Good / Evil ….. November 15, 2020
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 ESV
I believe that we live in times when the line between good and evil has become and is becoming blurry. I fear that intellect and human reasoning has become the validation for the perception of what is good or evil. Much effort has been placed upon devaluating or discrediting the Bible as truth and the baseline of right and wrong. There is a principle in scripture that carries a warning from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament that carries to this present day. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 ESV Terms and phrases such as… it’s not that bad…. what’s the big deal ….. it really doesn’t matter… are used in different situations to justify unholy living, behaviors, or actions. When spilling a drink on your clothes the phrases above hold true, but when living in contradiction to the standard of holiness to which God has called us as Christians, it is bad, a big deal, and it DOES matter. If someone is not a disciple/follower of Christ, it is understandable for them to confuse the lines of good and evil, but not as much so for the believer. The reason I say this is because as a believer you are the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives inside you; and when sin is introduced into your life, there should be a conflict. As I have taught in times past… it is impossible for the Christian to sin successfully… sin, yes…. successfully, no. With the above thoughts, the questions that might arise are ….
What Is Evil?
One way to describe evil is to recognize it as the absence of the presence of God. The reason I say this is because God is Holy and nothing is good without his abiding presence. God does not fellowship with sin, and for one to live perpetually and intentionally in sin is to choose evil over his abiding presence. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1 John 1:6 ESV……. Colossians 3:5 instructs us to, Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality., impurity, passion, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these, the wrath of God is coming. (3-5 ESV) For a person to truly understand what is evil, they must study to know God, for He is holy and no evil exists in Him. What God calls evil must never be called good, or we will be in danger of his wrath. Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 3 John 1:11 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. Colossians 3: 1-2 ESV. When seeking God, you are seeking to bring Him glory, honor, and praise and you will pray as David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24 ESV…. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
If you want to know what is evil and what is good, you must know God more every day in your life. I did not say "know more about God", but know him more in your life every day, for this is fellowship and relationship with him. Satan knows about God, but does not have fellowship with God. May this not be true of us who go by the name Christian.
The Call To Holiness:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passion of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV. This is a call to every believer— to live giving evidence of the truth that lives within each one of us, which is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. It is by grace that we have been saved, and it is by grace we are continually being saved. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Make no mistake, you could never live this call of holiness without the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. Yet you could never live holy unless you know what God considers unholy. This is the challenge Paul gave to Timothy. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV.
As you ask God to search your heart, be willing to listen as the Spirit leads. When studying scripture you may become aware of an area of your life that is not in accordance with God’s teaching. When you realize this, repent and do as Jesus told many to do …. “GO AND SIN NO MORE.” Always remember the principle and truth of Philippians 1:6 (ESV)…. He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Evil will exist in this world until the return of Jesus, but may it never find its place in you as a believer. May the desire of our hearts as believers be —to be holy as He is holy. My prayer for us is this…. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may decree what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David