JACQUES GAUVIN, RELIGION
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Remove The Proverbial Plank From Your Eye

Jesus once spoke criticizing people who had planks in their own eyes that they either ignored or were ignorant of but at the same time these people were quick to find and point out the smallest speck in other people's eyes.

Matthew 7:5 (NKJV) Jesus spoke:
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Many have compared this plank with a major character flaw and the speck as a minor imperfection of a sort. This character flaw if often depicted as being hypocritical and unworthy of approaching or reproaching anyone with a mere speck in their eye. Then there are some who imagine that if they can stick their face in someone else's face that it proves that they don't have an obstructing plank in their own eye. Many do not properly understand the symbolism.

I personally think that the analogy goes much deeper than character, which is often superficial as it can be used to support any doctrine true or false. The analogy, though it appears to be obvious or superficial, where the sliver meets the flesh, I see as sarcasm and really goes to the very core of our being where our faith and beliefs lie or deep inwards to where the marrow meets the joint. To God it seems that there is nothing worse than fake faith; faith in lies, faith in falsehoods or faith in fantasy. And teaching it to others is a deadly faux pas.

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

In other words, it is not just something that you confront someone with or stick in someone's eye. A plank of false doctrine however would merely be a superficial or external obstruction or annoyance. The word of God gets internalized to the utmost on both a physical level and a spiritual level.

Matthew 5:19 (NKJV) (Jesus said)
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The word of God includes the commandments of God. Breaking the word of God and or the commandment of God is perilous. Least in the kingdom would be lifeless smoke, ashes or dust and greatest would be living spiritual sons of God, so I imagine.

Mark 9:42 (NKJV) (Jesus said)
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

Children are caused to stumble by people lying to them, deceiving them and leading them astray. Those who do such things will be sternly rebuked by God such that some will wish they had never been born by the sounds of it.

Matthew 15:9 (NKJV) (Jesus said)
And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

They worship in vain because they will not receive eternal life. Teachers doctrine must conform to the teachings of God our Father, of Jesus Christ and of the Bible. There is only one true religion.

John 8:31 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

Jesus stated plainly that it is His word that is significant which clearly implies that it is not the word or explanation of any man. We are all still stuck with the fact that we are all just men, and women, who understand or receive the understanding. Those with knowledge of the contents of the Bible have a much greater advantage than those who do not since it is the source of the word of God.

John 8:51 (NKJV) (Jesus said)
Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.

The implication here again is that those who do not keep the word of Jesus will see death.

Colossians 2:22 (NKJV) (Paul said)
which all concern things which perish with the using, according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

The doctrines and commandments of men are grouped with things that perish and those who preach such things and those who listen to such things will in turn likewise perish.

Hebrews 13:9 (NKJV)
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

The word of God does elaborate considerably on righteous character epitomized by possessing the gifts of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The key to understanding though is in the fact that these gifts are given to those who study, learn and practise the truth of the word of God in sincerity, as much as they are able. Believing and sharing truth is critical, essential, vital.

A beam or plank is a measured and methodically cut out piece of lumber from a log or a tree. This can very readily be used as an analogy to a methodically extracted or mythically contrived and systematically applied religion of false beliefs that is meant to be lodged in a supporter's eye which has the effect of rendering the recipient a hypocrite as Jesus wisely pointed out in Matthew 7:5 above. Through thousands of years this has been the most prevalent form of religion or should I say hypocrisy. These planks are mass produced by religious and idealist fraudsters and readily distributed, lodged or thrust upon anyone and everyone who crosses these aggressive charlatans' paths. The charlatans unfortunately are often parents who for an elaborate range of excuses have not removed the plank from their own eyes before performing major ordeals on the specks in their children's eyes.

Stated simply, charlatans (false ministers of Christ) use planks and God uses His word of truth, sincerity, souls and spirit. Followers of charlatans will die along with the charlatans and followers of God will live along with God. Those are the implications. If you want to live follow God.

Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

To remove the proverbial plank from our eye we must remove all our false doctrine, false beliefs, false assumptions, and futile habits and replace them with the truths from God and the ways of God as depicted in the Bible. Then we will be able to help others properly do the same.

2017 Jacques Gauvin