How to Clean Ourselves in the Inside — Matthew 23

Jesus accused the teachers of the law and the Pharisees of being full of greed and self-indulgence. In Matthew 23:26, Jesus said, “Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” But how can we clean ourselves in the inside? The scribes and Pharisees tried obeying the law of Moses, and when that did not seem to work, they made more laws and traditions that they expected everyone to follow. But that did not work either, for they remained full of greed and self-indulgence. Only Jesus had the answer and was and is the answer.

In 1 John 1:7, we learn how to clean ourselves in the inside: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” The blood of Jesus cleanses or purifies us from all sin. The Bible does not tell us how that works, but because of Jesus’ shedding of blood and death on the cross, only Jesus can purify believers from all sin. We cannot do this ourselves. Furthermore, in 1 John 1:9, we read, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Here again, we read that only Jesus can forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Since only Jesus can do this, what can we do to clean ourselves in the inside? John tells us what to do in his first letter: Walk in the light as Jesus is in the light and confess our sins. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees were full of greed and self-indulgence; the only way they could be freed from their slavery to sin and become clean on the inside was to confess their sins and follow Jesus. What John wrote is the only solution for us today. Then, following that, we should live daily as John wrote in 1 John 2:5,6: “But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

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Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.
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