We spoke last week that God intends for us to be judges. We should be wise and able to judge matters between believers; and we will be judging the world, and even angels. (1Cor 6:2-5) Obviously, for such responsibility, we need to become mature, and conformed to the character of our Father God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is godliness.
I want to address two issues regarding the Godly knowledge that there is both good and evil, our discerning the difference by the Word and Spirit of God, and of our responsibility as maturing sons and daughters of God to choose the good so that we glorify our Creator and Redeemer.
Psa 119:9-16 With what shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. I have hidden Your word in my heart, so that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O YEHOVAH; teach me Your precepts. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will think on Your commandments and have respect to Your ways. I will delight myself in Your precepts; I will not forget Your word.
Zec 3:7 So says YEHOVAH of Hosts: If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My charge, then you shall also judge My house, and shall also keep My courts, and I will give you places to walk among these who stand by.
Walk in Yeshua’s ways, and keep His commandments.
–Here is a simple example of God’s thoughts compared to many of ours, to show how far we are sometimes in judging a matter as ‘good’ or as ‘evil’:
1Ti 4:1-5 But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscience, forbidding to marry, saying to abstain from foods which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creation of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified through the Word of God and prayer.
The Holy Spirit – God – is telling us through the apostle Paul, that in the last days part of the falling away from the faith is to forbid marriage, and certain foods. He calls this teachings of deceiving spirits and of demons! This does not sound ‘good’, but rather ‘evil’! We usually say it it is not very important. The issue is not whether or not we marry or choose not to eat certain foods, but why we do not: if it is a simple matter of preference, we have liberty according to the Word of God. (Rom 14) But if it is because we, or someone else, forbids these things – and makes it a matter of conscience, or of righteousness or holiness, or morality – then the Word of God tells us here in Timothy that these are lies in hypocrisy. Such teachings dishonor the Lord and the New Testament teachings for us in being faithful witnesses to the truth of God in Messiah.
–Here is a more difficult area for us: how to keep ourselves from willfully sinning?
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Ja 1:12-15 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, because having been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one being tempted say, I am tempted from God. For God is not tempted by evils, and He tempts no one. But each one is tempted by his lusts, being drawn away and seduced by them. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin. And sin, when it is fully formed, brings forth death.
1Co 15:33-34 Do not be deceived; evil companionships corrupt good habits. Be righteously awake, and sin not; for some have ignorance of God. I speak this to your shame.
–avoid people and places which would put you in a weakened state
–do not let thoughts and imagination linger on what the Word of God calls sin: we can look ‘good’ on the outside, but be full of evil on the inside (Mt 23:27-28)