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The Truth Shall Set You Free – FoT

Jesus told us, ‘The Truth will set you Free.” The context tells us he was talking about freedom from practicing sin—carefully thought out sins and habitual sins as well. This presentation pieces together from the Bible how that can happen for us. Being free from addiction, sexual sins, and more, can happen. Included is a step-by-step process to take advantage of Jesus’ offer.

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“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” What do you think that means? There was a time, when I was just coming into the church, I thought that meant, “I’ve found truth and I’m now free from false churches.” Then that expanded to false doctrine – free from that was the truth of God. And that is true. But that’s just a tiniest little part of what this means. This is the overarching principle of Jesus Christ. Everywhere there is truth, there is freedom, and everywhere there’s lies, there’s slavery. That’s just how it works in the world….

Now one day Jesus was talking to some of His followers, and He made this statement – I’m going to go to the scripture – it’s in John 8:31:

John 8:31-32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him – I don’t think He was talking to the twelve. I think this was just more people that He’d been talking to – “If you abide in My word – if you live in it, if you believe it, if you follow it – you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

Then they had this question in their mind. Have you ever had that reading the Bible? You read something, and you just sit and don’t know what He meant by it? Well, these guys were right there. 

V-33 – And they answered Him and said, “We’re offspring of Abraham, and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it you say, ‘You’ll become free?’” Now that doesn’t compute to us today so much. But the Israelites of Jesus’ day thought that salvation was granted to them by birthright. Being a Jew was to be special – God’s chosen people, destined for salvation. So, to their way of thinking, they were already free. They’d never been slaves to anyone, except, of course, to the Egyptians, and certainly never a conquered people, except by the Philistines, the Syrians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medes, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and a handful of others! But they still wanted to know how they could be free. So these free men wanted a more precise definition. They didn’t see how His comment related to them. 

So let’s look at His explanation:

V-34 – Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. Oh! He’s not talking about doctrine here. He’s not talking about wearing masks or not wearing masks. He’s not talking about politics. He’s talking about freedom from sin! 

Now maybe…I know some Christian people who say the same thing the Jews said – “We’re not slaves to sin. We’re Christians. We’re under grace. What are you talking about?” So, in Jesus’ mind, there’s a distinction that we need to make. Having our past sins forgiven and living sin free are two different things. Listen again: Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.

Do you know any church folks that have bad habits – alcohol, nicotine, heroine, cocaine? You think that’s a pretty extreme list, but where I live, I talk to people all the time that tell me their Christians that are shooting up, and snorting, and all of that. Pornography, promiscuity, gambling. Do you know anybody that has those problems? Well, you might not, but how about social media? It’s really hard to be a Christian and be on that, isn’t it? How about too many video games? Too much YouTube? Or, maybe judging others all the time? Or, being self-righteous? Or, feeling superior to other people? Or, having a bad temper? Or, being jealous of the good things that happen to other people? Or, pride? Or, unforgiving attitude? Just to name a few. I could include cake in that list, but we won’t go there right yet. I’m sure we all know other people with some of these issues, but the fact is, I think I may have covered this group with that list, including me. And while we are all graciously forgiven of our sins, as we still practice sin in our lives, we are enslaved by it. Can’t argue with it. That’s what He said. 

So, if you struggle, do your issues feel like freedom? Or, does it feel like captivity? It’s not what you want, but you can’t seem to shake it? Jesus said it was going to feel that way – like slavery, not freedom. And if Jesus says His truth will free us from sin – I mean, that is what He was saying, right? – the truth will free you from sin – sin in your life – practicing sin – that what He was talking about – why do we still struggle with it so much? Is it that God isn’t keeping His word and making all the temptations go away? Or, are we missing something?

Well, let’s dig into that today. Let’s start with God’s nature first. It’s in Hebrews 6:18. 

Hebrews 6:18 – So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie…. Okay? Impossible for God to lie. 

Now let’s go to the next one in John 8:44 – now He’s still talking to the same people – He said:

John 8:44 – You are of your father, the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. He invented it. 

Lying is the devil’s primary identifier. Notice that when people believe the lies of the devil, in God’s mind, he’s their spiritual father and they do his will. He has them enslaved to sin. 

So far, we have come to the fact that we have one Spirit who never lies and one who always lies. The big overarching question for this sermon today is: Who will we believe? 

In God’s effort to give us all eternal life, He offers us a contract. In Bible language, it’s called a covenant that we make with Him. Contract is more modern language. It’s a legal agreement. We call God a loving God, but He’s also a God of contracts. He’s going to keep His word and He wants us to keep ours. That’s important to Him. And it better be important to us too. 

So, in this contract…. This is not like a lot of the contracts that you read today. We recently bought a house, and there were like twenty pages of long fine print. This is not like that. The first point of the contract is, we have to repent. That means that we renounce the ways of this world, whose god is Satan – part of which is to stop believing the lies that he tells us. And then part two, is to follow God instead. We promise to follow God. When we go under that water, that symbolizes us being washed clean of our past sins, and coming up clean to a new kind of life – sin free. God is now our new spiritual Father – no longer the devil. And, if we hold to our contract with God, our contract with the devil is broken. We have been freed from his slavery – ransomed by Christ. You can’t do both of these at the same time. It’s one way or the other. You’re either believing what God says or you’re believing what the other side says. There are only those options. 

Let’s look at the other side of the ledger for a minute. When we believe the devil’s lies, as we have learned already, he becomes our spiritual father. We read that, right? It says that right there. So, we’re contracting with him instead of God. 

Now, isn’t that exactly what happened to Adam and Eve? I always talk about Adam and Eve every time I give a sermon, because there’s so much there to be understood. They were going along, happy as a couple of clams in the ocean. (Notice the clever regional metaphor?) They loved God. God loved them. But then they listened to that serpent! They had it made in the shade! They had the perfect place to live, the perfect job, perfect relationship with God. Everything was great! They had a great relationship with each other. But then they listened to the serpent, and the believed the lie that he told them about God. I’m not going to rehearse all that, because you all have heard me do that for the last eight times we’ve been here. When they did that, boom! Something changed. And they never recovered from that. They never recovered from it. 

So, God starts showing us, right from the first pages of the Bible, what the problem really is. Now here’s something that I want you to think about. We can look in the biblical record – not too much said about what Adam and Eve did immediately in Genesis, but there are other references to them later on. As long as Adam and Eve believed the devil, he owned them. They were his. They were slaves to sin. Their father was now the devil, because they believed him instead of God. So that’s what happens to us, too, when we believe the devil instead of God. That’s why Jesus said, “Whoever practices sin is enslaved by it, and that the truth” – that’s God’s side of it – will set us free. Sin comes from believing the devil’s subtle lies. That’s the story about Adam and Eve and that’s what we’re to learn from it. 

Okay now, let’s think about something else that happens when we believe the devil’s lies. I’m talking a lot about the devil today. I don’t usually do that, and I make fun of people that want to wear tin foil hats, and things that go bump in the night, and all that stuff that causes the problems. He’s way more subtle than all that. 

In our baptismal contract, beside promising to follow God and to keep His law – which is to live sin free – there is something else that’s a part of the deal as well. Let’s look at that. 

Mark 12:30 – …and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. 

So, another way to that is, when we make that contract with God, we promise to give God unrestricted access to our hearts. And that’s good, because that’s where He’s going to do His work. And, as long as we stick to our contract – as long as we follow God and make Him our Father – that’s what is going to happen. It’s all going to be good stuff. But when we voluntarily turn from God and believe the devil’s lies, we’re doing the very same thing – we’re giving him unrestricted access to our hearts. And when that happens, he owns us. 

Have you ever met anybody that’s tried to quit smoking for twenty years? Or, can’t seem to stop looking at rotten pictures on the Internet? Or, just can’t stop snorting that line of coke? Or, just can’t stop sarcastically putting down other people? See, when we break our agreement with God, and he owns us, he’s got a unlimited access to throw anything he wants at us. And believe me, he does! He has unrestricted access. 

Now, contrary to that, God sometimes does give the devil access to us. Job would be a good example. But you remember, that wasn’t unlimited access. He said, “Don’t kill him.” So he couldn’t. There are several other examples about limited access that God grants the devil. That’s all to test us. But when we cave in, and we start believing his lies, his access is unrestricted. He can do whatever he wants. And that’s because God steps back, because we broke the contract with Him! And we’ve contracted with somebody else. So we’re not allowing God to intervene for us when that happens. 

There’s an example in the Bible where the devil was allowed to tempt Jesus. Let’s look at it. We’re told in Matthew 4 that: 

Matthew 4:1-3 – God led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And after He had fasted forty days, the devil came to Him, “You could turn these stones into bread. I know you’re hungry. You could turn these stones into bread. Do a miracle. If you’re really God’s Son, prove it.” 

So the implication was that He wasn’t really God’s Son, unless He did what the devil wanted. So, there’s a lie in there. And his objective was to get Jesus to obey him, instead of God. He wanted to own Him. He wanted Jesus to be his son. And the weapon he used to try to achieve his objective was a lie. So, what did Jesus do in response to that? Well, what He does is exactly what each one of us need to do when we’re confronted with one of those lies. He quoted God’s truth to him. He knew that the truth would make Him free of the devil. So he said:

V-4-9 – “It is written – Matthew 4:4 – Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes the mouth of God.” So, no place for the devil in His life. Next the devil took Him up to a high pinnacle, and said, “If you really are the Son of God, show me! Prove it by jumping off! God will save You. So, the lie, again, was that he wasn’t really God’s Son. And the truth that Jesus quoted him was, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” So, don’t get any ideas about, “I’ll show my faith by jumping off the top of the Empire State Building. God will save me.” No, we don’t do that. We don’t do that, because we’re not supposed to test God. Jesus knew that. He quoted that truth to the devil. So,  then the devil showed Him in vision all the kingdoms of this world, and said, “If you fall down and worship me, I’ll give you all these kingdoms.” And once again, Jesus quoted him a scripture – Matthew 4:11:

V-11 – Then the devil left him…oh, I’m sorry. I got out of sync there. Well, you can read the account and you’ll there are three times he tested Him, and three times He quoted him the scripture. Then, after that happened, we read: The devil left him – in verse 11 – and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.

So the devil was only allowed to pester Jesus for a while. Jesus was under contract with God, not the devil. And once Jesus repudiated the lies with the truth, the devil had to leave. Access granted in limited form, and once resisted, then access was denied. The door was shut. He had to leave. 

Do you believe that can happen for you? It can! I mean, that’s the example that’s in the Bible. So why hasn’t it happened. Well, it’s because you haven’t found the lie and haven’t resisted it. This is all very subtle. It’s not simple stuff. I mean, this is why this event is in the Bible – to show us what to do. And if we do what Jesus did, the same thing is going to happen – access denied. The truth will make you free. That’s what He was talking about. 

But when we believe the devil’s lies, we’re the ones granting the access, and because we’re breaking our contract with God and contracting with the devil, that access is going to be unrestricted. And that’s what most of us experience quite a bit of the time. He can then plague us with any sort of temptation, any deception, any attitude, with any sin he wants to. And we can struggle with it, but it’s not going to help, because we haven’t gotten down to the cause of the problem. 

Paul was telling Timothy how to work with people who are – I’ll use a polite term – oppositional – 2 Timothy 2:26. He tells them first to be patient and gentle, instead of sarcastic and critical – patient and gentle. In verse 26, he says:

2 Timothy 2:26 – …that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 

So you watch TV, you watch the news, you watch the people talk, and you think, “How can people believe this stuff?” It’s because we lose our minds when we listen to the wrong channel – I’m not talking about TV now. I’m talking about the devil’s channel. When we’re gentle with people who are in that state, then it’s helpful to them, and they may come to their senses, and eventually even escape the snare – which is the lie – “after being captured by him to do his will.” If we are not aware of the lies that are being pushed at us, and we’re believing them, we’re the ones that in the snare. 

Okay, let’s get specific. What kind of lies does the devil use to ensnare us? Now, I know, some of you think it’s keeping the Passover on the wrong day. That’s just a distraction from this real action. That’s easily recognized. Those kind of lies are like chum – bait (another regional metaphor). For most of us there’s no real hook in that argument. It’s not stuff like that. It’s lies about God that we wind up telling ourselves – anything that’s contrary to what the Bible says about God. That’s the first lie that’s recorded in the Bible. He told Eve, “You’re not really going to die. That’s just God withholding the good stuff from you. He’s not fair. He tells you He loves you, but then He withholds the good stuff from you.” 

Here’s another one: God is a monster. How can He allow all this suffering, all this child trafficking, all this addiction, all on and on and on? The utter hypocrisy of that lie! There is a liar there, but it’s not God. The devil is the one that’s the uncaring monster. He’s the one that’s responsible for the evil. But that’s what he tells us. 

The next thing that he lies about is, he teaches us lies about ourselves. Here one that I hear quite a bit when I’m helping people in therapy: It’s okay for life to be difficult for others, but it should be easy for me. And if it’s hard, that means that God is not fair and hates me. Eat worms and die – very discouraging thought, right? 

Here’s another one: I must always perform perfectly in every situation. If not, that means I am defective and unlovable. Again, eat worms and die. 

Here’s another one: I’m too bad for God to forgive me. Now, is there anybody here that can’t pull out their Bible and disprove that? Yeah, we all can. But some of us still believe it. We’ll talk about that in a minute. 

Here’s a real-life example of how this works: A man came to see me some years ago, and he was a church attending person. He professed to follow Jesus Christ, yet – and I believe he was sincere in that – he was caught in a web of promiscuous relationships, as in have one wife and two girlfriends. And he had created this web for himself. And he realized that his behavior did not match up his faith. And, if I’ve ever met anybody who knew he was a slave to sin, it was this man. His father died when he was three, and his mother married a man who didn’t care for him. And he learned from his mother and his step-father – not in so many words, but in the way that they treated him – that he wasn’t worth loving. He didn’t feel loved. And kids always make that their fault. So, he was the problem. But you see, that is a lie. You know that about him, right? God loves him. And that’s in the Bible. So, read it and believe it. But he believed he was unlovable by God and by others. And actually, it turned out that this promiscuity was a result of believing that he was no good, and he was trying to love he never had all his life, but in a totally self-destructive way. He also believed another lie. If he could find human love, that would prove he was worthwhile. He kept believing he was more worthless with each failed relationship – which there were quite a few. So we had to help him reconstruct his relationship with God based on the truth that God told him. And he could read. He could, with his intellect, know that God loved him, but had to help him feel it in here. He had to do some heart work to get rid of that lie. 

So, in these lies, he had contracted with the devil. He had believed what the devil taught him, and granted him unrestricted access to his heart, without realizing what he’d done. And of course, he was tormented like you just wouldn’t believe. I’ve never met a man that felt more guilty and more ashamed. 

What kind of lies would an addict believe about their addiction to maintain it? Here are some that I’ve heard: It helps me relax. It stops the anxiety. It’s fun. I can’t quit. And that “I can’t quit” thing is usually for one of two reasons. It’s a character flaw. “I’m weak. I’m unhelpable. There’s no hope for me. It’s my character. It’s bad.” Conservatives tend to believe that, they tell me. And the second one is, it’s a disease. Nothing I can do about it. I’m sick. I’m helpless, so why try? They say liberals tend to believe that more. That’s not my assessment. I read that in an article written by a liberal, actually. But you see how debilitating both of those approaches are? 

The next one is lies about other people. Here’s one: If others do not treat me well that makes them bad people, so I am within my rights to tantrum as though I was three-years-old, or deprive them of my delightful presence. Have you ever had that? Done that? 

Here’s another one: Everybody should believe the same way I do, or else they’re bad. Or, even worse, crazy. Here’s an example: If you wear, or don’t wear, a mask, you’re crazy, foolish, unworthy of respect, on and on and on. We’ve been living this one. 

So this should all be chum, right? But gullible people fall for this stuff. That would be all of us. 

Here’s another one: Everybody should so what I want or else they’re bad. So that would make it okay for me to stomp around in anger and judge them evil, foolish, etcetera. 

I was working with a couple quite a while ago now. And I ask them to discuss an issue that they needed to work on. And I noticed that, as we were talking, he was having a really hard time holding his temper. I asked him what was causing that, and he said, “My wife always distrusts all my decisions.” So, by the way, any time you that to somebody – “you always,” or “you never” – you’re always going to get an argument about it. Because that’s never true. And I looked at his wife, and I asked, “Is that true?” And she said, “No, I usually trust his decisions.” So there you go. And then she added this to clarify, “But I think he feels that way because he bought some stock with our savings, and it turned out really bad for us. And I gave him a really hard time about it. But, most of the time, he makes good decisions with our kids, our finances, his work, etcetera. So, once the man disabused himself of the lie that he’d been telling himself about how his wife always was on his case, he started to calm down and was able to engage productively in the discussion. And I asked her what lie she believed that caused her to give him a bad time over his poor choice, and she didn’t know. So, I supplied a potential reason – the idea that he should never make bad financial decisions, like he’s perfect. In reality, the truth is, he’s just a man. Even the pros make mistakes on that stuff. So, once she saw that, she let go of her resentment about it. It took a while. It didn’t happen as easily as I’m just explaining it to you here, but she got over it. And she started trying to have his back more. That helped them a lot. And it was all about rejecting the lies that they were believing about the other. 

So, there are the three main areas the devil works in that we’re all most susceptible to. We have doctrine and all that other stuff – that’s in there, too – but this is where we are really the most gullible. 

Here’s how to use what we’ve just learned. Ask yourself, “What lies do I believe?” Now, there’s a lot of territory to cover there, because it’s everything that happens to you in your whole life. Since you’ve given unrestricted access, in some cases, who knows where it’s going to pop up. But I find, myself, it’s easiest to find the lie when we’re suffering the consequences of it – you know, right after you’ve eaten a whole bag of donuts, or just insulted your best friend and are kicking yourself because you did it, or pitched a tantrum at your kid, or stomped out of a church service. When things are not going well, ask, “What lie caused this?” And, if you look – if you look – you’ll find it. Now this takes a lot of hard work. It takes time. Prayer is a necessity. Someone else’s input is usually helpful. Reading the Bible is absolutely essential, because that’s where the truth comes from. That’s where we refute the lies. Quite often, we find the lie and the truth, but we can’t find a way to believe it. That’s why we pray like the man in the Gospels, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Usually, when we can’t find a way to believe, it because there is some other lie we haven’t uncovered yet. 

Secondly, believe the truth. The truth usually emerges when we find the lie. That’s what I’ve found. 

When I first started working in the ministry, I believed a lie that was causing me all kinds of trouble, even physical problems. I believed that, if people came to me for help, and didn’t feel better immediately, I was a failure as a minister. When I put that into words years later, it sounds like the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. But I believed it. But the truth emerged after I found the lie. I realized, “Oh, I’m just a sheep tender. I don’t own the sheep. They’re not mine. I’m just there to help. I can guide, but I can’t force people to do what’s good for them. And God doesn’t want me to try.” That was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I know what you’re doing. You’re sitting there thinking, “Boy, he is really a piece of work. What a dummy!” And yet, a lot of you believe that very same thing. That helped me become a better minister. The truth set me free. 

Sometimes, we can see the lie, but we can’t see the truth. So, we ask God to give it to us. “Father, I know eating a bag of donuts never makes me feel better. It makes me sick, but I still want to.” Or, if you want to snort another line of coke, or whatever. This takes some work. It’s not easy. I’m not saying that this is easy. I’m just saying that most of us have never really looked at it this way before. The way I’m talking about it is the way Jesus talked about it. 

So, what is the truth about the bag of donuts? It’s not just that it’s bad for us. It’s that eating it will not make us happy because the problem is not in our stomach. It’s in our heart. We’re just using the donuts to soothe the anxiety we’re feeling. That’s true of any addiction. So what is the belief about myself that makes me want to soothe myself with donuts, alcohol, superiority, or whatever? That’s the lie that needs to be discovered mostly. 

The next thing to do is – once you’ve learned what the lie is, and you’ve found the truth about what you really should be thinking, and you’ve committed to doing it – then, you turn yourself over to God. You ask God to show you what truth you need to know about yourself, and ask Him to give you the courage to face it, and then ask Him to protect you from the devil’s lies, like He says He will. Ask Him to protect you from his temptations. And when we do this, something amazing is going to happen. We’ll be free of temptations, bad attitudes, bad habits, sins – “the sin that does so easily beset us,” Paul said.

I have known a really good man for many years now. He grew up in a chaotic family – a lot of high anxiety. And when this happens, high anxiety and sexual issues sometimes get entangled. And he told me that all his life, since early teenage, he’d had sexual thoughts about the women he would meet – a disgusting and humiliating habit. And he battled it, and battled it, and battled it. He felt guilty. He felt ashamed. He felt totally frustrated and he felt completely defeated. He just couldn’t shake it, no matter what he did. He believed that he was a slave to his habit. But when he believed that this habit was held in place by a number of lies, he repudiated them, and he asked God to protect him from the deceiver and free him from this disgusting habit. And then, once that happened, he renewed his contract with God, and now these are his very own words: “After I did that, poof, they were gone. I was free.” There it is. It was as though the weight of the world were lifted off his shoulders.  He sent me a picture of his family. There were lots of kids, and some of them were married, so this was a huge group of people. And he’s standing right there in the middle with this huge grin on his face. He’s free! 

So, yeah, it really works. For each one us, no matter the problem, it can be just like Jesus said, “If the Son set you free, you will be free indeed.”  If you’re willing to do the work, you’re going to get the results. 

Okay, now we’re going to shift gears here a little bit. We’ve been on the micro here about each one of us and our stuff. I want you to step with me away from the individual issues we have for a moment, and let’s look at a bigger picture. Let’s look at what all this causes when you put it all together. 

I found something that helped me understand what’s really going on as we watch the news with all the other stuff that’s going on. This was written by a man named Rick Joyner. I found it on the Web. I don’t know much about the man, but the picture he paints shows us something we all need to think about. He said:

“I saw a demonic army so large that it stretched from one horizon to the other – as far as the eye could see. It was separated into divisions, with each carrying a different banner. The foremost powerful divisions were Pride, Self-righteousness, Respectability, Selfish ambition and Unrighteous judgement. But the largest of all was Jealousy. The leader of this vast army was the accuser of the brethren himself. I knew that there were many more evil divisions beyond my scope of vision, but these were the vanguard of this terrible horde from hell that was now being released against the church. The weapons carried by this horde had names on them. The swords were named Intimidation. The spears were named Treachery. Their arrows were named Accusation, Gossip, Slander and Fault-finding. Scouts and smaller companies of demons with such names as Rejection, Bitterness, Impatience, Unforgiveness and Lust were sent in advance to prepare for the main attack. I knew in my heart that the church had never faced anything like this before. The main assignment of this army was to cause division. It was sent to attack every level of relationship – churches with each other, congregations with their pastors, husbands and wives, children and parents, and even children with children. The scouts were sent out to locate the openings in churches – families and individuals that rejection, bitterness, lust, etcetera could exploit and make a larger breach for the divisions that were coming. The most shocking part of this vision was that this horde was not riding on horses, but on the backs of Christians. Most of them were well-dressed, respectable, had the appearance of being refined and educated. But these were Christians that had opened themselves to the powers of darkness to such a degree that the enemy could use them, and they would think they were being used by God. The accuser knows that a house divided cannot stand. And this army represents his ultimate attempt to bring such complete division to the church that she would completely fall from grace.”

So, brothers and sisters, our adversary’s goal is division at every level – division among nations, within nations, among and within churches, among and within families – division at every level. And underneath all that division is a web of lies believed by us. That’s what makes us slaves to sin. And his masterstroke is to cause so much division, so much hatred, so much judgment that we will kill each other until there is no one left alive. What does the scripture say? “Captured by him to do his will.” And that kind of slavery comes from believing his lies. 

Did you know that right now, while I’m up here talking to you, and you’re sitting there listening to me, there is a Church of God – people like us – that is splitting. Do you know what the issue is? Masks. Masks! We’re judging each other over masks! It doesn’t matter what the issue is. If we draw a line in the sand and line up against each other – matter what that issue – our adversary owns us. We need to stand together. 

Let me ask you all a question: Who, right now, is riding on your back? Think about your attitudes, about your beliefs. Where did they come from? See, this isn’t just about each one of us and our salvation. It’s about the salvation of all God’s children – in or out of the church. We must worship God in spirit and in truth. And perhaps that verse can be more meaningful to us now. 

Let’s look at one last scripture – James 4:7. 

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

If you listen today, when you look at that scripture, you can know that you have a potent weapon to fight the good fight of faith. You can know how to resist same way Jesus did, namely, to stop believing our adversary’s lies in our lives, and believe God’s truth out of His word instead. And, if we can do that, chaos and division aside – I mean, it can rage on all sides of us – if we can do that, then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will be ours.