What is Core to Real Life? Authentic Accepting Serving
“You have heard it said you shall not murder. I say to you if you are nursing contempt for somebody in your heart; you are in trouble with God…You have heard it said you should not commit adultery. I say to you, if you choose to cultivate lust in your heart, you are in trouble with God.” (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28; NIV)
“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and dispose of it. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to lose part of your body than for your whole body to go to Hell.” (Matthew 5: 29-30; NIV)
The fundamental question for Israel was – how can I be good?
The issue is not what is on the outside but what is in our hearts
“Your idle words will condemn you.” (Matthew 12:36; KJV)
“For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” (Mark 7:20-22; NIV)
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit…Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in their hearts. Evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in their hearts.” (Luke 6:43-45; NIV)
The goal is to become the kind of person who actually wants to do what is right and good and noble and beautiful and true
“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:25; NIV)
“Naked we came from the womb, Job said, and naked we shall depart this life, but in between, we clothe ourselves in a thousand fascinating ways…
“…Think of the immense variety and meaning of clothing in human society – military uniforms, academic regalia, religious robes; clothing as a status symbol, designer labels as the mark of belonging to an in- group…
“…festive costumes to celebrate a holiday or season; prom dress, wedding gown, bikini, burka; white lab coat, faded blue jeans, bright green shirts or bold red jerseys to proclaim political protest or team loyalty…
“…We all learn to speak verbal languages – English, Chinese, Spanish, and so on – but we all must become fluent in the finely nuanced languages of dress as well. If clothing means and expresses so much, then of course so does nakedness…
“…Without nakedness, for example, you can’t go under the bright light of surgery. And without nakedness you can’t enter into the candlelight of intimacy.” (Brian McLaren)
To know and be known is our deepest desire and our greatest fear
“Confess your sins one to another.” (James 5:16; NIV)
“He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be the Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, Common Prayer, all their fellowship and service, may still be left to their aloneness…
“…The final breakthrough to communion-to community-does not occur because although they have fellowship with each other as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout-as sinners…
“…The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everyone must conceal his sin…from himself and from the community. We dare not be sinners…
“…Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
1.Do you have forgiveness of your sins and peace with God? 2.Do you desire to be told of all your faults and told plainly and clearly? 3.Does any sin, inward or outward, have dominion over you?
4. Do you desire that every one of us should tell you, from time to time, whatsoever is in his heart concerning you? Consider, do you desire that we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear concerning you?
5. Do you desire that in doing this we should come as close as possible, we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom? 6. Is it your desire to be on this and all other occasions entirely open and speak everything that is in your heart without exception, without disguise, without reserve?
There is freedom in being in community with God and with other people where you don’t hide any more