1 Timothy 5:4 “Let them first learn to show piety at home…” (partial verse)
Every day I spend with the Lord I have become more and more convinced of one thing: personal piety in the home fundamentally supersedes every other matter of religion in our faith.
Jesus answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship Me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commands of men. Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men.'”
He also said to them, “You completely invalidate God’s command in order to maintain your tradition! For Moses said: ‘Honor your father and your mother; and whoever speaks evil of their father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or mother: whatever benefit you might have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift committed to the temple), you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. You revoke God’s word by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things.”
Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they nullified fidelity to God’s commandment for personal piety in the home. Contrary to what those who are deceiving the flock from the pulpits are teaching, Jesus was not opposed to the Pharisees because they kept the law: He was opposed to them because they invalidated the commandments of God by their traditions! Does that sound familiar to anyone else who might be looking at the state of churches in the U.S. today and seeing preachers who are invalidating God’s commandments to make room for the latest and trendiest ideas to take the Church by storm?
Here is where the hypocrisy of those who love the praises of men gets exposed:
If you have no personal piety in your private life, then any public piety you show to men is as filthy rags before God.
“White-washed tombs” are the dwelling places of those pierced through with hypocrisy; they are where the woe of those who were inwardly destitute of God but went to great lengths to secure the respect and praise of men abides!
1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
It is possible for a man to live a life that is highly respected by everyone in the Church, but yet be so destitute of the personal piety due his wife that even his prayers are hindered before God! What a terrible thought it is that the strength and power appointed to prayer could be relinquished because personal piety in the home was rejected!
God is not a man that He should judge according to the outward appearance of things. Even the boldest preacher, roaring from the pulpit on Sunday, if his private life does not exhibit personal piety, will he escape the judgment of God (Romans 2:2)?
I am convinced to the uttermost that personal piety is a true unseen mark of those who have drawn near to God Himself! It is acquired from God at great personal cost, as gold refined in the fire; it is not acquired by those who are intent on comparing themselves among themselves: personal piety is the mark of someone who is heaven-bent on offering his or her whole life as a living spiritual sacrifice of worship to God.
We must learn to first show piety in the home, where the lusts of day-to-day life wage war against our devotion and dedication to God, before we can do anything else in the kingdom of God. Therefore, we must learn from God what it means to live a pious life. If we accept the trends and traditions of men for piety, what are we any more than the hypocrites?