Proverbs 1:7,10-19 ESV
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
“My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse’—
my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.”
The Fear of the Lord
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. So, what does it mean to fear the Lord? To fear God is to revere, respect, honor, worship, and obey him. To fear God involves believing that what he says he will do, that he will do it, whether promises of blessings or promises of judgments, and then to act accordingly in obedience to him. It means to do what is right and acceptable to him and to make it our goal to please the Lord. It involves acceptable worship of God (Rom 12:1-2). And it involves cleansing ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion.
[Matt 10:28; Heb 5:7; Acts 9:31; Lu 1:50; Acts 10:34-35; Php 2:12-13; Rev 11:18; Rev 14:7; Rev 15:4; 2 Co 5:6-11; Heb 12:28-29; 2 Co 7:1]
But those who act foolishly in self-indulgence, unwisely, recklessly, selfishly, and childishly despise the wisdom and instruction of the Lord, and they have no fear of God, for they do not believe his word. And this can include many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, too, and who may talk as though they believe the Scriptures, but whose actions and whose lifestyles demonstrate that they have no fear of God, for they continue in deliberate and habitual sin, often without conscience, and without remorse or regret, while they claim Jesus as Lord and heaven as their eternal destiny.
If Sinners Entice You
“Sinners” are those who make sin their practice. They are those who are walking in sin and who are not following Jesus Christ in righteousness and holiness and in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). So, although we were all born into sin, and we all have the propensity to sin, and we are all tempted to sin, if we are now walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, we are not “saved sinners.” We are the righteous, the holy ones of God who once walked according to the flesh but who are now walking according to the Spirit in obedience to our Lord.
And this is important that we make this distinction, and not as a matter of pride, but because to say we are all “saved sinners” who profess faith in Jesus Christ, then that is to indicate that all who are saved by God’s grace are still actively and habitually sinning against the Lord. And it is to not make the biblical distinction between those of genuine faith in Christ and those not of genuine faith in Christ. For it is those who make sin their practice and who are not obeying the Lord in practice who will not inherit eternal life with God. And it is those who make righteousness and obedience to the Lord their practice who do have eternal life with God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
So, when this says, “if sinners entice you,” this is speaking of those who are actively engaged in sin, for whom sin is their practice. And this is apparent by the things these sinners do, for they try to tempt others, including the godly, to sin along with them. And this is in character for many who are living in deliberate and habitual sin, for they want others to join in with them in their debauchery, perhaps to alleviate any guilt they may have, or perhaps out of jealousy or resentment towards those who are living righteously, like was the situation with Cain and his brother Abel.
But in this case, the sinner is not murdering the righteous by taking his physical life from him, but this is murdering the righteous by getting them to join in with the sinful lifestyles of those who are actively engaged in deliberate and habitual sin against God and against their fellow humans. And so we must be on our guard against such tactics as these so that we do not fall prey to deception and fall into the devil’s traps. For some of this is not so outright, but it can be very subtle suggestions to try to trip us up.
And one of those subtle suggestions is to call all people professing faith in Jesus Christ “saved sinners,” thus putting us all in the same category and to suggest that we can all be saved from our sins but that we can still actively engage in sinful behaviors, and that just isn’t true. The Scriptures are very clear that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we must cease from making sin our practice, and we must walk in obedience to our Lord, for if we do not, then we are not saved from our sins and heaven is not our eternal destiny. But not many people are teaching that these days.
So, the point here is that not all temptation to sin is outright and obvious, as is written about in this passage of Scripture in Proverbs 1. So we need to be aware that the devil knows that is not going to work with a lot of us, and so he tries more subtle and hidden ways of trying to entice us to sin. And one of the main ways he is doing that today is by pulling Scriptures out of their context and twisting them to say what they do not say and by adding and subtracting from the Scriptures in order to teach what is false. And a lot of these false teachings are cloaked in truth and so they are hidden.
So, just be aware that not all temptation to sin is going to be as obvious as you might think, and there are many subtle and hidden messages that are false that are being relayed along with what is truth with the whole purpose to deceive and to trap in sin the naïve and the unsuspecting and the casual professers of faith in Jesus Christ whose spiritual armor is not actively engaged. And these subtle lies are being inserted in pastor’s sermons and in songs and in social media memes and in devotions (but not in all cases). So we have to be spiritually alert to catch them and to not get trapped by them.
[Matt 5:27-30; Matt 7:21-23; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:16-24; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-11; 1 Thes 4:1-8; 1 Tim 4:7; Titus 2:11-14; Heb 12:1-17; 1 Pet 1:14; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.