p.1 As the spirit of the age Strengthens
There are two spirits at work in the world. One is of God, the other is not; but opposes God. One is Holy, the other is anything but Holy; it leads to sin and evil being done. This is not time to be sitting on the fence wondering whom you will serve. As Bob Dylan sang many years ago ‘ You're gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you're gonna have to serve somebody.’
Which is exactly what Jesus told the people and what the whole Bible is about.
Luke 16:13 “ No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.”
Jesus came to serve man by being obedient to God, he was God’s servant (Isa.53), in ministry he showed us what we were made for, and be like.
Luke 4:18 Jesus at the beginning of ministry speaks of being anointed, and one of the main reasons is “To proclaim liberty to the captives.”
While God gives man freedom by his Spirit it is not freedom to sin, and do whatever we want but to have the ability to live a life pleasing to God which is also beneficial to us.
Today there is great rebellion (some call it the great reset), it is about having the freedom to sin, to do whatever they want to.
Satanism states ‘do what thou wilt but harm none.’ The problem is, when one begins to do what they want they bring harm to themselves and do harm others. That is how life works.
Here’s the pinch, being free and having liberty – being unrestricted, the power to do as one pleases can cut both ways, unless there is a moral directive, a greater objective that is good.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths .”
The choice is doing our will or God’s will. That the only two choices we have.
Gala.5:1 “ Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
Gala. 5:13-15 “ For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
There is Peter who speaks of those who promise liberty but do not deliver because it is not spirit appeal but of the flesh.
2 Peter 2:18-19 “ For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.”
Clearly one is in bondage to their sin nature and needs to be set free it can only come from one source.
2 Cor. 3:17 “ Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Again we all must serve someone, our self which indirectly is the Devil or it is God.
Rom. 6:18-19 “ And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
The flesh is warring against the Spirit, it never lets up. We make choices every day.
Rom. 6:22-23 “ But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The fruit we bear under Christ’s spirit is holy, not sinful, it brings everlasting life while the payment for our sins is eternal death.
As this ‘other’ spirit strengthens we are told by prophecy it will be perilous times for those who serve God, those who are active in his service and pursue living a life obedient to him. We will be surrounded by opposition
1 Peter 2:16-17 do “ not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king .”
This love Paul speaks of, the world cannot exercise. It can only come from one source, God’s Spirit. Yet we are told in the last days – in the time of lawlessness increasing this love will continue to grow cold in the Church.
Phil. 2:3-4 “ Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
There is far too much competition in the Church, those who want to have a position over others. You show you are ready for a position by serving others.
1 Peter 5:2-4 “ Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock ”
Cutting out new paths of control for themselves, to gain prominence or money. This is how we know someone is genuine, serving God or serving themselves. These same warnings and exhortations are repeated a number of times.
Jude describes them (Jude 12) “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.”
They serve themselves having no fear of God in the way they conduct themselves among the Church. We are speaking of practical Christianity, when doctrine becomes applicable in one’s life. So many can talk ‘the talk’ but do not walk the talk.
To avoid these pitfalls we need to continue to renew our minds by the Word which is to keep us humble and dependent on God. Heb. 9:14 speaks of the blood of Christ who has cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God”
Heb. 12:28 “ let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
Matt. 20:28 “ just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Jesus is our model servant, he served with no ulterior motives, was pure in heart, in his motivation and goals.
Phil. 2:7 Jesus “ made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
All the apostles are described as bondservants:
Titus 1:1 “Paul, a bondservant of God”
2 Peter 1:1 “ Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ”
James 1:1 “ James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”
Jude 1 “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James”
Paul takes the time to mention “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ” (Col.4:12). Anyone could be bondservant, they did not have to be an apostle.
Paul states, “ if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10)
We too must be as bondservants “with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men’ (Eph. 6:5-7).
This is showing that we keep the two great commandments.
Mark 12:30- 31 “you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
These are attached, you may say they are interwoven as the second follows the first.