Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Adversary or the Advocate

Monday night, on my drive back from college class in Russellville, I heard an interesting program. I wanted to share what God lead me to take away from the program.

It is a bit long, but important.

The Adversary or the Advocate 
Scripture commands us, “30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice (Eph 4:30-31).” I want to zero in on the word slander in this passage. Slander is to tell lies, speak ill of, or ruin someone’s reputation. First Peter 2:1 also commands us to “put away [. . .] slander”.  Slander is harmful to whoever it is aimed at, but also to the one doing it. Take a look at the kind of individuals who slander. “18 [. . .] whoever utters slander is a fool (Proverbs 10:18).” I act foolish at times, but I also have no desire to be a fool. Who else makes a habit of slandering? “14 [. . .] give the adversary no occasion for slander (1 Tim 5:14).” Here it is “the adversary” who waits to slander. Who exactly is this adversary? We find the answer in 1 Peter 5:8 “8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The devil is the adversary who waits to slander and accuse us (Rev 12:10). He seeks any opportunity to ruin our name before other men and before God. We are given another command in Ephesians 4:29 & 32 “29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear [. . .]  32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” We are told to speak words that are good for “building up” other people, more than that we are told to do this so that we “give grace to those who hear”. Who gives grace? Christ! He is the one who gives grace. We are commanded to be like Christ, the advocate. “2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).” When we advocate for others, being careful to be truthful, we are being like Christ. 

When you slander or accuse you are acting just like the devil. When you build up and advocate you are acting like Jesus Christ. Take a moment and consider, have you been acting more like the devil lately or more like Christ?

Lord, forgive me for acting more like the devil than you too often. I pray that you would help me to become more like Jesus in my words, thoughts, and actions. 

Who do you want to be more like, the adversary or the advocate?

“5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us  and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Eph 5:1-2).”

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