Fallen Spirit – Rising Hope

“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5)

When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to Timothy he expressed his concern for false teaching in the Church at Ephesus where Timothy was ministering. Paul’s fear was the ever merging religious practices and ideologies from the Hellenistic period. (320-30 BC) This influence had paved the way for various Christian sects of Christian Gnosticism to move into the teaching of the Church. These false mythologies were a threat to the orthodox teaching of Christianity by the Apostles. This of course would have been heresy and Paul was warning Timothy in his letter. We find these false doctrines and perversions of the true doctrine crippling the Church to this day. Paul referred to these teachings as a strange doctrines. “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.” (1 Timothy 1:3-4)

When we speak on behalf of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we must speak from a pure heart. Our conscience stands guard over our thoughts which evolve into our actions. One’s conscience is that still small voice of God that proves we are not our own master. Each will be held accountable before God for our thought words and deeds in the ultimate end. We are to keep a clear conscience by being obedient to the prompting of the Spirit and the Word of God. “And keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:16)

It is the Spirit that searches our hearts to prove our intentions and motives that they are pure. Our walk to the Kingdom is a walk of faith in His Word not by the sight of what is seen but in faith of what is to be revealed in the spirit. (2 Corinthians 2:5) Therefore, the Spirit guides us to all truth, if we listen to that still small voice of our conscience we will not stumble and fall into shame. “The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the innermost parts of his being.” Proverbs 20:27)

My father taught from the Parable of the Sower, (Matthew 13:1-23) the reason that we are plagued by sins that keep popping into our life is that we only pull the weeds out. So it is with sin, if we only stop sinning for a while without taking the root out that sin will grow back into our life. God when He forgave us removed our sin as far as the east is from the west, have we also forgotten and removed that sin? Do we allow those old self glory days to creep in and control our thoughts? If we allow them to remain eventually they will control our processes. When the danger of an idle mind comes upon us think on what is pure and holy. Think on His Word. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

What God has forgiven us let us strive to forget. Our past which we are no longer guilty of Satan will use as a door to enter in and attack us with his endless temptations. If we would but submit to the Word of God and resist Satan’s accusations he will flee from us. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) We should not ponder past sin, do not entertain the thought, or it will grow into a new sin. We have been purchased by the blood of our Savior, redeemed to be His possession, and we must also flee from our past that we not be caught in new transgression. “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)

Adam and Eve missed an opportunity that is still missed to this day by the millions who refuse to humble themselves and confess they have sinned against God. As Adam and Eve people today do not listen to their consciences. When Adam and Eve sinned that brought death into the world, body, soul, and spirit. “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) On that day man did not lose his consciousness of God but with the knowledge of evil in their hearts their hearts fell prey to the soul which dominates the reactions of the five senses. Adam and Eve as Esau traded their God given birthright for worldly pleasure.

Before the fall in the Garden of Eden man was in fellowship with God. God and man walked and talked together in the Garden. Man’s desire was to worship God, as He was their Creator and provider of all the blessings of life. Man was not ashamed, as he was innocent. After the fall we read for the first time man suffered shame from his nakedness. Man suffered guilt because he had disobeyed God. Man suffered fear of the consequences of what he had done. And man suffered persecution because the earth was cursed as a result of his sin. Neither one, Adam or Eve, would accept responsibility for what they had done. They each blamed each other for their disobedience. To have a clear conscience the first step is confession. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Today the spirit of a man is at war with soul and flesh. Once we were spiritual beings living in a dust made tent with eternity in our hearts. Now most are carnal minded creatures in fear of an unknown eternity. Constant conflict arises between the spirit and the mind and manifesting itself in the body. The inheritance of our sin nature drives our desire for worldly pleasure and a forsaking of the eternal bliss of God’s Kingdom. Short sighted people who think that life begins and ends in a passing world giving no thought to the eternity that lies on the morrow. Our self-pride, greed, and lust for the flesh drives our carnal beings while we forsake the greater portion of our eternal spirits. It is a battle that most have surrendered to and have become the walking dead. Yet some fight to good fight for the glory of their Creator knowing that their eternal home is not distant but just beyond a fleeting moment. The flesh will lose and take the spirit with it or will the spirit overcome through Christ and live in eternal peace? “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:17)

Sin in the life of people has distorted their view of God. This is perhaps why I hear so many “swear to gods” and “oh my gods” as I travel through society. If they knew God they would fear Him. They are like the dying thief on the cross who was amazed at the simplicity of his fellow thief. “But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?” (Luke 23:40) If they knew God and who He, then they would have the proper fear and receive His enduring mercy. “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6)

Man had made a god out of the things of this world and worship them knowing in their conscience that there is no profit for their spirits destination. They are not truly worshipping stone, wood, and metal, they are worshipping their on selves and thoughts and are an end unto themselves. “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

We need to recommit our spirit, soul, and body to the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Allow His Spirit to live through us. Then we would have the power of God living within us and no longer would we need to share in the guilt and shame, no more would we be naked in the world, and we would have none to fear but our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit would lead us to what the world cries for, truth. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

We would respect our conscientiousness as it would direct us if we are in the will of God and condemn us if we have departed. When we have our consciences approval we will have peace with God and if we receive condemnation we will know all the more that we need Jesus. In His power all that we do would be for God’s glory. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

Confess our sins to the one who is faithful to forgive and repent from the ways of the world that lead to death. Repent and turn our paths to the narrow way that leads to our eternal home that God had created is to be in. Remove the weeds of sin that they may not grow up and choke out the abundant life that we receive through Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a life of victory. Because our Lord overcame the world and He living through us we shall overcome, as He will give us the victory. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

This is the hope that we have. Our life does not end here when the heart fails to beat but begins as we will be immediately with our Lord, as He is. “Constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, July 8, 2016

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