“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” – James 1:21-22
That old devil, the deceiver, father of lies. Think back to his first interactions with man in the Garden of Eden. God spoke directly to Adam and indirectly to Eve through Adam’s retelling. Satan’s first tactic against mankind was to cause Eve to question God’s Word giving her an altered, more flesh flattering interpretation of what He said. “Did God really say that, Eve? Is that really what He meant? What He really meant was…” His next action was to get her to act against God’s clear and simple Word. Well, guess what? Not much has changed, after all these many years that old devil is still doing the same thing. I guess he figures, if it ant broke, don’t fix it. Well the tactic certainly isn’t broken because sadly, it still works all too well.
With subtle lies and twisted truths satan has come in through schools, media, and even through many churches, causing God’s people to question and doubt His Word. God has given us His Word directly through Jesus (John 1:14) and the prophets, as well as indirectly through the Bible’s retelling of those Words. This puts us in the same position as Eve. Then enters that twisted serpent with that same old trick, “did God really say that? Is that really what He meant? What He really meant was… “ This simple tactic has caused countless masses of believers to go astray and has turned many, once God fearing churches, into mockers of God’s Word rather then, doers of it.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2
In Romans, Paul warns the church, and likewise all Christians, not to compromise. Even going as far as to say that being holy, is completely expected of the believer and is the least they can do. He warns not to be conformed by the world but rather to be transformed into something totally different and separate from it that we might prove God’s life changing power, and through the testimony of that show others God’s will to do the same for them. In other words, Paul was saying “Don’t let the world change the church, let the church change the world.” I tell you honestly that we can only do that when we truly believe God’s Word and act accordingly. We must turn away from all sin, fully following the commandments and will of God laid out in scripture, rather then our own.
In 1 Peter chapter 1:16 we read the words: “Be ye Holy, for I am Holy.” The word “holy” means to be “set apart”, faithful, committed, different. A true Christian will look different from the world, they will speak differently, act differently, and live differently. Seeing this difference will remind the world that there is an other way and that they are willfully sinning against God without excuse. In other words, it will convict them, and they will not like it. Nevertheless a true Christian WILL stand up, stand out, and stand apart from the world by nature because we are simply not of this world (John 15:19). This is why Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 7 that we will be able to judge whether someone is a real Christian or not by their fruits (or the evidences their works, life, and character produce ). You see, while it is true that God never changes, everything He touches does. Those who have truly submitted to God and have allowed Him into their hearts will bare the fruits of change and the character of the divine. Whatever is in you, will show through you, be it good or bad. If God is truly living on the inside of you, people will see it on the outside, weather to their pleasure or to their contempt. Do not compromise, trying to fit in when you are called to stand apart.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all thing are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
“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 of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” – Ephesians 5:3-8
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15