Scripture Reading: Isaiah 63:1-65:16 / Ephesians 4:17-5:7 / Psalm 112:1-10
Deceit – “When one causes another to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage.” Man was deceived by satan in the Garden of Eden and discovered the consequences of their actions were more than they could ever imagine. They believed satan’s lie and rejected God’s truth.
That scene has been played out in every person’s life since then and the results are always the same… deceived by sin while dismissing truth. Satan is a master deceiver as he appeals to man’s lust and pride. He presents sin as an acceptable, profitable and desirable addition to man’s life.
Jesus came to destroy the deceitful works of the devil and to open man’s eyes to God’s divine love and truth. Through Christ’s redemptive work, we find forgiveness and newness of life. We are called to live differently, under the direction and Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Paul writes, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Ephesians 5:3) There is no room for immorality, impurity, or impropriety. We may say that God’s standards are impossible to attain. In one respect, that is true but they are possible through the transformational empowerment of The Holy Spirit and the forgiving power of Christ.
Paul says we are to, “be imitators of God” (5:1)… 100% holy and pure. Would you drink a bottle of water whose label reads, “99% pure spring water, 1% sewage water”? I don’t think anyone of us would drink polluted and bacteria filled water. Why then would we want to forsake the pleasures and joys of Christ for the fleeting and passing lusts of the world? The answer is deceit.
Deceit is designed to lead us down a path of destruction. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (5:6) We are deceived into believing that a little bit of sin is acceptable. Small sins will be overlooked because they are not great sins. There is the thought that God gives us a pass on “insignificant” sins.
Sin is not to be excused but confessed. Our sin will be forgiven when we repent but sin will be judged when we embrace it. Anyone who believes otherwise is deceived. Like Adam, no matter how effectively we try to cover our sin, we stand exposed before the all seeing and knowing God. Remember, Eve sinned when the serpent deceived her but Adam sinned with his eyes wide open. Both of them were without excuse. Keep your eyes wide open, your mind filled with God’s truth, your heart tender to Christ’s love, and your life transformed by Gods Spirit…do not be deceived!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!