Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Honoring Christ with Lips

Matthew 15:1-9 (ESV)
“Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, [2] "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." [3] He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? [4] For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Who ever reviles father or mother must surely die.' [5] But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, [6] he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. [7] You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

[8] " 'This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
[9] in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "

“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
I’m not sure a whole lot has changed. I find it a bit peculiar that when I talk to many they associate all sorts of weird things with Christianity that are not found in the Bible, and completely ignore things that are. I’m told that children need to wait to be baptized till they reach the age of accountability. But where is that in the Bible? Rather we are told that baptism is for our Children! Acts chapter 2:38-39, and that infants do believe! (Matthew 18: 6, and Mark 9:42). I’m told that baptism doesn’t save me, but praying the sinners prayer does. I’m told I should not celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden, when the Israelites celebrated the death of Goliath. I’m told that killing is always wrong, when the Bible only prohibits murder.
One has to be careful about these things. But most often we are not. The doctrines of men make so much more sense to us and our sinful Old Adam than does the word of God. People say something with no biblical basis whatsoever, but it is accepted because it seems to make sense, and appeals to their Old Adam. The Old Adam revels in self righteousness much more than it does in debauchery. But when we do this we only honor with our lips.
This becomes apparent when a Church no longer has a cross. When you hear a sermon that tells you how to have a better marriage, or control your anger, but never talks about Christ, his death and resurrection and our salvation and the forgiveness of sins. This is apparent when Baptism is turned into a work we do for God rather than something God does for us. Or when the Lord’s Supper is said to be a symbol and something we do to remember rather than a meal Christ prepared for us with his death and resurrection, where he forgives us our sins with his Body and Blood.

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