Do This First

Text: Proverbs 24:27

In every area of life, there are certain things that must be done first before something else can be done. This does not mean that the secondary action is less important, but the sequence is important. Matthew records a few times in which Jesus taught that something must be done first before something else could be done. Let us notice what Jesus said and see what lessons we can learn.

First Be Reconciled to Your Brother (Matthew 5:23-24)

  • Worshiping God is important – He is worthy (Revelation 4:11) and desires our worship (John 4:23)
  • But do not neglect peace among brethren (Psalm 133:1; Ephesians 4:3) – however, do not compromise the truth (Ephesians 5:11; 2 John 10-11)
  • Your brother has something against you” – if you sinned against him, repent and ask forgiveness (Luke 17:4); if he thinks you sinned against him, do not wait for him to come to you (Matthew 18:15), seek peace (Romans 12:18)
  • Do not think you can overlook needless division just because you are making worship a priority

First Take the Log Out of Your Own Eye (Matthew 7:1-5)

  • Helping others make corrections in their lives is important – need to try to turn others back when they go astray (James 5:19-20)
  • But do not ignore sin in your own life (1 Peter 1:15-16; Matthew 5:48) – continually seek to improve (Ephesians 4:15)
  • Many think this passage condemns judging – it does not (John 7:24); it condemns hypocritical judging; remember that the standard applies to you (Matthew 23:2-3) and then help (Galatians 6:1)
  • Do not think you can overlook your own sin just because you are trying to help others with their sin

First Clean the Inside of the Cup (Matthew 23:25-28)

  • Appearing righteous before others is important – we are to let our light shine (Matthew 5:16) and be examples to others (1 Peter 2:12)
  • But we need to make sure our heart is right (Luke 16:15; Hebrews 4:12-13) – appearances are not everything (2 Corinthians 11:13-15); appearing righteous or moral in the eyes of the world is not enough (Matthew 5:20)
  • We must watch over our heart (Proverbs 4:23) – obedience must come from there (Romans 6:17)
  • Do not think you can overlook the condition of the inner man just because you outwardly act godly

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