2 Timothy 2:22 ESV
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are not to live like we did before we believed in Jesus Christ, if we did believe in Jesus in truth. Jesus didn’t die that painful death on a cross so that we could continue living in sin, doing the things we did before.
The reason he gave his life up for us on that cross was to free us from our addiction to sin, and to empower us to now live in holiness, purity, morality, integrity, and uprightness, living lives which are pleasing to God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
Believing in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of your life is not just to get your sins forgiven so you can go to heaven. Faith in Jesus means we die with him to sin so that we can live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; Tit. 2:11-14).
So, if you think you have believed in Jesus, but you are still living in sin, doing what you want to do, disregarding God and his commandments, please know the Scriptures teach you don’t have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Gal. 6:7-8).
2 Timothy 2:23-25 ESV
“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.”
Many people who call themselves Christians, and who may be Christians, are ruining their witness for Jesus Christ by getting into heated arguments with other people, Christian or not, over many things which don’t matter for eternity, or that may not even be true.
But it is especially egregious when brothers and sisters in Christ “duke it out” verbally in public, before the world. And, they do this over politics and politicians, and over political platforms which may be nothing but a sham. They fight with each other over things that may be totally fabricated.
But, it isn’t just that they war with each other publicly over politics, or over things that they see in the news, or that they read or view on social media sites, but they have “knock-down, drag-out” fights over theology, doctrine, and matters of interpretation of Scripture. This should not be!
It isn’t that we can’t disagree with people, or that we can’t defend our faith against attacks, but that we need to do so in a godly manner which represents Jesus Christ, and which has as its goal to help others in their walks of faith, and that would be beneficial to those who listen.
2 Timothy 2:25-26 ESV
“God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Col. 4:6 ESV
Letting our speech be gracious, though, does not mean that we dilute the truth so as not to offend anyone. For, what does God’s grace teach us? It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for his return (Tit. 2:11-14).
And, what is God’s grace to us? It is that Jesus died on that cross that we might be crucified with him in death to sin, that we may be changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and that we might live new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-26).
So, if we are going to be gracious in our speech, we are going to tell people the truth which will set them free from their slavery to sin, and which will give them true hope of eternal life with God. And, we will not lie to them just to make them feel good about themselves while they are headed straight to hell.
And, if we season our speech with salt, well salt is a preservative for the purpose of keeping our food fresh and tasteful, too. And, our food is the Word of Life. So, we are to preserve it, to keep it fresh in our minds and hearts, and we are not to dilute it and to make it tasteless.
For, the whole point here is that we want to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ, not away from him because we are not demonstrating the love of Jesus. If we are no different from the world, why would the world want our Jesus? If we are not living what we say we believe, how can we lead anyone else to believe what we do? If we want people to come to repentance and the knowledge of the truth, then we need to be daily dying to sin and self.
If we want others to come to their senses, and to escape the trap of the devil, then we need to be walking in wisdom, and exercising discernment, so that we don’t fall into the trap of the devil ourselves. In other words, we can’t lead others to do what we are not doing. So, we need to be walking the walk and not just talking it, and we need to be leading others by example.
Carousel of Life
Words & Music by Gerry McClintic
Carousel of life I see you turning round,
People everywhere are sad and wear a frown,
Is there an answer to give this troubled world?
Can there be peace found within and love unfurled?
There once lived a man who bled and died for you,
To a troubled world He came to see us through,
He has the answer my friend, so hear my song,
God made Himself into man to right our wrong.
This man was Jesus, He is your friend,
Find peace and new love that has no end,
A life that’s filled with all these things,
Has joy that never dies, new faith that satisfies!
See the carousel of life keep turning round,
Still some people here are sad and wear a frown,
They won’t take one chance to see what God can do,
If they will put trust in Him, He’ll see them through.
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