You yield, give up, and surrender moment by moment these segments of life to the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit so that He can perform the Will of God through you.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing Alright? Oh, I trust so. Bless you. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. Of course you knew that, didn’t you? I guess I must have a voice that is different from other voices although it doesn’t sound that way to me. You never know how your own voice sounds because you’re inside of it. But people tell me that they can recognize my voice. I called a person that I hadn’t talked with for many months and I said “Hello, how are you?” And immediately the answer came back “Oh, you’re Bob Cook. I know that voice.”
Well, Jesus knows every one of us. Isn’t that wonderful to realize? “He calleth his own sheep by name.” He says “I know my sheep, and I’m known of mine.” The Lord Jesus knows all about us, and he loves us just the same, I am glad.
Well, nice to be back with you and we’re looking at 2 Peter 2. This is a rough chapter because it is so judgmental and quite truthfully under the inspiration of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter is lining out the wickedness of the human heart as it was displayed even in the showcase of the church of that time.
These people were in the church but they were counterfeit Christians. They were what he called “false teachers.” Now, when we were in yesterday’s broadcast, we started with verse 10, and he said “People that live every day after the lust of their flesh.” And then, I took the rest of the verses that follow as a kind of profile of what Peter meant by that. “In the lust of uncleanness,” that’s self-indulgence. “They despise government,” that’s rebellion against authority. “Presumptuous,” that’s the assumption that my way is the only way. ”Self-willed,” that’s the practice of doing exactly the opposite of what you’re told. “Speak evil of dignitaries,” rebellion against authority. Deauthoritization, one author calls it.
And then just as we were closing the broadcast, we talked about what he mentions in verse 14, “Having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin.” And I was remarking on the fact that constant yielding to sin makes you an addict to it. The people who have gone into pornography have revealed the fact that the more they were into it, the more they had to be into it, never satisfied.
Well, Solomon said “The eye is not satisfied with seeing.” And this is quite obvious, addiction to evil on these various levels. Well, the only way to be delivered is to let the Lord deliver you. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver,” Peter says in verse 9, “the godly out of temptation.” And in the moment that you cry out to God to deliver you, He will. I promise you that. “As many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” You call on the name of the Lord, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” You call on God to deliver you from these things that bind you my dear friend, and I can promise you that He does answer and He will deliver you.
Now, he says “Beguiling unstable souls.” You have to stop here and realize that every time you and I compromise on any issue, our influence on other people is also compromised, “Beguiling unstable souls.” Anybody who is a little wobbly on an issue may be nudged in the wrong direction by my faithlessness at that point. That’s why I have said to people who would argue about the value of a little social drink, now and again, nothing wrong with Christians having a social drink of alcoholic beverages. After all doesn’t the Bible say “Take a little wine for thy stomach’s sake” and so on.
And I have pointed out to them, that in these days you and I don’t want to be responsible for pushing an alcoholic over the cliff, you are sitting there and you’re not an alcoholic and you can control your appetite for alcoholic beverages, but across the table from you is a new Christian who has just been striving to break this addiction to alcohol, and he sees you taking a glass and he says “Well, maybe I can too.” You pushed him over the cliff by your example. Do you want to think about that?
You see that’s just one angle of it. There are a lot more angles to it but “beguiling unstable souls,” every time I compromise my example, my influence on other people is compromised as well and it becomes then an influence not for good but for harm. Oh, that is something to give us pause and about which we need to think seriously. The next time you are tempted to cut short on anything that has to do with the Will of God and the work of God, just remember that when you do that you are nudging somebody else in the same direction.
Then it says “Their heart is exercised with covetous practices.” The lifestyle of these people is based on what they want, not on what God wants. Paul says “Brethren, you’ve been called unto liberty but use not this liberty as an occasion to the flesh,” as we’re talking about. “But by love, serve one another.” The point of view needs to be changed from what I want to what other people need.
Our Lord Jesus said “He would be great among you, let him be your servant.” And He used the word “doulos,” slave. The Christian approach to living is based on service not on self satisfaction. Happiness is a byproduct that comes as a result of serving God and others. You are only happy when you’re losing yourself in doing the Will of God and helping other people. But these people, they have exercised their heart with covetous practices. “I want this and I want that,” and so that becomes their lifestyle.
How shall I get away from all of these? This is the question now that we’re thinking about. How do I get away from this whole business of what Peter calls “walking after the flesh”? Well, come with me to Romans 8 for a minute, will you? “No condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” The first way, the first step in getting away from all of these miserable business of the sinful human nature that all of us know about, the first step is in committing yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ, so that you are in Christ. That is to say your trust, and your hope, and your faith is in Him and you have committed yourself to Him, and He has made you God’s child by faith. That’s the first step.
Then he says, “Who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.” Now, how do you get at this, how shall we reverse all of these terrible business? The lust of the flesh, and uncleanness, and despising government, and presumption, and self-will, and the eyes full of adultery, and beguiling unstable souls, and the covetous lifestyle, how do we get away from all of that? Certainly not by shouting at each other about it.
I had a cousin years ago who wrote to me on several occasions, giving me some good advice and on one occasion he wrote me and said “Dear Robert, you ministers spend too much time telling us how bad we are. We know we’re bad. Tell us how to be different through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood.” Well, that of course isn’t the whole story because without conviction of sin there cannot be really any genuine faith in the Savior from sin. I realized that, and of course so do you.
But there is a truth there, if you want to get away from all of this awful list in 2 Peter 2. How do we do it? Well, he said “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin, and death I see a law in my members warring against the law of my mind, bringing me into captivity to the law of sin.” See, what is it? The harder I try, the worse I do. There used to be a Lancaster County Proverb, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” You remember seeing that on some of those Pennsylvania Dutch motto plaques?
Well “Walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, the law of sin and death.” And now, how do you do that? He says “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ.” What you do is you submit by faith to the Lord Jesus every one of the areas that we’ve talked about as being key areas of sinful failure. You submit by faith to the Lord Jesus, every one of the areas of your life that have been identified as sinful areas of failure.
This is what Colossians 2:6 is teaching, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him.” That means live everyday in Him. How did you receive Him? By faith, apart from anything you paid, or promised, or joined, or anything else. Simply by faith you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ when you repented of your sins, and accepted him as Lord and Savior, right? He said in the same manner, same thing, same procedure, same relationship, by faith you live every day in Him.
And so the law of the Spirit of life in Christ is committing unto the Lord Jesus every one of these miserable areas of failure in your human existence. And so as I look at the eighth chapter of Romans, it shows me some of the things that happen. First of all, the focus of your thoughts in your mind and the focus of values in your list of priorities has changed. He said “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit for to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
See, “You’re not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so, be the Spirit of God dwell in you. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he’s not of His. If you’re a born again, the Holy Spirit dwells within you.” says Paul. And so, here is the first step, a change in the mindset, a change in the focus of your priorities. “They that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh.”
See, what are the things of the flesh? “What I want and how I want it, and when I want it, and the self-satisfactions that I want and so on.” That’s the flesh. Now, he says “Change the priorities,” change the focus of your values, “They that are after the Spirit mind or pay attention to the things of the Spirit.” See, what do you do about that? Well, you live a day and not a whole day at a time, but segments of time. Don’t you?
You get up, you get dressed, you eat breakfast or get breakfast as the case may be. You pack lunches or send people off with lunches. You go to the office or the schoolroom, or the shop, or whatever, or you stay home if you’re a homemaker and do 3 million things that nobody ever says “thank you” for that homemakers are supposed to do. And the day goes on and it goes on in little segments, doesn’t it?
And failures come or successes come in segments of time. And so, you yield to the blessed Spirit of God, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey his servants ye are, whether of sin unto death or righteousness unto life,” says Paul. And so you yield, you give up, you surrender moment by moment these segments of life to the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit so that he can perform the Will of God through you.
“It is God,” says Paul in Philippians 2, “that works within you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” So how do you get away from walking after the flesh? You start living on the basis of surrender to the indwelling Holy Spirit of God and obedience to the eternal infallible inspired Word of God.
Dear Father today, O, may we yield to Thee indwelling Holy Spirit of God, and obey Thy eternal Word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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