Proverbs 1:7 ESV
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
The Beginning of Knowledge
To fear the Lord is to believe him, to believe his words, to take them seriously, to take them to heart and to walk in obedience to his instructions to us, his body. It is to be serious-minded about God and the Scriptures, to not take them lightly or casually, but to believe that God will do what he said he would do, and not just the good promises but the judgments, too.
It is to take the message of the gospel seriously, too, but not the half-truth (lie) gospel that many are propagating today, but the whole counsel of God. It is to believe what the Scriptures teach, that we must deny self, die to sin daily, and follow Jesus in obedience, that we must forsake our lives of living in sin and for self or we will not inherit eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26).
But fools ignore these teachings, and they convince themselves that they can have a belief in Jesus that does not require dying to sin or living in obedience to the Lord, that they can continue on in deliberate and habitual sin and that it will not cost them their relationship with Christ or their salvation. But they are believing a lie that will land them in hell.
Proverbs 1:10-19 ESV
“My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse’—
my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.”
If Sinners Entice You
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to righteousness.
Therefore, we are to now walk according to the Spirit and no longer to gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh. Sin is to no longer reign supreme in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for Jesus delivered us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin, and he gave us new lives in him to be lived for his praise and glory. For if we obey sin, it will end in death, not life.
But this is not saying that we will never sin again (see 1 Jn 2:1-2), for we still live in flesh bodies. We will still be tempted to sin and we still have the propensity to sin. But by the grace of God we can say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and we can live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the power of God until Jesus comes back for us, his bride.
So, if you are in Christ, in truth, by genuine God-given faith which dies with Christ to sin and lives to God and to his righteousness, you can say “No!” to sin. Sin never has to overpower you to where you cannot resist. In the power of God we can resist Satan and flee temptation and walk in holiness and righteousness to the pleasure of God.
[Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-14; Gal 5:16-21; Tit 2:11-14]
In the Way of Them
What is the way of sinners? It is to live selfish and sinful lives for the sinful pleasures of the flesh while ignoring God and his commands. It is to willfully and habitually do what one knows is wrong, and what one knows will hurt others, and what one knows is against God, but to do it anyway because of the pleasure (exhilaration) it brings to oneself, all for oneself.
And the “gospel” message that is permeating the “church” here in America today is granting its adherents to live just like that while claiming faith in Jesus Christ, and while claiming forgiveness of all sins, and while claiming heaven as their eternal destiny. So, we are to have no part in that gospel. We are not to walk in the way of the flesh with them. We are to say “No!”
We are not to accept that as our gospel message, thinking that we do not have to obey the Lord and that we do not have to forsake our sinful practices. We are to hold back from agreeing with them and from putting that false faith into practice in our daily lives. We are not to run to evil but to righteousness, holiness, and walks of obedience to our Lord.
Do not fall into their traps and their deceptions. For the Scriptures clearly teach that we are all going to reap what we sow, and if we walk in sin, and if we do not walk in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord, we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what we professed to believe with our lips. So die with Christ to sin and live to God and to his righteousness.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]
By Henry Barraclough, 1915
My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
With joy my being thrills.
His life had also its sorrows sore,
For aloes had a part;
And when I think of the cross He bore,
My eyes with teardrops start.
His garments, too, were in cassia dipped,
With healing in a touch;
In paths of sin had my feet e’er slipped—
He’s saved me from its clutch.
In garments glorious He will come,
To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav’nly home,
To dwell forevermore.
Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.
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