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Lesson # Matt. 23:27-28
Study Material - Matt. 23:27-28
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.
27 Woe [ouai] unto you [humin] , scribes [grammateus] and [kai] Pharisees [Pharisaios] , hypocrites [hupokrites] ! for [hoti] ye are like [paromoiazo] unto whited [koniao] sepulchres [taphos] , which [hostis] indeed [men] appear [phaino] beautiful [horaios] outward [exothen] , but [de] are within [esothen] full [gemo] of dead [nekros] men's bones [osteon] , and [kai] of all [pas] uncleanness [akatharsia] .
28 Even so [houto] ye [humeis] also [kai] [men] outwardly [exothen] appear [phaino] righteous [dikaios] unto men [anthropos] , but [de] within [esothen] ye are [este] full [mestos] of hypocrisy [hupokrisis] and [kai] iniquity [anomia] . KJV-Interlinear
27 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 'Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. NAS
Any spiritually negative person is a potential source of contamination to anyone else with whom they come into contact. How so?
In the Old Testament, specifically in Num. 19:16, we have this illustrated. Anyone who came into contact with a dead body or even a grave was considered to be ceremonially unclean. An unclean person is the same as a person who has sinned and is out of fellowship, or someone who has associated themselves with something dead.
God is life. Any form of separation from God is death. Death is associated with corruption and rot or decay. This is an uncomplimentary association that is not desirable - an association with something that has died, that is.
Anything that has died is in a state of decay. It cannot be cleaned up. It cannot be dresses up. It cannot be perfumed or adorned with jewels to make it into something other than a dead thing. Anything to escape the characteristics of death, has to be made alive.
The concept of living, is associated with health, and vigor, and the ability to function relatively independently from that which is bound by death.
The peoples of Israel, because of the possibility of becoming ceremonially unclean by the mere touch of a grave, whether intentionally or accidentally, would whitewash their tombs every spring, or every so often, so that any stranger who happened by would be able to identify the grave site and would not accidentally come into contact with it.
This whitewash became an elaborate ritual every year to dress up the tombs of those who had died. The outside was clean and made beautiful, but what lay inside was decay and worthless bones of the dead. Nothing of value was inside the grave. Certainly nothing living lived in there. The former person when they died, had already vacated their body and were either in Paradise of in Torments, depending on their spiritual status (saved or unsaved).
Now for the Pharisees and anyone else who is negative in their spiritual life. They are dead inside. Whether they are unbelievers (those who have not believed in Christ) or whether they are believers but have drifted away from God in their life, and are therefore out of fellowship and dead in the function of their spiritual life, makes no difference. Dead is dead. At least as far as the concept goes.
Anything dead is in a state of decay. Anything in a state of decay will contaminate anything else that comes into contact with it. Try leaving some fresh meat out for a day or two so that it begins to rot. You wouldn't eat it once it has gone bad. Now go to the store and get some new meat. Will you place it in the fridge with that old rotten meat - in the same package? Of course not. Only a fool would do such a thing. Hummm. Are we beginning to see the principle here?
The spiritual life is often portrayed by examples just like the one above. Rot is rot. It makes no difference whether you are speaking of meat or ones spiritual life. Meat needs something to preserve it or it rots. The soul needs Bible doctrine in it in order to preserve its healthy spiritual state.
The Pharisees were men with dead souls. They had rot for brains, I guess you could say. Living on the outside in a performance of righteousness (defined by themselves) did not make them spiritual. Their clothes, their mannerisms, their perfumes, their jewelry, their rituals, and other things, did not make them spiritual. Nor did it give them a relationship with God.
A grave is a grave and nothing more. It does not give life. There is only one way to gain life and that is by means of Gods plan - faith in Christ, His Son. There is only one way to sustain life and achieve a healthy and muscular soul - through a daily meal of Bible study. Anyone who does not eat, starves to death. How can these concepts get any simpler.
Pretending to be spiritual, pretending to live a good life, inventing ones own rules of life, or even ignoring everything Biblical because you just do not agree with it, will not make you more than what you really are - a dead thing. Rot is rot, and the rotten rarely smell their own stench.
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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