Happiness through ChristBro. David Chancellor
6/19/2011 6:00 PM
2 Peter 2:9-19
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
This describes the false prophets among the people. False prophets and their followers are generally of similar character. They have some religion but aren’t walking with God.
“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” The beasts are focused on self and needs. There are people who focus on satisfying their natural desires with no focus on the soul. So many live for what is in the here and now.
We have a right to pursue happiness but no guarantee that happiness will be found. Happiness is found in God. Pursuing the pleasures of life can and often does lead to sin and bondage. While much of life isn’t sinful, making that our focus and leaving God out is. Be happy with what God gives. There is more to life than what appeals to the senses. We need to leave off things that wouldn’t be good for the soul. Live with God in mind. There is a lot we can survive without. If you’re living only for this life, you’re looking for happiness in the wrong place.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
He describes wisdom and knowledge. What we have received from God should cause us to live in certain ways. “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” Some think if their emotions are stirred up that it is from God. Strong emotions aren’t always of God. That emotional pull appeals to the natural man. It isn’t from God when it appeals to the fleshly, carnal and wicked side of man. We want what works from God that produces godliness.
Too many people are living for their senses. Those sort of things don’t feed the soul of man.
These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
“These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts…” Sometimes life gives us a raw deal. It isn’t always fair. Even though people are wicked and things aren’t done as they ought to be, we should not be murmurers or complainers. Complaining feeds attitudes that aren’t beneficial to life or happiness. It isn’t profitable to the soul.
God’s people look on and see that God works all things well. We want the Spirit of God, not the spirit of a complainer.
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
The epicureans lived for the day and lived it up. The stoics left things off to prove they could. Paul came speaking of Jesus and the resurrection. These wanted to know so they could know the latest thing. We don’t need to be hung up on the latest and greatest or the newest thing. Seeking for “the special sauce” is to seek after earthly wisdom. What we find in the word of God is there for all of us. We don’t have the corner on the market of truth. We can’t afford to live chasing after the “latest and greatest”.
Some listened and believed and no longer had to hang around trying to hear the newest thing. All that is good is found in following after God.
What we need to know most is God. We have the greatest news: God saves the soul and changes the life.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The word of God is different. It gets down to where we’re at. It helps us sees ourselves as we are. “…but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” God knows who we are. We might try to convince ourselves that we’re better than we are. God wants us to know how we really are. We want our conscience tuned to God and his word. God is touched by our infirmities and sees all that goes on around us. He can give us grace for what we face. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Running after pleasures or making yourself miserable through self-denial aren’t the way to go. Living for God is the way to go. It is a way of both pleasure and self-denial, but always with the thought of serving God. God gives us grace and leads us in the way we should go.
Life isn’t “do what feels good.” We need to do what God would have us to do. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He can help us see the traps the devil would put in the way. Live to serve God. Choose what God can bless.