Practice What You Preach
But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth- 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
As Paul addresses the Jew and Gentile Christians in our text today, he focuses in on the Jewish Christian who is condemning others particularly while all the rest of the church listens in. Paul goes after the Jewish Christian who is relying on keeping the Law to be saved. This man knows the Law and boasts in God, knows His will and approves what is excellent, learns the Law, seeks to be a guide to the blind, a light to those in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, and a teacher of children.
I love how Paul sets this up. He brings a zinger and it hits close to home. Paul asks this man, this Christian who is relying on keeping the Law to be saved, instructive questions that can be summed up with this question, "Are you practicing what you preach?" Ouch.
Paul then answers the question with a statement of truth based on Scripture, "You dishonor God, by breaking the Law you teach."
Are we practicing what we preach?
Are we dishonoring the name of God by our lifestyle?
As a preacher I usually have to wrestle through whatever I am preaching on first and do business with God before going into the pulpit. As a parent teaching my children I have to evaluate my life daily because I know more is caught than taught. I think this applies in every area of life, as a boss, a coach, a friend, in a marriage, you name it.
Ask the Lord daily to evaluate your life and help you to keep practicing what you preach.
Nothing is impossible with God.
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures:
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