Musings 111

Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Ephesians 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

Acts 8:23 “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.

Revelation 3:1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

It is difficult to watch people as they struggle with the consequences of sin and yet remain blinded to their sin. It is difficult to watch people as they are so blinded and also bound by their sin that they love their sin even as it kills them and ravages their souls and their bodies. Watching children, relatives, and people we know living and yet dead in their trespasses and sins will either confirm a person in the Scriptures or drive them far away.

Regardless of how one watches another, if one is looking at people with biblical lenses on they will see these people walking according to the course of this world. The world, of course, loves for these people to join them and walk with them in their wicked ways. The world does not think of those ways as wicked, but instead they think of them as human and normal and perhaps as fun. They think of themselves as just having a little fun, and after all, we know that a little fun is not wrong (they say).

The course of this world, however, and all of the so-called fun of this world, is really “according to the prince of the power of the air.” This appears as complete nonsense to people as they are just like other people, just normal people having normal lives and normal fun. All normal people do those things. They don’t understand and don’t want to understand that the ways of the world are really the ways of the devil who is leading them as slaves into hell for eternity. As they live “in the lusts of” their “flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind,” they are “by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” It matters not how nice the people are, how helpful to others they may be at times, they are children of wrath and their lives are really nothing but an “indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind.”

These people, who appear as normal, perhaps quite athletic and healthy, and even successful, are “darkened in their understanding.” As such they are “excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” We have to learn to see people for who they really are and what they really are. We cannot be blinded to how they benefit us and help us or how nice they are to us. These people are dead and have no life. These people as dead will end up in eternal hell if God does not have mercy upon them. These people are influencing us and our children and we simply will not deal with the reality of it.

We cannot change anyone by the force of our reasoning or by being nice to them either. Of course we are not to treat them badly, but we must understand that the only thing that can change a person is God Himself. He may use our words and our actions as means if He is pleased to do so, but He will not change people from being children of the devil to be His children for any other reason than free-grace. We are powerless to produce spiritual change in others and yet we are called upon to pray. We are powerless to effect change in the hearts of others, yet we are called upon to preach and teach. We must learn to look at people as they really are and not how they present themselves to us and to others. We must seek the Lord to give us eyes to see them as they are and to seek His face to do according to His good pleasure.

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