Is the suffering of Jesus an example for us?
Peter challenges me to follow the example of Jesus. Peter knows. Peter learned directly from our Master Jesus.
Jesus has given me a purpose. There was no deceit, pretense or hypocrisy in Jesus at all. Jesus never missed God’s goal (aka sin). Jesus is the truth. Truth is a person and it is Jesus.
No deceit at all. Always truth.
For you have been called for this purpose, since the Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth. | 1 Peter 2:21–22
What should we do about those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which we learned?
They are smooth. They are slick. They flatter me.
What’s the problem? I need to be discerning. There are those who want to deceive me. They want to lead me astray.
We have a lot to learn here. There is a rabbit hole. We seem to keep jumping down it, expecting a different outcome. It isn’t working.
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Master the Messiah but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. | Romans 16:17-20
What is the good news? Jesus leads me, through the Holy Spirit, into His Truth. Jesus is the Truth. I can take refuge in Him.
Jesus is clear that I can tell a tree by its fruit. “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7:17)
How do I know there is a problem? One clue is the fruit of dissension. Dissension here (from the Greek) means divisions which wrongly separate people into pointless (groundless) factions.
Uh Oh! I see a whole lot of this going on. I get sucked into it many days. Ye Gads!
What am I to do about it?
Paul is clear. Turn away from them. They have set a trap for me to hinder me in my growth in the Messiah. I need to be wise. I need to focus on the good.
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Pretense is the purposeful deception of others, usually for the sake of our own interest, safety or pride. Scripture condemns such pretense and demands honesty from us at every point.
Pretense is similar to hypocrisy but takes it one step further as it is purposeful deception. A hypocrite is trying to make themselves into something they aren’t by acting. Pretension is not acting but deception. It is known as duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, cheating, trickery, chicanery, deviousness, slyness, wiliness, guile, bluff, lying, pretense, or treachery.
The next two verses clearly speak out God’s words of displeasure with ALL forms of homosexuality, saying that men who do such things would receive “in their own persons the due penalty of their error. . . .” I read just this morning in a “newsletter” which I get from a “news magazine“, that we are about to experience the spread of another disease which is highly contagious among those who are sexually promiscuous. Now, back to Romans 1:28:
Having just returned from deep in Africa and heard some of the awful violations of human life put on the natives by their witch doctors, and then coming home to hear this about our American culture, I must say that this “news” from the home-front is by far the grosser and more reprehensible of the two!
Isn’t it amazing how the eye of man can scrape up off a piece of paper the printed Word of God – that which we call “Holy Scripture” – transfer those words into the brain, let the brain give interpretation to the heart, then move the heart to affect the life of a person so thoroughly that the entire life of the person can be forever changed!