We are what we impart

These words give us a probing approach to the search for identity. We hear the clichés, "You are what you eat" and "Clothes make the man." But the Master, Christ Jesus, looked beyond what went into a person and said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." As we recognize that we impart what we are, we see that we're going to have to get beyond the sinning mortal. For out of the mortal heart, as Jesus said, "proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." Matt. 15:11, 19.

But is this really what we are—the evil thoughts, the sinful impulses? Are we to consider the hate, the fears and secret lusts, as true identity? Christ Jesus, in speaking of these unredeemed, internal sinful tendencies, was not confirming this as man, but rather rebuking a pharisaical emphasis on dietary laws and an ignorance of the vital place of thought and motive. More than once, as he freed and healed people, he told them to sin no more—separating past sins from the individual and holding out sinless days ahead. Doesn't this point to true identity, separate from sinning mortality?

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BIBLE NOTES Pullout Section
September 28, 1981
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