All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray

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.”

A fool is someone who is foolish and senseless, someone who is reckless, careless, irresponsible, self-indulgent, pleasure-seeking, and selfish. They are corrupt (dishonest, immoral, perverted, crooked), and they do abominable (detestable, horrible, abhorrent) deeds. And they can be among those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who deny the Lord by their actions, who do not take God seriously, and who ignore his existence.

In our flesh we are incapable of doing what pleases God or of being acceptable to God. For the children of man, who are born into this world in the image of Adam, which is everyone who is alive on this earth, do not understand God or seek after God in the flesh. We are all sinners by nature who have all turned aside and have become corrupt and who do not do what is good and righteous and holy in the eyes of Almighty God.

This is our spiritual condition outside of genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is the spiritual condition of many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, but not in truth, sadly enough. For there are many professers of faith in Jesus Christ who are living morally corrupt lives, who are liars, adulterers, the sexually immoral, drunkards, abusers, users, tricksters, and manipulators who take advantage of the weak and vulnerable and naïve.

And often times they are charmers and jokesters and the likeable who appear friendly and even caring about other people, and so people are drawn to them, while they secretly are sinning against God and against other humans. And some (or many) of them are pastors of church congregations, at least here in America they are. And people are flocking to them by the hordes because of their winsome personalities.

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.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to righteousness. Yet, this is not saying we will never sin again (1 John 2:1-2), but sin should no longer be our master (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

But sadly there are many evildoers among us, including some pastors, who are eating God’s people (us) up as they eat bread and who do not call upon the Lord, at least not in truth. They devour and destroy true followers of Christ as naturally as they take in their daily food, without conscience or guilt or remorse or compassion. They take advantage of the weak and vulnerable and they are abusive and manipulative and they lie to people and they have convinced many of them to continue living in sin without guilt.

And in order to continue in their wickedness without guilt, many of them are creating their own gospel which requires no death to sin and no walks of obedience, or they make it optional and not required of God for salvation. And they are easing their own consciences by convincing themselves that their sins are not worse than anyone else’s and so they get a pass because they confessed Christ as Lord. But the Scriptures teach that those who make sin their practice will die in their sins. They will not inherit eternal life.

But God is with the righteous, but not with the self-righteous nor with those who believe they can be righteous in status only but not in action and in behavior. For we read in 1 John 3 that it is those who make righteousness their practice who are righteous as God is righteous. And if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not our practice, but if sin is still our practice (habit, addiction), then we don’t know God, we are not born of God, we are of the devil, and we will not inherit eternal life with God.

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.”

Praise God! Salvation has come. Jesus Christ, God the Son, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – came to earth, was born of a human mother but was conceived of the Holy Spirit. So when he lived on this earth he was fully man and fully God. And he was tempted as we are tempted, yet without sin. And then he was put to death on a cross by those who hated him, although he had done no wrong.

But it was God’s will that Jesus Christ should be our sacrificial Lamb on that cross to take away the sins of the world. For when Jesus died our sins died with him so that by faith in him we can now die with Christ to sin and be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. For he did not remain dead, but God the Father raised him from the dead on the third day. Thus, in Jesus’ death on that cross he made the way for us to be saved from our sins.

But now this salvation from sin is not just forgiveness of sins so that when we die we go to heaven and not to hell. Jesus died on that cross to put sin to death so that we will die with him to sin and be raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For he died so that we would die to sin, not just once but daily, and that we might walk in obedience to his commands.

And then we need to know that Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23). So, we need to take this to heart, for many are going to come before Jesus one day claiming all the things they did in his name, and he is going to turn many of them away with these words, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawlessness.” So, don’t be one of those people, please.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Above All

By Paul Baloche / Lenny Leblanc

Above all powers above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what You’re worth

Crucified laid behind the stone
You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a Rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all

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