Outward Appearances

Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you and enters into judgment with you? Is not your evil abundant? There is no end to your iniquities. For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing and stripped the naked of their clothing.
Job 22:4–6
Outward Appearances
We live in a world consumed by sin.  Evil abounds everywhere we look.  And we contribute to it.  It is not merely the cause of others but of our actions as well, which pollute God’s creation with sin.  Eliphaz asks Job, “Is not your evil abundant?” The response expected is yes, it is.  This is all the evidence Eliphaz needs to convict Job. To point to his actions, his sins, as the direct result of all the suffering he is enduring.  If only it were that simple.  If only we grew horns and a pointy tail the more wicked we became.  But our outward appearances do not betray our inward conditions.  The same holds true of our righteousness.  We do not have a halo which glows ever brighter as we reframe from sin.  Our righteousness is not a reflection of our outward appearance.  Afterall, God described Job as “blameless and upright” (1:1) yet there he sits in sackcloth and ash, pitiful spectacle.  No, our righteousness is not determined by what we look like, but is determined by something wholly outside of ourselves.  It is determined by God’s grace. That free unmerited gift of faith is the deciding factor, and it is freely given by the Holy Spirt through God’s Means of Grace.   “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:17). In this righteousness where we serve God and our neighbor to the delight of our heavenly Father.  
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