As the world drifts into relativism, it can have a debilitating effect upon the Church unless there is a solid foundation of Judea Christian values. Any variation from this foundation can cause confusion and bondage. Some may start out well, but end up on the slippery slope of sin. Not being on good ground, they will come under the discipline of the Lord. “Their foot shall slip in due time: for the day of calamity is at hand–“. (Deuteronomy 32:35) Many who have made professions of faith have wandered from the truth and are suffering calamity.
The validity of the Christian faith can only be demonstrated clearly by those who are walking in the Light. It is the nature of the believer, being a new creation in Christ Jesus, to reflect the light of Christ dwelling in him or her. (II Corinthians 5:17) We are to be as lampstands for those who are walking in the kingdom of darkness. We must present a virtuous character, having and showing high moral standards. The apostle Peter admonishes that we are to give all diligence to virtue: “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.” II Peter 1:5. Virtue in itself exudes a fragrance of wholesomeness.
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 – 7, Jesus teaches His followers; “You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” When we pursue righteousness we bring glory to God. This is the purpose of the believer. Glorifying God is the first teaching in the Westminster Shorter Catechism; “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” A disciple of Jesus loves his Lord, His ways, and His fellowship. Jesus tells us; “I am the light of the world, he who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life” John 8:12
Furthermore, the body of the believer bears witness to the light of Christ through the eye. There is no expression of darkness in his or her eyes. “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)
How great is that darkness! The emphasis looks to how great are the calamities of those who have left the truth of God. Sin exacerbates darkness. It will darken the eyes, corrupt the mind, set afire fleshly lusts, and destroy any civility towards loved ones. The traditions of marriage, family, and the work ethic will be abandoned. All the wisdom of man can attempt to help one who is in such a state. Many have given their lives to help them. That in itself is God’s common grace poured out on humanity. Without saving grace, humanity cannot deal with the heart of sin efficaciously.
The will has a remarkable potential to make good decisions. People everywhere are making choices for good or evil. Believers and unbelievers alike do these things. Many unbelievers are doing the right thing by keeping things in order. They are law-abiding, responsible citizens of their communities. How much more should we who know Christ be doing likewise? We have Christ dwelling in us. (Galatians 2:20). We have the Word of God to direct our paths. (Psalm 119:105) We have the grace of God teaching us; “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age.” (Titus 2:12)
The tragedy is some of God’s children have left their first love. They have wandered on the slippery slope of sin; drifting, sliding, falling headlong into the dungeon of sin. Having subdued the light in their soul, they willingly become captive to the darkness. In this place, the devil himself ensnares them, taking them captive to do his will. (II Timothy 2:26) This is a spiritual warfare that the wisdom of the world is not equipped to handle. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” II Corinthians 10:3-6
Those who claim Christ and have succumbed to the slippery slope of sin have a way out. They must look to the cross; not to the world. They must cry out to God, repent of their evil, and return to the Lord. Look for a body of believers to embrace you and help you find your way back. This is the blessing; “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” (Psalm 119:1)