We Have an Adversary

1 Peter 1:13-19 ESV

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’

“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

Our Adversary

We have an enemy Satan who is opposed to what this passage of Scripture teaches, for he is opposed to God and to Jesus Christ, and to his gospel, and to his messengers who are spreading the truth of the gospel. And the truth of the gospel has to do with us being obedient children who are not conformed to the passions of our former ignorance.

So, Satan devised a plan to trick people into accepting a counterfeit gospel, which has since supplanted the true gospel in the hearts of a large majority of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. And he has used his servants and his messengers to disseminate this counterfeit gospel which teaches a diluted faith which does not result in death to sin and living to righteousness.

Satan convinced many people in high up positions in the government and in the institutional church to go along with his plan, and they worked together to bring the church into a partnership with the government, and with the world, and to turn the church into a marketplace to be marketed just like any other worldly business which appeals to the desires of human flesh.

Since much of the church was now trying to “win the world” to the institutional church, they diluted the gospel message to make it more acceptable to the world. So, they removed God’s moral standards, his restrictions, and they forced out the Holy Spirit to make room for marketing schemes and for this fake (false) gospel, both creations of human beings.

Therefore, they bypassed Jesus Christ and his gospel and they made their own way based on the fleshly lusts of human beings, and this is what they have been spreading in place of spreading the true gospel of Jesus Christ. And people are buying into this counterfeit gospel by the droves because it makes no requirements for them to forsake their sins or to obey the Lord.

The Results

The byproduct of these church leaders turning their church fellowships into businesses to be marketed to the world via worldly means, and of bypassing Jesus Christ and his gospel, and his authority, and of supplanting the true gospel with a cheap grace gospel which removes God’s moral standards, and which pushes out the Holy Spirit, is a lot of false sheep.

Now we have many people professing faith in Jesus Christ who are living no differently from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. They are worldly, and they are involved in behaviors which are senseless, foolish, reckless, and irresponsible. They are living in sexual immorality and adultery and idolatry, and they are remaining there because it feels good to them.

They are learning that they can live by their feelings and walk in the flesh, and sin can be what they practice, no matter how evil it is, but they can claim to believe in Jesus, and believe that their sins are forgiven, and that they are going to heaven when they die, even though they live in sin, refuse to obey the Lord, and they refuse to submit themselves to his Lordship.

But there is a reason that they buy into this cheap grace gospel, and there is a reason why people, especially people who know the truth, continue living in sin when they know what the Bible teaches and what God expects. And the Bible says that these things come from our hearts, that out of the heart of a person come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, etc.

Many people continue in their sinful addictions because of what is stored up in their hearts which is rebellion against God and against his moral standards, and which is pride, and resentment, and bitterness of spirit, and defiance, and disrespect, and selfishness, and intoxication to sin, and stubbornness, etc. They won’t repent of their sins because of what is in their hearts.

So, even if outwardly they claim to believe in Jesus, and even if they are making a show of righteousness, or if they are trying to appear as though they are walking in the truth, they are still defiant, rebellious, disrespectful, willful, hostile to God and to his commands, opposing the Lord and his holiness, defying the Lord, and denying him by their actions.

Although they claim to be followers of Jesus they are truly followers of another god, the god of the flesh, which permits them to keep on in their sin without conscience and without guilt and without punishment, and with no requirements for repentance, obedience to God, or submission to Christ as Lord. For, they are believing the lips of liars, who are of Satan.

Our Response

So, what is our response to be to all of this? We are to be serious-minded about God and about his Word. We are to take God seriously, and we are to show him respect and honor, and we are to submit to his Lordship, and to surrender our lives to his will, and we are to walk in his ways and in his truth in the power and wisdom of God.

We are to be obedient children. So, we are not to listen to the lies which tell us that we don’t have to turn away from our sins, and that we don’t have to obey God, and that we don’t have to submit to his Lordship. We must turn away from those lies that tell us that a mere confession of Christ as Lord is enough to secure us heaven as our eternal destiny.

And we must read the Word of God in context so that we don’t interpret Scriptures out of their context and end up building or accepting false doctrines based off Scriptures taught out of context. And then we must be doers of the Word and not hearers only. We must be those who obey the Lord by putting the Word into practice in our daily lives, by his grace.

And we must no longer be conformed to the passions of our flesh, doing what the flesh desires. We are to no longer be walking in sin, living according to the flesh, obeying its demands. We are not to be liars, adulterers, thieves, gossips, murderers (haters), etc. We are not to be those who engage in the sinful pleasures of pornography and the like.

But we are to be holy people, set apart to God and to his service, unlike the world of sin, doing the will of God in his power and strength. We are to be holy in ALL OUR CONDUCT. Our conduct should be pure, righteous, truthful, kind, faithful, obedient to the Lord, considerate of others, and showing the love of God to our fellow humans.

For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we will now honor God with our bodies (with our lives).

[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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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