Do Not Be Foolish. Understand What the Will of the Lord Is

Do Not Be Foolish. Understand What the Will of the Lord Is

“Do not be foolish. Understand what the will of the Lord is.” These words from Ephesians 5:17 call us to live wisely. That is, they call us to live as Christians.

 

The world, our flesh, and the devil do not want us to live as Christians. They continually tempt us. For this reason, every epistle of the New Testament exhorts us to “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1) Bear in mind these letters were not sent to assemblies of pagans but to congregations.They were sent to believers, to the church. These letters point us to trust in the mercy of Christ and to put off the deeds of darkness. We are to live in repentance. Our sanctification is an ongoing work of the Spirit in us. It is always necessary that we live and pray trusting in Jesus.

 

See below the unanimous testimony of the New Testament letters concerning God’s will in us and for us. I will be quoting from every letter of the New Testament. If you are in a hurry, feel free to skip some of the references. My purpose in listing these references is to demonstrate our ongoing need to live in repentance and faith. Our old sinful nature is still with us. It does not wish to live in ongoing repentance and faith. It may tempt us to abuse God’s grace because God forgives. Or it may lead us to believe that sin is something we no longer need to deal with. Therefore, let us see how the Scriptures speak.

 

Romans 13:13-14, “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:18, 20, “Flee from sexual immorality. You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

 

2 Corinthians 12:21, “I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.”

 

Galatians 5:16-17, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are continually opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

 

Ephesians 5:8 says, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”

 

Philippians 1:27, “...Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…”

 

Colossians 2:6, “Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.”

 

Colossians 3:5-10, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you; sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:1,3-4, “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”

 

2 Thessalonians 3:11-13, “We hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.”

 

1 Timothy 4:7-8, “Have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

 

2 Timothy 2:22, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

 

Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for the our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”  

 

Philemon 6, “I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”

 

Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

 

James 1:19-21, “Know this, my beloved brothers; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

 

1 Peter 1:14-15, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also shall be holy in all your conduct.”

 

1 Peter 2:1-3, “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, but by it you may grow up into salvation - if indeed you have tasted the Lord is good.”

 

2 Peter 1:10, “Brothers be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure…”

 

1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sins.”

 

2 John 6, “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments…”

 

3 John 11, “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”

 

Jude 4-5, “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. I want to remind you, … that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”

 

Revelation 21:6-8, “And he (Jesus) said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the springs of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as the for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

 

Dear baptized children of God, as the Holy Spirit works conviction of sin and faith in your heart, you may begin to wonder if you will ever be free from sin and guilt. You will! You will be free from sin and guilt once this life is over. You will not reach a sinless state on this side of glory. If Christians no longer had to deal with sin, then the Scriptures would not have to exhort us so strongly against sin in every letter! But since the Scriptures constantly urge us to put to death the sinful nature, to put away the deeds of darkness and to do good, then we must constantly be aware of and do these things even as we trust in Jesus for grace and mercy. We are called to struggle against sin even as we await the glory yet to be revealed. Finally, I will leave you with these encouraging words, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)

 

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