Random House Dictionary defines deception as, â€œThe state of being deceived.â€ It further defines deceive â€œTo mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude.â€ The biggest deceivers in our lives are usually us. I can convince myself that I am living a life pleasing to Christ, all the while going back to a besetting sin like a dog returns to his vomit.
Self-deception is not a 21st Century phenomenon; the Apostle John addressed this delusion from which many in the new church suffered:
â€œIf we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.â€ (1 John 1:8)
â€œâ€¦and the truth is not in us.â€ That is a significant point! Remember, to be deceived means you are trusting false information. Our culture is the most untrustworthy medium we can use for measuring our righteousness. America long ago became an Isaiah 5:20 nation:
â€œWoe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!â€
If I am truly resolved to bring change into my life, then I am going to have to be honest with myself. Even when I look into my mirror, I can deceive myself into believing that Iâ€™m not that overweight, even though the scales tell the true story.
So where do I find truth, and not manâ€™s truth but absolute truth? Some will say there is no such thing as absolute truth. That is easily disproved and I wrote a whole chapter on the subject in my book, Understanding Evangelicals: A Guide to Jesusland. We can find truth in the Bible. And that is not just my opinion; see what the Bible says about itself:
â€œFor the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.â€ (Hebrews 4:12)
We can always count on the word of God to give us the straight scoop. The Holy Spiritâ€™s purpose is to help us understand Scripture so we can rightly apply it to our lives. To become well educated on a subject, we must become good students of it. However, biblical knowledge in itself is not enough. I know many a biblical scholar who lacks wisdom.
Biblical wisdom is the desired outcome of studying our Bibles. We should seek the Word to find the truth. This search we embark upon is not like seeking the Holy Grail; the truth is readily available. You donâ€™t have to trust my word; you can trust Jesus:
â€œThen Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, â€˜If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.Â And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.â€™â€ (John 8:31-32)
The beauty of the Bible is that it not only shows us the truth, but it also shows us how to live holy lives. On His last night on earth, Jesus asked the Father to set each us apart from the world through His word:
â€œSanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.â€ (John 17:17)
If we truly want to start over, then as Christians we must understand the important role of sanctification. It means being set apart from the wickedness of this world and our own hearts. It means being made holy.
Jesus gives us the recipe for being made holy.
It is through the Holy Scriptures.
So when you finish reading this, do yourself a favor.
Pick up your Bible and give it a read and start cutting through the deception.
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Copyright Â© 2016 David Jeffers