2 Timothy - Combat Guide

Sheep Don’t Hang with Goats in the Church, pt. 2 (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

Sermon Manuscript . . .

Avoiding Distorted Church Attenders, 2 Timothy 3:2-5

Sheep don’t hang with goats in the church–part 2

As believers, you must recognize the indicators of error and reject Bible-quoting fakers. You must also learn how to help others to be able to distinguish between real Christianity and a fake faith which lives for self, while pretending to live for the Savior. Now, from students to seasoned saint, distinguishing between believers and the bogus is daunting and often impossible until over time, they demonstrate the fruit of the flesh–the evidence of lostness.

It is very difficult, because living in the midst of the regenerate are the rejected. All churches contain faithful and phony. Churches are made up of professors and possessors, wheat and tares, saved and unsaved. In every church are believers and make-believers. The difficulty to distinguish between the real and the fake is rated a ten.

So Paul wants to help Timothy, and help you, to keep the Church pure and assist you in making the right people your friends. Paul wants to help his son in the faith and the Church he cares for not to be influenced, or wickedly impacted, by false teachers or errant believers. Paul writes his apostolic assistant in 2 Timothy 3:1 to 5, to highlight the character of those who are the false, and by implication, identify those who are the true.

Paul wants you to be able to recognize the counterfeit Christians and the phony followers that you and Timothy are to avoid. That’s why Paul writes these words in verses 1 to 5, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.”

The people described here are not non-Christians of the world. All these folks go to church, claim to be Christians, tell others they follow Jesus, reject other religious leaders, and pretend to fellowship with you. But they are goats, not sheep–tares, not wheat. Some are outspoken, errant believers and others are verbal false teachers. But either way, Paul tells Timothy avoid them.

They’re not weak Christians who’re weighing the Church down with immaturity. No, these are false Christians who are doing damage to the Church body. We know they are professors but not possessors, because in verse 2 Paul uses the word men or people or these, and does not use the word brothers or believer. Plus, in verse 7 these same men are without knowledge, and four times Paul uses the phrase “know the truth”, which refers solely to salvation in the pastoral epistles. It is a certain kind of knowledge which always results in godly living.

Later, in verse 8 Paul talks about false prophets who resist the truth and have a depraved mind. The point is, the people described in these verses are not primarily believers who are acting like non-believers–no, they’re make-believers pretending to be believers. Sheep and goats are often herded together, but they are completely different. Goats are independent and sheep are dependent. Goats are headstrong, define their own Christianity, and will often reveal themselves over time through their behavior.

So Paul makes that revealing behavior clear to Timothy and to you in verse 1 to 5, so that the faithful are not influenced by the fake. The possessor is not damaged by the mere pretender. The believer is not harmed by the bogus. Verses 1 to 5 list qualities you do not want to have (and if you do, repent of). These are traits you won’t continually manifest. These are sins you don’t want to be enslaved to, because they reveal a phony faith, counterfeit Christianity, bogus believers.

These are the qualities you want to know about so you can identify the fake and avoid the phony. Every one of you–do a mental survey of your family and your friends. If they manifest the qualities listed in these verses, you are to avoid them all together and if you can’t avoid them, then make the choices necessary to minimize their influence. If it’s family, don’t see them as much. Never leave your kids with them. Don’t allow them to control you. Don’t engage them in doctrinal discussions.

Paul commands Timothy twice in this passage, at the beginning and at the very end. Verse 1, “Realize”, or know this, there will be these types in the church, and verse 5, “Avoid such men as these.” As if they had a deadly and contagious disease, stay away from those who live this way so you are not swayed by them. The heath of your spiritual life depends on it. The effectiveness of your ministry relies on it. Your intimacy with Christ will be affected by it.

Second Timothy chapter 2 just told us how to be a fruitful tool God wants to use. But in order to do so, you must dependently choose to avoid being close to, hanging with, maintaining friendship with men or women, boys or girls who live like goats. Paul gives Timothy three reasons which make up the three points of this passage.

#1  Be aware of growing DIFFICULTIES in the Church  Verse 1

Last week, we discovered that Paul begins chapter 3 by teaching Timothy there is determined knowledge, a detailed plan and difficult seasons ahead, which demand that you avoid hanging with goats. Verse 1, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” Realize, the longer you live in these last days–which are the days between the first and second coming of Christ, more of your friends and family members, who call themselves Christian, will crush your heart by walking away from Christ.

They will shock you and hurt you with the truth that they were never saved in the first place. These will be difficult days—literally, difficult means violent, ugly, harsh and hurtful days. Days increasingly filled with danger and spiritual intensity. And this will be seen in your need to . . .

#2  Watch out for dangerous DISTORTIONS in church attenders

Read verse 2 to 5, “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”

These qualities include internal character and external behavior–seen in a pattern of life not a one-time action, a deliberate choice not an internal struggle. Because the list of negative qualities and heart-exposing sins has little apparent interconnection, I will teach them in categories. Last week, we only exposed one of the categories.

First  Bad LOVING  Verses 2 to 5

You read verse 2, “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money . . . 3 unloving . . . 4 lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” The true sheep love God, His Word, His Church, God’s people and His purposes. But the goats love self, money and pleasure. The goats lack a natural affection, even for their own family. These tares reveal their heart by loving entertainment more than God.

The fake expose themselves as those who love pleasure more than pleasing Christ. They are big on gambling, vacations, recreation, video games, and travel. They occasionally come to church, they tell you they follow Christ, but their heart loves self, money and pleasure more than Christ, His will or obeying His Word. They’re the goats–called tares, lukewarm and unproductive soils elsewhere in the New Testament. Their loving is bad–but there is more. They are also sick with pride.

Second  Sick ARROGANCE

As you read verses 2 to 5, spot the three direct descriptions of pride. Read verses 2 to 5, “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”

Paul says in these last days, in the Church, there are some who call themselves Christians who will be boastful, arrogant, and conceited–don’t be one of them.

BOASTFUL  Paul foresaw in these last days people would have enormously inflated egos. The Beatles, high on the list of society’s heroes, were a group of wandering minstrels who paved the way for our present godless culture. They once boasted the ultimate brag–they said they were more popular than Jesus Christ. Or Larry Flint, original publisher of Hustler magazine, who once grossly boasted if Jesus Christ were alive today, He would read Hustler magazine.

Being boastful translates “braggart,” which Plato defined as a person who claims a greatness he does not possess. A boastful person is the know-it-alls who try to deceive people into thinking they’re brilliant. They love to see their names in print, and they must constantly have more Facebook and Instagram followers than others. They exaggerate their abilities, accomplishments, talents, reputations, and value to society and in the Church. And you can recognize them because they’re always the heroes of their own stories. They’re also . . .

ARROGANT  The Greek arrogant has the literal meaning of placing above, pointing to the idea of superiority. Both James and Peter declare, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). When you’re arrogant, God is your enemy. You hear the words proud, haughty, or arrogant and they repel you. Yet occasionally, the Lord allows you to see just how much pride is in your heart.

You and I are independent–you think you know what is best, you don’t receive correction, suggestion or comments. Anyone who disagrees with you, they become an enemy. You hate submission, you disdain following others, and you constantly present yourself as having it all together.

Parents who fuel their children’s self-image give them everything they want, honor their lack of achievement with trophies, praise mediocrity, and give them choices when you should make them eat what they are given–are infusing their children with arrogance. When those kids grow older, they’re shocked when they discover that their inability to spell, speak proper English, do simple math, take orders, and work hard is not tolerated by their employers.

The rejection hurts their pride, so some turn to drugs or drink. Others seek acceptance in illegal endeavors like drugs, forgery, embezzlement, burglary, or shoplifting. Others run from partner to partner looking for just one person who will live for them, serve them, and center all of life on them–or escape in porn. They’ve been taught their entire life, it’s all about them. Then when reality hits, they turn angry and blame others for their failures. Yet all of it was due to their arrogance. In the last days, church attenders will also grow to be, verse 4, the third word.

CONCEITED  This word is a unique participle, informing Timothy they were conceited and remain conceited–meaning they are swollen with conceit. They can’t look or talk about anything that does not relate to themselves. They can’t enjoy others, unless those others are focused on their world, their concerns, their children, and their issues.

The word conceited means to be blinded. They’re so full of themselves, they can’t see the needs of others, hear the concern of others, nor obey the commands of God. Conceit is most often on display by only thinking about you and only talking about yourself. Oscar Wilde once told a customs officer as he returned to England, “I have nothing to declare . . . but my genius.” Conceited!

Don’t allow churchgoing goats, attenders or leaders to influence you or your family. These lukewarm tares demonstrate, first) bad loving, second) sick arrogance, and thirdly) there will be those in the church guilty of . . .

Third  Evil ONSLAUGHTS

These make-believers are harsh. Read verses 2 to 5, “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”

The influentially fake Christians commit evil onslaughts, like being (verse 2) “revilers, disobedient to parents, [verse 3] malicious gossips and brutal, [and verse 4] treacherous.” Paul says first, verse 2, “revilers”–that’s the Greek word blasphēmos, someone who is slanderously abusive to others. When you elevate yourself through self-love and pride, you automatically denigrate others.

Plus, the tongue always follows the heart. Never forget what Jesus says about where your conversations originate in Mark 7:21 to 22, “For from within, out of the heart of men proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.”

Though some reviling is directed at Christians, most of it is directed at Christ. No one swears, “Oh Buddha,” or “Abu Muhammed”–but it is the lovely name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone which is used as a swear word. Reviling saturates TV, movies, blogs, conversations, and here Paul warns–in these latter days, church attenders will even justify the use of reviling swear words. All in preparation for the antichrist, who in Revelation 13:5 to 6, “…was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; …and he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name.” Evil onslaughts also include . . .

DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS  Paul foresaw a total breakdown of parental authority as evidence that the church has arrived at the end of the age. It looks as though you are approaching the last days, because defiance to parental authority is epidemic. Determining the cause is not difficult. Instead of viewing children as fallen, defiant, sinful, foolish creatures, whose only hope is parental instruction and parental discipline to be trained to do what would please Christ—today’s parents are more concerned with their kids eating healthy and feeling good about themselves. Their children’s self-image is more important than their children’s self-control.

Fathers don’t lead their homes biblically and moms have disappeared into the workforce, so the only guidance children receive is from the media, their own fallen feelings, a secular world, and a hateful enemy. So children disobey their parents, then disobey everyone else. They rebel against all authority, leading society down a path of anarchy. Paul calls it perilous times. Then there are . . .

MALICIOUS GOSSIPS  Some consider gossip harmless. Yet at best, gossip is unkind, harmful and ungodly.  BUT a malicious gossip is actually DESTRUCTIVE. A malicious gossip makes a point of intentionally harming others. Why? To promote their own interests, express jealousy, or show hatred, the malicious gossip takes pleasure in damaging reputations and lives. Today, news services and social media have become avenues for malicious gossips. And in the Church, rumor circles can launch half-truths and ascribe bad motives to actions, resulting in the ruination of a faithful leader or crushing a genuine servant of Christ.

This is exactly what this church attending servant of Satan desires to do. Malicious gossip is the Greek word diabolos, where we get our English “diabolical”. The word means accuser and is used 34 times in the New Testament as a title for Satan. In the last days, malicious gossips will be in the Church, doing the work of the enemy. Only a mature, watchful, wise and outspoken church family core can actually stop this hurtful attender from destroying a church. Malicious gossips are fake believers guilty of evil onslaughts. And . . .

BRUTAL  Some church attenders will be savage, like wild beasts, ready to attack and tear someone into pieces. Brutal occurs only here in the New Testament and means “untamed, savage, and wild.” Brutal brings to mind a vast, ruthless crime cartel dealing in drugs, knows no pity, tolerates no rivals, respects no laws, and fears no government.

But these are church attenders whose heart is as dark as a hardened criminal without conscience who, in the church’s weakest moments, behave more like terrorists bent on the church’s destruction than those who might willingly die for her survival. How do you identify them? They’re the wolf, brutally attacking prey–not the shepherd seeking to protect. Their brutality is an evil onslaught, because they are also . . .

TREACHEROUS  In the last days, some churchgoers will turn against their elders–even their own family members and closest friends. Jesus warned about the last days in Matthew 10 and 24 with “brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all on account of My name.” Any time the Church was persecuted in the past, true believers were betrayed by fellow church members and family members. Why? The traitors valued their own safety and prosperity above loyalty to God and love for others, based in trust.

Fake love of family and superficial friendship leads to treachery. Christ knew treachery, as the term traitor is almost a title for Judas Iscariot. There have always been traitors, but in these last times treachery will be epidemic. Those who trust in Christians more than Christ will have their hearts crushed. Those who trust in Christ more than Christians will be prepared for anything. These lukewarm church attending tares are unproductive soils who demonstrate, first) bad loving, second) sick arrogance, third) harsh onslaughts, and fourth . . .

Fourth  Heart ANIMOSITY

Notice the internal drives of latter-day attenders. “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”

Understand the heart of the make-believers who attend church in these last days. They will be ungrateful. In the last days, an increasing number of church attenders will be unthankful. The Greek word ungrateful occurs twice in the New Testament and means thankless. The person who elevates self above all others will feel he deserves everything good in life—therefore he will sense no gratitude for anything.

The ungrateful church attender minimizes God’s grace, because grace is blessing given that is undeserved. And the ungrateful one believes he is deserving. Being ungrateful is a particularly offensive sin to God, whose wrath is revealed against sinners for being unthankful. Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all those who do not honor Him as God or give thanks.”

The fact that unthankful is placed next to “disobedient to parents” in 2 Timothy 3:2 might suggest that ingratitude is formed at home. Are your children taught to say “please” and “thank you”? And if not, is there consequence? How often is voluntary thanks expressed in your family, with your friends and at your workplace? Want to cultivate a heart of animosity? Then let thankfulness die. And internally, also look for . . .

UNHOLY  Unholy is not describing bad religion but gross indecency. The Greek word was used of a person who refused to bury a dead body, or of a person who committed incest. In these latter days, the unholy is the person in the Church who, like some movie stars, social media celebrities or famous reality TV personalities, is willing to debase themselves to a new lude, naked, perverse, profane or gross level in order to maintain their fame and increase their notoriety.

The politicians who promote abortion, gay rights and moral decadence are unholy. Museums and art galleries which depict Christ committing sexual sins are unholy. And the last days will see an increase of church attenders, who are unholy, and . . .

IRRECONCILABLE  The irreconcilable are those in the Church who refuse to change–they have hard hearts toward people. The Greek word irreconcilable comes from two words–without and libation. A libation is a sacrifice, a drink offering to the gods, often accompanied by the making of a formal truce. This form of the word irreconcilable describes people who refused to forgive or be forgiven. As far as they are concerned, there is no compromise, no reconciliation, and no court of appeal.

You offend them easily with a comment and they refuse to forgive your slight. Nothing you do can restore the relationship, even though what you did was unknowing or unintentional. They are weak at love, and low on grace. They’re so saturated in pride, nothing sways them from their speculative opinion and motive-judging assessment.

The necessity of give-and-take, mutual relationship, family affection, acceptance and forgiveness is not in their thinking at all. This sin is so evil, it’s a characteristic of the antichrist. He’ll also be irreconcilable, like some in the Church. He will be a truce-breaker who refuses to be reconciled.

WITHOUT SELF-CONTROL  This Greek word is also translated incontinent, meaning having no power over one’s self. You know these people. This is the crazy, so-called wild Christian who has jettisoned their inhibitions, doesn’t care about what people think or say about them, since they have no shame, no guilt and no conscience.

These are the folks who do what comes naturally, indulge their desires, reject their inhibitions, and they become the type of pseudo-Christian who, in their words, ends up condemning the repressive dogma of the Bible. Like a driverless car, they careen through life at full speed, run over whoever gets in their way, eventually totaling their life or causing permanent damage. Because they live for themselves, in the last days, these lovers of self will eventually lose control of their lives and become slaves of their own decisions and desires.

Men and women of the world used to slink away into back alleys to indulge in secret lusts–now people flaunt their shame openly, even protesting any restriction. In these last days, pseudo-Christians will try to do the same in the Church, and become . . .

HATERS OF GOOD  In the last days, some church attenders will despise good. What is good? God, the Word of God, His Church, Christian marriage, discipling kids, serving God in the community of Christians, sharing the good news, enjoying God’s creation, displaying God’s character, aggressively pursuing Christ-likeness and so much more is good.

Yet in the last days, an increasing number of church attenders will be so committed to entertainment, movies, sports, TV, video games, social media, clothing, accessories, make-up, hair care, working out, personal comfort, travel, experiences–that the good which is God and the good that God provides will be disdained, despised, and a non-priority, to the point of hatred. Hatred of good. People will not have time for being good and doing good because they are so consumed with everything that is less than good.

The word haters of good points to someone who may care, but does nothing to show it. They may have pity for others, but show no compassion to those who need it. And worse, the word seems to point to those in the Church who hate those who live good. They are hostile at those who actually seek to live for Christ, because it condemns their lifestyle choices and exposes their false version of a self-satisfying Christianity. Some leaders and attenders in the Church will also live . . .

RECKLESS  In the last days, people will be rash and thoughtless. Reckless is a defiant disregard for consequences. Just charge ahead and hope it all works out. God clearly gave you His owner’s manual, but these disregard it and recklessly charge ahead.

Like those who turn to illegal drugs, those who walk away from their marriage vows, those who are broken by having an abortion, those who allow lust to grow into fornication or adultery, those churchgoers who reject Christ and defiantly disobey His Word are reckless. And in the last days, you will find them in the Church. Beware, the make-believers in the Church will live first) bad loving, second) sick arrogance, third) harsh onslaughts, fourth) heart animosity, and . . .

Fifth  Religious EMPTINESS

Verse 5 paints a scary picture of false believers holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. There will be attenders and leaders in the Church who hold to a form of godliness. They voice false systems of belief and corrupt standards of living, but are not easy to identify. They are not the religious channel goofballs, but in self-styled churches of fun.

The Greek word for a form of godliness comes from morphosis describing outward shape and appearance–like a silhouette, an outline or shadow of something. It looks like the real thing externally, but has no substance internally. The unbelieving Pharisees had an outward religion in Matthew 23:25, ”For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.”

Like the Pharisees, in the last days fake Christians will hold to a form of godliness, an outline of Christianity, but without reality. Paul warned Titus in Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him.” That makes false preachers extremely dangerous, because immature members in the Church accept their self-living, externalized Christianity as the true faith.

Now don’t miss this clue offering you discernment—“they have an external form, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). The word translated power refers to the power inherent in the Gospel to transform lives–the same kind of power that the Lord demonstrated when He rose from the dead.

The outwardly religious people whom Paul introduces have never been transformed by the power of God. They sometimes attend church and go through the motions of religion, but they do not have a transformed heart to practice what they profess. The deception of false leaders is seen in their denying the true, gracious, life-giving, transforming power of the true Gospel.

Although it is presented in many persuasive ways, sometimes practical, often entertaining, usually involving practical steps to follow—sadly their message is an empty and damning message that keeps all listeners out of the Kingdom. They try to earn their way to Heaven via the Law, or embrace an empty faith with no heart/life change. But with either extreme, their teaching misses the gift of grace, which always transforms a life.

These outwardly godly leaders have no love for God, for His Word, or for His people–but only love themselves. Their ministry to others is a mask of self-service. So Paul tells Timothy in verse 5, “Avoid them.” And Paul’s third big point . . .

#3  Be responsible to DETACH from this type of Church people

Verse 5 gives the command, “Avoid such men as these.” Avoid is literally to get off their road. You are to turn away from people like this. The command is for you to deliberately stay away from these types. The middle voice makes it much more pointed–make yourself turn away.

The Greek word for men, “avoid such men,” is assumed because of what Paul is about to teach in verse 6. But Timothy must stay away from people like this, even though it feels like you’re not accepting them, or being politically correct, or somehow being unloving, or others might accuse you of not being Christian-like.

Commentator John Philips states it this way. “We should steer clear of such sanctimonious moralists because their case is hopeless. All of this rings counter to modern thinking, which favors compromise. We are urged to make common cause with anyone who professes to be religious. The emphasis is on ecumenical unity. Paul foresaw that ecumenism would be a characteristic of the end times and warned against it. Christians who know the power of God in their lives should distance themselves from people who don’t, no matter what they profess and regardless of the fact that the biblical doctrine of separation is out of vogue.”

Paul has told Timothy to avoid what they teach, and now avoid the teacher who teaches it. True believers are given a standing order to avoid such men as these and reject the false doctrines they teach and the false morals they live by. Regardless of how convincing a false idea may appear or how sincere a false teacher may seem to be, you are to take yourself by the scruff of the neck, and make yourself avoid such men as these. You must avoid the false teacher and keep on avoiding what they teach whenever, wherever, and however it occurs. Get up and walk out, turn the device off, or throw the book away. Avoid them.

Did you hear 2 Timothy 3:1 to 5? You are now aware that ministry in the local church will become more difficult? You’re now watching for dangerous distortions in church attenders–especially leaders? And you are now responsible to detach from this type of Church person–especially leaders?

Take Home

Now heed 2 Timothy 3:1 to 5. The opposite of every description is Christ.

  1. Paul is not commanding Timothy to stay away from the sinning unsaved of the world, but Paul is commanding Timothy to stay away from sinning professors–church attenders. Paul teaches every believer, in 1 Corinthians 5, not to stay away from or avoid non-Christians, but to clearly stay away from and avoid those who claim to be Christians, who are currently and intentionally living contrary to the Bible. And here in 2 Timothy 3:1 to 5, Paul identifies the character of those church attenders you must avoid.
  2. Paul has given Timothy three guidelines for identifying whether a Bible preacher is from God–creed, character and converts. CREED is the whole Scripture, the basis for everything they believe and do. CHARACTER–does he live godly? And CONVERTS–are they strong in Christ or weak, confused and ungodly? Are they those who pursue Christ?
  3. Paul teaches Timothy how to deal with churchy goats, pretenders–the professors but not possessors. Love them personally, but do not hang with them. Correct them, but do not debate them. Pray for them, but don’t partner with them.
  4. The sins of this passage demand our repentance. These are the sins of the make-believer, the goat, the fake tare in the Church, and the phony, professing Christian. They have no place in the life of the genuine believer–from disobedience to parents to lovers of pleasure, you and I are not called upon to feel guilty, but in dependence upon the Spirit of God, turn from that sin to follow Christ and His Word.
  5. Paul makes a crucial distinction each one of you must own. Each of you here have struggled with many of the sins listed in these verses. In the midst of our temptation to beat ourselves up, Paul gives a powerful indicator between the real believer and the make-believer–did you see it? Both Christian and fake Christian hold to a form of godliness, but only the Christian experiences the life-transforming power of the Gospel in salvation and the life-transforming power of the Spirit and the Word in sanctification.

Have you been transformed? Did Christ make you into a new person? If not, today cry out for Christ to change your heart–turn from your sin in repentance and turn to depend on Christ by faith. Let’s pray.


About Chris Mueller

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.

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