How does God create a pure heart?

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Create for me a pure heart, O God! Renew a resolute spirit within me! Psalm 51:10

The context here is David’s sin with Bathsheba. So often after we give in to temptation and sin, our resolution to go forward wavers. We have built the wall of separation once more. But, David understands very well who it is that creates. Whether it be everything from nothing, as our universe attests, or a pure heart, through the blood of Jesus, the ability to create comes from God. He is the one who creates in me a pure heart. He is the one that renews my resolution. How is this done? Through the power that God has. And that power is infinite! There is no end to His power! I have to plug in with Him through reading His Word and prayer. There is no other way. Through reading His word, I will learn what I must accept and obey. For yes, that pure heart is created through repentance and obedience.

#risingjoy #Psalms #Word-of-God

The Lord and his holy word are being mistreated: Jeremiah 23.9

“Here is what the LORD says concerning the false prophets: My heart and my mind are deeply disturbed. I tremble all over. I am like a drunk person, like a person who has had too much wine, because of the way the LORD and his holy word are being mistreated.”

Jeremiah 23.9

God’s prophet is disturbed to see the unfaithfulness and godlessness of Israel. (NLT understands the last phrase to indicate the severity of God’s judgment.) The sin of Israel pains him deeply.

It takes a holy person obedient to God’s will to be upset over disobedience. Such anguish leads him to urge the people to repent.

#votd #Jeremiah #word-of-God

Sustain the weary with a word: Isaiah 50.4 VOTD

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.”

Isaiah 50.4 NRSV

God chose the prophet Isaiah and gave him inspired words that not only judged Israel but gave hope and comfort to those seeking relief from suffering and sin.

How can we permit God to waken us today in order that we might listen to his words as Christ’s disciples?

#Bible #word-of-God #VOTD #Isaiah

VOTD: Daniel 10.19

“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”

Daniel 10.19 NLT

Did you notice that by speaking, the one who appeared to be a human being, but was not, strengthened Daniel? God’s word strengthens. What else does this verse tell us about God’s dealings with man?

#daniel, #votd, #word-of-god


12-13-2016 Getting Jesus Right-Word Of God

The New Testament writers, “did not follow cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16 NKJV) when they wrote about Jesus Christ.  A “fable” is a “myth, fairy tale, or falsehood.”  “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV).  Only the Word of God should be our source of faith, everything else should not be!  Since the Bible was written by God through inspired men, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6 NKJV).   Don’t rely on false translations or traditions!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#false-translations, #traditions, #word-of-god

Thought # 3 – In Him We Have Redemption Through His Blood

Text: Ephesians 1:7-10

There are many reasons why Christians should praise God. One of the reasons is for the work of the Son of God in redemption. In Eph. 1:7-10, Paul expresses his praise for the great redemption through the Lord Jesus.

We all need the forgiveness of our sins! All of us are in spiritual bondage and imprisonment, whether we know it or not. Paul wrote in Col. 1:13-14, “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.”

Most of us, I’m quite sure, prefer light to darkness. Without Jesus, all of us were in darkness, members, although we may not have known it, in the kingdom of Satan. Our heavenly Father desired that we all come to a saving knowledge and has provided the means through His Son, the Lord Jesus. We are glad that we can share in the inheritance He has for us (Col. 1:12).

The Word of God describes this transformation as changing kingdoms. We have been brought out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel. The terminology used here by Paul is a military illustration. It pictures Rome going into a free country and as a result of waging war and winning they subdue that nation and take them into captivity. But in the spiritual realm, we are the ones in bondage and when we accept The Lord Jesus and obey the Gospel, we are “transferred” (NASV) or “translated” (KJV) or are “conveyed” (NKJV) out of that bondage into the light of the Gospel. But it does not end there.

Paul tells the Galatians that we were bought with a price (Gal. 3:13). Our freedom cost Jesus His life. What should be our response to His redemptive work? We should pour out our hearts in praise. We should love Him greatly because of what He did for us. The Psalmist said in Psalm 1:30:3-4, “Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness.” (NLT)

Jesus lavished grace on us. “O, the love that drew salvations’s plan, O the grace that brought it down to man. O the mighty gulf that god did span—at Calvary” ! It is truly amazing grace. We do not have the words to express His grace.

Since we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Col. 1:14) we must put our new found faith to the test. We have been called out of that dark kingdom, changed by the light of the Gospel and now have the privilege to go back into that kingdom, now empowered by the Holy Spirit and utilizing the Whole Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) to help others find their way out. We can never work our way to heaven, but upon salvation, we are to be the best workers the Lord has. Let’s be found letting our light shine for Jesus (1 Peter 2:10)!

-Larry Miles, April 18, 2015

#bible, #ephesians, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-form-ephesians, #word-of-god

Thought #2: We Have Been Blessed With Every Spiritual Blessing

Text: Eph. 1:3

The Apostle Paul is writing this epistle to the Christians in the city of Ephesus. He has talked about grace and peace in Eph. 1:2. We know that the “grace of God” was manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus. That grace was also an action, whereby God showed forth His love for lost mankind and the Lord Jesus was the Redeemer who came down to Earth to die for the sins of man­kind. Since we are now “in Christ,” we can claim the blessings in the letter also.

In Eph 1:3, Paul stresses first of all that we need to praising the Heavenly Father above all things. God wants to bestow, yea, even lavish his love and blessings on His children. He is not up there in Heaven blessing us sparingly. Jesus said that He came that we might have an abundant life in Him. We must desire all that He has for us. We must want to live the Christian life to the fullest, learning more about Jesus every day. We strive for this because we want to “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus,” as well as encouraging our fellow believers in their walk and reaching the lost with the message of salvation.

He has blessed us “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST.” The same Greek words rendered here “heavenly places” are translated heavenly things” in James 3:12. Since we are “citizens of Heaven,” (Phil. 3:20) we must look to the things above and not things on the earth. Our spiritual mindset must be honed in on Jesus at all times. We are but pilgrims and strangers here on earth. We sing “this world is not my home…,” and rightly so. But we are as John says in I John 2:15-17 “in the world but not of the world,” we have to have a heavenly perspective in life. That perspective comes from believing the words of Paul here in Eph. 1:3.

Larry Miles lives in Louisville, KY and worships with the Cherry St Church of Christ in New Albany, IN

#bible, #ephesians, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-from-ephesians, #word-of-god

An Approved Servant Of The Lord Is One Who Endures For The Gospel – The Dedicated Soldier

If one wants to be “An Approved Servant of the Lord,” he or she will need to practice faithfulness in their Christian life. We have all be called out of a “kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His Love.” (Col. 1:12-14) We must be ones who put a premium on faithfulness. We must realize that we are in “for the duration.” The Lord takes us from where we were and, if we are willing to grow, He will provide the resources we need to be equipped for service. This process will involve “endurance.”

In 2 Timothy 2:3-7, Paul uses three simple but powerful images; the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer. He uses them to illustrate some important truths. This first article will center on the “Soldier of Christ.”

The Dedicated Soldier (2 Tim. 2:3-4). One of the many “pictures” of the Church in the New Testament is that of a “soldier.” The writers of the New Testament, especially the Apostle Paul, used that terminology. Paul and his readers were very familiar with the military concept in their lives. There were various degrees of military occupation in the provinces of the Roman Empire in the First Century. Some provinces required more military presence than others. Palestine was one of the most volatile places in the Empire so there was a large military presence there.

The Christian “soldier” must, like the Roman soldier avail himself of all the equipment needed to be effective as a soldier. Because of our faith in, and obedience to the Gospel, we are now in the Lord’s Army! Jesus expects us to “let our light shine” and use the training we receive to not only help us be better soldiers for Him, but to help others in the same manner.

Charles Wesley wrote, “Stand then in his great might, with all his strength endured, and take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God.” If we will do this we will fulfill the words of Paul in 2 Tim 2:3-3. Because we have our eyes on Jesus at all times (Heb. 12:1-2), we will not as Paul says, “get entangled in civilian pursuits.” One of the songs we sing goes like this: “More about Jesus I would know, More of His grace to others show; More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me.”

Christians must strive to be the best soldiers we can be. We can rest assured that our Commander, the Lord Jesus, is leading us by example and is out in the forefront of the battle. He has provided all that we need to fight the spiritual battle. We only need to be willing to “take up the whole armor of God.”Bible, Word of God,

#an-approved-servant-of-the-lord, #bible, #word-of-god

Thoughts From The Book of Ephesians (Thought #1)

I have  been  working on  a  new series of   articles based on the  book of Ephesians– I have  12 “Thoughts”  done so far.  These  will take the  reader  through Eph. 2:10


Thought # 1: The Writer and the Recipients

Text: Eph. 1:1
When people wrote letters back in Biblical times they put their name at the beginning of the letter. We do just the opposite. This is called the “salutation.” The Apostle Paul, at the beginning of this epistle, lets his readers know who he is, what his credentials are for writing the letter and to whom he is writing the letter.

All of this is included in Eph. 1:1. Verse 2 is his greeting. Paul was not one of the original 12 Apostles. His Apostleship is by special appointment from the Lord Jesus. He received this as­signment to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Thank the Lord that he took this privilege and honor seri­ously. If he and others whom he reached with the Gospel had not, then we would not be here today en­joying the blessings of salvation.

“…By the will of God.” It was and is God’s will that all mankind be saved and He has provided a way through His Son that all may be saved. But we all know that the majority of mankind, both past, present and future will not accept that way of salvation. Paul was faithful in his ministry (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

Those whom Paul is writing to are named in the latter part of Eph. 1:1. The primary audi­ence of the writers of the Word of God was locally those in the first century, but we can share in these titles that Paul used for the Ephesian Christians on the basis of our faith and obedience to the Gospel.

The recipients of Paul’s letter were the Christians in Ephesus. Ephesus was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Paul gives at least 2 names, perhaps 3, for Christians in verse 1. He calls them (1) “Saints; (2) faithful, and (3) in Christ Jesus.”

A “saint” in the New Testament, is not a sinless person, but a saved sinner. Faithfulness to the Lord is required if one wants to enjoy all that God has for him or her. Paul stresses that Christians are “in Christ.” As I said earlier in this devotion: Christians are saved by grace, through faith, in bap­tism, for good works. Let all of us strive to dedicate our lives to the Lord and His Church and help others find their way out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel.

-Larry Miles

Louisville, KY

#articles-by-larry-miles, #bible, #ephesians, #faithfulness, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-from-ephesians, #word-of-god


(#109) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:14-15-Governing the Government (#4)

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 16:14-15: “As messengers of death is the king’s wrath, But a wise man will appease it. 15 In the light of the king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.”

Verse 14: When all authority in government is invested in one person, judgments and rulings are purely arbitrary, whimsical, and capricious. The purpose of having a constitutional “rule of law” is to avoid the abuse of power so easily entered into with only a king, or tsar, or fuhrer, or dictator. People who are subject to the whim of “the king’s wrath” might expect the least provocation to “set him off.” King Saul showed Ahimelech the priest, and those with him, the wrath of a king (1 Samuel 22:11-19). Other proverbs reflect danger in a too-powerful king: “The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass” (Proverbs 19:12); “The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life” (Proverbs 20:2); “Like a roaring lion and a charging bear Is a wicked ruler over poor people” (Proverbs 28:15). Solomon, later, expressed this absolute power of a king: “Do not be hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him. Where the word of a king is, there is power; And who may say to him, ‘What are you doing?’” (Ecclesiastes 8:3-4) A “wise man” will surely tread lightly around such a person. There is no better time to apply another proverb: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

Verse 15: On the other hand, however, a happy king makes life last, and refreshes like “the latter rain” of a growing season, and which helps produce a good harvest.

Under Moses’ Law, kings were supposed to follow their own personal copy of God’s Word (Deuteronomy 17:18-20), and that should have been their “constitution” to guide their rule. Even under Jesus’ Law, obedience to government is predicated upon one’s humility before God: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,unless otherwise noted.

#authority, #bible-study, #christian-living, #constitution, #kings-wrath, #power, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom, #word-of-god

We Need to Study the Bible Because it’s Relevant to the Problems of Today’s World

Yes, the Bible is old, but it isn’t too old for our modern world! While living upon the earth, mankind will never outgrow our need for the guidance that is only found in God’s word: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23) We will never escape the circumstances of life that link us back to all the previous generations who have lived before us. It was Job who said so long ago that, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1) Can this not still be said of us today? That’s why I say that a modern world full of trouble can still use the wisdom of the book that’s full of answers – the Bible!

The big picture of life hasn’t changed since the day Adam and Eve left the garden. We’re born – we live – we die – we meet our Creator. Again, that’s why God’s word is still relevant! Sure, we have greater luxuries today than any other generation who has ever lived. We have our modern medicine, we have our big screen TVs, we have our high-speed internet, we have our refrigerators, we have our go-carts, golf carts, electric cars, four-wheel drives and eighteen-wheelers, but they don’t provide the real answers to real life, because we still have the same old problems that lead to the same old questions that every other generation before us has asked! We still have problems with hate, problems with murder, problems from war, problems from adultery and divorce, problems with theft, problems from the abuse of power, problems of rape, problems from wickedness, problems with riots, problems of slander, problems from oppression, problems from spiritual ignorance, problems from anger, problems of cold-heartedness, problems with family, problems at work, problems with money and problems with any other old-fashioned sin that we can think of!

Do any of those circumstances sound familiar? They should! Because this is the stuff that not only makes us up today’s headlines – it’s the stuff that we read about from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation! So who says the Bible isn’t relevant to today’s problems? How can it not be if the problems haven’t changed?

No other book than the Bible answers the greatest questions of life. Where did I come from? (Genesis 1:27) Why am I here? (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) Where I am going? (Matthew 7:13-14) No other book than the Bible provides the solutions to life’s problems. Love God and love our neighbor (Luke 10:27). Treat others the way we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). Be merciful (Matthew 6:15). Be willing to come to Jesus for the answers, correction, support and encouragement we need (Matthew 11:28-30). Live a life that’s dead to sin but alive in, alive to and alive with Christ (Romans 6:1-12, Colossians 3).

Mankind has lived upon the face of the earth for thousands of years, and with the exception of the Lord’s return we will continue to live here with the same old problems, with the same needs and with the same book that contains the solution and answers to them both sitting within in our grasp – the word of God. And that’s why we need to study the Bible…because it truly is relevant to the not-so-new problems of today’s world.

#bible, #bible-study, #characteristics-of-the-bible, #problems, #relevancy-of-the-bible, #relevant, #religion, #sin, #spiritual-answers, #we-need-to-study-the-bible-because, #word-of-god

We Need to Study the Bible Because it’s Powerful

More powerful than a locomotive may be alright to describe Superman, but there’s hardly a comparative term out there to help describe the power of God’s word. We live in a world of constant energy; and I’m not just talking oil and gas. The need for production and consumption has produced a constant cycle that has been in place since the day Adam and Eve made the Garden their home (think food people). Our intake must be greater than the outgo or our physical strength will run out, right? Spiritually speaking, there’s a renewable, reliable, ever ready energy source that can get the job done and it’s called the word of God.

The word of God is powerful in its spoken form. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” (Psalm 33:6) The atoms that make up the bomb, that make up the water turning the turbines, that sends out of the radiating light of the sun, that produces fossil fuels and even construct the energy sources we have yet to discover were all “simply spoken” into existence. That’s power! No wonder it was said in olden times, “Lord speak, for your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:9). The word of the Lord will come to pass upon its own merits, strengths and power. The will of God allows mankind to have a will, but when mankind starts to act like man-king then the Lord speaks and man can’t help but listen.

The word of God is powerful in its written form. The One who spoke us into existence not only condescended Himself to become one of us for our sake (John 1:1-3, 14), He also condescended Himself to leave us with the ability to learn about the knowledge He has given through the written word that transcends any other written document ever imagined (1 Corinthians 2:11-14). Simply put, the written word of God is some powerful stuff: “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.” (Hebrews 4:12) God’s word does not need our guidance – we need the guidance of God’s word (Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm 119:105). God’s word knows how to lay our heart open, get right down into the root of the matter and reveal the reasoning behind our thoughts and actions…and it does it all without anesthesia.

The word of God is powerful because it has the power to lead mankind to salvation. Without God’s word we would not have the knowledge that’s available when it comes to the reality of sin and the possibility of salvation. The word of God not only leads us back to the Garden, it leads us back to Calvary and onto Heaven. The Spirit of God uses the power of the word of God to bring us unto God to enjoy the salvation of God through the Son of God. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16). God’s word is the dynamite that blasts out our self-will, our stubborn will and our sinful will to reveal unto us to will of God. You can’t have fruit without a seed and you can’t enjoy salvation without the seed of salvation being planted into our heart (Luke 8:4-15).

If mankind is to ever stop fussing and fighting over the energy production of the earth it will be because we have learned to listen to the power filled word of God from Heaven. If mankind is to ever stop allowing the perverted knowledge of people to do irreparable harm it will be because we have learned to listen to the power filled word of God that binds hearts, clears minds and opens ears and eyes. If mankind is to ever stop proceeding deeper and deeper into sin and further and further away from God it will be because we have learned to listen to the power filled word of God that renews the heart, mind, soul and strength in the image of the One who loved us enough to give us more than what we deserved; He gave us what we could never earn (Romans 5:8-10). These are just a few reasons why we need to study the powerful word of God contained in the Bible.

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

#bible, #bible-study, #characteristics-of-the-bible, #christianity, #the-ability-of-gods-word, #the-power-of-gods-word, #the-power-of-the-gospel, #we-need-to-study-the-bible-because, #word-of-god

I’ve got a semantics question fellows after seeing…

I’ve got a semantics question, fellows, after seeing this recent FB post:

“The Bible does not contain the Word of God; the Bible is the Word of God. There is a difference.”

*What is your definition of “the Bible”?*

For me, I actually prefer the statement “the Bible contains the word of God.” I define the Bible as Genesis through maps. 🙂 There are lots of things in our modern Bibles that are not the “word of God” (e.g., concordance, chapter & verse divisions, footnotes, etc.). If the imitation leather cover says “Holy Bible,” then everything inside is a part of the “Bible”, right? Thus, is it not better to say: “The Bible contains the word of God”? (I actually prefer lowercase “w” on “word” when not referring to the Logos, but I won’t go in to that right now… 🙂

Even some things within Scripture itself (like Satan’s lie in Gen. 3:4) is not really the “word of God,” is it? I understand that Gen. 3:4 is an accurate account of what Satan said AND that the Spirit inspired Moses to make a record of it, but how can a LIE be “the word of God”? I find this terminology troubling. Gen. 3:4 IS Scripture, but is it the “word of God”?

Your thoughts are most welcome.

#bible, #scripture, #word-of-god


Here’s a good article that I got from the church in Wise, VA this morning. I thought it was worth sharing:

Have you ever heard anyone say, as an explanation for some sinful action, “I have become so confused I don’t know what is right anymore”? As a rule, the person who says such a thing is one who has had clear convictions but has acted, or is about to act, contrary to them.

This must be what the Holy Spirit was saying about Eve in 1 Tim. 2:14. “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

To say that she was deceived is not to say that she was ignorant. She quoted perfectly what God had said: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die'” (Gen. 3:2,3). She was deceived when she thought there could be any valid reason for disobeying God.

We cannot know how long Adam and Eve avoided the forbidden tree. With so many other trees from which to eat, there was no need to eat of it. There is no evidence of confusion regarding the right and wrong of eating or the wisdom of abstaining. They were happy ignoring it.

But along came Satan to draw Eve’s attention to the tree she had been avoiding. He drew here attention to the beauty of the fruit and somehow convinced her, perhaps by eating of it himself, that it was good for food. If he did eat of it, the fact that he did not die surely gave support to his contention that she would not die. One can see the confusion mounting. The arguments she considered conclusive against eating were rapidly being snatched by arguments for doing so. Which arguments were valid? Both seemed to be.

Had Adam been nearby, or had God spoken again, she might have been reminded once more of the strong reasons for rejecting the fruit. But as it was, the voice of God grew weaker in her memory as the desirability of the fruit was magnified by Satan’s glib lies. All that was needed to tip the balance was the final suggestion of an apparent virtue in eating — the thought that she would become like God. Never mind the legalistic prohibition; surely one could not be blamed for wanting to be like God.

“She took of the fruit and ate” (Gen. 3:6). Tragic words! Tragic consequences! Consequences reaching down through countless generations even to us!

The great mistake of Eve was in allowing herself even to begin thinking about disobedience. This was the mistake of Achan when he first saw the Babylonian garment (Jos. 7:21), of David when he first saw his beautiful neighbor bathing (2 Sam. 11:2) and of Judas when he first thought of betraying Jesus. It is the same mistake each of us makes — men and women alike — whenever we sin.

The Bible says much: “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown brings forth death” (Jas. 1:14,15).

There is ample defense available. If we are wise enough to meditate on God’s laws in such circumstances, (Psa. 119:11), and to ask Him for deliverance (Matt. 6:13), He will, with the temptation, “also make the way of escape” (1 Cor. 10:13).

But all too often, in the name of open-mindedness and objectivity, we feel we are obligated to look at the other side, to consider the “arguments in favor of” sin. We may even be so foolish as to parrot the existential line: “I must get away to myself and sort things out.” If this means getting away for Bible study, meditation and prayer, fine! But this is seldom what it means. As a rule, what it means is: “I want to be left alone to rationalize my way through the sin that entices me without having to reason with those who would logically or scripturally expose my folly.”

Such conflict between conscience and passion, between logic and emotion, between authority and anarchy, between flesh and spirit will indeed produce confusion — confusion bordering on insanity. But it is a confusion for which we are responsible. It is the peculiar malady of “those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” and who “did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:10,12). It is never surprising when such a person, “being deceived,” falls into transgression.

In Jesus’ day “there was a division among the people because of Him” (Jn. 7:43). They were confused by the contradiction between His claims and the accusations of their rulers. Jesus stated clearly who would not be confused: “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak of My own authority” (Jn. 7:17).

Wanting to do God’s will will save us from the confusion, deception and transgression into which our mother Eve fell.

Sewell Hall – Gospel Power, Vol. 16, No. 11, March 15, 2009 


#adam-and-eve, #articles, #god, #sin, #temptation, #word-of-god

Run, do not walk

#freedom, #psalms, #strength, #word-of-god