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So then, my beloved, just as always you have obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, with fear and trembling, you, for yourself, work out your salvation. For God is the One working in you also to desire and to work out the good pleasure. All of you do all things apart from grumbling and disputing, in order that you, yourself, should become blameless and pure, children of God without blame in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as a luminary in [the] world, holding fast to a word of life, unto my boasting unto a day of Christ, that I have not run unto emptiness, nor toiled unto emptiness.
In the first chapter of Genesis, Scripture records that God states He would make man in His image and likeness, Genesis 1:26. However, by Genesis 5:3, after the fall of Adam, the likeness and image of humans is that of Adam, for he passed on his corrupt nature to his children, Genesis 5:3.
The concept of image (צֶ֫לֶם – tsĕ-lĕm) is that which has a similar appearance. When examining God’s appearance, we find that He dwells in light, 1 Timothy 6:16; therefore, when God created Adam, He wrapped him in light so that Adam would have a similar image. When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, they were stripped of this image, Genesis 3:7. It is worthy to note here that the word used in Genesis 3:7, often translated as naked (עֲרוּמִּ֔ים), actually means stripped (עֵֽירֻמִּ֖ם). They both knew they were stripped, for they could visibly see that they had lost their covering. However, this does not mean that the similarity to God was lost entirely to humans, for Adam was made in the image of God. This is why, after the Noahic flood in the dispensation of government, a new rule is placed upon the household that if a man sheds the blood of another man, his life is to be forfeit, Genesis 9:6. Although Adam was created in a state of innocence (not knowing good and evil) and resided in the garden during a time when there was no sin upon the earth, his offspring inherit his corrupt nature resulting from the penalties of spiritual and physical death for his trespass and sin, which brought death into this world, Romans 5:12, 17.
In the realm of false religions, an image refers to the […]
There are two types of evil described in Scripture that are often not distinguished in many English translations. The first kind of evil (κακός) expresses someone who is doing wrong, doing that which lacks in character. The second form of evil (πονηρός) is the person spreading their erroneous ways to others. These expect and encourage others to participate in their wicked ways; hence, they are malignantly evil. A doer of wrong (κακοποιός) describes the character of a person who is known to do things in an untruthful, deceptive, or corrupt manner; a willingness to do things in a way they know is not correct to gain or to take advantage for themselves. In contrast to this type of evil is the concept of doing what is proper, which produces beneficial works rather than causing harm and calamity.
When the Jews sought to have Pilate put Jesus to death, they delivered Him over to Pilate as one who is a doer of wrong. However, Pilate found nothing in Jesus’ actions to indicate this; therefore, he told them to take Jesus and judge Him by their laws. However, the Romans did not allow the Jews to put someone to death; therefore, they required Pilate’s assistance to crucify Jesus, John 18:30-31. By continuing to hold Jesus, and ultimately fulfilling the desires of the Jews, both Pilate and the Jewish leaders are the ones who are actually doers of wrong, for they knew that Jesus had done no wickedness, yet still had Him put to death.
When it comes to the behavior of Christians, we are to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against our emotions (soul) while having a proper conduct among those who are not saved. When they speak […]
As Christians, although we walk in the flesh, our waging of war is not done according to the flesh, for our weapons of warfare are not carnal in nature, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. We battle malignantly evil spiritual forces that seek to ensnare our minds into doing the will of Satan while persuading us that we are doing what God wants, 2 Timothy 2:26. One of the most influential means by which war is waged upon humans is through the world system, for it is set up to pacify the sin nature through the desires of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of biological life, just as a baby is appeased by his mother rocking him in her arms, 1 John 2:16; 5:19. The wars of this world are a direct result of seeking to fulfill the desires of the flesh, James 4:1. Since we are engulfed in a spiritual battle, we are not to entangle ourselves with the affairs of this world, 2 Timothy 2:3.
Although we are at war, we do not need to fear. God has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness, 2 Peter 1:3. We are not ignorant of Satan’s methods and have been provided with armor that handles any attack he brings our way, Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 2:11. As part of our salvation, we also have light armor for everyday use so that we are always ready to give a defense for the hope that we have as we shine as luminaries to this crooked and perverse generation through living out who we are in Christ while casting off the works of darkness, Romans 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:8. We are not part of the world system, […]