Sunday, October 22, 2017, 6:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “To Be Like Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 15 (quoting select vv. NASB).
Good and Evil
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
10 Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.
There is a popular teaching these days which indicates that, once we are saved, God the Father no longer sees when we commit sins against him, but he only sees Jesus when he looks at us. Because of God’s grace to us, and through our genuine faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven our sins, and we become the righteousness of God, because Christ’s righteousness is credited to our accounts. This means that we are no longer under condemnation, and that, if we do sin, we have an advocate to the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (See 1 Jn. 2:1-2). But, does scripture really teach that God the Father can’t see when we sin?
Well, if God is all-knowing, which he is, and if he chose us in him even before the creation of the world, then he knows everything about us, and he can see everything that we do. Also, for God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – to be completely sovereign over all that he has made, he has to be all-knowing, too, which means he can see everything, even when we sin. It is abundantly clear by the teachings of the apostles and by the prophecies written in the book of Revelation that God sees everything that we do, and that he does indeed see when we sin, for we read in the NT many words written to the church warning, scolding, and counseling them to put off their sins and to follow our Lord in obedience. So, God sees, he knows, and he calls for repentance and for obedience (See: Rev. 2:1-3:22, for example).
So, God can see not only what the ungodly are doing behind closed doors, but he can see what we are doing, too. He knows who truly knows him, and who doesn’t, too. He can see who is genuinely following him and who isn’t, and who makes a pretense of sacrifice to God while secretly sinning against him. This popular teaching that says God can’t see our sins is based in a lie, the purpose of which is to allow people to believe they are saved and going to heaven, while permitting them to continue in sin, supposedly sight unseen. Yet, scripture is quite clear when it says that if we hold on to our old lives of sin, and if we walk in darkness and according to the flesh, and if we persist in sinful practices, we will die in our sins without hope of eternity with God, but with a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire.
Upright and Dishonorable
16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
17 Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
19 The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.
So, we need to test ourselves to see if we are really in the faith, and that test is not with just a few select scriptures at hand, which, taken out of context, seem to say what our flesh wants to hear. We need to look at the whole of scripture, in particularly the whole of the New Testament, if possible, by reading in context the books of the Bible one verse and one chapter and one book at a time. This way we will get a true picture of the character of God, his will for our lives, and of his holiness, righteousness and justice. And, we will see a common theme throughout both the Old and the New Testaments, and that is God’s requirements of both repentance and obedience as part of genuine faith, which is required for salvation.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord. This means that we are to honor, respect, revere, follow and obey Him. To worship God means we give ourselves to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing (acceptable) to him, that we are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but that we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin and to walking with our Lord in faithful obedience. This means we are putting away (to death) the sins of the flesh, by the Spirit of God, and that we are now walking according to the Spirit.
God’s will for our lives is that we walk in holiness, which means that we live separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being transformed into Christ’s likeness. So, we put off hatred, hot tempers, laziness, gossip, immorality, sexual addiction, pornography, sensuality, cheating, lying, stealing, and the like. And, we pursue righteousness, uprightness, honesty, morality, kindness, compassion, love, and wisdom.
Righteous and Wicked
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
32 He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.
So, just because you have prayed a prayer to receive Christ as Savior, or you have acknowledged who he is and what he did for us in dying for our sins, or you have accepted his forgiveness of your sins, it does not assure you that heaven is your eternal destiny. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. When we believe on him with genuine faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. His grace to us is not carte blanche to continue in sin without guilt or remorse. But, his grace instructs us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (1 Pet. 2:24; Tit. 2:11-14; Eph. 4:17-24).
If we continue in sin, hold on to sinful addictions, and think God doesn’t notice or that it doesn’t matter to him, we need to think again. That kind of thinking makes a mockery of what Jesus did in dying on a cross so we could go free from slavery to sin and so we could live to his righteousness. If we think our salvation is merely a free ride to heaven and that God requires nothing of us, that also is a slap in the face to Jesus Christ who laid his life down for us so that we would be free. To love God is to obey him. To fear him is to revere, respect and honor him with our lives. If he is truly LORD of our lives that means he is owner-master and we are his bond-servants. To know him is also to become like him, and it is to obey him.
To Be Like Him / An Original Work
March 16, 2014 / Based off Scripture
Crucified you are with Jesus.
To be like Him, oh, you’ll be,
Because He died at Calv’ry,
So from sin you’d be free.
Oh, what joy He brings into your life,
Giving life with Him endlessly.
Oh, what plans He has for your life.
Share the gospel faithfully.
Show the people He loves them.
Now His witness you’ll be.
Tell the world of sin about Jesus,
How He died for them on a tree.
Purifying hearts, He saves them,
Who believe on Christ, God’s Son.
Turning now from their idols,
New lives they have begun.
Jesus saves from sin; we’re forgiven.
Over sin, the vict’ry He won!
When He comes again to take us
To be with Him evermore,
There will be no more crying.
Gladness will be in store.
Heavens joys will now overtake us:
We’ll be with our Lord evermore.