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Page 306

How does the following scriptural reference help explain the difference between outward and inward appearance, as seen by God and man?

I Samuel 16:7
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.

How does this truth apply to the distinction between scriptural and civil good works?

  • Diverse - Different; of unlike types
    • "I do not understand this distinction," Cheryl stated. "It seems to me that a person's action is either good or bad; not good civilly, but sinful biblically."

      "Let me attempt to explain by use of an example," her teacher responded. "Suppose you returned to school tonight to finish typing a report due tomorrow, and that I also was here working quite late.

      "After finishing your typing, you return to your car and discover that it has a flat tire. You mention this to me as you re-enter the building to phone someone for assistance, and I offer to help you. I change your tire, and you travel home safely.

      "Civilly, this is a good work - I performed a kind, neighborly action which was of benefit to another. As we would see and judge each other outwardly, this was a good work.

      "Inwardly, however, my motivations could have been very diverse. Possibly in my heart, I did not want to help you at all. But from concern for my own reputation -that I would appear to others as a very uncaring person if I did not assist you -I acted concerned and helpful, and changed your tire for you.

      "Do you see how my action, inwardly, was a sinful one in God's sight, one motivated by: self-glory rather than God's glory, self-love rather than true love for another, and self-thought rather than faith in God? Yet, outwardly, this same action was helpful and good. Can you understand this distinction now?"

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