Eradicate Them!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 10:10 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “For Our Nation.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Peter 2:1-12 (ESV).

Put Them Away

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

The Greek word translated here as “put away” means to renounce (forsake) or to put off from oneself; to lay aside or cast off; loose; and/or to unfasten (Source: Basically it means to get rid of these things; to refuse and to disown them. We can’t be casual about this. And, we can’t keep saying “Oops!” If these sins or others have a hold on our lives to where we keep repeating the same offenses time and time again, then we need to get serious about eradicating these sins from our lives. So, how do we do this?

Well, first of all, we have to want to be free from sin’s grip on our lives, and we have to know that Jesus Christ already delivered us, not only from the punishment of sin, but from the control of sin over our lives. Sin should no longer be our master, for we were bought with a price. We died with Christ to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? We have to stop believing Satan’s lies, and we have to begin to put on the armor of God with which to fight off his evil schemes against us. We also have to want to follow Christ in obedience, and we have to desire to live holy and godly lives in the power of his Spirit within us.

So, if our sin is malice (hatred; spite; meanness; cruelty), there are lies we believe about ourselves and/or others which must be discovered, the truth revealed, and then the lies must be rejected and the truth accepted. It could be that there are other sins in our lives for which we have also not gained victory, and which have a hold on our lives, and so we feel guilty when around others who are walking in the Light, and so we hate them, because we hate the light, because the light exposes what is going on in the darkness, and we don’t want to be exposed. We don’t want our sins to come into the Light. But, they must if we are to truly be free. We may also be harboring bitterness and unforgiveness towards others, and it reveals itself through meanness and spite. So, we must rid ourselves of that, too.

We often deceive when we are trapped in sin and we don’t want anyone to know, and so we lie to cover up our other sins, i.e. we deceive (mislead; trick; betray) in order to lead people to think differently from what is the truth. Sometimes, when we have done this as a habit for so long, we even begin to believe our own lies so that it is difficult to separate the truth from the lies. We also deceive ourselves in order to convince ourselves that what we are doing is really ok, or that we deserve this, or that we are not really hurting anyone but ourselves. And, we may even be drawn toward beliefs which tell us we are ok, and that Jesus is pleased with us and he smiles on us no matter if we willfully sin against him. These false grace beliefs only give license for believers to continue in willful sin. That is no grace!

God’s grace teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, godly and upright lives in this present age while we wait for the Lord’s return (See: Tit. 2:11-14). We must say “No” to living in hypocrisy, pretending we are something we are not, either to impress others and/or to cover up sin. We must say “No” to envy, which is jealousy and resentment because others have what we don’t have. We must say “No” to slander, too, which is speaking an untruth about someone for the sole purpose to bring harm to them or to damage their reputation. And, instead, we must put on love, kindness, truthfulness, faithfulness, integrity, genuineness, contentedness and peace.

Long For It

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Although some false grace teaching would like you to believe otherwise, the New Testament is loaded with instructions to believers as to what we are to put off and what we are to put on; what we are to stop doing, and what we are to start doing (or continue doing). It all really boils down to what our salvation is really all about. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we die with Christ to sin, we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we are given new lives in Christ to be lived out in his holiness and righteousness. Yet, it doesn’t end there. The Christian life is a life-long process of being sanctified (made holy), of maturing in our faith, in ridding our lives of the sins which so easily entangle us, and of walking in the Spirit and by the Spirit and not according to the flesh.

So, we must rid our lives of these sins which so easily entangle us, and we must, instead, long for the Word of God and to follow His teachings (instructions) for holy living. If all we do is just stop doing bad stuff, but we don’t fill our minds and hearts with the things of God, chances are pretty good that sin will take hold in our lives once more. We cannot do this in our own self-effort, though. This is a spiritual battle. We must rely totally upon the Spirit of God and his power, wisdom and strength within us in order to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. When we are tempted to tell a lie, we must tell the truth. When we are tempted to be mean, we must ask the Spirit within us to reveal to us why we are mean and hateful and filled with anger, and we must deal with the underlying sins, and put them away. If our sin is lust, we must remove from our lives all feeders for that lust, and we must fill our minds with what is true, lovely, honorable, of good report, pure, and holy, etc.

So many professing Christians fill their minds with garbage day in and day out and then they wonder why they still struggle with serious sin issues. They resist the Spirit, and yield to Satan, they are hearers of the Word, but not doers, and they give lip service to God, but their hearts are far from him. We can’t eat of the table of demons and the table of the Lord at the same time (See 1 Co. 10:14-22). We must get serious about sin and cut, cut, cut!

Like Living Stones

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”

“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are the house (temple; building) of God. As a physical building made of stone is comprised of many stones, the Body of Christ, his temple, is also comprised of many parts (living stones), and yet we form one Body (spiritual house). We were not saved from our sins just to escape hell and so we could go to heaven when we die. We were saved so that we would be free from the control of sin over our lives, and so we would be free to walk daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Jesus Christ is building us into a spiritual house, to be holy – set apart from the world of sin and set apart to God and to his service (unlike the world because like Christ). He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us. He is growing us in Christ that we might offer to him ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in the renewing of our minds (See: Ro. 12).

A Holy Nation

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

We are not here on this earth to entertain and to be entertained. We are not here to live how we want without regard for God and for his holiness. We are here to honor God with our lives, to submit to his Lordship over our lives, and to proclaim to all who will listen his great salvation in delivering us out of the bondage of sin and in bringing us into his marvelous light! We must stop living like the world and yielding to our sinful passions and desires, and we must get serious about God and about walking in his truth. How long will it take before we get this? How much longer must we continue to live like we have not been redeemed at all? Oh, how I pray for God to revive his church!

For Our Nation / An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.