Spiritual Honesty

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

The tax collectors and prostitutes entered the kingdom of God ahead of the chief priests because they were open and honest about their condition. Spiritual honesty doesn’t just position us to be saved, it’s is the antithesis of the religious pretence that burns church relationships.

Speakers notes follow –

Spiritual Honesty

Matthew 21: 28-32

Father & House chores – not about clean garden, but learning obedience – becoming better person

Man two sons – man is God – two sons are 2 types of Israelite (know from end comment) – Jews called to participate in God’s kingdom – Vineyard

First son ‘I will not’ – later changes mind – second son ‘I will sir’ -doesn’t go

Who is first son? Worldly Israelites – openly embrace sin – tax collector con men + prostitutes

Who is second son? Religious Israelites – confident in moral walk – Pharisees, Priests

Many who said ‘no’ repented seeing Jesus the door – Matthew (tax) Magdalene (pro?). But those said ‘yes’ to God refused to accept Jesus the door – chief priests – worldly entering ahead of religious

What was their secret? What did the tax + pros have that the religious leaders didn’t – must be important – gets worldly in, kept religious leaders out!

Spiritual Honesty! ‘But they weren’t spiritual’ – Correct, but they knew they weren’t and said so – being spiritually honest not same as spiritually clean!

Ever met worldly people that are spiritually honest – Do you like them – I do

My honest bar friends found fleeing church criticism

These people had pretenses, relational issues, addictions – but didn’t have religious images to protect – openly unreligious – Come to church: ‘Church! You mean give up sex, beer, parties, are you mad?’ – immoral but honest

When from a judgemental environment – quite refreshing – Didn’t agree with their lifestyles – but liked them!

These were people saying ‘no, I will not’ – but because they’re not protecting a religious image, not self righteous – in perfect position to say ‘I need help, I’m a spiritual mess’

These are the Matthews+Magdalenes of this world – when Jesus demonstrated the kingdom – said ‘Come work in my vineyard, I’ll make you fishers of men’ – they did

Now lets talk about the second son – because he said ‘I will’, said ‘yes’ to God – thats who we are!

As people who’ve have said yes we are continual tempted to protect our spiritual images – appear to be doing God’s will – may have some moral success – but also struggling – to the extent we’re not open about it – try project ‘I’m okay’ – we’re hiding

Last week, Paul Robinson word for us – I spoke on not hiding gifts -Paul said ‘You are a gift – each a gift to each other – the church – but some hiding – masks on’ (pic) – came back to me as I was preparing

Unmasking – revealing ourselves with weaknesses, is scary, but so beneficial for ourselves + others – we can present ourselves – real relationship, warts + all – or a religious mask, superficial

Keller – real friendship when you discover something in common – ‘what you too! I thought I was the only one’

He says – people always trying to make friends never get them – friendship can’t be the aim – can only be the result based on something in common – we don’t spot someone ‘gonna be their friend’

Usually something life impacting – pos or neg – both raised orphans – both in full time ministry – both had cancer – played rugby at national level – ‘what you too!’

Discovery requires masks off – and maintaining friendship too

Paul spoke about dropping our masks – how do we do that?

① Honesty with God in prayer – where honesty starts – lay it on table – say it – ‘I’m jealous of that person because’, ‘My motives were mixed when I’, ‘I’m happy because I gave to the beggar’

② Lower your claims – if you talk + act like you’re really spiritual, people will be shocked when you mess up – also if you’re more humble others will relate to you – not a saint

③ Find one person you can say anything to – can’t to all – not wise – pearls before swine – but one

④ Join small group where you can open up – can’t be done in a Sunday crowd – Homosexual’s confession – rather than think bad, we were impressed – also helped heal him – perfect example of worldly being spiritually honest

⑤ Be a person of your word – don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep – don’t say yes because its expected – thats false – a mask – let your yes be yes, and your no be no – even if it costs

Podcasts – realised they’re so open! Speak hearts! Thought – that’s where we need to go – we’re ahead of the game, but lets go deeper

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