Matthew 23:28, "...ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
Jesus directed this statement (today's verse) to those who were scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites. He stated they were "... like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men'sbones, and of all uncleanness." (vs. 27) Then he said, "ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." We can learn the following from the words of Jesus:
You can't look at a person's outward appearance and conclude they must have a right relationship with God.
God knows the true inward condition of every person.
Finally, every sincere Christian needs to be careful that his inward man and his outward man properly reflect Christ and Christianity.
When Samuel was sent by God to anoint the 2nd king of Israel, Scriptures talks about Samuel having been misled based upon the outward appearance of Eliab. It states, "And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:6-7)
I believe people should have a biblical dress standard, however, I think too often we view people from their outward appearance rather than understanding the condition of their heart. None of us possesses the wisdom of God, only the Lord knows the real nature of the inward man, but we can prayerfully seek to determine the heart of a person. Also, I believe if a person is right on the inside, their appearance will be right on the outside. But be warned, it is possible for the outward appearance to lead you to believe someone is spiritually right with God when they are actually a hypocrite and filled with iniquity.
Are you real? Or are you deceiving people by appearing to be right with God when in reality you're not? Make sure to deal with the condition of your heart, and be a genuine reflection of Christ and His character both inwardly and outwardly.
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott