I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.  1 Peter 2:11-12

This world is not our home.  When we come to Christ our home is in Heaven.  In this world we are aliens and we are strangers.  We are here for a very short time compared to where we will spend all eternity.  We are called to abstain from fleshly lust.  Fleshly lusts are simply the desires of the sinful nature that war against our soul.  When we come to Christ that doesn’t mean the temptations will stop.  In fact they often intensify because the enemy would like nothing more to destroy us when we become children of God.  But we have nothing to fear because it is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to overcome and walk in victory over temptations.  God has given us the Holy Spirit to be empowered witnesses in this world.  Without the Holy Spirit nothing would be accomplished for God’s kingdom because in ourselves we are nothing.

We are called to keep our behavior excellent.  We are called to emulate the character of Christ in all things and again this is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The gentiles it speaks of here are all those of non-Jewish descent who were nonbelievers.  People who are not followers of Jesus Christ will closely watch those who claim to follow Christ.  Christian faith without action means absolutely nothing.  If we claim to be in Christ but our lives are no different than the world, our faith is null and void.  Faith without works is absolutely dead and meaningless.  If we have authentic true faith in Jesus Christ then our lives will be transformed and the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be evident in our lives.

When people see authentic Christianity they are drawn to it.  People today are looking for the authentic.  For far too long the church has conducted itself in hypocrisy.  We have been filled with tele-evangelist who for many of them use the name of Christ to build a kingdom for themselves and make themselves rich.  They are false teachers and when you examine the New Testament you find that the common denominator between all false teachers is they were driven by the love of money.  They use the name of Jesus in vain and will stand before Christ someday in terrifying judgment.

But when people see authentic Christianity they are drawn to it.  Our greatest witness is the way we live our lives.  As we abide in Him our lives are transformed and we live each day in the power of the Holy Spirit.  When we try to live this Christian life in our own strength we will fail miserably and it will not be pretty to watch.  But when a person lives this life in the power of the Holy Spirit it draws the attention of many.  May we understand who we are in Christ, abide in Him, and be transformed for His glory and His honor.  He is coming soon.

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