| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 162 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
Paul had occasion to write to the Galatians on this very failing. In Gal. 5: 16-25 the
Apostle lists the fruit of walking in the flesh and a nasty list it is. By contrast he lists the
fruits of walking in the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance (moderation). Faith initially is the conviction that a premise is
true and always imposes on such a believer the responsibility to ensure that his future life
is in harmony with that discovered aspect of truth. To do otherwise is to live a lie and
nothing is more damaging to the character of an individual. Christ in Luke 11: 34
confirms this by saying "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is
single (free from defect or double vision), thy whole body (daily walk and direction) is
full of light (clear discernment); but when thine eye is evil (apart from God), thy body
also is full of darkness (confusion)".
"For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteouness, than, after
they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is
happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit
again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (2: 21, 22).
The Apostle Paul runs on a parallel path when he writes to the Hebrews:
"For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of truth, there
remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and
fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" (Heb. 10: 26, 27).
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the
heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good
Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them
again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put
Him to an open shame" (Heb. 6: 4-6).
Peter closes his teaching of this aspect of apostasy by two examples of nature. We
wonder if God implanted in two of His created animals this retrograde character in order
to teach us a lesson.
Here is, as it were, another appeal to his brethren to keep before them and continually
turn over in their minds the Old Testament and his own witness and ministry. Such is our
own present urgent need. We need every day the Bread of Life and like all food we need
to masticate it well with the saliva of our body in order that it can be so digested and
profit every part of our body. The analogy of type and antitype was well chosen by God
and we need to mark it well.
"This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure
minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken
before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and
Saviour: knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after
their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers
fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (3: 1-4).
Peter warns his compatriots that there were those who sought to sap the faith of the
believer by setting forth a false history of the world saying "all things continue as they