It is a Fountain of Life

Proverbs 14 ESV

2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,
but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.

The teachings of the Old Testament are not all passe (out of date). Much of what is taught us in the Old Testament is repeated for us in the New Testament, if only in principle (as a fundamental truth). So, we are not to overlook nor are we to ignore all of the Old Testament, for it is rich in truth which is still relevant to our Christian lives today. For repentance, obedience, and the fear of the Lord are repeated for us in the New Testament.

In fact, God’s grace, which brings us salvation, instructs us to say “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. And Jesus died on that cross, taking our sins upon himself, so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, the early church multiplied (Tit 2:11-14; 1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Acts 9:31).

And the New Testament has much to say on the subject of lies, liars, deception, and deceivers. In fact, we read in 1 John 2:4 that “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” And in 1 John 1:6 we read, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” And we read in Colossians 3:9, “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.” And God hates lies (Prov 6:16-19).

But not everyone practices what the Scriptures teach, not even everyone who claims faith in Jesus Christ. Many professing Christians today are living no differently from those making no profession of faith in Christ, for they are engaging in all the same vices and evil deeds as the ungodly. They are the devious, deceptive, unwise, foolish, prideful, unfaithful, and unruly who breathe out lies like air and who scoff at what they are unwilling to accept.

Although they may profess faith in Jesus Christ, they truly despise the Lord for they refuse to submit to him as Lord and to leave their lives of sin behind them and to walk in obedience to the Lord. And so they live to please their sinful flesh by doing even more evil than many people who never profess faith in Jesus. For they are engaged in all sorts of immorality and in adultery and homosexuality and pornography, and so they make lying their practice.

Proverbs 14 ESV

7 Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.
9 Fools mock at the guilt offering,
but the upright enjoy acceptance.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.

We are not to be companions of fools. Now, if you are in a marriage relationship and if your spouse is one of the foolish who is living for the flesh, and who is despising the Lord, even if your spouse professes faith in Jesus Christ, this is not saying that you should leave or divorce your spouse. Although the Scriptures do allow divorce for marital unfaithfulness, they do not demand it. So, it would be good to study what the Scriptures teach on that subject prayerfully and let the Holy Spirit guide you to what is right.

But generally speaking, we are not to be companions of fools, i.e. of those who are self-indulgent, irresponsible, unwise, stupid, pleasure-seeking, and self-absorbed. For, they will not be a good influence on us, and our words to them will mostly fall on deaf ears. It isn’t that we can’t witness to them and share with them the truth of the gospel, but if they refuse to listen, we need to let them go and then just pray for them to turn their hearts to Jesus.

But if we are wise, we will discern our ways, and we will be prudent (cautious, sensible, wise) in watching our steps and in choosing our choices. We will be people of faith who walk in the ways of the Lord and in his truth and righteousness who do not make sin our practice, but who make righteousness our practice. We will discern evil and we will flee from it, and we will discern good, and we will go after it to do what is right.

So, when this says here that the house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish, this is not speaking of physical structures but of spiritual places of dwelling (remaining, abiding, continuing). If we walk in sin, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God no matter what we profess with our lips. But if we walk in righteousness, in the power of God, then we will be saved from our sins and have life in God.

Proverbs 14 ESV

22 Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Many people professing faith in Jesus Christ today are those who devise evil, for they have bought into a lie which tells them that they can believe in Jesus, be forgiven all sins (past, present, and future), and that heaven is guaranteed them when they die regardless of how they live their lives from that moment forward. And many are believing that they do not have to repent of their sins nor obey the Lord nor submit to his Lordship.

And so they feel as though they have the freedom to keep on living in sin, doing whatever evil they desire, and that they can live their lives to please the flesh and to entertain themselves incessantly, and that God’s grace will cover it all and that they will still be welcomed into God’s eternal kingdom. But that is not what the Scriptures teach. They teach the opposite of that. They teach that the unrepentant will not inherit eternal life with God.

Although they despise and they mock the truth of the gospel, and they accuse those who are still teaching the truth as Jesus taught it of teaching works-based salvation, we must remain diligent in getting out the truth of the gospel no matter what type of response we get in return. And this is because “A truthful witness saves lives.” And we don’t know who is listening and whose lives we may save if we keep telling the truth.

So, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord and not in the fear of what other humans will do to us or say to us or about us to others. We are to give honor to our Lord and do what he says to do no matter what kind of treatment we receive in return. We are to be those who are dying daily to sin and to self and who are walking in faithful obedience to our Lord even if we are mocked and accused falsely and called names in return.

For, there is no better life than a life committed to Jesus Christ as Lord, walking in his ways and in his truth, doing what he says, depending on him for all things, listening to him speak, and embracing his will for our lives. And one day Jesus will return for us and he will take us to be with him forever, and all the pain and suffering and sorrow we went through on this earth will be over, and we will forever be with our Lord. Amen!

[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]

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Joseph M. Scriven, 1855
Charles C. Converse, 1868

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

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