Psalms 14:1-3 ESV
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is none who does good.
“The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
“They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.” (cf. Rom 3:10-18)
This is a description of the condition of human beings who are under sin. Not one of us is righteous in and of ourselves. We do not seek after God of our own accord. In our flesh, we go our own way. We do what we want to do. We lie, we cheat, we steal, we commit adultery, and we murder, etc.
Outside of (apart from) faith in Jesus Christ, we may not all be so foolish as to say, “There is no God,” though many do. But we deny him when we reject him as the holy God that he is, and when we reject his truth and his plan for our lives and we decide to go our own way, instead (Rom 1:18-32).
And, according to Scripture, this is where the majority of humans still are, for God’s word teaches us that only a few enter into eternal life with God via the narrow (restricted) path, but the majority take the broad (easy) road which leads to destruction (Matt 7:13-14).
Even many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are still in this sinful condition for they are also taking the “path of least resistance,” for they are taking the easy way via the cheap grace gospel, which leads to destruction. For they are not willing to die with Christ to their sins and to live to Christ and to his righteousness (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
Psalms 14:4-6 ESV
“Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the Lord?
“There they are in great terror,
for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is his refuge.”
Christians are not perfect people. But we should never use lack of perfection as an excuse for deliberate, willful, and habitual sinning against God and against other humans. Daily we should be putting the deeds of the flesh to death, by the Spirit, and we should be walking in holiness in our Lord.
We should be ever growing, ever changing, and ever being conformed to the likeness of Christ, by the Spirit. And we should never revert back to where we were before we believed in Jesus Christ, if indeed we did believe in him with genuine God-persuaded faith in him.
The difference between Christians and non-Christians is not that Christians never sin and that non-Christians always do, or that Christians have professed faith in Jesus Christ and non-Christians haven’t. Biblically the difference is in how we live, in practice.
Evildoers are those who make sin their practice, their habit, their lifestyle, usually without conscience, though some may sin and feel bad about it, but not bad enough to repent of their sins and to allow the Spirit of God to transform them to be like Jesus.
And the righteous are those who practice righteousness, not just those who are positionally righteous by faith in Jesus Christ. For, genuine faith in Christ Jesus is going to result in us living righteously, by God’s Spirit. For, those who continue living according to the flesh will not inherit eternal life.
So, do evildoers have knowledge that their deeds are evil? Yes! Scripture says they do (Rom 1:18-32). And again, some of them profess faith in Jesus Christ. So professing Christians are devouring genuine followers of Jesus Christ for their walks of faith and for their stand on the gospel of Christ.
But God is with those who live righteously in his power and strength. He is our refuge and our strength to help us during times of trouble and distress, when our enemy is coming fiercely against us to devour us in hopes that we will give up or fall apart or retreat. So, we should never give up!
Psalms 14:7 ESV
“Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.”
Thanks be to God, salvation for Israel did come out of Zion. Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to earth, was born as a baby to a human mother, grew up and became a man, ministered to the people of this earth, and then was falsely accused and put to death, although he had done no wrong.
But his death did not take God by surprise. This was God’s plan from before the creation to save the people of this earth from their sins. And his death was prophesied long ago by the prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah 53).
Jesus died on that cross so that he might deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we might be slaves of God and of his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Pet 2:24; Rom 8:1-17).
So, we don’t have to be under the control of sin or Satan any longer. We can, in the power and strength of God’s Spirit, resist Satan, flee temptation, and walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.
But again, this doesn’t mean we will never sin again (1 Jn 2:1-2), but that we are now empowered of God’s Spirit to be free from our slavery to sin so that we can now be slaves of righteousness. And all this is possible because of God’s amazing grace in sending Jesus to die for our sins.
By John Newton
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
And when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
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