RESCUED FROM DARKNESS

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

Did you catch that?

As a believer, we are called to be “kind, able to teach, patient and gentle with those who are still “slaves to sin.”

Amazing!

In other words, those who have been freed from sin are to gently teach others they too can be freed but only God can grant them true repentance or change their minds. You see, we all start out as a slave to sin (the devil) but Jesus came here to set us free! “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). It is so much more than forgiveness!

Doing the devil’s will is sin. When we come to God through Christ, we’re not only receiving forgiveness for things we have done (sins), we’re receiving freedom from slavery to Mr. Sin by being crucified, buried and raised with Christ (Romans 6:6-7). We’re coming to our senses and admitting we have been in collusion with the enemy of God. So we not only need forgiveness we need deliverance and that also has been provided for us through our being joined in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).

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DON’T LET A LOOPHOLE BECOME A NOOSE

Since the fall of man, we have all falsely believed we are independent and able to live our lives as if we’re in charge. One of the greatest days of your life is when you finally see this to be the ultimate deception. At some point we must be confronted with the truth otherwise we remain in bondage to the “spirit of error.”

As soon as Adam and Eve fell, they ran to hide. When God came looking for them, quizzing them on their whereabouts, the loophole opened. God said to Adam, “Where are you?, and who told you were naked? Have you eaten of the Tree I told you not to eat?” Notice Adam immediately pointed at Eve. He said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” So, Adam really blamed God didn’t he? He told God, “The woman YOU gave me.” So begins humanity’s neverending search for justification for bad behavior.

Do you see how deception, the lie of independence, thinking we can be “LIKE” God, is the root of our self-justification? When we see something we want, we rationalize ourselves into partaking of it. Remember what Eve thought when gazing at the forbidden tree? The scripture tells us she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…” When we see something we want, and allow the selfish, fleshy mind of the enemy dictate our actions, trouble’s coming. This is where a moment of satisfaction can destroy a lifetime of commitment. Rather than being driven by the idea that we are in charge of our own lives, the solution is to look to the One who really is.

Jesus’ life modeled dedication to God and His word during His own time of temptation in the wilderness. Each time the enemy came to him, tempting Him to act independently of God, His response was:”It is written.” He never once talked of how it looked or felt to Him or tried to rationalize. He stuck to what God has said in order to overcome the enemy and avoid his snare.

The truth is God is Spirit and we are spirit. We are meant to be in union with Him, His Holy Spirit to our human spirit, but in the fall we, in Adam, decided to go our own way. Most think this means independence but in reality it means we inadvertently joined ourselves to another, namely “the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). In the end, what has really happened is the “spirit of error” has blinded us and taken us captive to do his will.

Jesus, speaking to the religious Jews of His day, those who had been duped by the enemy, said, “You are of your father the devil, and his lusts you do…” (John 8:44). So you see when we set ourselves up as God what really takes place is the “god of this age” ends up sitting on the throne of our lives. He then dictates to us from within but we think it’s merely our own thoughts and feelings so we go with it. We begin to do things that we know are contrary to God’s word but we justify them and even go as far as to look for loopholes in the Bible. It reminds me of how lawyers sometimes manipulate jury’s in order to get them to see their clients favorably. We become masters of manipulating even the the scriptures because we have an unbelievable craving for fleshly indulgences and we let those lusts override what we know to be true in our spirit. The end result is self-deception.

If we aren’t careful our loophole may become a noose. While all of this sounds so depressing, thankfully the Apostle Paul gave us the solution. Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy, his young son in the faith: “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God might grant them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

Louie