17 If you are an Evangelical, you are relying on a knowledge of God's word for your special relationship with him. You boast that all is well between yourself and God. 18 Yes, you know what he wants; you know right from wrong because you have been taught his law. 19 You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a beacon light for people who are lost in darkness without God. 20 You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that in God's law you have complete knowledge and truth. 21 Well then, if you teach others, why don't you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? 22 You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you do it? You condemn idolatry, but do you steal from pagan temples? 23 You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. 24 No wonder the Scriptures say, "The world blasphemes the name of God because of you." 25 The Evangelical ceremony of baptism is worth something only if you obey God's law. But if you don't obey God's law, you are no better off than an unbaptized sinner. 26 And if the sinners obey God's law, won't God give them all the rights and honors of being his own people? 27 In fact, unbaptized sinners who keep God's law will be much better off than you evangelicals who are baptized and know so much about God's law but don't obey it. 28 For you are not a true believer just because you were born to evangelical parents or because you have gone through the evangelical ceremony of baptism. 29 No, a true believer is one whose heart is right with God. And true baptism is not an outward show but a change of heart produced by God's Spirit. Whoever has that kind of change seeks praise from God, not from people.
Oh Lord- I know I steal- I know my heart can be so far away from You! Please allow Your Spirit to continue our relationship of truth and love- not just going through the motions. Please be real to my children!
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