Widening Our Hearts

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 ESV

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Our Lord has written to us a beautiful love letter, expressing his love for us, his concern and care for us, telling us all about what he did for us, and also letting us know how we are to love him in return. It is called the Bible.

In the Bible, i.e. his love letter to us, he described for us his plan of salvation for our lives. He told us of how he went to the cross to die for our sins in order that we who believe on him might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. He told us how he died for us on that cross that we who live might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He explained to us, too, how he who knew no sin became sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Through his written Word, the Bible, he made his appeal to us through his servants and witnesses for us to be reconciled to himself. He appealed to us to change decisively to the same position as him, in agreement with him, and to change from being his enemies to now being his friends, united with him in love, no longer in opposition to him, but to be of the same heart and mind as him with regard to sin and to righteousness.

And, he appealed to us to not receive the grace of God in vain, i.e. to not let it have no effect on our lifestyles, and to not take God’s grace for granted, thinking we can still live however we want after we believe in him. For, his grace to us was not merely to forgive us our sins, but it was to deliver us out of our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that we might walk in his holiness.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 ESV

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.

God is opening his heart to us. He is sharing with us his story, his plan for our lives, and he is letting us know what is his best for us, and what he expects of us, too, which is for our good. And, yet many are not paying attention to his words, but instead they are seeking the counsel of the ungodly, of the apostate (defector, deserter, traitor) faith, instead.

They are seeking the counsel of the ungodly apostate faith rather than to seek after and to receive the counsel of God. And, this is an affront to God, insulting his grace to us, and it is wronging him.

Yet, our Lord is not withholding his love and grace from us, but many are withholding from him the love owed to him in return for all that he has done for us. And, they are turning to the rebellious, to the traitors of the faith, and they are following after their counsel, instead.

For, their itching ears are being tickled by these masqueraders of righteousness who coddle them in their sins rather than confront them and call them to repentance.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 ESV

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”

So, this is our Lord’s counsel to us, which we are to heed. We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (including those of the apostate faith). We are not to commit ourselves to holding to the views and beliefs and practices of those who do not hold to the teachings of Christ and of his NT apostles. And, we are not to seek the counsel of the ungodly, including those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but by their lifestyles they deny him.

We are not to partner with them, to join in with them in their wickedness and in their faithlessness and in their rebellion against God and against his word. Again, we are not to seek after and to follow their counsel, either, especially as it is opposed to our Lord and to his counsel for our lives. They are not to be our best friends or our closest companions, or our confidants.

For many people are opposed to the true message of the cross of Christ while claiming to be Christians and even ministers of the gospel. And, their counsel is not godly counsel, but it is fleshly, prideful, lustful and selfish in nature, seeking to please the flesh of humans rather than to please God.

So, there is no fellowship with them, for there is no fellowship between light and darkness. There is no communion, fraternity, companionship or like-mindedness between them and God, for they are opposed to the righteousness of God and they are heralding the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes being given full reign in one’s life.

So, we are being counseled here to come out from among them and to be separate (unlike, different) from them, and to not participate with them in their evil deeds or in their false faith with its false doctrine of salvation which delivers no one from slavery to sin, but which leaves them still enslaved to the passions of the flesh, while promising them heaven when they die.

We have to make a choice, much like we have to choose faithfulness to our spouses or to choose to live in adultery, rebellion and faithlessness. And, God did not design us for adultery, but for faithfulness both to our spouses and to our Lord. But, if we choose the harlot over our Lord, then we don’t have fellowship with our Lord. For, we can’t walk in darkness and in the light at the same time. So, we need to choose the light, which is choosing God.

2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

We have these promises, that if we do not unite ourselves with the ungodly in practice, in thought or in belief, and we choose to have our hearts and minds purified of the things of this world, God will welcome us, that he will be a father to us, and that we will be his sons and daughters. Since this is true, then we should cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit. And, this will bring holiness to completion in the fear of God.

What this is saying, basically, is that we must separate ourselves philosophically, spiritually and emotionally from those who do not have the mind of God but who are still of the flesh, and we are not to seek their counsel nor to follow after their ways which are opposed to God and to his righteousness. So, this calls for much spiritual discernment.

And, we must walk (in lifestyle) in the holiness and the fear (honor, respect, obedience) of our Lord God, and then we can have the assurance that our Lord will receive us as his own, because we have died with him to sin that we might live with him to righteousness, all to the glory and praise of God! (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14).

God is With Us

An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46

God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.

Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.

God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.

God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.

Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.

Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.

Friday, August 16, 2019

P.S. We are going offline tomorrow through Tuesday, for we are moving this weekend, so I probably won’t be writing on here for a few days. But, Lord willing, I will be back within a week. All glory to God!

4 thoughts on “Widening Our Hearts

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