Abstaining

1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

How are those called by Christ’s name to witness to those who have yet to know Him?

Two things: abstaining from fleshly lusts and good works.

These instructions are given elsewhere as well.

Romans 13:14 KJV — But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Lord knew we needed more than just the command “don’t do”: put off fleshly lusts; He knew we needed a “do”: put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because without Jesus, we are simply slaves to our flesh and chained to our sin.

Scripture clearly outlines what fleshly lusts leads to, that we might recognize the danger.

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV — Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 2:16 KJV — For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Scripture also gives us many verses as to those things we should be “putting on”, the gifts of the Spirit and the works of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:22 KJV — Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Colossians 3:12-14 NKJV — Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

God’s Word tells us that putting off the flesh and putting on Jesus Christ is a testimony to those who accuse us, to those who have yet to know Him.

It is how we shine brightly in a lost and dark world.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these practical and understandable lessons. Lord, thank You for giving both a warning and an instruction. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, that I might not deceive myself, thinking I’m fine, when the truth is I need You daily. Thank You that Your Word brings me such peace as I daily learn to walk with You. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please continue to use my life and the lives of others who love You as a testament to Your goodness, Your glory, Your holiness, Your truth. Lord, please let the world see the truth, turn to You and be healed. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

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