We Cannot Obey God and the World

Matthew 6:22-23 ESV

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

Light and Darkness

Our eyes are what God has given to us so that we can see things visible, and lamps are also used to help us to see things, especially in the darkness. The word “eye” also means “judgment, discernment, and perceptiveness.” And the word “lamp” means “light,” and “light,” from a biblical perspective, means “Jesus Christ, truth, the gospel, revelation, and righteousness.”

Our body includes our whole being. It includes our physical structure as well as it includes our soul, which is not something physical, but it has to do with the core of who we are, what we are about, our heart (not the physical but emotional heart), and our character, personality, will, and spirit.

So, this is not speaking of physical eyes or of physical health, but this is speaking of spiritual eyes and of our spiritual health. If our spiritual eyesight (perceptiveness, judgment, discernment) is healthy (sound, whole; a single undivided focus without a secret double agenda), then our whole body (mind, body, heart, and soul) will be full of light (truth, righteousness).

In contrast, if our spiritual eyesight (judgment, discernment) is bad (evil, wicked, malicious, slothful), our whole being (body, mind, heart, and soul) will be full of darkness (absent of truth and righteousness, full of evil, wickedness, immorality, disobedience, and rebellion against God).

So, if the light (truth, righteousness) in us is darkness (evil, wickedness, unrighteousness, and lies), how great is that darkness (total absence of light, truth, and righteousness). And this is exactly where many people are living, including many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ. They are still walking in the darkness for they refuse to come into the light.

So, this is a lot like the cheap grace gospel. It is being promoted as truth and righteousness, but it is full of darkness. And this is because it makes no demands for death to sin and living to righteousness, and it requires no obedience or submission to Christ as Lord (owner-master). It makes a mockery of God’s grace, and it turns it into a license for lasciviousness.

Therefore, those who have adopted the cheap grace gospel into their lives are also promoting themselves as full of light while they are still full of darkness. For, they never surrendered their lives to the cross of Christ. They never bowed the knee to Jesus in humble submission to his will for their lives. So they were never crucified with Christ in death to sin, so they were never given new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived for his glory.

So, the light in them is darkness because it is a false light (truth), for their lives were not transformed of the Spirit of God. They weren’t delivered out of their slavery to sin nor from the control sin had over their lives, for they are being convinced that faith in Jesus Christ does not require repentance nor obedience nor submission to Christ as their owner-master.

Matthew 6:24 ESV

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Can’t Serve Two Masters

This word “serve” actually means to be a slave to, to be subject to, to obey, or to be devoted to. And this means that all personal ownership rights are assigned to the owner, who is supposed to be Jesus Christ, but it can be a false god or an idol in our lives which is taking the place of Christ.

The word “money” is literally “the treasure a person trusts in.” So, it isn’t just money, but it can be anything we cherish, adore, value, or hold dear to our hearts, meaning things or people of this world or of the flesh of man. Therefore, we can’t serve (obey) God and mammon (earthly treasures).

So, basically this is saying that we can’t obey (be slaves to) the things of this world and obey (be slaves to) God/Jesus Christ at the same time. Interestingly enough, Romans 6:16 goes right along with this:

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

And this goes right along with the teaching about our eyes and our bodies, and about light and darkness. Light and darkness cannot coexist in our lives, though the cheap grace gospel says they can. This is not saying that we must live in absolute sinless perfection or else, but this is saying that we can’t travel east and west at the same time. They are opposite directions.

We are either slaves of God or we are slaves of sin. We are either walking according to the Spirit or we are walking according to the flesh. We can’t do both at the same time. We cannot make sin our practice and practice righteousness at the same time. They are opposites. That would be like trying to travel east and west at the same time.

So, our lives are either committed to the flesh or they are committed to the Lord and to living holy lives pleasing to him. We can’t try to do a balancing act between the two. And Jesus Christ doesn’t accept second place or a back seat or just a few minutes of our day while we spend the rest of the day serving our own selfish desires.

We can’t blend evil in with good. Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now 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. He did not die just to forgive us our sins so that we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die.

Jesus died to transform us and to conform us to his likeness not just to forgive our sins, and especially not so we can now keep on living in sin, only now guilt free and with the guarantee of heaven as our eternal destiny. So, if you are being told that you can believe in Jesus and that you can keep on in your sinful practices, you are believing a lie.

We are either slaves to sin or we are slaves to God and to his righteousness. Which will it be?

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

Praise You in This Storm

Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Caution: This link may contain ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s