Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Some of the meanest, stingiest, unloving, unkindest, selfish, and greedy people that I met were Christians who went to church regularly. The residue of poison of hate, envy, resentment, bitterness, greed, distrust, futility, defeat, depression etc. just oozes out from them, especially as they grow older. The “residue of poisonous sin” must have been accumulated from hurtful experiences of the past or unfulfilled dreams for God’s word states:
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. Proverbs 4:20-24
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:11-18
The problem with these kinds of Christians is that they have been religious too long acquiring head knowledge about God and His word and have not experienced His love and His wonderful miracle working power. They were deceived by the enemy and by their false teachers and had not come into victory. They have not understood that Jesus was “bruised for our iniquities,” He took all our hurts and the consequences upon Himself when He died on the cross, and as a result they could be free from all pain, sickness, diseases, grief, suffering caused by life or the enemy. Yes, Jesus has the power to “set at liberty (and heal) them that are bruised” (Luke. 4:18). But they must accept and enter in the rest of the finished work of the cross of Calvary and enjoy the victory that He has won for them. They must receive God’s forgiveness for all things and forgive others who have hurt or offended them. Then the healing process of the inner man can begin once they let go of all the negative things in their hearts including unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, envy, lust and covetousness. God’s word is unchanging:
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew . 6:11-15
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. “And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. “But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. “The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ “Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ “And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
“So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
“Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Matthew 18:21-35
The word of God tells us that the Israelites failed to enter into all the promised inheritance God had for them because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). The warning is given to Christians: “Since A PROMISE remains of entering HIS REST, let us fear, lest any of you seem to have come short of it . . . BEWARE, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.”(Heb.4:1, 3:12). Peter tells us that the Jews “stumble being disobedient TO THE WORD”(1 Pet. 2:8). A part of their trouble was that they were blinded by their traditions (Matt. 7:6-13). We need the help of the Holy Spirit to remove from us all unbelief and pride which will keep us from the many different blessing that God has for us. Human pride is at the root of most man’s stumbling through unbelief and disobedience. God’s word is unchanging
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud. He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he. Proverbs 16:18-20
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption- that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD 1 Corinthians 1:27-31
Yes, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a FALL,” Pride is simply the ADULATION of SELF, wanting to be a law unto oneself, independent, with a feeling of importance, and a desire for acclaim from others. There are DEGREES of pride and ALL of us have a measure of this problem. Pride makes a person inflexible, unyielding, and unteachable, and through it one is deceived into trying to justify SELF in many ways or in opening doors to unclean and familiar spirits to do their havoc in our lives. Pride prevents us from totally depending upon Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. But we must submit and yield to the Lord in ALL things; not just initial salvation. And if in any area of our lives where we resist the INWORKING of the Spirit, through pride and self-will enter into disobedience, we are headed for a stumbling and FALL. Since “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” we must THEREFORE SUBMIT TO GOD. Resist the devil, and he will flee from us. We must humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and he will lift us up. God’s word is unchanging:
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen 1 Peter 5:5-11
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