Good and Evil, Unclean, Walk

Be Ye Followers of God

Be ye, therefore, followers of God as dear children.

Ephesians 5:1

Are you a follower of God? Have put off your former conversations and put on the new man? If you are speaking with deceit and are greedy for what you don’t have, it is time to take another look in the mirror at the life you are living. Are you bitter, angry, and saying negative things about everything in your environment? Most conversations I hear today is about what is wrong in the world we live in today. Some truthful, and some not so truthful. It is getting harder these days to know what the truth is since the social media networks has hit the internet.  Let me remind you that propaganda has taken hold in recent years and some truth is being withheld. This has been proven in the advertising of consumer goods. We should think twice about all the advertising we see on a regular basis and remember that they use propaganda to play on people’s emotional state in persuading them to buy specific products. Deliberate omission of certain facts can destroy one’s faith in a product as well as in people in general.

Deceitfulness and lying are the biggest offenders in the body of Christ and it brings dissensions and strife. The apostle Paul is addressing the body of believers about their walk as Christians. Chapter’s four and five of Ephesians is a must read if you have any questions how you should walk as a Christian.  Christians are to be followers of God and walk in love as Christ has loved us and given himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God [see Ephesians 5:2].  The apostle Paul states clearly that no fornicator, covetousness man hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God [see Ephesians 5:5]. In fact, we are warned about not letting man deceive us with vain words in the next verse of 6 in chapter 5.  Anything that is unclean such as these actions will bring the wrath of God because of disobedience. We should be careful to whom we are following if these things such as lying, deceit, filthy talking, crude joking, and racist comments are flowing out of the mouth. This is not flattering of a person who is follower of God.

Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure.

1st Timothy 5:22

Even Elders are to be careful as to not be a partaker of any other men’s sins.  We all need to keep ourselves pure before God our Father.  We are to remember not to take part in sin.  We are to reprove them as is stated in verse 11 of Ephesians chapter 5. There is to be a difference in our daily walk as a Christian. If there is not, then we must repent and ask God to change our heart. Reproving a person in the love of Christ is gently speaking to them about the way they are acting and speaking. The choice is up to the individual who is not walking in the way of Christ. The Christian’s walk is a reflection of Christ. Therefore, the old man or former life is put away through repentance and the new man in Christ is put on through the love of Christ. This is the renewal in knowledge after the image of Christ. We have the help of the Holy Spirit to change us and to know the love of Christ. We should be filled with all the fullness of God and not of anything else that is unclean. We are to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, [see Ephesians 3:16].

We came out of darkness in ignorance to the meaning of the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ. We followed the course of this world living in sin.

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

Ephesians 2:2

We all followed the desires of the flesh towards self-gratification rather than following love, which is only in God’s son Jesus Christ. We have been reconciled to God through the cross of Christ and have been given the status of fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God [see Ephesians 2:19]. We are not to abuse that status that was given to us. Our foundation is built upon Jesus Christ who is the chief corner stone, [see Ephesians 2:20]. Because of that status, we are to grow to be a holy temple in the Lord. Listen to what Paul said in verse 22 of Ephesians chapter 2, “in whom ye also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” This habitation is our body being filled with the Holy Spirit with the love of Christ. This is so we can walk in Christ bearing the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, and peace.  In otherwards, as a follower of God we should be walking daily in His love speaking truth to each other and edifying one another and not speaking evil, deceit, or anything that is unclean. We are not to be partakers of what is unclean. We are not to go back into filthy communications because this is not of the Spirit of Christ.

There is a distinction between what is godly and what is evil. As Christians, we should know the difference. We should know that bitterness, anger, and evil speaking is not from the Spirit of Christ but of the spirit of the children of disobedience. We should remember that bitterness, anger, and evil speaking will grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Do not think that God’s Spirit can reside in anyone who is unclean. That is why the apostle Paul is warning Christians not to allow the devil a place in their life by evil speaking, lying, and stealing. We are to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, and he will flee from you [see James 4:7]. Resist the devil in the name of Jesus and he will flee. You do not have to yield yourself to evil, for you are now children of the light and not of darkness. Remember your standing in Christ. Remember what Paul told the Corinthians, “To not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”  Plus, Paul questioned what fellowship light has with darkness [see 2 Corinthians 6:14]? That is why as Christians we are to be separate from what is unclean. How is God to be our God if we are unclean? We can only be followers of God when we are clean from all things that is unclean, so keep yourself pure and be ye followers of God. 

As some churches are in observance of Lent, take the time through prayer and fasting in your own personal reflection of what you are struggling with.  Remember, Jesus himself went through being tempted. He used the word of God as his strength in overcoming to not take part of what the devil wanted him to do.  Read about it in Matthew chapter 4.  Take time to read the word, pray, and ask God to help you reflect the love of Christ to those around you.

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Conscience, Doing Good, Good and Evil

The Struggle of Two Natures

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:14

I do not know of any Christian that does not struggle between “Two Natures” that some call good or evil. We do not understand why we do what we do. We tend to do what we should not do even when we want to do good.

Man between an angel and devil

It is like the picture above which some of us have seen when we were a child on cartoons. I have seen it on Sponge Bob Square Pants as well as on the TV show “The Simpsons.” Do you ever wonder why even as a child that this struggle still carries on into adulthood. Why is it that we do not heed the warning signs? It could be that we just do not believe it is true, and need to experience it to learn the truth about it. It is like diving in to fast to eat your soup. Did you know that there is a proper etiquette to eating your bowl of soup? First of all, I do not see everyone diving into it because it may be too hot and you can burn yourself. This is why we use the spoon and scoop the edge of the bowl away from us when extracting soup towards our mouth to eat. This is so we do not splatter hot soup on us. The bible is our moral compass and if you find yourself struggling on what to do, you are not alone. Every good Christian struggles with their nature or behavior to do good or evil. The apostle Paul dealt with this subject of two natures in writing to the Roman Christians.

For that which I do I understand not; for what I would, that do I Not; but what I hate, that do I.

Romans 7:15

“I do what I hate to do,” said the apostle Paul and if he had issues with it there is no doubt that everyone has issues with not doing the right thing. So what was it that Paul found out about dealing with this issue? Paul found that there is a law present that if he did good, evil is present with him [see Romans 7:21]. In fact, he describes several laws. We have laws in place in countries in order to live a peaceful life with all mankind. For the most part civil law is supposed to be good in that it regulates concerns in private relations between members of a community. It is the principal of equality within communities. The apostle Paul who was a Roman citizen by birth received certain consideration when thrown in jail. The apostle Paul addressed six laws. The law of Moses which condemns, the law as a principle within society, the law of faith, which excludes self-righteousness, the law of the mind that tries to do good but can not do it, the law of sin within humanity, the law of the Spirit that has the power to deliver the believer from sin.

The result the apostle Paul found is in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” I hear many Christian quote up to the part in Christ Jesus, but leave off the not walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit. What Paul is saying here is that our walk in our behavior and action must match that of Christ Jesus. The end result is walking in the Spirit which means we surrender our self to Jesus who is our priesthood and our redemption. Jesus fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic law and He is the one who sends us the Holy Spirit. Paul mentions the “Spirit” sixteen times in Romans chapter 8 and therefore we should take note that this is a most pivotal conclusion to the problem of the struggle between two natures. It is the Spirit that gives us life. Listen to what Jesus said in John 6:63.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 6:63

We must remember that the law is spiritual, as Paul exclaimed in chapter seven of Romans, but “I am carnal, sold under sin” [see Romans 7:14]. Our checks and balances come from the word of God and through the Holy Spirit that points to Christ. When we struggle with our old nature, we take it to Jesus and ask him to intervene and allow His Spirit to take control of our mind and actions. We ask through prayer that we put to death any feelings of hatred, getting even, anger, or anything that does not project the image of Christ. Some may have to struggle in letting it go. Remember the flesh will not profit. There are those who have gotten even, and later found that it did not bring them a lasting peace. Peace only comes through the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Reprove yourself and flee from doing evil. Remember that the Apostle Paul said to “be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good,’ [see Romans 12:21].

Let us pray and ask God to help us to overcome evil by doing good. Let us walk in the Spirit of Christ knowing it is ” the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” [Romans 8:2]. We must get under control our emotions and our mind by giving it to Jesus at the cross where our victory is. Sing along and ask god to renew a right spirit within you. Released in 1984 by Keith Green.

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