Go To Meeting

Eduardo Elizondo—April 8, 2022

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We're finishing the preparation period and that self-examination period prior to the Passover, and we're going to take a look at some things in the Word of God that are very, very important. Let's start with this account in Luke 7 when one of the Pharisees invites Jesus to dine with him.

Luke 7:36: "Now, one of the Pharisees invited Him to eat with him. And after going into the Pharisee's house, He sat down at the table. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that He was sitting in the Pharisee's house, took an alabaster flask of ointment; and she stood weeping behind Him, and knelt at His feet, and began to wash His feet with her tears and to wipe them with the hairs of her head; and she was ardently kissing His feet and anointing them with the ointment" (vs 36-38).

It's very interesting what happens, because the focus is on the Pharisee—and we're going to get there—but this is a woman who was a sinner and she knew that she was. I think everybody knew who she was and what she had done.

Verse 39: "But when he saw this, the Pharisee who had invited Him spoke within himself, saying, 'This Man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what the woman is who is touching Him because she is a sinner.'"

If we read carefully, what this Pharisee said was what "…spoke within himself…"; he didn't say this out loud, but he thought this: "…'This Man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what the woman is who is touching Him because she is a sinner.'"

He didn't say it out loud, but the first thing he does he makes a judgment on Jesus Christ, to basically discredit Him in his mind as a prophet. Why? Because Jesus did take the action that he—the Pharisee—would have taken! He did not separate Himself and point the finger and get away from this woman who was kissing His feet and washing them with her own tears and drying them with her own hair.

The very first this the Pharisee does is makes this judgment about Jesus and obviously is passing on judgment about the woman, because 'she's a sinner and doesn't deserve to be here and with this important person that the Pharisee invited!

Jesus does those things immediately and then, v 40: "Then Jesus answered and said to him…"

It's very interesting that Jesus answered him when this man spoke within himself! It's so interesting how it's written, because it's an answer to what this Pharisee was doing, but Jesus didn't tell him the end result of it. It was to teach him a lesson!

Verse 40: "Then Jesus answered and said to him… [He answered the thoughts of this Pharisee; the accusations against Him and this woman] …'Simon, I have something to say to you.' And he said, 'Teacher, say on.'"

Jesus already knew what this Pharisee had done in his mind, accusing Jesus of not even being a prophet because He didn't act the way that the Pharisee would have done by getting away from the sinner to not defile themselves, 'you're not worthy.'

On the outside the Pharisee is very welcoming and accommodating and elevating Jesus by saying, "…Teacher, say on." So, Jesus said:

Verse 41: "There were two debtors of a certain creditor; one owed five hundred silver coins, and the other fifty. But when they did not have anything with which to pay him, he forgave them both. Tell Me then, which of them will love him most?" (vs 41-42).

Verse 43: "And Simon answered and said, 'I suppose the one whom he forgave the most.' And He said to him, 'You have judged rightly.'"

It's important that we take a step back here and analyze what the Pharisee is saying, because he says, "…I suppose… [I have never been in that situation] …the one whom he forgave the most."

I wouldn't know that because I'm pretty much perfect, that's why You're dining with me. But if You were a prophet (he didn't say that out loud; he was thinking that).

That's why Jesus answered him with this lesson. Jesus told him that he had "…judged rightly"; he was logical and able to know and understand what Jesus was saying. Now, here really comes the lesson to this Pharisee:

Verse 44: "And after turning to the woman, He said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I came into your house, and you did not provide any water to wash My feet; but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head. You did not give Me a kiss; but she, from the time I came in, has not ceased to ardently kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil; but she has anointed My feet with ointment. For this cause, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven because she loved much….'" (vs 44-47).

Jesus didn't say anything about the Pharisee with regard to forgiving his sins.

"'…But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little'" (47). It's very interesting, because the lesson is:

You didn't do these things! You didn't provide any water to wash My feet, but she went above and beyond and has been doing it with her tears and wiping them with the hairs of her head. She humbled herself to the lowest. That's what she has done. You did not give Me a kiss, but she from the time I came in has not ceased to ardently kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with ointment.

You did not do any of these things, and that's why for this cause, because she has loved much, her sins have been forgiven!

"'…But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little'" (47).

I want us to reflect and ask the question as we come near the Passover:

  • How much have we been forgiven?
  • How much do we love?
  • How much has it been forgiven to us?
  • Is it perhaps reflected in how much we love?
  • How do we know how much has been forgiven us?
  • What are the sins that we have committed?

Especially in this self-examination, self-preparation time!

  • How much have we been forgiven?
  • Has the Pharisee really been forgiven little?

Not only that because he was already judging or condemning this woman, because she was a sinner!

It's interesting with this woman, because she was a sinner. That's what Jesus said, 'Her many sins!' It seems like the community knew who she was and what she did. She was a sinner. There was no hiding that.

  • What about the Pharisee in whom was not a sinner, at least not in the way that this woman was a sinner? Was He sinner?
  • Is there something more to add?

Sometimes how much is forgiven is not only just measure of what we have done, but it's also a measure of how much we have repented of and brought before God.

I would like for us to reflect on this as we finalize the preparation for the Passover. To think about how much we've been forgiven.

  • How much have we loved?
  • How much do we love?
  • How much do we love the Lord?
  • How much do we love God the Father and Jesus Christ?
  • How many of our sins have been forgiven?
  • Little?


  • Much?

We saw the hypocrisy of this Pharisee; thinking one thing and saying another. Then Jesus reading his thoughts answered him and really gave him the lesson of all the things that he did not do, just the common courtesy of what was done in those times: proving water to wash His feet or give Him a kiss or anoint His head with oil. The Pharisee didn't do any of that!

For us, this sometimes can be a reminder of the things that we maybe forget to do:

  • to praise God
  • to thank Him
  • to love Him
  • to express how much His calling means
  • to express how much His way of life means

Hopefully this spurs us on to love more, knowing that we've been forgiven a lot; that we all have been forgiven a lot.

It's like an iceberg, which is very little showing above the surface, but there's a huge, huge boulder under the water. For some people, most of the sins that are on the surface are the physical and on the outside.

Like this woman, that's the way it was with her! She was a sinner and everybody knew that. Jesus and the Pharisees knew that; everybody in the society knew that.

  • I just wonder how different the size of those icebergs are?
  • What's the difference in this Pharisee and the iceberg of this woman?

Maybe they were not that different! But the sins of the Pharisee may have been under the water, under the surface and people didn't see them and wouldn't see him as a sinner.

They wouldn't see him as a sinner, but the sins of the mind—we saw here—judging this woman, condemning this woman and judging the very Son of God Who knew his thoughts: thinking that He was not a prophet and judging Him for His actions.

Not only was He a prophet, because even if He knew, without hypocrisy, without self-righteousness, without pointing the finger with the same accusation as the Pharisees did.

Luke 12—this is the teaching that Jesus Christ gave regarding the Pharisees. 

Luke 12:1: "During this time, an innumerable multitude was gathering, crowding so close together that they were stepping on one another. First of all He began to speak to His disciples, saying, 'Guard yourselves from the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy'"which is showing one face on the outside and being something else in private, or saying one thing and doing another!!

One thing we cannot do, we can never do is what this Pharisee did, thinking that he really does know what's going on in the mind. He really is Prophet and He really does know who this lady is. He shouldn't be close to her. When we assume that we know the mind or the heart of someone else, we're most likely wrong.  We don't know.

But the good news is that's not our job. It's not our job to condemn or judge a brother, or assume the intentions of our brother's heart.

Then we become this leaven, which is hypocrisy, and that's what the Pharisees (inaudible) Then Jesus tells us that we should guard against that hypocrisy.

Verse 2: "For there is nothing covered that shall not be uncovered, nor hidden that shall not be known. Therefore, whatever you have spoken in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and what you have spoken in the ear in closed rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops" (vs 2-3).

Whatever you're thinking in your mind, like this Pharisee, will be published for everybody to read, just like it happened. The thoughts of this Pharisee were published in the very Word of God, and Luke recorded it so that we would read what the Pharisee was thinking and to know as a testament that Jesus Christ is the One Who can see our hearts, and God the Father also; both can see our heart and mind and every one of our thoughts.

That's what we have to bring, all of the things that we have done before them, even the most secret things about our life; just bring them before God.

This is about our direct relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, between each one of us and Them.

  • confessing our sins to Them
  • repenting to Them
  • knowing that they know every thought of our mind and every imagination of our heart

They know that! That's why we have to bring them to be cleansed and purified, especially now that we're close to the Passover, but all the time, because we received forgiveness upon repentance every time!

But we have to remember that the Word of God cannot be broken, and here is not a single lie in the entire Word of God.

In the words of Jesus Christ, v 3: "Therefore, whatever you have spoken in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and what you have spoken in the ear in closed rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops"—including what we say and what we think, of anybody else, of any of our brethren, family—any person! That's why He tells us where the focus is!

Verse 4: "But I tell you, My friends, you should not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that are not able to do anything more…. [don't be afraid of people] …But I will show you Whom you should fear. Fear Him Who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into the fire of Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!" (vs 4-5). We have to fear God the Father! Fear Jesus Christ our Lord!

Not with the fear to be afraid, but with respect, honor, honesty and purity of mind and heart. That right now as we're examining ourselves, we're bringing all these things before Them. We're bringing all of them to be forgiven of them and repenting of them, to be cleansed by the sacrifice of our Passover Lamb. It's so interesting, because this leaven of the Pharisees—which is hypocrisy—really begins in the heart and at the individual level. Trying to feel good about ourselves sometimes.

Quite honestly, that's probably what it is. It's our human nature to try to feel good about ourselves and think that we're better than we really are. That's the reality. But God doesn't want that! God wants everything, and we have to bring every thought captive into the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 18:9: "And to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others, He also spoke this parable: 'Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed with himself in this manner: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers—or even as this tax collector. I fast twice in the week, and I give a tithe of everything that I gain'" (vs 9-12).

Verse 13: "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat himself on the chest, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled; and the one who humbles himself shall be exalted" (vs 13-14).

He's talking again about a Pharisee. He prayed within himself instead of really praying to God. He prayed within himself. "…I thank You…" I really thank You! It was in the mind; he wasn't saying it out loud, he prayed within himself. He was thanking God that he was not like other men! He was not an extortioner, unrighteous or an adulterer, or even as a tax collector.

In the very prayer there's this combination! In the very prayer there is judgment! How many of us have judged others. We are to judge the actions, 'judge with righteous judgment' and the action is one thing. Do not judge or condemn the person, because only God knows the heart.

We can see the action, and Jesus said that 'we will know them by their fruits' that's true, that's action. But not the person, not the character of someone. Not imputing motive. We cannot do that and should not do that.

"…'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers—or even as this tax collector. I fast twice in the week, and I give a tithe of everything that I gain'" (v 11).

  • Was this hypocrisy?
  • Was this the leaven of the Pharisees?

The tax collector, v 14: "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified…" The Pharisee did, because there was no repentance! He was just thanking God for making him so 'good,' such a good person.

It's interesting, because when we're honest with ourselves, and we see our nature and can see by some of the things that we do and the mistakes that we make—on the external and what people can see and call us out on—we can see that we really all of a lot to be forgiven. We all have a lot of things that we need to repent of. But we're not going to be justified and forgiven unless we repent of that.

The tax collector was justified, because he repented. He was asking God to be merciful to him, a sinner, because he recognized who and what he was. Just like the woman who was a sinner. There was not doubt, everybody knew. Just because the sins are more on the outside doesn't mean that they're more than the ones on the inside, the sins of the mind and heart, deep in the heart!

It's just something the meditate on and think about! Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled. How many of us throughout or lives, especially if we've been in other Churches of God and the big Church of God (Worldwide) there was a lot of this attitude of judging and condemning others, putting down others and looking down on the world.

  • Why? Because those poor people don't know any better!
  • Didn't we have an attitude collectively, more like a Pharisee? God, I thank You so much that we're not like the rest of the world!

That is also some level of hypocrisy, and that's what we have to guard against!

This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about right here:

1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good…."

If we're all honest with ourselves, we all do have some level of glorying from time to time. This is not to put ourselves down or make ourselves feel bad, it's just human nature; it's just what it is.

Sometimes we do have glorying. When we make a mistake or start condemning or judging another person, or just thinking about how good we are, instead of giving the credit to God. That's glorying! That's glorying in who and what we are!

"…Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" (v 6)—a little bit of glorying is still not good!

Just because we do these things; I'm not putting down anybody else, but we have the Truth. Just a little leaven leavens the whole lump. He tells us what we have to do, but before that, let's go to the Psalms. These are just a couple of reminders of who and what we really are by ourselves and in our nature. This is David, a man after God's own heart:

Psalm 14:2: "The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not even one" (vs 2-3).

I think that right now we're all continuing to examine ourselves, individually and personally. This is into about examining anybody else, but just good to keep in mind that our nature is like that:

  • our nature goes astray
  • our nature is corrupt
  • our nature tends to things that are not good

That's what we inherited, the law of sin and death!

That's what we have, we have the knowledge of good and evil, and there is evil in us. God is cleansing us everyday when we repent, when we come to Him. That's the good news.

But we all turn aside, and we have to recognize that we have turned aside. That's exactly why we're examining ourselves right now, right before the Passover.

I know that there are many messages and what it means to take the Passover in an unworthy manner. This is not what this is, because nobody by themselves is worthy. If we're not examining ourselves or we come with this leaven to the Passover, we come to the Feast of Unleavened Bread with this leaven in our heart of hypocrisy, not really being sincere and not really being honest with each other, and especially with ourselves.

How much God has really forgiven us and how much sin and evil we have within our nature and we have to overcome, and we are overcoming! We're not overcoming of ourselves; Christ is being formed in us. But the first step is to recognize our nature; to understand that "…there is none who does good… [not on their own] …no, not even one."

  • with God all things are possible
  • with God we can be used as instruments of righteousness

Romans 3:10: "Exactly as it is written: 'For there is not a righteous one—not even one!" This is what we just read in the Psalms!

Verse 11: "There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God."

This is the reality unless God calls us, unless God shows us this and all the things that He's doing in us; He's cleansing us!

The next verses talks about all the evils that we see. All that evil that we are around. If we're not careful, we can also fall into this.

Verse 12: "They have all gone out of the way; together they have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one! Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the venom of asps is under their lips… [Paul is quoting the Psalm] …whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known" (vs 12-17)

We have known the way of peace, we know the way of peace, and that's exactly why we have to be honest with ourselves, because it says here:

Verse 18: "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

God has called us unto righteousness and have the proper fear of Him!

Verse 23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

This is just a reminder of our nature, a reminder of what we are without God: when we go astray, when we forget. It's in our nature; it's almost like the leaven that is in the air. It's practically impossible to get rid of. It's like within our nature, it's practically impossible to not be self-exalting, self-promoting. Within our nature we want to feel good, we want to believe that we're good.

But it's really the attitude of repentance that this sinner, this woman, had. The attitude of repentance to love God the way that we ought to love Him. We ought to focus on Him. She didn't care what people said; this woman didn't care. She came and started washing Jesus' feet and kissing Him and anointing His feet with ointment. She didn't care about what people would say. She didn't care that they were going to accuse her, which they did. We read about it! Even if was just in the mind, that's what they did. She didn't care, and we shouldn't care either!

We should also love like that woman, because we've been forgiven much, all of us! This is what the Apostle Paul tells us to do:

1-Corinthians 5:7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven…"—this self-exaltation!

If we've done that in prior organizations, let's not do that anymore. Let's not be demeaning, look down on, or point the finger at other people. If God hasn't opened their eyes, it may not be their fault. Maybe they're not seeking God, yet, but they will, they will have their chance.

That doesn't give us a right to judge or condemn other. I'm not saying that we do that by and large, but our history shows that we kind of tend to that. Sin is human nature. Many times we do that to exalt ourselves. It's not necessarily to put down others, but it's just because it brings us down. That's what it says, your glorying is not good! This is the little leaven that sometimes gets puffed up!

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened…."

  • when we committed to God
  • when we promised before God
  • when we made a covenant at baptism

He made us unleavened! He forgave all our sins that were past. He did all of that. He made us unleavened.

"…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7).

Only the blood of Jesus Christ can forgive our sins. It's only through His blood that we are forgiven.

Verse 8: "For this reason, let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness…"—because that leaven is inheritantly within us!

Some leave some dough and it and it will rise. Why? Because it's in the air, it's in its nature! That's what's going to happen! Apart from God that's what's going to happen to us, too. The malice and the wickedness sometimes it still comes out. We do not practice sin, but we do sin! That's not our way of life, that's not our focus, that's not what we're about.

Sometimes it does happen, but there's always repentance, because we have our eyes on Jesus Christ. We have our eyes on God the Father and we come before Them with repentance. Like this woman in love asking for mercy from the tax collector:

Please forgive me, for I am a sinner, the sinner. This is what I am. This is at my core of who I am, and I do make many mistakes.

If we ask God to show us what those are, He will bring them up, trust me:

  • not to condemn us
  • not to put us down
  • not to discourage us

But it's like the silver when it's being refined in the fire! The heat gets put underneath and the temperature gets elevated and all the impurities rise to the top so they can be seen.

It's like the iceberg; bring it out of the water so that it floats above. Not so people can see it, though they will, but it's so they can be cleansed. They can be removed, taken away. That's why the silver, the impurities go up to the top then they're cleansed and what remains is the pure silver.

That's the same way with us. We all have this iceberg! Whether there's a lot outside of the water, or a lot under the water, the surface makes no difference. It really doesn't make any difference. We have all been forgiven so much! But we have to have that loving attitude! We have to be cognizant of that!

It says that we have to keep the Feast "…with the unleavened bread of Sincerity and Truth" (v 8). We have learned so much about the Truth!

  • How much have learned about how to be sincere?
  • To become sincere?
  • To become unleavened like Jesus Christ is?
    • sincere with ourselves first
    • sincere with God first

We have to be sincere with God first, because He knows us better than we know ourselves. He can shows us those sins, because many times we cannot see them!

God is so loving and so amazing that He uses the other people around us to show us those sins, whether they're the ones who are affected by some of the mistakes and sins that we commit. Or sometimes they see it and they can tell us, just like the Prophet Nathan went to David and told him.

He didn't tell him directly; he told him the story about the little lamb and the unrighteous person that took advantage of that. That made David see! Nathan told him that he—David—was that person!

Sometimes that's the way with us, too. Sometimes our spouse or our children, sometimes a brother or sister in the faith or other family members can see that. Sometimes God brings it out. Not so we get into arguments, not so here are offenses, but so we may repent individually to God. Then also ask for forgiveness to the parities whom we affected. It's that sincerity is the other part.

Psa. 119 is obviously just review of what we know. This is Truth, the definition of Truth:

Psalm 119:151: "You are near, O LORD, and all Your commandments are Truth."

These two ingredients—Sincerity and Truth—we know the Truth, that all the commandments of God are the Truth!

"You are near, O LORD…"—this is about a relationship, about knowing you and growing in love with you.

How do we do that? Keeping His commandments! "…all Your commandments are Truth."

These are very familiar Scriptures. We're just covering the other ingredient, because we spent some time on sincerity.

John 14:6: Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me."

So, Jesus Christ Himself is the Truth! All His commandments are the Truth!

John 17:17: "Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth."

  • all the commandments of God are the Truth
  • Jesus Himself is the Truth
  • the Word of God is the Truth
  • Jesus Himself is the Word of God

This is the Truth! What about sincerity? That's what I would like for us to just meditate on!

This is obviously the individual, we all have to do this as we prepare for the Passover, to partake of the bread and the wine. When we wash one another's feet, are we focused on Jesus Christ; focused on Him, focused on our Father, Who have called us and have done these wonderful things in our lives. Who have called us and have given us so much hope. They want Sincerity and Truth.

Truth alone—as we have seen with Worldwide COG—is not enough!

  • How much hypocrisy was in that organization?
  • At the top levels?
  • How much hypocrisy?
  • How many things  underneath the surface?
  • How much misconduct by some of the top ministry?

Why? Because there was no sincerity! That's why it was really brought down. There was no sincerity or repentance.

John 9 goes along with these two ingredients, Sincerity and Truth. We study the Truth and we love the Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth! We love His Word and we love all His commandments. Now the other part that we have to continue to do is to be sincere with God, to be sincere and just acknowledge how much we've been forgiven! Because when we acknowledge how much we've been forgiven, how much more we need to be forgiven of.

  • that's when we repent
  • that's when we're justified

That's when we're cleansed, truly cleansed. God is not going to forgive the thing that we don't repent of.

John 9:39: "And Jesus said, 'For judgment I have come into this world so that those who do not see might see, and those who see might become blind.'"

It's amazing! It's not a matter of not being sincere, it's a matter that we don't see our own faults honestly. But Jesus Christ came into this world so that those of us who do not see might see. We didn't see the Truth of God and the Truth about His Word before we were called. We didn't see!

Now we see more, but how much do we really see? How much do we see about all the process that God is carrying out in our lives?

Verse 40: "And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things; and they said to Him, 'Are we also blind?'"

Basically saying, 'We teach the people, but are we also blind?'

Verse 41: "Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now you say, "We see." Therefore, your sin remains.'"

It's amazing what He told them, because He said, "…'If you were blind, you would not have sin….'" He didn't say, 'because you see, your sin remains.' No! But because "…you say…" you see. He didn't say that they really saw. He just said that they said they saw!

Because of that, their sin remained! They were deceiving themselves into believing that they are so good, that they're not like this woman who sinned or the tax collector who was a sinner.

It's amazing how He answers them; "…'If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now you say…'"

Don't say that you see, because when you say that, "…your sin remains." It's almost like He saying:

Because your not willing for Me to show you. When you see you will really repent; you will really change.

This is exactly what happened to Job!

Job 42:1: "And Job answered the LORD and said, 'I know that You can do all things, and that no thought can be withheld from You'" (vs 1-2).

This is very early on time wise in the Bible. So, Job knew what the Pharisees didn't know.

Verse 3: "'You asked, "Who is he who hides counsel without knowledge?" Therefore, I have spoken that which I did not understand…'"

  • Wasn't Job a righteous man, a perfect man before God, and God tested him?
  • Isn't that what God said?

Job recognized that, "'…I have spoken that which I did not understand…'"

Why? Because there's always more to understand! There is always more to see about one's self.

"'…things too wonderful for me; yea, which I did not know. Hear, I beseech You, and I will speak; You said, "I will ask of you, and you will declare to Me." I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You'" (vs 3-5).

When we see, this is what will happen; v 6: "Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

This is a whole different level of righteousness! A whole different level of repentance! It went deep down into those waters. It went to the very tip of that iceberg at the bottom of the water, and see how monumental that was.

Job was a man who was righteous before the Lord! It's absolutely amazing what sincerity does! What God wants us to do in our heart, and what He wants to show us if we let Him.

Job pleaded, and God actually answered him! God answers us in His Word, and through these things when we understand how little we know.

These two ingredients are not new. These two ingredients are from the beginning. God intended them from the very beginning.

Jos. 24—I want to say that this is New Testament doctrine, but it's all doctrine, all one Word of God!

Joshua 24:14: "Now, therefore, fear the LORD…"

He comes back full circle; that's what we talked about, fearing God. Fear Him who can cast into the fire of Gehenna.

"…and serve Him in Sincerity and Truth. And put away the gods, which your fathers served on the other side of the River, and in Egypt, and serve the LORD" (v 14).

As we are continuing to examine ourselves, we just have to ask ourselves if we choose these gods that we are still getting rid of:

  • self-exaltation
  • being puffed up

Our glorying is not good, this leaven that we're still searching in our heart!

This is what Joshua says, put away these gods and serve the Lord.

Verse 15: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

That's what we will do. Why? Because Joshua understood that we have to serve God in Sincerity and in Truth!

Notice that sincerity comes first. That's what this sinner woman did. She didn't go and clean up her act and come and wash Jesus' feet and anoint them. No! She did that first! She came to God first! In coming to God is when we're going to realize that

  • only He can cleanse us
  • only He can really change us
  • only He can show us

So that we can really see!

Even if we are poor ourselves, that's okay, that's part of the process!

Side note: I think that's what it says when Jesus said, 'The one who does not hate father, mother, brother and sister, etc.' We understand that it means love less.

It's hating that nature! It's hating the same nature that Job saw in himself, and abhorred himself.

It's the same nature in everybody! We are all the same in that regard. We all have the same laws and the same human nature if we're sincere with ourselves and with one another. Sincerity comes first!

Sincerity and Truth, not just Truth to supercede it. Not Pharisees, nothing on the outside, not for show. God wants sincerity in the heart, because that's when He can forgive!

Proverbs 16:5: "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD…"

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. These Pharisees were! 'IF He were a prophet He would know that this woman is a sinner.' That's "…proud in heart…"! That's an abomination to the Lord, and the Lord was right in front of Him, and He called them out on it. Jesus showed the Pharisee his faults, right in his face:

You didn't give Me water. This woman used her own tears. You didn't anoint My head, but she has anointed My feet. You didn't do all of these things.

What are those things that God wants to show us in a loving way about ourselves that we just need to bring before Him? It's almost like He will show them to us so that we can give them back to Him so He can forgive them.

Then that cleansing and purifying is going to be amazing! It really is! It's going to be a Passover like no other!

Do we have this sincerity right now as we're examining ourselves?

Verse 5: "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though joined hand in hand, he shall not be unpunished."

Sooner or later those things will be shouted from the housetops. That's the Truth and His Word cannot be broken. Any gossip, any things behind the scenes, it's all going to be out about all of us. That's just the reality; that's what the Word of God says. That's why we are to come to God so that He will show us those things.

Also, if it comes from other sources, from our families, friends, brethren, people around us, we should consider that that is coming from God so that we can really see. Yes, it's going to be a little bit of reporting ourselves, absolutely. We don't want to do that and be that.

  • He's cleansing us
  • He's purifying us

Verse 6: "By mercy and Truth iniquity is purged, and by the fear of the LORD men turn away from evil."

  • if we fear God
  • if we focus on Him
  • if we go to Him

That's what we are to do!

This is really what God wants to do with us. As we approach the Passover, this is what we should be focused on: Sincerity and Truth!

Sincerity of heart because God loves that sincerity. That's what He saw in David (Psa.51). Repentance from the heart! That's what he was, a man after God's own heart, because he was very sincere with himself and everybody else. There was no hypocrisy to the point that when the child died that he had with Bathsheba, he rose up and stopped the fast. He was not putting on a show! He knew what it was and what he had done! He was honest and true with God and with himself.

That's the sincerity that God wants in us! Sincerity and Truth, not just Truth, it has to be both!

Hebrews 4:14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses…" (vs 14-15).

He was subject to temptation, to our nature. He had the law of sin and death within Him. He did not sin, but He had that law! He was susceptible! He was tempted in all things!

"…but One Who was tempted in all things…" (v 15)—everything that we're tempted with!

You better believe that Satan threw every dart he had at Jesus, every single one! But he also throws them at us.

"…according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin" (v 15).

He was tempted and knows exactly what that's like. That's exactly why He wants us to come to Him in Sincerity and in Truth!

Verse 16: "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the Throne of Grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

We are in time of need! We're afflicted with many, many trials. Most of us get the prayer requests that are sent out, and it's a time of great trial and afflictions for lots of us in many ways!

But we have to "…come with boldness to the Throne of Grace…" because this is not about us!

We are Their workmanship! This is about Them—God the Father and Jesus Christ! This is about the things that They are doing in our heart and mind. But we have to be sincere and be willing to put it all out on the table.

Be sincere with ourselves and each other! Confess our sins! Ask for forgiveness, because God is quick to forgive and is abundant in mercy and in love!

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 7:36-47
  • Luke 12:1-5
  • Luke 18:9-14
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6
  • Psalms 14:2-3
  • Romans 3:10-18, 23
  • 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
  • Psalm 119:51
  • John 14:6
  • John 17:17
  • John 9:39-41
  • Job 42:1-6
  • Joshua 24:14-15
  • Proverbs 16:5-6
  • Hebrews 4:14-16

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Psalm 51

Transcribed: 4/20/22

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