LUKE 9:59-60 NASB
”As they were going on the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” Emphasis is mine.
I deliberately picked this particular Scripture for a reason, that being, what Jesus says effectively illustrates the difference between spiritual realities and physical material realities. And these two realities are not one and the same. One can be physically alive but spiritually dead at the same time or physically dead and spiritually dead at the same time. Conversely, one can be physically alive and spiritually alive at the same time and physically dead and spiritually alive at the same time.
And, if you will bear with me, one additional Scripture is also pertinent, it being Romans 10:9-10 NASB: “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Consequently, just articulating the words without honestly believing is insufficient and honestly believing without articulating the words is also insufficient, both are necessary. And it stands to reason that if you really believe Jesus is your Lord and that God did indeed, raise Him from the dead, you will WANT TO state your faith and trust in Him.
Or another way of stating this is, if you don’t really believe what you have stated, you will not want to state it and if you do really believe, you will want to state it.
It’s also interesting to note that it is Christ’s righteousness that becomes our righteousness and because of this reality, our own salvation is now a reality, because we are now saved in Him. Why? Because His righteousness has now becomes ours.
What is troublesome is that far too often, because of the value some place in the outward participation of rituals and in some cases, church ordained sacraments, especially when people are younger, such as being confirmed within a church, and occasionally attending services etc thereafter, a false sense of security, regarding the realities of the spiritual truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be assumed, as though one has been vaccinated for a particular disease, and no longer has to be concerned about it. The thing is, if you REALLY BELIEVE that Jesus is your Lord and that God did raise Jesus from the dead, your life can never be the same. It’s NOT a case of, there, now that is out of the way, but rather it is a case of, NOW my life in Him begins!
And the truth of this realization is, that our outward participation does not, in and of itself, validate that the spiritual realities of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have been internalized (being born again) within an individual. Attending Church, in and of itself, does not turn us into Christians, any more that sitting in a garage turns us into a car. It just doesn’t work that way and the Holy Scriptures indicate this reality to us, time and time again.
Circumcision was a biggie in the Old Testament. It was an outward sign, of an internalized inward heart agreement of a male, with God, about a covenant God had originally made with Abraham. The outward physical circumcision was a sign of Israel’s covenant with God; the inward circumcision of the heart. This is indicated in numerous places within the Old Testament, one of which is Jeremiah 4:4 which reads: “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done”. Also in Jeremiah 9:25 God says “Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised”. This refers to those who are physically circumcised, but who are not spiritually circumcised. A Jew could have been physically circumcised, but it is counted for nothing if he was not spiritually circumcised.
For a brief overview on circumcision in the Old and New testaments, just click here, courtesy of gotquestions.org.
However, what is important to note is that if a male was physically outwardly circumcised and their hearts were not inwardly circumcised, their outward physical circumcision basically was of none effect. Or, in other words, lip service does not fly with God, which when you stop to think about it, should not really come as a surprise.
If we, being as imperfect as we are, can recognize lip service for what it is, it should not be too difficult to comprehend that God, who it has to be admitted, is actually much smarter and wiser than we are, would accordingly, NOT be taken in by it.
And yet, there are many who still think that He is.
Faith that is real will be demonstrated and expressed as such and faith that is not real will be demonstrated and expressed as such.
Something to think about.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
External and Internal Faith
LUKE 9:59-60 NASB