Are We Deceived

Dear Brethren,

It is popular today to lay every sinful condition that plagues humanity at the feet of one’s parents or society.  The typical claim is that the person responsible for the law-breaking was poor, mistreated, under privileged, neglected, misunderstood, unpopular or so forth – and that is why they turned out as they did.

The reasoning is that childhood problems, weaknesses and tendencies, became ingrained into their personality, and subsequently, they just cannot help the way they are.  Whether they be criminal acts, or antisocial behavior, they are not to be held responsible for their conduct.  When society excuses this kind of disruptive and rebellious performance in people, they are in effect justifying intolerable disorder.

God gives us the rules for a better world.  He expects more of us than to be spoiled-rotten children.  God holds us responsible for what we know.  He lays out the challenge for us in Matthew 5:48 where we are instructed to go on to perfection, “Become ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  (Hebrews 6:1)

Jesus Christ knows very well how we are made and what our proclivities are.  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”  (Jeremiah 17:9,10)

We, the people of God, are not to remain as we once were in the world.  With the help of God’s Spirit we are to grow and overcome.  With repentance, faith in Jesus Christ, and baptism, we are cleansed.  No longer are we to practice deceitful behavior.  For a Christian it is unacceptable.  We are not to defile the righteousness of Christ that has been imputed to us.

We are, however, warned that in the end-time one of the big problems that we would be facing is that of deception.  The apostle Paul determined that he would handle God’s Word with the utmost sincerity.  He said, “[I] have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”  (2 Corinthians 4:2)


Sermon:  "Are We Deceived"
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