Monday, September 12, 2022
“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you” (Galatians 4:19,20 KJV).
Are these people really saved—or really lost?
Imagine a person born in one country who moves away to now live abroad. While he or she will adopt another culture (including new attire, food, language, and habits), his or her genetics are still the same. No matter the behavior, the nature has not changed: that person will always be a native of the original country. As another example, consider the water molecule—always two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Yet, depending on conditions, water can assume diverse appearances: solid (ice), liquid, or gas (water vapor). Regardless of its temperature (cold, hot, or room temperature), whatever its phase (solid, liquid, or gas), water remains a group of water molecules because that is its nature.
A believer in Christ—though redeemed from sin, though sanctified (set apart) for God’s purposes, though a temple of the Holy Spirit—can choose not to walk in that identity and thus resemble someone he or she is not (lost, unsaved, non-Christian). As we do the work of the ministry, we regularly encounter these people—sadly, more often than we would care to do so. These are precisely the subject of 2 Timothy 2:25,26: “In meekness [we are to be] instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance [change in mind] to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
“Those that oppose themselves” are just that—living contradictions. “I may be an adult, but I want to act like a child!” “I may have God’s Book to teach me, but I will think and do what I wish!” These are Christians whose minds and actions are incompatible with life in Christ. Instead of guarding themselves, they have fallen into “the snare [trap] of the devil,” “taken captive by him at his will.” That was exactly the Galatians’ dilemma in today’s Scripture….