Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter – Christ’s way is the home of our soul.

Thursday May 10, 2018


Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter – Christ’s way is the home of our soul.


The NT ascribes snares and traps to the devil, from which Christ has come to set us free. The NT also ascribes schemes to the devil and that Christ has come to expose those schemes.


Christ cast out demons. He healed the blind and the deaf. These works indicate the freedom that we have in Him – sight and hearing of things we could never have before, and surpassing power above the works of the devil. Jesus is the strong man who robs the house and Satan is the weak man who is so robbed.


We are to put on the full armor of God so that we may be able to stand firm against his schemes.


1Jo 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;


1Jo 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


1Jo 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.


Keeping His commands and practicing sin would be contradictory. “Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.”


In grace we are forgiven of all sin as vs. 1 states, and due to this fact, we can forge ahead in righteousness without fear and in the love of being set free from sin.


We must come to know Him so that we can see the fullness and beauty of Him and His way. Christians who claim that resisting sin is legalism do not know Christ well enough. Sin is all that opposes Him. Sin dims our vision of Him. Sin distracts us from Him. Could I honestly love Him and simultaneously seek to do that which opposes Him, dims my vision of Him, and distracts me from Him?


2Co 7:9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.


2Co 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.


Here the Apostle is showing the relationship between sorrow and re­pentance, and he says that a godly sorrow—that is, a sorrow that is produced because the child of God views his sin as God views it— will lead to a change of mind toward that sin.


Indeed, the sorrow was their awakening to their actions as Paul pointed them out and their repentance was to change these actions, and such a change was certainly without regret. Regret would be to continue in them.


Repentance, which word means to change your mind or to turn around (metaphorically), is addressed here to believers or saints.


Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit in revealing his error, what he loved, he now hates; what he grasped after, he now repudiates; what gov­erned and controlled his life and became the goal of his life, he now abandons, so that he agrees with God concerning sin.


This is grace leading to freedom and not legalism.


Legalism is the falsehood that we have to earn approval or position. Legalism says that you better do or God will forsake you. It says you better not do or God will not love you. No matter how much a believer may sin, God will never forsake him and will always love him.


Grace is our firm foundation in Christ that cannot be shaken. In Him we can walk in the beauty and freedom of right and good.


Grace is the righteousness that was given to us at salvation that cannot be diminished or taken away. We walk in righteousness because we are righteous by a gift of God’s grace. We are to be who God has made us to be. You have put on the new man, now put on the new man.


1Jo 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;


1Jo 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


1Jo 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.


1Jo 2:4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;


Protecting his flock, John instructs them that if a man doesn’t keep Christ’s commands, then don’t listen to him.


John was protecting his flock from false teachers. He wasn’t telling them to go out and label all the men you can find as either believer or unbeliever; truthful or liar. He was saying that if a man was carnal then don’t listen to his teaching.


Such people had infiltrated the churches and spread lies about Christ and the scriptures while claiming to know Christ and have authority from God. These teachers and their followers lived carnally and worldly and claimed to know Christ. By the time John wrote this epistle, 90-100 A.D. Gnosticism was in full bloom in the church.


Asceticism and lasciviousness both had Gnostic foundations. It was taught that there was no resurrection, that Jesus was not God, that Jesus and Christ were two separate beings, Jesus being material man and Christ being spirit. Judaism was mixed with Greek philosophy, sampling from stoicism to epicureanism to Platonism to the teachings of Pythagoras. Eastern thought such as Zoroastrianism was also sprinkled in and all labeled with the word gnosis or knowledge.


Yet in none of this is the power of God. The Gnostics built their own feeble home that had no strength; paper walls that cannot stand up against sin and evil. John knew, without even meeting them, that these false teachers had sinful lives, and just like the Lord had taught him so he taught them, “You shall know them by their fruit.”


We will get back to John. Paul said the same as John in another way.


1Co 5:9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;


1Co 5:10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.


1Co 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler —  not even to eat with such a one.


1Co 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?


1Co 5:13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.


It is clear that there is a way to Christ which comprises the home of the believer, since his home is in his soul and not made of a material structure in this world.


The way of Christ simply cannot be lived by anyone other than a believer who knows and loves Him.


Only the power of Christ, given to all to are “in Him” can resist evil and overcome sin and the world.


Let’s again look at Paul’s example. There were many fatalities around Paul, men who tried to destroy him and his ministry. They were sinful people that came up against the power of God in that man. The same will happen to all who live godly.


2Ti 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.


2Ti 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,


2Ti 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,


2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;


2Ti 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.


There is much said about the phrase “last days” and we will explore them at a later time, but we can see that the description here is a constant motif throughout all history.


A few scriptures describe the coming and teaching of Jesus as the last days, last times, and end of the ages.


One thing is for sure:


The appearance of Jesus was a decisive happening. It changed everything, and many of those changes could never be undone.


Because of Jesus’ Second Coming, the Armageddon rebellion will be completely squashed. In the end we have rebellion (Armageddon, Gog) and victory (the return of Christ), but we know that His victory was actually accomplished 2,000 years ago through His death and resurrection. His incarnation, His death, His resurrection and ascension turned the whole world upside down and with it came a more intense and coordinated rebellion.


In a way, the last days can refer to the entirety of the church age when the New Covenant lives in the hearts of men and Satan and the kingdom of darkness have intensified their campaign against the manifestation of the truth and the gospel.


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