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Lesson # Matt. 15:7-9
Study Material - Matt. 15:7-9
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
7 Ye hypocrites [hupokrites] , well [kalos] did [propheteuo] Esaias [Hesaias] prophesy [propheteuo] of [peri] you [humon] , saying [lego] ,
8 This [houtos] people [laos] draweth nigh [eggizo] unto me [moi] with their [autos] mouth [stoma] , and [kai] honoureth [timao] me [me] with their lips [cheilos] ; but [de] their [autos] heart [kardia] is [apecho] far [porrho] from [apo] me [emou] .
9 But [de] in vain [maten] they do worship [sebomai] me [me] , teaching [didasko] for doctrines [didaskalia] the commandments [entalma] of men [anthropos] . KJV-Interlinear
7 'You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. 9 'But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' NAS
Traditions can be an honorable concept when they are placed in the proper context of truth. Traditions can help us to remember, to cherish those things that are noble, honorable, and precious to us in life.
However, when traditions cross the line and they become substitutes for truth, when they are used as distortions of truth, when they become a way to distract us from truth (truth is Gods Word), then traditions become evil. They become an offense to God and thus are condemned.
When God is excluded from the life then the precepts of man become doctrines, and man's wisdom is elevated above God's. 'To be like the Most High.' Do you recall who said or thought that? Yes. Lucifer, son of the morning and is now Satan. So man did not invent tradition. Satan invented it and inserted it into human history long, long ago. Man just perpetuated the idea and expanded on it through the generations.
Tradition becomes one of the greatest allies of hypocrites. Because tradition can be followed mechanically and thoughtlessly, without conviction, sincerity, or purity of heart. Traditions are made by men, they can be accomplished by men. They can be changed by men. Therefore they are matters of convenience. They require no faith, no trust, no dependence on God. They appeal to the flesh by feeding pride and self-righteousness, and self importance. They also serve self-interest.
Ritual and ceremony is their format in life. These then become the new religion. The pomp and ceremony of the various rituals become replacements of daily Bible study. Emotion is satisfied rather than wisdom acquired.
Everything is superficial and external. It is very easy to dress the right way, say the right words, and be pleasing in appearance to the crowds. But the silks of public appearance surrounding the person wrap a hidden (not so public) soul filled with maggots (so to speak). God however can see through the false, and right into the rot of the soul..
Therefore we study these things not to become judgmental of others, even though things in others lives might be obvious to us, but rather so we can discern that which is right from that which is wrong. So that we can avoid getting caught up in the very broad trap of traditions which would lead us away from God. And so that we can teach others when the opportunity arises. We never force our views onto others.
God controls history and can do nicely in dealing with the evils of the world. We need not attempt to restrict our lives to dealing only with mature Christians. For one obvious reason, how can you even determine who is mature or even positive, and who is not? That we cannot do. And second we are not isolated in this world from everyone else. But rather we are beacons of light. We shine for others to see by example. We are generous with charitable giving, helping any who are in need.
We do not know who or when others might believe in Christ, but God does know and God may very well use anyone of us under any set of circumstances to bring a person to Christ, or even to turn them on to Bible study.
So we do not judge. We do not attempt to predetermine who will be admitted into heaven and who will not. That is not our place. Our place is to stay in our daily study, to grow up, and to allow God to use us in whatever way He sees fit. We cannot predetermine even how or where we might be used. Again that is not our place. God knows what He is doing and as long as we advance to spiritual maturity, then He will, for certain, use us in some remarkable way.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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