clarke
Are you clean on the inside?
We didn't ask you if you were saved...in the ministry...teaching a Sunday School class...on the Prayer Team at your church...on the deacon board...a tither or a giver...or the greatest soul winner in town. Nor did we ask you how many sermons you have preached in your lifetime... how many times you visited Israel...how many souls you led to the Lord...how many ministries that you are involved in...or how much money you give to Missions each year.
We simply asked you a question - straight from the Holy Ghost - which is - Are you clean on the inside?
You see, we heard of a Preacher who just recently was exposed as an adulterer. On the outside, you would have thought that this man was the godliest man on the earth. He seemingly loved Jesus - had the greatest burden for Israel and the Jewish people...prayed like a house of fire... preached continuously on the Father Heart of God...did many Missions' trips around the world while preaching the Gospel with signs and wonders following...and seemingly loved his wife and children.
On the outside, he looked great. He appeared to be godly and on-fire for God. Yet, on the inside, he was an adulterer. He was having sex with another woman - in other words, cheating on his wife.
You may ask - How can this be? How can someone like this walk in such a level of deception and - for a time - fool himself, his wife and family, and his brothers and sisters in Christ?
Welcome to the real world, Saints! It's happening all the time in the Christian circles. The reason being is that there is so much emphasis on the outward appearance - at the expense of the inward quality of life.
Jesus "nailed" the Pharisees for such behavior. They were pros at covering up the inner life and making the outward look very impressive.
Read what He had to say to such dissemblers -
Matthew 23:25-26 says - "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."
Luke 11:39-40 adds - "And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not He, that made that which is without, make that which is within also?"
Notice the tone that Jesus is using when speaking to these religious leaders! He doesn't sound too pleased with them. In fact, do we detect a "little" righteous indignation here coming from the Holy Son of God?
Absolutely ! He called these "scribes and Pharisees" - "hypocrites," "blind," and "fools."
Why? Because they were trying to appear "righteous" before men - while all along they were filthy in the sight of God. All they cared about was impressing men...pleasing men...and looking good in men's sight. And they were doing a good job at it. The people were indeed overawed by their pompous and "super-spiritual" mannerisms.
But notice that Jesus was not impressed in the least. With His "eyes...as a flame of fire"(Revelation 1:14), He saw right through their deception.
He isn't impressed with your ways either - if, like the Pharisees, you are trying to look good on the outside - while covering up a heart full of worldliness and spitefulness.
What does your "cup" and "platter" look like today? Is this what you are overly concerned with? Do you spend all of your time cleaning the outside and making sure that you look good to others?
What about the inside? The "outside" is what is looked at by men, but the "inside" is the part that is used by God. Are you asking Him to use you - knowing that your "inside" is so filthy and full of uncleanness, covetousness, and wickedness? Doesn't it bother you that you have those around you fooled?
You may be reading this and be one who is playing the part of a Preacher. You can easily quote the Scriptures, and you even speak in tongues. Yet, hidden in the recesses of your heart is such wickedness as - lust, pornography, adultery, anger, hatred, bitterness, jealousy, envy, or selfishness. And yet you are asking God to use you - when all along you know that your "cup" and "platter" is filthy and unclean.
Jesus is saying to you today - "...cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."
It is obvious from this incident with the Pharisees that God's desire is inward purity. He has pleasure in it. In fact, He not only delights in it, but He demands such things as genuineness, reality, sincerity, true holiness, and heart-fidelity - rather than the pretense of purity. Pretense does not sit well with Him. He is Truth, and if people call themselves by His Name, they must be a reflection of Him - the Truth.
In Psalm 51:6, David said this about Him - "Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts..." He definitely had a revelation of God's true character when he penned these words. He said a mouthful here. These are the kind of words that should be posted on the refrigerator of every Christian... should be framed and placed over the fireplace for all to see...or should be posted on the pulpits or the walls of the churches around the world.
God is Truth and desires Truth to be ruling and reigning in the hearts of His people. That entails having the "inside" of the "cup" and "platter" being just as clean as the "outside." It also entails doing all that He requires and avoiding all that He forbids - at all times - no matter who's looking or watching.
Those who have "truth in the inward parts" or have the "inside" of their "cup" and "platter" washed and cleansed carry a universal hatred for all sin. They are so sensitive in this area that the smallest "mote" in their eye makes it tear and the littlest stone in their shoe causes them much pain and aggravation. They are very wary and watchful - especially for any besetting sins. They don't mind having their consciences ransacked and ripped up so that sin can be found out. And they are the type of people who are the same in private as in public.
Doesn't it bother you that your "cup" and "platter" are full of all manner of sin on the "inside"?
Doesn't it bother you that people see you one way, and then you are another person in private?
We leave you with these words of Matthew Henry - the renowned Bible Commentator - "Now what a foolish thing would it be for a man to wash only the outside of a cup, which is to be looked at, and to leave the inside dirty, which is to be used..."
What a foolish thing indeed it is!
In fact, it is downright ungodly and wicked in the sight of a Holy God!
May God Bless His Word.