HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENYING ITS POWER

Most individuals, who believe there are a heaven and a hell, do not want to go to hell. Therefore, they take out fire insurance for protection. Scripture in II Timothy 3:1 – 7 Paul points out there can be evil people at work in the church. He warns Christians to watch closely for their daily behavior will give them away. He also stressed not to get involved with them. These false Christians will take advantage of people.

People accept Christ as their Savior but maybe for the wrong reason. We must receive Him as our Lord and we must be willing to repent and allow the Holy Spirit to make us a new person. If there are no changes in your life, chances are you did not receive the Holy Spirit.

Many in the church fail to understand what it takes to receive the Holy Spirit’s power. Matthew 7:13 – 14 – “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Many remain on that broad road with the wide gate and never enter the narrow gate that leads to the narrow road that provides the power that Christ describes.

Changes that need to take place are a willingness to surrender our self-centeredness to become more Christ-like. It requires becoming submissive to God’s commandments and His ways. We must learn to love unconditionally to be able to overcome our self-centeredness. Paul taught that we must be submissive and serve one another from an unconditional love. Marriages where one is not willing to serve and be submissive to the other do not work well. They have failed to learn to love and self-centeredness controls.

Our bodies and our emotions influence many of the decisions we make. We often do whatever makes our mind and bodies feel pleasurable. We can also be influenced by spirits controlled by Satan. Therefore, we may have a positive and a negative continually guiding our lives. We are told that some have sold their souls to Satan to obtain what Satan tempted Christ with, such as: power, fame, wealth or great achievements.

God provided that we could have an inner power to balance out negative influences. He made available His Spirit, through Jesus Christ, that would help us realize what is right and what is wrong. In addition, He provided the Bible that we could understand how to live with these bodies and emotions He created for us and the influences that Satan offers. Without the balance provided by the Holy Spirit many have little control over these negative influences.

Not everyone who receives the Holy Spirit is filled with the Spirit. There are Christians who Jesus talks about in His parable of seeds being planted. Some are planted on hard soil, some on rocky soil, some fell among thorns and only those who fell into fertile soil produced a crop. The Apostles asked what Jesus meant and He gave the following Scripture:

Matthew 13:11 – 12 – “He replied, ‘The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Those who have will be given more, and they will have an abundance. As for those who do not have, even what they have will be taken from them.’”

You may accept Christ as your Savior in your head but fail to receive Him into your heart. Once you receive Him in your heart, because you have made a commitment to deny yourself and live for Him, you will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Before you were conceived God foreknew how you would live your life. If you never planned to allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life to assist you in overcoming the negative influences, you may never understand what God requires of you. If most times your sinful flesh or earthy nature sends urges that you know are wrong to do and the Holy Spirit checks you, yet you deny His help; the chances are you have never allowed the Holy Spirit to fill you with His presence. We each have a moral choice. Will we allow the two influences to direct our life or ignore the positive encouragement coming from God’s Spirit? God will never force you to do His Will. Everyone has a choice as to whom they will follow. Who you allow to direct your life is how you will behave?

Matthew 13:14 & 16 – “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.’”

Those who have not accepted and allowed the Holy Spirit to change their lives; their hearts will be hardened to the point they will have little understanding of the Ways of God. And on the broad road with the wide gate, they live their lives denying God’s power so they can be in control.

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