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Dealing with the Heart

Appearing righteous does not make one righteous.  A lot of people concern themselves with appearing righteous.  They take the time to learn the right lingo. They agonize over the right way of doing something so as to keep up appearances. From the outside they seem to be truly living God’s life.

But appearing righteous does not make one righteous.  Righteousness starts from the inside.  True righteousness is a matter of the heart.  It is a righteousness that does not concern itself with simply not murdering, but focuses on the root cause of anger.  It is a righteousness that does not feel justified in not committing adultery, while in actuality you have allowed lust to win.  True righteousness starts from a changed heart and attitude that then leads to a new way of living.

Christians should appear righteous.  We are required to be salt and light to the world. However that righteousness needs to be more than skin deep.  It needs to be a deep abiding righteousness that leads to a new way of living our life. So live righteous, don’t just appear righteous!

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29 Comments

  1. This is absolutely ridiculous, unbiblical, and antichristian. Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). This post is, of course, keeping in line with the lunacy of antichristian religions which will all proclaim their own righteousness (Proverbs 20:6), and who reject the righteousness of Jesus Christ in order to establish their own (Romans 9:2-10:17).

    True righteousness knows that all righteousness is external to a person. It can’t be purchased through baptism, Bible-reading, doing nice things, or thinking right thoughts; true Christianity as you do not possess is this, “He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

  2. Wesley

    November 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Canyon,

    Although I’m not a fan of the tone of your comment I will leave it up. I do ask though that next time you deal with the issues and not simply attack the person.

    Let me say this. I think you are making a mistake in equating how Paul uses the word righteousness and how Matthew uses the word righteousness (in in the context of my post the backdrop is the Sermon on the Mount). I agree that only God can count someone as righteous. The gospel alone has that power to make us righteous when we accept the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5, Romans 16:26). This is Paul’s teaching.

    At the same time, Matthew focuses on the type of life we are to live. This is supposed to be a righteous life. It does not mean that I think that I can make myself righteous by my own merits, only God can make one righteous when we submit to him. But if I am a child of God, then I have a responsibility to live righteously and follow the commands of Jesus.

  3. I’ll be truthful, my tone is exactly the tone that Christ has for you. He hates your works righteous cult; see Matthew 23 and insert yourself for the Pharisees. I hope this is coming across as harsh as I intend it, which is heart rending, cult destroying hatred of your false path which leads multitudes to Hell.

    And I think you’re radically reading the Sermon on the Mount through a (edited by me) false hermeneutic, Jesus’ definition of righteous is absolute perfection, as we see clearly in verses 20 and 48 of chapter 5. This derives from your extreme adherence to the free will heresy; I’ve addressed the responsibility of man recently on my web-log, and in our utterly bonded (not free) will, we are utterly hopeless and needing to put way more emphasis on Christ than your works-based religion does.

  4. Wesley

    November 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I think it touches on arrogance to believe that you can represent the tone of Jesus assuming that our circumstances and His with the Pharisees are equal.

    I hope you will start dealing with the text at hand instead of forcing your hyper-calvinistic viewpoint upon the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:48 contextual is in reference to how we love. We are to love perfectly like our Father does meaning we are to love both those who are our friends and those who are our enemies (somewhat ironic you used this verse to prove your point with the tone of you last post).

    As to Matthew 5:20 the point is not perfection but rather a righteousness greater than the Pharisees who were, which you should know by your inclusion of Matthew 23, hypocrites, not taking serious the ways of God.

    If you would like to continue the discussion then please deal with the verses at hand.

  5. Wesley

    November 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Additional how is your anger justified toward me, since it is not my own doing that I am unable to see the heresies of my ways, but rather God is allowing me to stay in my futility of mind. This of course is based upon your logic.

  6. Ebenezer Salisbury

    November 29, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Ok, maybe I am not that smart. I get that Canyon thinks that thinks that Wesley is promoting a Hell bound heresy. Don’t really understand what that hell bound heresy is. Is the false doctrine that Wesley is preaching that one must strive to follow Jesus? Confused. Thought the article was right on with what the Bible teaches

    I also would like to see the point “This derives from your extreme adherence to the free will heresy” expounded upon. Do we have free will? If I don’t, how would I ever place faith in Jesus if I do not have the free will to do as such?

    On the other hand, maybe this belief that Canyon is promoting has it benefits. All I have to do is understand that I am a sinner, trust that Jesus is the only source of salvation, which I do…. then do what ever you want, but since you have no free will, it is not really you doing it. It is not “the devil made me do it”, it is “God made me do it”. Free from free will!!! Yeah, I am going to steal my neighbors Christmas lights now since I don’t have to live righteously. — Hope my sarcasm comes across clearly.

    Back to a serious note… how is Wesley not putting the emphasis on Christ? How has Wesley ever said or implied that “righteousness is purchased”?

    Thus I find your comments “absolutely ridiculous, unbiblical, and antichristian” and I implore you to repent of your heresy that is a “false path which leads multitudes to Hell”.

    To quote your blog Canyon “When I preach, I hope that it is not me personally giving the offense, but the message which I am preaching” . It seems that Wesley’s message has offended you. Maybe the Spirit’s Sword has pricked your heart like those in Pentecost and it is time for you to cry out “What shall I do?” (Acts 2:37).

    It appears Wesley has become your enemy for preaching the truth.

  7. Ebenezer Salisbury

    November 29, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Ok, maybe I am not that smart. I get that Canyon thinks that thinks that Wesley is promoting a Hell bound heresy. Don’t really understand what that hell bound heresy is. Is the false doctrine that Wesley is preaching that one must strive to follow Jesus? Confused. Thought the article was right on with what the Bible teaches

    I also would like to see the point “This derives from your extreme adherence to the free will heresy” expounded upon. Do we have free will? If I don’t, how would I ever place faith in Jesus if I do not have the free will to do as such?

    On the other hand, maybe this belief that Canyon is promoting has it benefits. All I have to do is understand that I am a sinner, trust that Jesus is the only source of salvation, which I do…. then do what ever you want, but since you have no free will, it is not really you doing it. It is not “the devil made me do it”, it is “God made me do it”. Free from free will!!! Yeah, I am going to steal my neighbors Christmas lights now since I don’t have to live righteously. — Hope my sarcasm comes across clearly.

    Back to a serious note… how is Wesley not putting the emphasis on Christ? How has Wesley ever said or implied that “righteousness is purchased”?

    Thus I find your comments “absolutely ridiculous, unbiblical, and antichristian” and I implore you to repent of your heresy that is a “false path which leads multitudes to Hell”.

    To quote your blog Canyon “When I preach, I hope that it is not me personally giving the offense, but the message which I am preaching” . It seems that Wesley’s message has offended you. Maybe the Spirit’s Sword has pricked your heart like those in Pentecost and it is time for you to cry out “What shall I do?” (Acts 2:37).

    It appears Wesley has become your enemy for preaching the truth.

  8. Wesley has become my enemy by being the preacher of works-based salvation, he is the Pharisee of Matthew 23 and Romans 10, rejecting the righteousness of God in order to establish his own. I hate it, I hate it with a complete hatred because they neither enter into the kindgom nor allow those who would to enter.

    See especially Wesley’s misinterpretation of Matthew 5, where-by Jesus was showing that the works-based means of salvation has utterly left us devoid of hope, that those externally righteous Pharisees would not even enter, that sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness come from within, and they defile a person.

    The thoughts and intents of a person are ONLY evil continually, there is NONE who does good, no, not even one (Genesis 6:5, Jeremiah 17:9, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:12). Every false religion preaches as Wesley, that we can indeed muster something good from our being, and in so doing he rejects Christ and substitutes Wesley, and I hate it as much as Jesus Christ hates it.

    Both of you need to read Romans 3 and 9 see that your condemnation is just, for you have quoted a verse out of it almost verbatim in your hatred of the sovereign God. Welsey verse 9:19 and Ebenezer verse 3:8. Unless you repent wholly of your efforts to save yourselves, trying to be justified by the law, then you will perish, for Christ will receive all of the glory for salvation and you will not be able to boast, he will not share his glory for a moment. I believe the greatest cheer in Heaven will be when glory-thiefs, who believed they were saved by their free-will, are cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity, see Psalm 58.

  9. Wesley

    November 30, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Canyon,

    I am not trying to justify myself. I will stand before God justified because of what Jesus has done on the cross on my behalf.

    However, you are preaching a message foreign to the Scripture. A Jesus that requires nothing of man in terms of obedience. No individual can claim genuine faith and salvation and not be a changed person who lives differently. It is an outrage against the power of the gospel to believe so.

    How do you deal with the plain teaching of Scripture in verses like Titus 2:11, 12 that the grace of God teaches us that we are to live differently? Or what do you do with Peter’s words that we are to Be Holy as He is Holy? I could go on but please deal with this first (and while you are at it could you please prove your point about the Sermon on the Mount instead of just asserting it, I disproved both of your proof texts 5:20 and 5:48).

    It seems that you in your zealousness to condemn people who attempt to be justified by their own merits (something that I condemn as well understanding that without Jesus and His work on my behalf I would have no hope), you have failed to recognize that the regenerate individual should live differently than the person who is unsaved. If you deny this then I do not see how you can understand much of the New Testament writing urging Christians to live out the gospel in their everyday lives.

  10. Wesley,

    You need to read your original post, you said verbatim, “Righteousness starts from the inside. True righteousness is a matter of the heart.” That is utterly antichristian and opposite what you are now presenting (except for your ungodly version of Matthew 5, still seeking to tear down Christ’s law in order to make it attainable to totally depraved man)

    What do you suppose the definition of holy is? Is it attainable by yourself? Maybe you ought read Hebrews 2, especially verse 11.

    I’m not sure how to keep arguing this point, since you have so horribly contradicted yourself. Know that Paul says NOTHING good dwells in his flesh, but that it is only the fruit of the Spirit that brings forth anything good. This is basically what your latest reply says, but not at all what your original post says.

  11. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may increase? May it never be!”

    What does that tell us? Strive for righteousness or you aren’t cutting it.

  12. In addition, I don’t think it is neither right nor fair to come here onto Wesley’s blog and condemn him to hell while calling him a Judaizer and a Pharisee. Your point loses all credibility when you attack rather than reason.

    What conclusion do you want us to draw? That the unrighteous will be saved? I agree, no one achieves righteousness in themselves. It comes from striving to be like Christ and receiving His grace for our shortcomings. If we can never be righteous, with or without God’s help, we are wasting our time by even putting forth effort.

  13. Jack, read Galatians 1-6, it is against the Judaizers and every religion other than Christianity. Ask Paul and the Holy Spirit if it was fair to go into that church condemning works righteous antichrists like yourself.

  14. How is believing that God wants us to obey the same as promoting a “works based righteousness”? A Christian is never going to obey enough to deserve salvation, through sin all we have earned is death (Romans 6:23). It is through God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice that we are declared as just. After one has been declared righteous, do not the scriptures teach that we work (again not to merit salvation, but as obedience of God and walking in the light). Romans 1:5 says we are to have the “obedience of faith” in Titus 3:14 states we should engage in “good works”.

    We work, and strive to live lives like Jesus every day knowing that we in our weakness will never be 100% holy without God. Do we work? Of course we do, scriptures command it, do we merit salvation through our works, of course not, for our personal works will never be good enough to take care of our sins, that is why we place faith in Christ and accept God’s grace.

    Now I know you probably disagree with me on how one accepts and receives God’s grace, I believe it is when one through faith calls upon the Lord for salvation through baptism. Baptism not being a work that earns salvation, but an act of faith in which one trusts 100% in God and Christs sacrifice to provide for our righteousness.

    peace out
    Cliff

  15. Wesley

    November 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Canyon,

    Once again you have missed the point of my post. You have committed the error of forcing Paul’s definition of righteousness on Matthew. Paul speaks of righteousness in terms of what God does for us when we put our trust in His Son (I am convinced that we would differ as well on the answer to how we put our trust in Jesus, but I will say that Cliff does a good job of explaining the Biblical position). Matthew, however, uses righteousness as what we do and in Matthew’s case our righteousness is not merely concerned with the outward appearance of self-religion, but rather with a changed life that deals with the heart.

    I’m sorry that you cannot see this and I’m also not sure that continuing the discussion would be fruitful.

  16. Canyon, your answer had nothing to do with my post.

  17. *Shakes dust off feet*

  18. Wesley,

    I noticed something in the semantics of Romans 1:5 parallel to what you said Paul was preaching.
    The Bible: “Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations”
    Wesley: “The gospel alone has that power to make us righteous when we accept the obedience of faith”
    The difference: in the Bible it says we received grace and apostleship TO bring about the obedience of faith; if I’m not mistaken you said WHEN we accept the obedience of faith.
    Biblically speaking, we receive grace in order to be obedient. The Holy Spirit works in the recipient of grace from the time of conviction sanctifying them so that they may be obedient. Paul did not say that when we obey we will be righteous he said we obey because we have been made righteous. This sanctification being all for the glory of God.

  19. Wesley

    November 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    First, Bob thanks for participating in a civil manner. We might disagree when it is all said and done, but hopefully we can discuss in a way that does not dishonor Christ.

    Second, lets dig into the text. The verse reads:

    whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.

    I think you are missing a connection here. The text does not say that Paul received grace and apostleship so that he could be obedient, but rather so that he could bring about obedience of faith amongst the Gentiles. The parallel usage in Romans 16:26 states that the gospel has been manifested which leads to the obedience of faith. The point is Paul is saying that he was given special grace for the purpose of preaching and that preaching would result in the obedience of faith.

    What does that mean to us? Since Paul still preaches the gospel to us, through his writings, then when we read his message it should produce in us the same thing it was to produce in the original hearers, namely the obedience of faith.

  20. In order to correctly understand the application in Paul’s teaching we have to know what the obedience of faith is.

    What does he mean by obedience of faith?

  21. Wesley

    December 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I would translate it as obedience which comes from faith. My understanding of it is that we obey not because we believe we are earning our salvation, but rather because we trust that God can do something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.

  22. I would agree that obedience comes from faith. We have to draw out a map though in order to understand the main point of what obedience of faith is.
    Let’s start from the beginning:
    We are dead in our sins, no one seeks after God, all have fallen short.

    We are in need of a Savior, someone to bring us out of that state of death. The only way we can seek after God is if He draws us to Himself and raises us.

    He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and atone for the sins of those who believe. There justice and mercy met.
    Those of us whom God choses to have mercy on have also been made heirs to grace.

    God’s power is shown in grace which enables us to do good works. In other words God’s power enables us to be obedient. Obedience is therefore done in the power of God’s grace and not our own power.

    How do we receive rely on a power that is not our own? Simply by faith.

    If grace is the way in which one is enabled to be obedient and faith is the reliance on such a power then we could easily draw a connection that obedience is the fruit of that faith.

    Both grace and faith are a gift from God (a truth that any believer should adhere to).

    If that’s the case then only through God’s power can we be obedient.

    This does not put off personal responsibility, on the contrary it upholds such. By giving all of the credit to God’s gift of grace and faith, one has correctly placed their source of obedience of faith.

    Paul’s point: Romans 16:25-26 “Now to him who is able to strengthen…to bring about the obedience of faith”

  23. Wesley

    December 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Your map is not found in the context of Romans 1. So if you could could you please provide some Scripture to support your claim? This would help me better see where you are coming from before I comment.

  24. Going in the order of the map mentioned:

    Romans 3:9-18

    John 6:44

    2 Corinthians 12:9

    Ephesians 2:8-9

    Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel (of grace), for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.'”

    In other words, if I missed the defining verses, Paul himself, who received this apostleship (or as you say “special grace”) could not boast in his accomplishments, but rather in his weakness.

    The context is the gospel.

  25. Wesley

    December 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I’m still not following you. Does an individual have to obey for salvation? Is repentance required?

  26. No and yes. Check out 2 Corinthians 7:9-11. Out of godly grief (which occurs when the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement John 16:7-8) a person repents earnestly and develops a zeal for living a righteous life.

    Repentance is undoubtedly required/commanded for it is a part of the salvation process.
    Obedience is also part of the salvation process, but we have to note that obedience itself does not start the process. For the Holy Spirit must first move within a person to produce godly grief, and looking at 2 Corinthians 7, godly grief produces repentance and obedience.

    If you have yet to notice, as a Christian one would desire that God receive all of the glory. Even mere obedience on our part for the salvation in which Christ purchased would rob Him of His glory. That is why I say that our salvation is totally contingent upon what God can do in us and through us.
    “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.”

  27. Wesley

    December 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I would agree that the Spirit convicts us through sin as we hear the Spirit inspired word.

    I disagree that obedience takes any of the glory away from God. Only obedience that is done with a heart to earning salvation does so. Obedience as a trust in God and His word still puts the glory on God. When I was baptized into Christ after I had turned from sin and confessed Jesus as my Lord believing who He is and what He has done, I did so to glorify God through obedience and receive the forgiveness He offered.

    I will post a post on this Monday on the blog so that we can move our discussion there for the benefit of others.

  28. Canyon, is belief a work?

  29. Dean,

    Where do we get the faith to believe? hint:Ephesians 2:8-9

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