That The Outside May Be Clean Also
Matthew 23:25-26 (KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Jesus starts out by emphasizing the importance of being clean on the outside. We hear much teaching today that God looks only at the heart. While this is important (the first priority) there is a definite outward appearance and lifestyle that God wants in our lives. The familiar scripture “God looks on the heart” is often used to explain away the need for outer fruit. The inner fruit that we are referring to is covered in the study titled “Jesus Teaches On Inner Fruit.”
He emphasized that outer fruit is not miracles, signs, wonders or prophecies. These are not proof of the indwelling Spirit of God or even of salvation. Please don’t misunderstand me, these things are for us today! God is a miracle working God yet we must not be deceived into thinking that these things are proof of the indwelling Christ. Jesus made this abundantly clear.
Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
He said that someone who is not saved could do outward signs such as prophecy, casting out devils and miracles. Sound confusing? It is to many today. At this point we need to ask the question, “What was wrong with these people?” The answer is clear. They were workers of iniquity. So then, the life that we live is more important to God than anything we could do for him or through him.
You Shall Know Them By Their Fruits
Matthew 7:15-20 (KJV) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Jesus said that false Christians will be known by their fruits. If a tree is good you will see good fruit on it. It will always have a manifestation of what is on the inside. In like manner, a persons’ life will be a reflection of Christ if he is living within. The apostle Paul in his desire to teach the Galatians listed the outward fruit of sin and of true Christianity.
Galatians 5:19-26 (KJV) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
These scriptures list for us the outward manifestation of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. We will go through these briefly for the sake of space. Remember, God wants us to manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. I have listed and defined these for your understanding.
Works Of The Flesh
Adultery: Sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage.
Fornication: Harlotry, whoredom including adultery, incest, and homosexuality.
Uncleanness: Impurity, moral uncleanness.
Lasciviousness: Lewdness or lustfulness.
Idolatry: Image worship and stubbornness.
Witchcraft: Rebellion, Satan worship.
Hatred: Hostility, extreme dislike.
Wrath: Passionate fierceness.
Strife: A faction against others.
Seditions: Disunion, dissention, illegal stirring up against authority.
Heresies: False teachings or beliefs.
Envy: To be jealous of.
Murders: To slay or murder, hatred of a brother without a cause.
Drunkenness: An intoxicant- the drinking of such.
And Such Like: A Godly conscience will fill in the blanks that are not recorded here.
The Fruit Of The Spirit
Love: Charity, affection
Joy: calm delight, happiness.
Peace: Quietness, rest.
Long-suffering: Forbearance, to put up with.
Gentleness: Kindness, moral excellence.
Goodness: Moral virtue.
Faith: Conviction, faithfulness, consistent.
Meekness: Humility, contrite spirit.
Temperance: Self control or discipline.
As we walk in the Spirit daily, others will see the fruit of the Spirit in us. For sure, our world is not satisfied with the works of the flesh because sin is never fulfilling and it is also weary with phony Christians professing godliness yet living in sin. We know that this problem has been around a long time.
Ezekiel 33:30-33 (KJV) Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
These people professed but did not possess real godly character. They went to church and said all of the right things yet their hearts were going after the desires of their own flesh. A true believer on the other hand will live what he/she says and professes to be.
Power To Be Witnesses
Some may wonder if it is possible to be a real Christian. I want to tell you assuredly that through the power of the Holy Ghost the answer is yes!
Romans 8:9 (KJV) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
The only way to be in the Spirit is to have the Spirit.
2 Cor. 3:18 (KJV) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The only way to change for the good is through the Holy Ghost.
2 Cor. 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The only way to become a new creature in Christ is to have him on the inside. A great example would be the New Testament church found in the book of Acts. When we look at this church we see a powerful church. They were true examples of his power and love. They turned their world upside down with the truth.
Acts 4:33 (KJV) And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
How did they do it? Certainly not with choirs, programs or even buildings like our present religious society. They did it because they had a powerful message of salvation and a powerful experience of Holy Ghost baptism. When they preached, people were changed and turned from their evil ways. True Christianity is more than just words it is the outer fruit of the Spirit that is seen by others.
Well, here we are at the end of this lesson already. Time sure flies when you’re having fun. As we can easily see, true Christianity is not just a profession but a lifestyle. Jesus wants to give each of us the power live out the faith that he has written on our hearts. Having trouble living for God and doing what is right? Why not seek for the power of God through the baptism of the Holy Ghost? He has it for all people and that includes you!
If you have any questions or comments concerning this lesson feel free to send them to me just click here. May God bless you as you seek for freedom!
Focus on Freedom
Thanks so much for going through this study. My sincerest prayer is it will be a blessing to you. Christianity is more than just professing a faith it is living that faith. This is why Jesus taught the importance of outward fruit because a faith that is not seen by others will never be viable and alive. On the other hand, a faith that is lived in front of others will be a tremendous testimony of the life changing power of God. You see, none of us have the power to live out these characteristics on our own. It is only when we have the indwelling Spirit of God in us that we will have the power to live right. Hope you enjoy the lesson, let’s get started!