As I continue through Ephesians I seem to be contiually reminded of the depravity of my own heart! It is amazing of what an effect the Word of God can have on you. Is it not?
The book of James speaks of the Bible as being a mirror at which we are able to accurately see ourselves. Sadly, the more I see of myself from scripture, the more I see that which I hate!
This not necessarily a bad thing!
See, this is the point of the gospel! The gospel is not something we do once for salvation and never look to again. The gospel is the “power of God” by which I continually place my trust and hope because I find none within myself.
My hope is in Christ! My faith is in the God that “chose me” , “saved me” and is now making me like Christ. It is not done by my efforts! For this is clear in scriptures, that I can find no hope in myself, but I can have all the hope there is in Christ who works in me!
This being said, I am basically giving the ground work to speak on what sin is in me that God has recently exposed with His Light (the Word).
Here’s the passage I was reflecting on:
Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love. Just as Christ loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God, as a fragant aroma. But immorality and all impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper as saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which is not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Now, growing up, I have often prided myself in the fact that I have never said a “swear word”. I am not gonna get into which words qualify as the swear words and which are thought as minor bad words. The point is that I have never seen myself as being one who struggles with sinning with my mouth.
OH! How much more WRONG could I be!
Not only am I guilty of not fulfilling what I am “to do” with my mouth which is stated in Eph. 4:29 as well as the end of 5:4, that is, to “ONLY” use my mouth to edify, to build up, and to give thanks. But also, I am guilty of often both allowing for filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting to entertain me, and to use them myself to entertain or amuse others!
After reflecting on how horribly I have failed in fulfilling what I am commanded to do.I was then burdened for all those around me who are guilty of the exact same thing and probably not thought twice about it, as did I!
Oh how I wish someone would have shown me sooner the sin I have allowed in my life for soooo long! My life was filled with this. Movies and my own conversation have been often fillled with this and yet I go on as though I was innocent of this sin.
If only we could view sin as God does! We seem to think that we can Love God and Love righteousness and not have to hate sin and wickedness equally as much.
But the truth is we fool ourselves. For our hearts ARE desperately wicked and decietful above all things who can know it!
The truth is one cannot “love” something anymore than that same person “hates” the antithesis of that thing he claims to love!
You see, I “LOVE” babies, and so I “HATE” abortion!
We tend to not so much hate sin and wickedness as much as be “uncomfortable” with it. And yet scriptures speak of sin as the very thing God will pour out His WRATH on. How then are we different from the world if we do not HATE sin? For I know unbelieving people who are uncomfortable with sin as well, but they do not hate it!
We seem to be “ok” with compromising sin in things that we watch or listen to or even say because well, “it’s not THAT bad” or “it doesn’t really effect me”.
These are lies from our own decietful hearts and the evil one! If We truly love all that is right and good then we will truly hate all that is bad and wicked and will do whatever we can to seperate ourselves from that which is impure.
Is this not what God does?
So the challenge has been to me and I hope to you as well is to “examine yourself”. what are you feeding yourself. what are you allowing yourself to delight in? Are you laying aside the “old man” or are you feeding him with this wickedness.
Guard yourselves! Be careful dear brothers and sisters what you allow yourself to watch and listen to! I implore with all my heart to seperate from that which is unclean and impure with all fervency. Guard your tongue and watch what you say.
Does what comes out of your mouth line up with this list of: filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting, or does what you say line up with that which is pure, profitable, and edifiying to those around you, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
I close with a passage from James 4:8.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded.