Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol.14 No.07 How Are You “Feeling”???

 

I would like to share a passage with you all today, one that struck me recently as profound in a way that I hadn’t noticed before.

That we henceforth be no more children,

tossed to and fro,

and carried about with every wind of doctrine,

by the sleight of men,

and cunning craftiness,

whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love,

may grow up

into him

in all things,

which is the head,

even Christ:

16 From whom the whole body

fitly joined together

and compacted by that

which every joint supplieth,

according to the effectual working

in the measure of every part,

maketh increase of the body

unto the edifying of itself

in love.

17 This I say therefore,

and testify in the Lord,

that ye henceforth walk not

as other Gentiles walk,

in the vanity of their mind,

18 Having the understanding darkened,

being alienated from the life of God

through the ignorance that is in them,

because of the blindness

of their heart:

19 Who being past feeling

have given themselves over

unto lasciviousness,

to work all uncleanness

with greediness.

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

21 If so be that ye have heard him,

and have been taught by him,

as the truth is in Jesus:

22 That ye put off

concerning the former conversation

the old man,

which is corrupt

according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed

in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on

the new man,

which after God

is created in righteousness

and true holiness.”  Ephesians 4:14-24

Past feeling: Paul was encouraging the Ephesian believers as he called them to ‘grow’ in their faith in Jesus, not yielding to the lusts of the flesh—the ‘old man’; we are to ‘grow up’ instead of behaving like children “tossed to and fro”.  We are not to be tossed about by “every wind of doctrine”—the popular ‘buzz of the day’; “by the sleight of men”—the trickery of those who want to side-track us from our life of biblical faith, by using “cunning craftiness”—defined by the dictionary as, “being underhand or evil schemes; cunning; deceitful; sly”!  Paul wanted us to recognize that the enemy of our souls is ever busy trying to mislead and deceive with sly devises.

Paul goes on to remind them and us, that we are to live by the power of the Christ who is “in us”, and HE will enable us to work toward the “increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”.  He also goes on to warn us that we are not to pursue the same walk that the world pursues; for they are following vain efforts.  And the phrase that hit me is most enlightening:

18 Having the understanding darkened,

being alienated from the life of God

through the ignorance that is in them,

because of the blindness

of their heart:

19 Who being past feeling

have given themselves over

unto lasciviousness,

to work all uncleanness

with greediness.

Past feeling”, what an amazing phrase!  It reminds me of what Paul told the Romans about those who reject God—that they have chosen to walk away from the true God and to create their own “gods”, their own way!  And that ‘way’ always leads exactly where Jesus said it would lead—to destruction.  We live in a world that purports that we are “all going to the same end” (some kind of ‘god’, but we are simply “taking different paths” to the same ‘heaven’!), but Jesus said something totally opposite.

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”  John 14:6

This One who is “the way”, the only way, makes it clear how the different choices will end:

Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be

which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be

that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly

they are ravening wolves.”    Matthew 7:13-15

Paul also reminds us of the exclusivity of the Gospel (not a popular stand!), and the certainty of the end result—or if you would, the consequences (set by God) are sure for every choice!

Be not deceived;

God is not mocked:

for whatsoever a man soweth,

that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth to his flesh

shall of the flesh

reap corruption;

but he that soweth to the Spirit

shall of the Spirit

reap life everlasting.

9 And let us not be weary

in well doing:

for in due season

we shall reap,

if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity,

 let us do good unto all men,

especially unto them

who are of the household of faith.”    Galatians 6:7-10

I know I use this passage a lot, but it is a much-needed message in our culture of “anything goes”, and I am compelled to bring this to our minds often.  The days are evil, and we all need to be reminded that God hasn’t changed—or, in other words—the rules haven’t changed because:

Jesus Christ

the same

yesterday,

and to day,

and for ever.”   Hebrews 13:8. Amen!

No matter how the world tries to convince us (and they are succeeding to a great degree, because many are NOT paying attention to God’s Word!), it saddens me that you can hardly watch any kind of media that doesn’t challenge or even clearly attack biblical morality, reason, or the call to ‘rise above’.  Even the so-called family friendly channels present ‘living together’ as ok, drinking and drugs as common place, rebellion and defiance as acceptable!  It is a battle that we must ever be conscious of!

So, let’s go back to Paul’s letter to the Ephesian believers, and observe the practical commands that he shares with us for faithful, godly, obedient living.  Let’s rehearse these facts.

That ye put off

concerning the former conversation

the old man,

which is corrupt

according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed

in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on

 the new man,

which after God

is created

in righteousness

and true holiness.

25 Wherefore putting away lying,

 speak every man truth with his neighbour:

for we are members one of another.

26 Be ye angry,

and sin not:

let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place

to the devil.

28 Let him that stole

steal no more:

but rather let him labour,

working with his hands

the thing which is good,

that he may have to give

to him that needeth.

29 Let no corrupt communication

proceed out of your mouth,

but that which is good

to the use of edifying,

that it may minister grace

unto the hearers.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,

whereby ye are sealed

unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness,

and wrath,

and anger,

and clamour,

and evil speaking,

 be put away from you,

with all malice:

32 And be ye kind

one to another,

tenderhearted,

forgiving one another,

even as God for Christ’s sake

hath forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:22-32

The transformed Christian life is living not just by ‘rules’ but by the indwelling Holy Spirit who will lead us into “all truth”!  We must continually strive to ‘grieve not’ the Holy Spirit’s work in our heart, mind and life!  When God changes a life, HE changes it from the inside out—not just a white-wash on the outside—knowing that “freely ye have received, freely give” (See Mt. 10:8).  We receive the righteousness of Christ by the power of His Spirit.  We can have victory over the flesh if we will but walk in The Spirit and not yield to our flesh (which is always calling us to veer off the narrow way—and we will find that popularity will often flee when we choose to follow Jesus!)

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh…

…25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk

 in the Spirit.”   Galatians 5:16 & 25

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new

….20 Now then we are ambassadors

for Christ,

as though God did beseech you by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

 the righteousness of God

in him.”   Portions of 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Oh, to be a reflection of His life to a world so dark and corrupt—may we be salt and light by His power, as we continually sacrifice our will to HIS!  Not in arrogance of what we can do, but in total confidence of what God can and will do through us as we yield to the work of HIS Spirit in us!  I’m so grateful that it depends on Jesus not me—I must simply walk by ‘faith’ and not by sight!  For oft-times ‘what you see’ ain’t ‘what you get’!  Remember that Satan is the ‘father of lies’ and a ‘fulltime deceiver’!  But we can win as we refuse to conform to the world by yielding ourselves to Jesus!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.

3 For I say, through the grace given unto me,

to every man that is among you,

not to think of himself

more highly than he ought to think;

but to think soberly,

according as God hath dealt

to every man

the measure of faith.”  Romans 12:1-3

Amen and Amen!  May God speak to each of us that we may reflect HIS glory in all our ways!  Transformed by Jesus, not conformed to the world! Remember, “The Light Of The World Is Jesus” (written by Philp P. Bliss)!