November 5, 2015
King Solomon was a wise man who wrote many proverbs which can be used as a guide in life. We can all learn from the proverbs he wrote and the Book of Proverbs should be studied with diligence. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15. Nobody wants to be foolish, but how many of us listen to the advice of the wise? There is no greater wisdom to be found than in the counsel of God’s word, but how many Christians listen to worldly people instead of Scripture? It’s understandable that nonbelievers ignore what God says, but it’s absurd for a Christian to ignore God’s counsel. “Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” Proverbs 9:6.Prayer and Bible study will move you away from the foolishness of the world and move you toward the wisdom of God. Scripture is the Christian’s guide in life.
People who do not know Jesus are not filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore cannot fully understand God’s word. Those who have accepted Christ are sealed with the Holy Spirit and He will guide us in understanding of Scripture. Read, study, and pray over Scripture; use it to guide you through life. Christianity isn’t a set of rules but is a way of life, and only Scripture will show us God’s way. All Scripture is inspired by God and we need to adjust our thinking to match God’s truth. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished in unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.Doctrine means God’s truth revealed in the God-breathed Scriptures, reproof means the standard by which to measure our life, correction means to fix what is wrong in your life, and instruction in righteousness means use Scripture to learn God’s ways. We cannot pick and choose which Scriptures we will follow. All Scripture is from God and is not to be re-interpreted or updated to fit sinful lifestyles. Is that legalism? If following God’s instruction is legalism, then so be it.
Many professing Christians believe we should have a more relaxed attitude towards the word of God, but that isn’t biblically sound. As Christians we need to continually look at our life to see what we need to change in order to become more Christ-like. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:” Colossians 3:5-6. If any of these practices are a part of your life, you need to change. God will come against those who practice them. “In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Colossians 3:7-8. Paul wrote these words to Christians and assumed they had stopped practicing fornication, uncleanness, etc. When you accepted Christ your sins were forgiven, but now you need to use Scripture to move away from sin. Scripture is the measure of truth. Christians shouldn’t relax His standards just because we fool ourselves into thinking we live in a society that has “evolved” into a higher consciousness. The sins that exist in our world today are the same ones that have always come from listening to Satan. For instance, the culture in Colosse was very pagan and sin was a part of everyday life, yet Paul reminded the Christians living there that they left the pagan ways behind. His letter to the Colossians could easily have been addressed to Christians today. You may think it is legalistic to take God’s word seriously, but His truth hasn’t changed. Every Christian’s desire should be to honor God in the way we talk, the way we dress, and in our moral choices. If we are ashamed to pray but happy to tell off-color jokes, or if we want to call attention to “me, me, me” by dressing to please the world, then we need an attitude adjustment based on Scripture.
When taking into consideration all of Scripture, we mustn’t neglect the Old Testament. Isaiah tells us, “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:21. Everyone doing what is right in his own eyes is exactly where we are today. Relaxed attitudes of morals are creeping into congregations. Did I say creeping? I should have said running full speed ahead. Moral character based on Scripture seems unimportant and many preachers avoid preaching against sin because they don’t want to upset those who drop money in the collection plate, thus God’s truth is compromised. Many who claim to be Christians have decided that marriage is an old fashioned idea, so they just live with their boyfriend or girlfriend until the thrill is gone, then move on to another partner. Marriage (one man/one woman) is God’s standard. When we turn a blind eye to “living in sin” we aren’t using Scripture as our guide, but flaunting our sin.
In the New Testament we read letters written by Peter, John, Paul, and other God inspired men. These letters are not written to non-Christians to tell them the rules and regulations of Christianity, but they are written to Christians to guide us in our walk with our Lord. They hit sin head on. Paul strongly rebuked the brethren in Corinth for compromising God’s truth by continuing to live sinful lives. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” 1 Corinthians 5:1. All sexual promiscuity is sin. Paul spoke plainly when writing about the sin in Corinth. His instructions are clear. “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump ?”1 Corinthians 5:5-6. Paul was being very legalistic! The man who was committing sexual immorality with his father’s wife claimed to be a Christian, but Paul denounced this behavior; the man was to be put out of the congregation (delivered to Satan). Like the Corinthians, we need to stop condoning sin within our congregations. Christians should know better than to continue living like the pagan world around us. First try to restore the one who won’t let loose of his/her sin, but if they will not turn from that sin then drastic measures must be taken. “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15. Study Scripture and use it as your guide. Christ died to purchase our redemption and if we accept sin as a way of life then we mock Him.
Another area of a Christian’s life that needs to be guided by Scripture is our manner of speaking. How many Christians do you know who use foul language, tell filthy jokes, and are crude in the way they speak. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.“Ephesians 4:29. It’s impossible to minister grace to those around you if you are cussing and slandering other people. It isn’t only the words we use that show where our allegiance lies, but telling lies, making promises that go unmet and blaming others to cover our own errors also don’t honor God. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.“Exodus 20:16. Words can glorify God or they can identify you as following the way of the world. Choose to glorify God.
God’s truth is being challenged on every front, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that nominal Christians are becoming more worldly. Most professing Christians don’t read Scripture so they can’t be lead by it. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4. This is what is known biblically as the great apostasy We are in that time when sound doctrine isn’t endured and God’s inerrant word is ignored. Many Christians have itching ears that only want to hear that sin is acceptable. False teachers are ready, willing, and able to lead the flock astray. The flock needs to study Scripture. “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving thanks.” Ephesians 5:3-4. Christians shouldn’t have to be reminded to stop participating in sin.
Brothers and sisters, we need to pattern our way of living after sound Biblical doctrine. We also need to be a loving witness to the people around us who are dying in their sin and lead them to Christ so they can find forgiveness in His love. The Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery before Jesus. They had no desire for Jesus to forgive her, they just wanted Him to condemn her. First Jesus quietly convicted her accusers of their own sins and one by one they left. Then Jesus asked where her accusers were. Jesus’ love shone through. “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11. Jesus is our example, not the Pharisees. The Pharisees only wanted to see the woman stoned, but Jesus brings forgiveness and restoration. Many people read the part where He didn’t condemn the woman for her sin but forget that He told her to “…go, and sin no more“. Jesus didn’t leave her in sin. Each one of us has been brought to Jesus and our sin has been forgiven. Now, we need to allow Scripture to teach us how to move away from sin and “…go, and sin no more“.
Those of us who are over fifty years of age have seen a huge shift in our society towards living a lifestyle of complete abandon. As Christians, should we try and adapt to this new and ever changing way of life so we can blend in with the lost? We need to reach out in love to those who are lost, but we should never join in their sin. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:3. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ who forgives our sin. Lust of the flesh will never bring you closer to God. Jesus is always our example, and He siad “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Tattoos, purple hair, skimpy bikinis, fornication, swearing, and many other things dim the light that should shine bright in you. Lusts of the flesh and they do not glorify God. Is that legalistic? Yep, but as Christians our goal is to become more like our Lord and less like the world. Christians who see no error in conforming to the world yoke themselves with the god of this world, that is Satan. Many of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ have no desire to adhere to Scripture. Instead of using all of Scripture as a guide they choose which ones they like, take them out of context, then try to justify continuing in their particular sin. In doing so they neglect the whole counsel of God’s word.
Too many modern day Christians ignore Scripture and do what is right in their own eyes. They yoke themselves with the world and don’t measure their lives against God’s infallible word. Brethren, put aside your “self” and follow Christ. Let Scripture be your guide.
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham
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All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham