Tuesday April 23, 2019
We are currently looking into the parable of the wheat and the tares. Jesus told us that the wheat, who are the sons of the kingdom, and the tares, who are unbelievers, will grow together until the end.
He also told us that Satan sowed his seed in the field, which is the world, and he did so at night while the slaves slept.
This leads us to the revelation in the Bible that the sons of the kingdom are sons of light. We are of the day, not the night.
The night is the time when the clamoring of man’s daily workings cool and quiet down. It is the time of quiet, hidden, or low-toned sins.
1TH 5:1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
1TH 5:2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord [the beginning of the Tribulation] will come just like a thief in the night.
1TH 5:3 While they [those in the darkness] are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1TH 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief;
The sons of disobedience are always overrun and frightened by the works and plans of God. The sons of light joyfully expect the works and plans of God their Father, and that is directly linked to their deliverance from the sins of the night, or the hidden sinful life.
The sons of light and are no longer to be mastered by the hidden sins of the night.
We understand that hidden sins can be accomplished during the day in some form of privacy, but the point is the imagery of the night; closed doors, streets empty, no visitors, and the open facades or masks worn during the day are taken off.
To those mastered by the flesh, the day is an act and the night is the real person. The days are endured grudgingly so that the nights can be experienced. Why should the sons of God be like this? They are the sons of light, the harvest of Christ who are helped by the Holy Spirit within.
The adopted son is a son of light. He is goodness, righteousness, and truth, none of which needs to be hidden in darkness. The sons of disobedience have hidden places for sin.
The perpetrators of evil are always afraid of being exposed and so they hate the light and they hate the truth. They make excuses or really ideologies that help them embrace evil, convincing themselves that it is good, but their conscience bears witness to them and somewhere deep inside their souls, they know that what they do and what they want to do is not good, but evil. They feel that if they can run far enough from the truth that they won’t ever have to face it. But eventually they will have to.
No one ever had to create an ideology to protect goodness, righteousness, or truth. They stand on their own.
The son of light has already faced the truth in the Person of Christ and so he no longer fears it.
1TH 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief;
1TH 5:5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
1TH 5:6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
Naturally we sleep, and almost all of us do so at night, but the phrase “as others do,” again refers to the imagery of the secret life of man, apart from his Creator, thinking no one sees, doing what sins they secretly desire, never wanting anyone to see. The sons of light are delivered from this slavery.
ISA 29:15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord,
And whose deeds are done in a dark place,
And they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?"
ISA 29:16 You turn things around!
Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay,
That what is made should say to its maker, "He did not make me";
Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
EPH 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them [unbelievers];
This means to not be partakers in their ways. It does not mean that we separate ourselves from them, not work with them, do business with them, or anything of that sort. The wheat are among the tares.
EPH 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
EPH 5:9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
Goodness - a fruit of the Spirit. It is a heart overcome by the love of God that burns out all vanity, selfishness, evil temper and desire.
Goodness may be seen as righteousness in action. The righteous man is innocent, but his righteousness is not always seen until the innocent man is called to action, upon which he produces good as a fruit. Righteousness is the tree that produces goodness. The fruit cannot exist without the tree and the tree is not healthy unless it is producing fruit.
No one can stand before the cross, believing the truth that happened there, and not have their hearts softened. The love of God overwhelms us. Its reality opens our eyes to the ridiculous nature of self; expressed in vanity, selfishness, arrogance, and self-worship in which we give the flesh its evil desires.
Righteousness - the root and therefore the test of all goodness that is not spurious, superficial, or sentimental.
Notice how the scripture makes us out to be slaves of righteousness, that it, instead of sin and death, has become our master.
ROM 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
ROM 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
ROM 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
ROM 5:20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
ROM 5:21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
ROM 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
ROM 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
ROM 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
ROM 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
ROM 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
ROM 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
ROM 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
ROM 6:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
ROM 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are more than nice people with good manners. The root of our good is the very righteousness of God. We are more than nice men; we are new men who are Christlike.
Righteousness is the entire fruit of God’s grace in man.
Goodness without righteousness is nothing but sentimental work. It can also be ritualistic work. Yet, goodness based on the righteousness of God is the divine showing Himself through a man who has come to love righteousness and sanctify his soul in it.
Righteousness without goodness is a latent power or potential energy. Some say it is dead in a child of God who is weak in goodness, but righteousness is never dead, but our works may be dead as of the old way and the old man. Righteousness is dormant in a man without goodness and so it lays weakly within him who grieves the Holy Spirit.
Paul is telling us who sons of light are, and so, what they are not.
Jesus told us two mottoes from His own life. He said, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” and He said, “Thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.” He had a zeal to fulfill all righteousness and He had a passionate pity for all mankind. With these two maxims He faced and endured the cross.
Righteousness without goodness is a zeal for righteousness without love of mankind and so reduces itself to self-righteousness. Goodness without righteousness is misguided giving that is emotional, sentimental, and in the end self-serving, since the unrighteous eventually will want recognition for whatever good they believe they do.
Unfortunately, it has often been done that the love of God has been elevated above the law of Christ and vice versa. Warm feelings push aside duty and devoted service turns cold. If we remember that it is a person we emulate and not a procedure then we will avoid this trap.
Jesus Christ alone is the pattern for a manly faith in doing the Father’s will, fulfilling His duty, and loving all around Him with compassionate, sentimental, divine love.
God forbid that we should magnify love at the expense of law, or make good feeling a substitute for duty.