James 3:13 ESV
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”
So many people today are teaching and/or living a gospel other than the gospel taught by Jesus and by his New Testament apostles. Many of them are claiming the blessings of God over their lives while they continue in deliberate, habitual, and often premeditated sin against the Lord, even over the course of many years yet while knowing the truth and perhaps even proclaiming the truth at times, although many mix truth and lies together.
Many of them are claiming Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives and his forgiveness of their continued sins even though they have continued in deliberate and habitual sin since making their first confession of Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives. But the Scriptures do not support their claims. The Scriptures teach that if we make sin our practice that we do not have eternal life with God, regardless of what we profess with our lips.
The Scriptures also teach that genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ results in us being crucified with Christ in death to sin and being raised with Christ to WALK (in conduct, in practice) in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is put to death with Christ so that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness.
So, if we are spiritually wise we are going to accept into our lives and put into practice the truth of what the Scriptures teach and not the lies that are spreading like wildfire and are so widely accepted as truth. By our good conduct (behaviors) we will show our works (the works God prepared in advance that we should walk in them) in the meekness of wisdom, the wisdom that comes from God and from his word and not from our own flesh.
And the wisdom of God teaches us that God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return.
[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 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]
James 3:14-16 ESV
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
So many people today claiming faith in Jesus Christ are being false to the truth for they are living opposite of what they profess to believe. And they are accepting an altered and diluted version of the true gospel of grace in place of the true gospel of grace so that they can continue living in deliberate and habitual sin without guilt and without conscience and without feeling as though they have to repent or obey the Lord Jesus.
Now we read in Romans 1:18-32 that we are all without excuse if we choose our sin over walks of obedience to the Lord in submission to his will and purpose for our lives. For it teaches that God revealed to us all his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature via the things that he has made. So the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For they are being false to the truth.
We can’t just pray some prayer to receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and then assume that we are now saved from our sins, done deal, and now heaven is guaranteed us as our eternal destiny when we die. We must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and we must walk in obedience to our Lord in holiness and righteousness. For if we do not, and we keep on in our sin, then we don’t have salvation or eternal life with God.
So, if you are still storing up evil in your hearts, and your hearts are filled with hate, bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger because life didn’t treat you the way you had hoped or expected, and you didn’t get the things you wanted the way you wanted them, but then you boast of having a relationship with Jesus Christ and of heaven as your destiny, then the counsel here is to not boast and to not be false to the truth.
Many people who are living in slavery (addiction) to sin but who are claiming faith in Jesus Christ are following after the wisdom of man and not that of God. And so they either just continue in sin without conscience and/or they may try self-help programs or behavioral modification, but the only true path to freedom from addiction to sin is through surrender of their lives to Christ and to let the Lord clean all that stored up junk out of their hearts.
For what do the Scriptures teach us? The evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. So, if what is stored up in your heart is evil, evil is what is going to be what is produced in your actions, attitudes, and words (Lu 6:45; Matt 15:17-20).
So, if you are one who is still making sin your practice, and you keep returning to the same sins over again, you must surrender your life to Jesus Christ, and you must let him clean all of that hate and anger and bitterness out of your heart. And you have to cooperate with him by letting it go and by choosing to forgive, and by denying self and dying to sin daily and by choosing to walk daily in obedience to the Lord, according to his word.
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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