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Destruction (684) (apoleia from apo = marker of separation, away from + olethros = ruin, death but not annihilation <> from ollumi = to destroy) means utter and hopeless loss of all that gives worth to existence. Note that contrary to popular opinion apoleia does not refer to extinction or annihilation or an end of existence, but to total ruin so far as the purpose of existence is concerned. Apoleia in one sense means the destruction that one causes as the result of disregard for the value of that which is destroyed or "wasted" (see Matthew 26:8, Mark 14:4). The more common sense of apoleia is as a description of the destruction which one experiences, when man instead of becoming what he might have become by redemption through the blood of Christ (new creature/creation in Christ - 2 Cor 5:17), is ruined ("spiritually bankrupt", in a state of "eternal disrepair") suffering loss of value or usefulness (ultimately usefulness to God - this is sad beyond words and even as I write this note tears well up in my eyes for the plight of these men and women, created in the image of God.) Think of the picture of a once beautiful edifice which has suffered the ravages of time and circumstances and all that one sees is the useless, collapsed, disintegrated remains. In short, apoleia speaks of the loss of everything that makes human existence worthwhile. The idea not loss of being, but loss of well-being. And so in this sense apoleia describes utter ruin, complete loss and is used especially of the eternal "destruction" (the second death - see chart below) visited on the ungodly. It is the wasteful end of earthly existence with no chance for a fulfilling future existence. Note however that there is a sense that the ungodly have "wasted" their one life on earth. What a tragic picture irregardless of how much wealth, pleasure or power they might have experienced while they were alive. There are 13 uses of apoleia in the NT... Matthew 7:13 (note) Enter (aorist imperative - urgent need - do this now and do it effectively! Don't put off your decision to believe in Christ one more second!) by the narrow gate (the way, the truth, the life - [Jn 14:6] Christ Jesus, the only Door [Jn 10:9] through which one can enter into the Kingdom of God); (Why is one's entrance through this narrow, exacting, strait gate, which has such strict requirements related to entrance?) for (Here is Jesus' answer) the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. Matthew 26:8 But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why this waste? (What did they think was a waste? A woman pouring very costly perfume upon Jesus' head, anointing the King of kings!)? Mark 14:4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted? John 17:12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished (apollumi = verb related to apoleia) but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot) that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him (Simon who "believed" - an intellectual, head belief, not a genuine, heart belief productive of true salvation as shown by Peter's declaration!), "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! Romans 9:22 (note) What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? Philippians 1:28 (note) in no way alarmed by your opponents-- which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. Philippians 3:19 (note) whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (referring to the Antichrist) 1 Timothy 6:9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin (olethros) and destruction (apoleia). Hebrews 10:39 (note) But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Comment: Kenneth Wuest writes that in this verse apoleia means "“utter destruction,” and in this context means “the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life; eternal misery, perdition,” which is the lot of those who would renounce their professed faith in Messiah as High Priest and return to a dependence upon the abrogated sacrifices for salvation. The Word of God is very clear in its statements to the effect that a person once saved can never be lost. Therefore, this person who draws back to perdition must be an unsaved person. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos) 2 Peter 2:1 (note) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Peter 2:3 (note) and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2 Peter 3:7 (note) But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:16 (note) as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. Revelation 17:8 (note) "The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. (apoleia - eternal destruction, the Lake of fire - see notes Revelation 19:20) And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. Revelation 17:11 (note) "And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. ><>><>><> The following chart is taken from Tony Garland's excellent treatise on the Revelation (See Births, Deaths, and Resurrections). He writes that... Scripture knows of two births, two deaths, and two resurrections. Everyone is physically born once. Those who do not undergo the second birth, the spiritual birth, also undergo the second death which is the permanent separation from God with eternal torment. Participation in Births, Deaths, and Resurrections Event Unbeliever Believer Description Born Again No Yes The first birth is physical birth. The second birth is spiritual and occurs when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ. (note 1) Only believers are “born twice.” First Death Yes Yes The first death occurs at the end of one’s physical life. First Resurrection No Yes The first resurrection is a category and occurs in stages, beginning with the resurrection of Christ (1Cor. 15:20) and ending with the resurrection just prior to the Millennium (Rev 20:5; 6). Only believers participate in the first resurrection. (note 2) See Order of Resurrection. Second Resurrection Yes No The second resurrection occurs at the end of the at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11; 12; 13). Only unbelievers participate in the second resurrection. See The Two Resurrections - "First" and "Second" - on a timeline and Seven Resurrections in Scripture Second Death Yes No The second death is after the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:14; 15). As there is eternal life beyond this present life for the faithful, so there is eternal death beyond the death of the wicked. (note 3) The second death is commonly known as hell. (note 4) When a person is born again (John 3:3-7; 1Pe. 1:23; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 5:1, 18), he will only undergo the first death, but the second death has no power over him: “though he may die [the first death], he shall live [be resurrected never to face the second death]” (John 11:25b). Explanatory Notes for the foregoing chart... 1 Luke 15:24, 32; John 3:3, 7; Gal. 6:15; 1Pe. 1:3, 23; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 5:1, 18. 2 “The order of events in the resurrection program would be: (1) the resurrection of Christ as the beginning of the resurrection program (1Cor. 15:23); (2) the resurrection of the church age saints at the rapture (1Th. 4:16); (3) the resurrection of the tribulation period saints (Rev. 20:3-5), together with (4) the resurrection of Old Testament saints (Dan. 12:2; Isa. 26:19) at the second advent of Christ to the earth; and finally (5) the final resurrection of the unsaved dead [the second resurrection] (Rev. 20:5, 11-14) at the end of the millennial age. The first four stages would all be included in the first resurrection.”—J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), 411. (See also The Two Resurrections - First and Second) 3 “As there is a life beyond this present life for the faithful, so a death beyond the death which falls under our eye for the wicked.”—Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1861), 111. 4 The King James Version translates both Hades and Gehenna—the Lake of Fire—as hell. They are actually two different places. The final destiny of the unsaved is the latter, an existence of eternal punishment: “ ‘Vita damnatorum mors est,’ [death is a life of punishment] is the fearful gloss of Augustine.”—Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia, 111. ><>><>><> Dwight Pentecost emphasizes that... Destruction in Scripture does not refer to annihilation. The godless man who passes out of this life does not slip into eternal unconsciousness. Scripture knows nothing of a doctrine of annihilation, where after death a godless man simply ceases to exist. When God created man, God gave to man a living soul, and the life given to the creature was permanent life. That life does not terminate at physical death. It continues. Destruction, then, does not have to do with annihilation, forgetfulness, a state of nonexistence. Destruction has to do with separation from God. This word conveys the idea of a continued existence in a state of separation from the Creator. Those who deny the centrality of the cross of Christ and who do not submit to the Christ of the cross are without a bridge between the sinner and God. They are separated from God, under condemnation, under divine judgment. They are destined to a state of perpetual and eternal separation from God. The apostle says that these false teachers who have come into this assembly are propagating a devilish doctrine that comes out of the pit; those who give themselves to this doctrine reveal that they are fitted for separation from God in the pit. (Pentecost, J. D. The Joy of Living: A Study of Philippians. Kregel Publications) (Bolding added) WHOSE GOD IS THEIR APPETITE: on o theos e koilia: (Php 2:21 - note; 11-1Sam.2.16" class="scriptRef">1Sa 2:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,29; Isa 56:10, 11, 12; Ezek 13:19; 34:3; Mic 3:5,11; Mal 1:12; Lk 12:19; 16:19; Ro 16:18 - note; 1Ti 6:5; 2Ti 3:4 - note; Titus 1:11,12 - notes; 2Pe 2:13 - note; Jude 1:12) Appetite (2836) (koilia from koílos = hollow) means the belly of man, the bowels, as the receptacle of food, and so a reference to the stomach. Figuratively it speaks of appetite. Their "god" is their stomach or belly! In other words, their God does not reside in the heavens but in their body. They live only for the temporal pleasures of and their lives are enslaved to the gratification of the lusts of their flesh. Koilia -22x in 21v - Matt 12:40; 15:17; 19:12; Mark 7:19; Luke 1:15, 41f, 44; 2:21; 11:27; 23:29; John 3:4; 7:38; Acts 3:2; 14:8; Rom 16:18; 1 Cor 6:13; Gal 1:15; Phil 3:19; Rev 10:9f. NAS = appetite(1), appetites(1), belly(1), innermost being(1), stomach(7), womb(11), wombs(1). Robertson rightly says that... Sensuality in food, drink, sex then as now mastered some men. These men posed as Christians and gloried in their shame. The highest good in life to these men is to satisfy self, to do what pleases self, in direct rebellion to the Word of God, the holiness of God and even the inner conviction of their own consciences. They are is guided only by that which satisfies and pleases self. Steven Cole writes that... they live for selfish and sensual pleasures, rather than denying self in order to live for Christ. The Bible does not promote asceticism, the self-imposed denial of all pleasure as a means of purifying oneself and getting right with God. Rather, it teaches that God has richly supplied us with all things to enjoy (1Ti 6:17). But if we remove God from the center as the chief object of our joy and replace it with some earthly pleasure, we are guilty of idolatry. (Philippians 3:17-4:1) As Paul explains, a man’s god is that to which he gives himself and which thereby becomes the determining factor in his life. What we tend to think about predominantly and what we get excited about when talking tells us what or who is our "god". When a man gives himself to satisfy his own appetites apart from any restraint, he has made a god out of those appetites. In short, these men Paul is describing are primarily concerned about eating, drinking, sex, and fulfilling bodily appetites, rather than knowing Christ and making Him known. In Romans Paul refuted Paul the philosophy which says that highest good in a man’s life is to satisfy himself explaining that... the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Ro 14:17-note) Although some commentators feel these wicked men are "Judaizers", Kenneth Wuest sums up this section writing that... The individuals spoken of in these verses are not Judaizers but professed Christian Greeks of Epicurean tendencies (See article on Epicureans). The Epicureans represented a Greek school of philosophy which taught that the satisfaction of the physical appetites was the highest aim of man. They had allowed their Christian liberty to degenerate into license (Gal. 5:13 = "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."). They did not understand God’s grace and thus thought lightly of continuing in sin (Ro 6:1-note, Ro 6:15-note). They were engrossed only in self-indulgence (Ro 16:18-note). A swing away from legalism would land such a person into anti-nomianism, namely, lawlessness. Paul, acquainted with the Greek classics, writing to Greeks who knew their own literature speaks of these as having their belly as their God. He probably was thinking of the Cyclops in Euripides who says, “My flocks which I sacrifice to no one but myself, and not to the gods, and to this my belly, the greatest of the gods: for to eat and drink each day, and to give one’s self no trouble, this is the god of wise men.” (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans) A T Robertson writes that... The comic poet Eupolis uses the rare word Koiliodaimōn for one who makes a god of his belly and Seneca speaks of one who abdomini servit. Sensuality in food, drink, sex then as now mastered some men. These men posed as Christians and gloried in their shame. AND WHOSE GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME: kai e doxa en te aischune auton: (Ps 52:1; Hos 4:7; 6" class="scriptRef">Hab 2:15,16; Lk 18:4; 1Cor 5:2,6; 2Cor 11:12; Gal 6:13; Jas 4:16; 2Pe 2:18,19- note; Jude 1:13,16; Rev 18:7 - note) The Phillips paraphrase picks up the meaning... their pride is in what they should be ashamed of These men actually find great glory in what should cause them great shame! Pastor Steven Cole writes that... They boasted in their supposed “freedom,” when in reality they were slaves to their lusts. Many well-known Christians today glory in things they should be ashamed of, writing books and appearing on TV talk shows to tell titillating stories about their sinful “addictions.” (Philippians 3:17-4:1) John Newton the once notorious slave trader wrote a poem that alluded to glorying in shame... In evil long I took delight, Unawed by shame or fear, Till a new object struck my sight, And stopp’d my wild career: I saw One hanging on a Tree In agonies and blood, Who fix’d His languid eyes on me. As near His Cross I stood. To a great degree glorying in shame is an apt description of post-Christian America, James Dobson writing that... In 1960, out-of-wedlock pregnancy was a matter of shame. When it happened, couples often did a quaint thing—they got married, so that the child would have a name and the influence of a father. Girls who “slept around” were often ostracized by their fellow students. A pregnant teenage was sent away to have the child rather than risk the censure of the community. In 1990, one out of five babies born in America was conceived out of wedlock. In Washington, D.C., illegitimacy was an alarming 55 percent! In many schools, the virtuous girl was considered odd, and was subjected to the same scorn and ridicule once reserved for the “easy” date 30 years earlier. Surveys revealed that many of our sons and daughters were embarrassed to admit their virginity. We see a picture that parallels glorying in shame in Ephesians where Paul described the pagan culture writing... and they (Gentiles), having become callous (past feeling, insensitive to pain and in context figuratively meaning insensitive to shame), have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. (see note Ephesians 4:19) Comment: The Greek word for callous is apalgeo which gives us our English word "analgesic" meaning that which takes away pain, which can sometimes be a protective mechanism causing the body to retract from danger, such as a scalding stove. These men in Philippians had become numb to the value of shame. The following illustration shows the "power of shame"... Steve Brown relates the story of a soldier in World War I who was so distraught with the war that he deserted. He tried to find his way to the coast so he could catch a boat and make his way back incognito to his homeland in England. In the darkness of the night he stumbled on a road sign. It was so pitch black and he was so lost. He had no idea where he was or what the sign said. He decided to climb the pole. When he got to the crossbeam, he held on to read the sign. Taking out a match, he lit it, and looked directly in the face of Jesus Christ. He had climbed an outdoor crucifix! Stunned by what he saw, he realized the shame of his life. He was looking into the face of the One who had endured it all and had never turned back (and Who Hebrews says endured "despising the shame" because He was sinless unlike fallen men - He 12:2-note). The next morning the soldier was back in the trenches. (Swindoll, C. R. The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 other stories) None Other Lamb None other Lamb, none other Name, None other Hope in heaven or earth or sea, None other Hiding-place from guilt and shame, None beside Thee. My faith burns low, my hope burns low Only my heart’s desire cries out in me By the deep thunder of its want and woe Cries out to Thee. Lord, Thou art Life tho’ I be dead, Love’s Fire Thou art, however cold I be: Nor heaven have I, nor place to lay my head, No home, but Thee. -- Christina Rossetti Shame (152) (aischune from aíschos = shame) means disgrace (loss of reputation as the result of a dishonorable action) or ignominy (a deep personal humiliation). Aischune describes shame resulting from exposure of one’s weaknesses or sins. It is not a feeling one has but an experience which comes to someone. Since shame describes a sensitivity respecting possibility of dishonor, it is clear these men have advanced to a deep state of depravity. In the Bible shame most frequently, it denotes the guilt a person feels or should feel for having sinned against God. NIDNTT notes that in classic Greek (aischuno is the related verb form)... The root aisch- refers originally to that which is ugly and disgraceful. Aischuno (Homer onwards) thus meant originally to disfigure, make ugly. It is found in Greek literature almost exclusively in the mid. or pass. with the meaning to feel shame, be ashamed, or to be confounded, be disconcerted. epaischunomai (Aesch. onwards) is a strengthened form of the mid., and kataischuno (Homer onwards) of the act. and pass. meanings of aischuno. The noun aischune (Aesch.) is derived from aischunesthai, and originally carried the meaning of to aischunesthai, the fact of being ashamed, or of being confounded. aischune has the subjective sense of modesty, understood as fear of what is aischron, ugly (Aristoxenos, Fragment 42a); and the objective sense of shame, that which results from an aischron, shameful deed (Diod. Sic. 2, 23, 2). In contrast to aidos with its religious reference to the gods, aischune is primarily a sociological concept: shame exposes one to the ridicule of society, which one tries to escape by being ashamed. TDNT writes that... The main point of aischune is not “feeling of shame” but “disgrace,” i.e., the shame brought by divine judgment, though sometimes with a stress on “being ashamed.” Accordingly, the substantive aischune is very seldom used for the “feeling of shame.” It mostly denotes “disgrace,” though sometimes with an emphasis on the fact that this also means being ashamed. Its primary reference is to the shame brought by the divine judgment. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans) Shame is a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety or an awareness of having done something dishonorable, unworthy, degrading, etc. Shame is a feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour. What Paul is saying in essence is that the consciences of these men are so dull and insensitive that they actually find delight in their sins. When a sinner's wretched conduct before God is the basis for his self exultation, he has fallen to the most extreme level of wickedness! These men delighted in their liberty and permitted no restraint to hinder their evil appetites. MacArthur puts it this way... This is the most extreme form of wickedness—when the sinner’s most wretched conduct before God is his highest point of self-exaltation. (MacArthur, J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press or Logos) Spurgeon says Remember the shame of sin when tempted by the sweet of sin. Sin and shame came in both together. - Christopher Nesse Sin has the devil for its father, shame for its companion and death for its wages. - Thomas Watson In terms of sheer numbers, using the King James Version, the words shame, ashamed, and their derivatives far outdo guilt and guilty. The former are mentioned 224 times in the Bible, and the latter 23 times. Goods are not good unless we do good with them "To have, and not to use the same, Is not our glory, but our shame." (Spurgeon) Spurgeon notes that... It's a silly pig that's proud of its ring. That ring in the nose, which proves him to be a doer of mischief, the foolish pig is supposed to prize as an ornament. There are men who glory in their shame. Thomas Boston rightly said that... The natural man's heart is where his feet should be, fixed upon earth; his heels are lifted up against heaven, which his heart should be set on. His face is towards hell; his back towards heaven. He loves what he should hate, and hates what he should love; joys in what he ought to mourn for, and mourns for what he ought to rejoice in; glories in his shame, and is ashamed of his glory; abhors what he should desire, and desires what he should abhor. Here are the 6 NT uses of aischune... Luke 14:9 and he who invited you both shall come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 2 Corinthians 4:2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. Philippians 3:19 (note) whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. Hebrews 12:2 (note) fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jude 1:13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. Revelation 3:18 (note) I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. There are 52 uses of aischune in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - (1 Sa 20:30; 2 Sa 23:7; 18.19" class="scriptRef">1 Ki. 18:19, 25; 2 Ki. 8:11; 2 Chr. 32:21; Ezr. 9:7; Job 6:20; 8:22; Ps. 35:26; 40:15; 44:15; 69:19; 71:13; 89:45; 109.29" class="scriptRef">109:29; 132:18; Prov. 9:13; 19:13; 26:11; Isa. 3:9; 19:9; 20:4; 30:3, 5f; 42:17; 45:16; 47:3, 10; 50:6; 54:4; Jer. 2:26; 3:24f; 20:18; 31:19; Ezek. 7:18; 16:36f; 22:10; 23:10, 18, 29; Dan. 9:7f; 12:2; Hos. 9:10; Obad 1:10; Mic. 7:10; Nah. 3:5; Hab. 2:10) Psalm 40:15 Let those be appalled because of their shame Who say to me, "Aha, aha!" (Comment: This is the reaction that shame should bring, but not so in the hearts of these men given over to their belly gods.) NIDNTT comments that in Genesis 2:25... shame in the body is the most primitive expression of the feeling of guilt... This disturbance results from an act of disobedience against Yahweh, and man reacts to the objective loss of innocence, and the innermost disturbance of his relationship with God, by the feeling of shame. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan) WHO SET THEIR MINDS ON EARTHLY THINGS: hoi ta epigeia phronountes (PAPMPN): (Ps 4:6,7; 17:14; Mt 16:23; Ro 8:5, 6, 7 - note; 1Co 3:3; 2 Pet 2:3 - note) Men whose whole minds are earthbound! (Barclay) this world is the limit of their horizon. (Phillips) Steven Cole writes that... One form this takes in our day is our emphasis on how Christ can make you happy in the here and now. He can give you peace, joy, and a happy marriage. He can solve all your problems. So people come to Jesus and find out that they have trials and persecutions, as the Bible clearly promises, so they bail out. Obviously, we all have earthly things that consume our time and energy: jobs, bills to pay, houses to maintain, family problems, health problems, etc. But the point is, the true Christian does not put earthly comfort and happiness at the center of his life. We should put Christ and our hope of being with Him in heaven at the center, and that enables us to deal properly with the earthly problems we all encounter. Setting our minds on Christ and the things above is the key to dealing with sin and relational problems (Col 3:1-17). So, Paul’s point is that as citizens of heaven, Christians are not to live as citizens of this earth, who are enemies of the cross of Christ, who are headed for eternal destruction, who live for the things of this earth. Remember, these people were in the church, making a profession of knowing Christ, but they were not truly converted to Christ. Two practical applications before we move on: (1) Don’t be turned from the truth of the gospel because of the presence of hypocrites in the church. Just because there are counterfeit dollar bills doesn’t mean that you give up earning and spending money. There are counterfeits because the real thing is worth imitating. Satan has always made sure that there are counterfeit Christians who talk as if they’re true believers, but whose lives belie that fact. But the existence of hypocrites does not deny the reality of the truth. Even true Christians will disappoint you, because as we saw last week, they’re all in process, which means, they still sin. But Christianity centers on the person of Jesus Christ, not on Christians. (2) Deeds are a more certain evidence of what people truly are than their words. Jesus said that we can spot false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing, by their fruit or deeds (Matt. 7:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20-see notes). Paul warned of those who “profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16-note). Again, this does not mean that believers are sinless. But, if a true believer sins, he will make it right by confessing that sin, asking forgiveness, and seeking to rectify the problem. Look at the walk, not the words. (Philippians 3:17-4:1 Right & Wrong Way to Live)

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