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 Re: The Beauty of EXTERNAL righteousness

What I find troubling about external righteousness is there are those according to 2 Tim.3 who have e a form of godliness but deny its power. Does the external righteousness or deeds or godliness stem from a heart that has been changed through faith in Jesus Christ.

In 1 Cor.1:30 the verse tells us that because of him we are in Christ Jesus. He is the wisdom from God that becomes our righteousness, holiness, and redemption

In John 15 in the vine and the branches the life of Jesus produces the fruit. That is the fruit of the Spirit of Gal.5. The key is focussing. on and abiding in Jesus. The more we fill our minds with him and his word the more those deeds will flow out our lives for him.

Blaine

 2011/10/8 12:55









 Re:

My Scottish brother writes...........

"You are either going to trust in your performance, through obedience to the Law and the traditions of man, which is the power of sin (Legalism) do it in your own strengh, or you are going to trust Jesus and the obedience of faith, which results in righteousness.
Legalism is the delusion of the flesh’s ability to deal with sin"

Amen to that brother. There is nothing more blinding that legalism.Those caught up in it lose their ability to see Jesus because self stands in the way and that self is the old man no matter how it is dressed up.Its quicksand to the spirit. One caught up in this can only be delivered by God, for only He can cause the blind to see........ brother Frank

 2011/10/8 13:04









 Re:

Did not Jesus say in John 15 that apart from me you can do nothing? I remember hearing a speaker say that all too often we get so focussed on the fruit we lose close proximity to Jesus.

Blaine

 2011/10/8 13:53
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 611
Texas

 Re: Not either or, but both and

As true as it is that only Christ can produce internally that which eventually manifest itself externally, another truth is equally undeniable.

You can not determine the condition of a tree by internal unknowables, only by external evidences. " A tree is known by its fruit (NOT ITS ROOT)! Beautiful fruit indicate that inner beauty is at work. "The good man brings forth good out of the good stored up in him; the evil man bringeth forth evil out of the evil stored up in him." We can only know what has been stored up within by what is coming forth without. We know the heart is corrupt by the corrupt words that come out of the mouth.

The only way we can KNOW Christ is alive and at work on the inside is by the evidence of GOOD FRUIT on the outside.
In fact, Jesus said "Every branch IN ME that beareth not fruit He taketh away." ..."THIS IS to my Father's glory - that you bear much fruit...SHOWING yourselves to be my disciples." How is the Father glorified - by the external manifestation of the fruit by which a tree or branch is known.

Yes, it is very possible to only "APPEAR" righteous outwrdly and be full of corruption inwardly. However it is EVEN MORE TRUE that it is impossible to be righteous internally and fail to produce the external evidence of good fruit. Only good fruit is evidence of thorough repentance.

I find it ironic, that many statements are made on this forum about the poor state of the modern church. These statements are all based upon observable indicators that are frequently discussed. Many making these observations are in earnest prayer for an awakening. Everyone praying for this is expecting a dramatic "evidential" change. Even without specifying what that external evidence might look like, is it not apparent that such an external change is actually hoped for and expected.

Have we considered that many within the churches that we are praying for do not believe they are in need of an awakening? They feel righteous "on the inside" and would argue that those of us who would say that are not doing well are judging them wrongly. They vehemently claim to "love Jesus" as much as we do. We can not deny that we believe they are wrong and that we are expecting to see a visible outward change if a deep inner work is really accomplished.

That is the beauty of external righteousness. It is the only valid evidence of that beautiful inner change of heart, even if we have to distinguish between those both inwardly and outwardly pure and those with only the outward appearance but inwardly corrupt.

Those of us who are laboring in prayer to see revival and awakening are expecting to see the beauty of external change.

makrothumia



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Alan and Dina Martin

 2011/10/8 15:42Profile









 Re:

Makrothumia writes....

"Yes, it is very possible to only "APPEAR" righteous outwrdly and be full of corruption inwardly. However it is EVEN MORE TRUE that it is impossible to be righteous internally and fail to produce the external evidence of good fruit. Only good fruit is evidence of thorough repentance."

I think right here is where we are talking past each other.Perhaps we may even agree. This is not a discussion about cheap grace, at least as far as I am concerned meaning, people professing to be in Christ but living any old way they please, this is a discussion about Phariseeism. Now, Pharisees lived exemplary lives. This discussion started, at least for me, because of a shlew of articles speaking about hating money and how if someone had a certain amount ( no one ever really determined the standard) then they cannot be a witness for Christ. And again, another article which claimed one must be totaly obedient, absolute obedience, to leadership. And then finaly the head covering post which led to assertions that people like Corrie Ten Boom may not even have been saved because she did not wear a head covering. This is the blindness and the madness of legalism.

Take for instance the thread that was just locked. How many jumped all over Steve Jobs because he had a lot of money? The question was " where is his money going to get him now?" and it was not said with any kind of love. Brother Compton had to rightfully rebuke those and point out the fact that most people who talk a lot about money tend to have the problem themselves. There was no love in that thread, only judgement. I am so glad that it was locked.

And so, two sets of people, each living exemplary lives. Each having the the so called beauty of external righteousness. Rememeber the ten virgins. They were all virgins, they all had lamps, and when it was neccecary to trim them, half of them had no oil. Wheat and tares. Most of us in the mid-west know that a tare resembles a wheat, its hard to tell them apart, until near the time of harvest. So this discussion is not about one group of lawless people living any old way they please and another living exemplary lives( that would be too simple and apparent), it is taken for granted, or it should be, that anyone in Christ would be living an exemplary life ( with moments of defeat where the Lord gracefully and mercifully restores)

To me, this discusssion is about how holiness is pursued. And as simply as I know how, I say with all simplicity, holiness is pursued by pursuing Jesus. Now what does that mean? It means pressing in ever closer to Him. It means encountering Him in the Word and in the Spirit. Those who do this will begin to live exemplary lives as they are sanctified. The process and circumstances which bring this about are different for all of us, but the Lord knows. Let me finish with an example of my own pharisee heart shortly after I was converted.

My father came to know Jesus at the age of 49. He had been a violent alcohlic for over three decades. Had been locked up in mental hospitals. Was a plumber in the shipyards where only the " strong,' survived. There was no more worldly and sinful man than my father. He hated the fact that my mother had come to Christ and he fought it violently. From the day that he got saved, he never drank again, he is 71. He and my mother re-took their marriage vows and he was baptized, a huge thing for an ex-Catholic. I met Jesus two years later.

A couple of years after that I was considering my dads walk and I found him wanting. He was not spiritual enough, as far as I was concerned. I had totaly judged him in my heart as unworthy of the name of Jesus. Suddenly as I was praying the Lord spoke to my heart through the Holy Spirit. I saw a base line in my mind. It stared at minus 20 and ran through to 10. The Holy Spirit said to me " Jesus is 10. Pure evil is minus 20. When your dad came to me he was a minus 4 and he is now a 3. He has moved seven steps closer to me in his walk. You were a minus one and now your a 5. You have moved six steps closer to me. Although you appear to others to be more spiritual than your father, I look at the inward man. I know where a man has come from and I know where I am taking him, he is my servant."

A Pharisee will crush Gods people by their own standards, standards that the Lord knows that they do not live up to themselves because He knows the heart. That is the danger of judging a brother according to your particular standard. Whether its the amount of money you consider to be too much, or whether you consider a woman wearing pants and lipstick does not come up to your standard, whatever it is, it all becomes repugnant. There is a simple beauty about those who know who they are, where they come from and where they are going. Those who have Christ at the center of their hearts, who pursue Him in Word and Spirit, who encounter Him, no well who they are and why they stand. They walk with a greatful, thankful heart, a heart that burns with love. A heart that mourns the death of anyone unsaved, rich or poor. True humility, true meekness, true love comes in the power of the Holy Spirit to a servant that is broken before the throne. Those who would stand up and say that they are glad that they are not like those other people, go down the hill unjustified..........brother Frank

 2011/10/8 16:58
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 611
Texas

 Re: Dear Frank

You wrote:

"This is not a discussion about cheap grace, at least as far as I am concerned meaning, people professing to be in Christ but living any old way they please, this is a discussion about Phariseeism."

I do not disagree about the problem of Phariseeism, it is simply not the topic on my heart. You are the one who has steered the topic in this direction. I do not disagree about the importance of underscoring the "means" by which external righteousness comes forth. That is simply not my focus in this writing. The eyes of men must see the external evidence of our internal life if our "daily life is to win their respect." A wife's inner meekness and tranqulity must be observable by impirical evidence to win a husband without a word. You may focus upon the internal and I will focus upon the external(for this thread) - there is no contradiction between the two.

As I stated in my last post. I know many like yourself are burdened about revival. I am sure that the internal work you are praying for will produce the external works I am hoping to see as well. These two need not be in opposition to one another. There are many questionable manifestations of what is being called revival. Is it not profitable to spend some time reminding believers to remember "you shall know them by their fruits?"

I believe our beloved apostles spent much time and energy reminding the saints under their care how to detect the genuine and the false by the fruit they "observed."

I believe when you went to your beloved homeland, you witnessed observable fruit that gave you much joy. We both long to see even more in our day. We both know ONLY JESUS can bring it about - I just long for others to be able to know when He has genuinely come by the fruit that evidences it.

makrothumia


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2011/10/8 18:43Profile
makrothumia
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Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 611
Texas

 Re: A little fruit to "sample"

Below you will find a note from a sister in our fellowship that arrived in my email box just a few moments ago. I had shared the quoted statement in a letter to a brother needing encouragement. Her husband was also involved in reaching out to this brother in need. This sister is one who has been part of our fellowhship here for several years. She and her husband moved to our area from upstate New York. I believe you will see in her short little note where our true focus is as a fellowship. I just wanted to provide a little fruit for the sampling. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did - I believe you will.

Her note began here:

"The entire ministry of the Holy Spirit is to take everything that is so natural to Jesus and make it available to us moment by moment."

So natural to Jesus . . . this easy yoke, and light burden.

Just living a life of "YES!" to Him.

Not strained or striving, but rejoicing to follow.

My children showed me this today.
We were driving around St. Joe State Park (ever been there? beautiful!), and we found a spot near a large sandy beach and scenic lake. Our intention was to just walk along the shore. But the water looked so inviting. And before I knew it, their shoes were off and they were wading.
Our "wise reasonings" with them to not get their clothes wet were a poor restraint against the heat of the day and the promise of refreshment. With a few pleading looks and caution thrown to the wind, we allowed them to go swimming -- in their clothes!
It reminds me of the water level mentioned in Ezekiel. First to the ankles, then to the knees, then to the waist, deep enough to swim in! Living water is just as appealing (more!) as that crystal lake we visited today, and to those who are in need of refreshment . . . to the ankles, to the knees, to the waist -- it won't be deep enough!
Just as my kids couldn't resist the sweet water of the lake, we come with excited anticipation to Him who IS the Water of Life! Just can't stay away! Couldn't drag me away with wild horses, no better place on earth! Aletheia is learning this hymn on the piano called, "I Am Resolved". Its words are the very heart of this, "I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free . . ."

Just a few thoughts I wanted to share.

Her note ended with signed sister......


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2011/10/8 19:20Profile









 Re:

Makrothumia, you wrote..........

"I do not disagree about the problem of Phariseeism, it is simply not the topic on my heart. You are the one who has steered the topic in this direction."

Brother, I wrote a piece on the dangers of a focus on the externals, the outward appearance, and you replied, I am assuming, with this piece. The converstaion was well under way. Now, the reason I wrote that piece, was in reply to the headcovering thread.

You write.........

"The eyes of men must see the external evidence of our internal life if our "daily life is to win their respect." A wife's inner meekness and tranqulity must be observable by impirical evidence to win a husband without a word. You may focus upon the internal and I will focus upon the external."

The problem is brother, they are one and the same thing, they are not seperate issues. The internal issue is the whole, and it manifests itself outwardly. There can be no counterfieting this, there is no danger on focusing on the inner man, because, if our hearts are right, if we are walking in the Spirit, if we are moving in the holiness of God because we encounter Him and are changed in His presence, then it automaticly shows itself on the outside with love and mercy and forgiveness. The man who encounters God and His holiness loves more, he forgives more, he moves in mercy, he devours the Word of God. There is no danger in pursuing God with all of your heart, in fact it is what we must do and when we do then the externals are taking care of, they naturally flow from the inside out.

Now, can the same be said about externals? Can a headcovering possibly show that a pesron is holy? If a woman wears pants or lipstick, can we assume that she is not holy? If a person believes that how they dress can make them holy is there not great danger in that? Jesus has written the law on our hearts, it flows from there out. All efforts to approach God by externals will fail. In the end it probably comes down to our definiton of Holiness and righteousness. I am sure that we agree that if a man or woman is genuinly saved, they are made righteous by the blood of the Lamb. Is there a missing element to that equation, is it that plus something else? Therefore, if one is already truly justified in the eyes of God, what we are talking about here is sanctification.

And so brother, all of these questions were raised because of a series of articles stating that if a man had a certain amount of money, then he could not be used of God. If a man was not in total obedience to his leadership, then he could not be used of God. If a woman did not cover her head, then she was, to quote one of the posters, guilty of unfaithfulness, equating it to that of a woman who cheated on her husband. Or, it was even suggested that because Corrie Ten Boom did not wear a head covering, then we do not really know if she is in heaven. Do you not see any dangers here?

Using the externals of pants and lipstick and a certain amount of money to judge the motives and the hearts of people. This, I would suggest, is the very danger of focussing on the externals. I pray that the people who take these postions may be young and simply passing through Romans 7. I believe that Romans 7 is a neccecary journey for all Christians, for they must discover that we can do nothing in and of ourselves because of our flesh, we will surely cry out " Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death." Praise the Lord we know who, Jesus and Him alone. Its not by might nor by power, but only through the Spirit of God can anything be achieved, a complete surrender and brokeness before the throne of God. And then, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh that has just been described in Romans 7. On this I am sure we will agree...........brother Frank

Rom 8:15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!


 2011/10/9 1:33
StarofG0D
Member



Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States

 Re: The Beauty of EXTERNAL righteousness

Brother Frank,

If I may say something...:)

I live and fellowship where Alan lives.

I do not think that Alan is talking about the same kind of "externals" that you are speaking of. I lived here for over a year before hearing anything about the headcovering, and probably longer than that before ever hearing anything about wearing a skirt or a dress! And it was not because it was being taught, but usually just sisters talking about it in passing. (Which at first was very strange to me, because where I was from those things were surely focused upon!)

Makrothumia writes...
"
There is an external righteousness we must clothe ourselves with! We must “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ and clothe ourselves with every grace of His life."

If the "putting on" of the Lord Jesus, is to us to mean whether to wear a head covering or not, there is certainly something wrong in our viewing of who the Lord Jesus is!

Bless you in Christ.
Michelle




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Michelle

 2011/10/9 8:56Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Now, can the same be said about externals? Can a headcovering possibly show that a pesron is holy? If a woman wears pants or lipstick, can we assume that she is not holy? If a person believes that how they dress can make them holy is there not great danger in that? Jesus has written the law on our hearts, it flows from there out. All efforts to approach God by externals will fail. In the end it probably comes down to our definiton of Holiness and righteousness. I am sure that we agree that if a man or woman is genuinly saved, they are made righteous by the blood of the Lamb. Is there a missing element to that equation, is it that plus something else? Therefore, if one is already truly justified in the eyes of God, what we are talking about here is sanctification.




To be honest with you brother, internal righteousness will exhibit itself in outward righteousness in some way. And it is interesting to me how people argue so strongly against externals of headcovering or less makeup and modesty etc. Why do we oppose things that are simply things that flow from an internal righteousness in a sister.

And obviously no-one is holy by one action they do and just by wearing a headcovering for one day does not make a sister holy.

Sanctification is not a second step or just a good thing to have it is the qualification that you are saved and going even further "it is your salvation". You cannot seperate the two! Sanctification is salvation, it is the outflow of your justification experience into everyday life. Thus we must not minimize it somehow. If we have been saved by the Blood of the Lamb then we will be sanctified from this world in our mind, heart, life, dress, clothes, actions, use of money, etc. Oh may God set us free to obey Him from the heart in all these areas and not hold back.

May He raise up a seperate people in these last days.







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 2011/10/9 9:08Profile





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