Neither give place to the devil.”Ephesians 4:27
Are you giving place to the devil? Maybe we do not understand how this can happen, but the apostle Paul talks about how a believer as a new man in Christ is not to walk in the vanity of their own minds. Paul conveys that a believer is to walk in the grace of God with righteousness and true holiness. The question arises if we as believers are walking as God’s dear children. We were all bought with a great price to become God’s children. The fact that the apostle Paul addresses the Ephesians in the 1st verse of chapter five as dear children is an endearment of love. Chapter four and five should be read carefully because we are witnessing how the days are evil. There is such bitterness, wrath, anger, uproar, and evil speaking which has brought about civil unrest. Violent crimes are happening across the US and in certain locations around the world. Since Covid-19 Burglary and Theft has hit number one worldwide.
It seems now that the phrase “new man in Christ” may have lost its meaning, or it has become vague in its meaning. Throughout the New Testament there is a clear change in the character of a person who has become a believer. Paul goes out of his way in explaining and distinguishing the difference between the old man and the new man. Have we as Christians missed this change. The body of Christ should be edifying itself in love and not in hate. Unless the method of salvation has changed, and I pray that is not the case we should be walking in the love of Christ. Did not Christ make us alive when we were dead in our sins? Paul mentioned that in times past those who are unbelievers “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 sons of disobedience,” [Ephesians 2:2]. Those unbelievers were fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, [see Ephesians 2:3]. Salvation through faith begins on an individual basis and then it becomes the body in the church where Christ is the head.
The church is to be perfecting the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ, [see Ephesians4:12]. The church is to speak the truth in love until the unity of faith with the knowledge of the Son of God reaches the point of a perfect man in the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ, [see Ephesians 4:13]. Were we not blinded and ignorant before hearing about Christ as our savior? We were all past feeling of consciousness having given ourselves over to uncleanness and greediness.
Put off concerning the former manner of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”Ephesians 4:22
Are you still carrying the old man that is corrupt with you? We need to take stock of our actions. We are not to follow or get carried away by every wind of doctrine by the craftiness of those who would deceive us from the truth of Christ. It is through faith in Christ that has reconciled us to God. We are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, [see Ephesians 2:20]. When Christ ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, [see Ephesians 4:8]. As a believer we died to the old nature of man and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is done through prayer and faith in the work of Christ who became the power of God in reconciling us unto God. We have been made near to God through the blood of Christ. Christ work on the cross has taken the penalty for our sins and Christ has given us access to the Father by giving us the Holy Spirit. If we are walking in the flesh, then we are not walking in the indwelt Spirit of Christ in which we were sealed by an inheritance.
That inheritance is why Paul exclaimed to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption,” [Ephesians 4:30]. We are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind to that of Christ. Christ position is our position. Christ identity becomes our identity. Paul told the Corinthians that though “our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day,” [see 2 Corinthians 4:16]. We put to death all things that is unclean or the unfruitful works of darkness and ask God for forgiveness and to cleanse us from all works of darkness. Our identity is in Christ and not in this present world. We do not belong to the devil; we belong to Christ.
Submit yourselves, therefore, to God Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.”James 4:7-8
We resist the devil and his evil works to the one who has given us the power to overcome him and that is Christ. We try every spirit to see if Jesus has come in the flesh, and we know what the spirit of truth is, and the spirit of error. Whatever is not of faith in Christ Jesus is sin. We do not grieve the Holy Spirit who is our comforter. We put away all lying, stealing, evil speaking, anger, malice, and covetousness and ask God to cleanse our heart and mind to that of Christ. We pray that the Holy Spirit would come and convict those who are not walking in the Spirit of Christ. We ask for the fruit of the Spirit to fill us with the love of Christ and change us from glory to glory into the person of Jesus Christ. We pray for the understanding what the will of the Lord is. We must speak truth and not lie. There are many forms of truth, but only one truth has given us the victory and that is through Jesus Christ.
Our doctrine is of Christ and not of any other. Beware of what doctrine you follow. I remember Smith Wigglesworth said to beware of any word that has “ist,” or “ism” at the end of a word. I though it funny at the time of hearing it, but there is some truth to what he said. There are those who follow a different teaching that is not of God. It may sound good, but their objective is not of the doctrine in Christ. The latest new word “Christian Nationalism,” is creating a divide all across America. This movement began in the late 50’s and has come to the forefront in recent years. Christian nationalists are defined as those seeking to preserve the status of a Christian state. Its focus is on national identity. As an American citizen the Bill of Rights gives people the right to the establishment of religion and free exercise thereof. It does not state that Congress should make a law of one Religion over another. History has proven that making a law upon religion has brought about expulsions such as what happen in Spain’s history. Any type of law for a religion has brought civil unrest upon a country or nation. Freedom of religion gives each individual a choice.
God has given each individual a choice to believe or not believe. If you take away that choice and make it legal, it becomes a manmade law based upon legalism which promotes ritualism. Let us remember that ritualism did not save the Jewish nation. If man can not conform to God’s laws, how can they conform to their own laws? The law concluded that all are under sin.
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”Galatians 3:24-25
Paul warns about legalism and how the two systems cannot co-exist, that of law and grace. We cannot work the good works through the law to receive salvation. If we are justified by the law, then Christ has become ineffective [see Galatians 5:4]. Paul goes on to say that those who are justified by the law have fallen from grace. “We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith,” [Galatians 5:5]. Therefore, we should walk carefully and not as fools but as the wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Make sure you are standing in the faith through Christ and no other doctrine. Do not allow or give place to the devil in not walking in the Spirit of Christ. Remember that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son to reconcile the world from sin.