Weekly Devotional 2-5-18 A Call to Arms
During the Apostle Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus he met and led Epaphras to Christ and Epaphras, having grown in the knowledge of the Lord, carried the gospel to Colosse. There he established the church (See Colossians 1:7-8). It wasn’t long before the church came under heretical attack from at least two directions; from the Jews and from Greek Gnostics. The Jewish element of the area insisted that those of the church were to hold fast to the strict rules of Judaism, i.e. rules concerning food and drinks, religious festivals (2:16-17), circumcision (2:11) and the avoidance of handling, tasting or touching things that were ceremonially unclean (2:21). The Gnostics denied the supremacy of Christ (1:15-18), insisted on angel worship (2:18), and claimed a secret knowledge gained through human wisdom (2: 8).
The heresies of Judaism and Gnosticism have been prevalent in the unregenerate professing church (professing, not possessing church) down through these many centuries, but in these last days it seems that Satan, through these heresies, is making great gains in the possessing church. Born again believers are being “tossed to and from and are being carried away by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness” (Ephesians 4:14). It seems the church of our day is leaving the fundamentals of Christianity and is becoming more and more like the world. Anything goes in the church these days. All things are acceptable. But this is not the way it should be. We must return to Christ, making Him preeminent. We must see Him once again as the head of the church. We must allow His Spirit to rule in our hearts and if we do, we will once again be different than unregenerate man.
Paul wrote; “16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:16-21).
We all sin. To deny this is to deceive ourselves (1st John 1:8), but sinning is not the same as making a practice of sin or of it being our lifestyle. If we are truly born-gain persons, we will recognize sin for what it is, an affront to Christ, we will readily repent of it, and confess it. He will forgive and cleanse us of it (John 1:9). To do anything less will lead us to a hardness of Heart. We will become like unregenerate man.
The difference between unregenerate man and the Christian is that the unregenerate man determines his own path while the Christian can be led by the Holy Spirit. When surrendered, the Holy Spirit produces such fruit as “22love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith-fulness, 23gentleness, self-control in the Christian. Against such there is no law (no prohibition). 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (See Galatians 5:2224). This then is our call to arms. Let us be led by the Holy Spirit and we will not be like those mentioned in verses 16-21 above.
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