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Are You Clean on the Outside... or the Inside?


What makes a Christian unclean??? Today there are quite a few Christians who are worried about their outward appearance, and how they are perceived... and to a point this is a good thing. However, there are also those Christians who will not associate with the "unsaved," or with those who have participated in certain activities because they do not want to feel "unclean." People will avoid those that are despised, simply to hold up their reputation.

Jesus gives us an example of this in one of his most famous parables, the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In this parable Jesus talks of a man who was beaten and robbed, a man who lied dirty in the streets without hope. At first a Priest came, and the Priest did not want to deal with the man, so he passed on by. And then came a Levite, a man who held certain political and religious responsibilities... but he also passed on the other side. Then came a Samaritan, a man who had no reason to bother with this half-dead man. But instead, he took the man and cared for him... he took the man to a hotel, and paid his rent. Expecting nothing in return, and without worrying about what other people would think of him.

Many Christians are so careful to avoid those we consider "dirty." We pass them by just as the Priest and Levite did to the poor man who had been robbed. We take the idea of separation to mean abandonment and not caring, instead of caring, but staying separate from their acts. The people we try to help cannot make us unclean, just as the food we eat cannot make us unclean.

Many Christians do not understand this concept, just as the Disciples did not understand. They have been told to avoid a certain type of people, but God says to share his word with All (Matthew 28:19-20). He tells us to be separate from sinful acts, but to care for all. He tells us that it is not our neighbors that make us unclean, it is not getting dusty from a hard days work that makes us unclean, it is not the food that makes us unclean... but it is what we think and do that makes us unclean.

As he explains to his Disciples in Matthew 15:17-20:

What about you? Are you more concerned with what other people think of you? Are you more concerned with keeping a clean appearance such as the Priest or Levite? Or are you more concerned about keeping your insides clean... Keeping your thoughts pure, and serving God?

And when one of God's children is in trouble, will you stop to help him out? Or will you pass by on the other side...

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Luke 10:25-37
[25] And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [26] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. [29] But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? [30] And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. [31] And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. [32] And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. [33] But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, [34] And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. [35] And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. [36] Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? [37] And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Matthew 28:19-20
[19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

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