“25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” Matthew 23:25-26
Religion will give us many ways to overcome the sin that so easily besets us. The sin that so easily defiles us begins in our heart. The Apostle Paul said “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)
The majority of Christianity strives to make clean the outside of the cup, while within they are full of extortion. Not knowing how to clean the inside of the cup, man resorts back to something they must do to cleanse the outside. A method or vain philosophy is given as doctrine to overcome sin in a sincere attempt to make clean the outside but has no effect on the heart…which is where the problem exists.
Some may declare incantations (spells) that are referred to as “positive confession”. They dare not “claim” the evil which is in their heart lest it be true. Instead of seeking victory over the sin in their heart, they deny the sin in their hearts and lie to both themselves and God.
The inside of the cup is cleansed by the Cross of Christ (Grace) through faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) but it must be faith that God can accept. Faith in Buddha, God cannot except…this is obvious. However, less obvious to the Believer is faith in ourselves. Faith in our efforts, intellect, talents and abilities for victory over sin makes the Cross of Christ of no effect. Even Scriptural ordinances, even though Scriptural but were not given to overcome sin, God cannot honor. If God could honor good intentions, the Cross of Christ was in vain.
“And He (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
Daily we must deny ourselves and place our faith in Grace, which IS the Cross of Christ, for victory over sin…otherwise, we cannot follow Jesus. Getting in front of a mirror daily and pretending to put on the Armor of God will not cleanse the inside of the cup but spit shines the outside and prohibits the Believer from following Jesus. Just to be sure, the Armor of God is God’s Armor. We have the Armor of God on when we are in Christ Jesus through our faith in Who He is and what He has done on Calvary’s Cross for whosoever will believe, not when we get in front of a mirror and play dress up. Some religious institutions teach this practice to the Believer and their faith is directed to their putting this armor on for their victory that day…utter foolishness.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the Law, but under Grace.” Romans 6:14
Sin’s dominion was broken by the Cross of Christ (Grace). We cannot clean the inside of our cup any other way.
“For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.” Romans 8:2
The Holy Spirit superintends the cleaning of the inside of our cup. He is the one Who circumcises our heart and makes us a new creature in Christ Jesus when our faith is in the Cross of Christ for victory over sin. This is faith which God can honor and faith which the Holy Spirit is commissioned to superintend…faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Fight the good fight of faith….DAILY. Lay hold on eternal life.
-Donna Clark Warren