Outward appearance

I watched my nephew unwrap a candy bar, then immediately throw it away uneaten. It was infested with bugs!

The Lord doesn’t need to remove the wrapper around our hearts to know what’s inside (John 2:24-25).

Jesus directed His harshest words at the Pharisees: “For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27, emphasis added).

How much easier to care more about looking good than being righteous!

As our preacher Joel Shelton says, “God hates fake!”

Inward integrity

In contrast, Jesus could say of Nathanael, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (John 1:47).

Nathanael was the real-deal—from the inside out.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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With one quick click of the mouse, we can justify the right margin as we type. People my age can remember when justifying the margin on an old manual typewriter was tedious and time-consuming. So most of the time we contented ourselves with a ragged right edge.


We can’t

The New Testament has a lot to say about justification—not of margins but of our very souls.  This is something we could never do for ourselves.

But He can!

Jesus takes our messy, sinful, ragged edges, and He brings us into line with the holiness of our Righteous God.

Only He can make us right; He alone can justify (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

“The LORD our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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