It is so easy to get wrong ideas or have beliefs that are based on false concepts. It is essential that everything we think or believe is based on biblical truth. What a person believes is how he will live.
In Galatians 5:13–-26, Paul had just concluded a description of Christian freedom acting in the opposite direction from the works of the flesh. He concluded, “If we live by the Spirit [i.e., as Spirit–indwelt persons], let us also walk by the Spirit [i.e., empowered by the Spirit, thereby enabled to conquer the works of the flesh]” (5:25). The next chapter opens, “If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him . . . keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (6:1). We are to help each other be obedient to these commands, not criticizing and hurting each other, nor allowing ourselves to be tempted.
Paul then warns the readers, “Stop deceiving yourselves,” implying they had been thinking wrong thoughts. When we think, “Nothing happened, so I guess God will let me get away with this secret sin,” we only deceive ourselves. God is slow to anger (that is why He asks us to be the same way), so He may not bring chastisement immediately, but He never fails to do so. Refuse to listen to any thought that justifies or makes it easier to be disobedient.
There are two reasons it is not good to let such wrong thoughts deceive you: First, “God will not be made a fool” or “God is not mocked.” When we show contempt for God’s commands, we make Him look like a liar for not doing what he said or a fool for not punishing us immediately. Such arrogance will be addressed eventually. Are you conscious of sins you think you have gotten away with? Get rid of anything that facilitates your sinning.
Second, there is a payday someday; in other words, “a person will reap what he sows.” No one can deceive God; whatever seeds you plant in the early spring will sprout and bear the same fruit by harvest time. Seeds of secret sins, when they sprout, may destroy your reputation, damage a ministry, destroy relationships, or bring you to the point of death. God is committed to keeping you from sin, but if you insist, He will let sin destroy you so that others may fear.
“Lord, keep me from thinking You do not care about whether I sin or not, and give me a sensitive heart to know when I am justifying my sin or presuming I can get away with it. Why do I want to be the exception to the rule? You give me time to be honest with You, but I deceive myself into thinking no one will ever know. Keep me honest before You.”
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