At first this title doesn’t seem to make any sense…living a truth? It’s not a phrase we hear very often, if ever. The reason I used it is because it is the opposite of what most people do their entire lives, which is live a lie.
When God created mankind, way back in the day, He had plans for us. Of course, He knew and decreed everything that would happen, but He still had intentions for us. Because He is God, and because He is sovereign, those intentions will still come to fruition. But between the time He created us and that point in the future when His overarching plan becomes a reality, many other things have occurred and will occur that are not directly in line with His final intentions for His creation. His original plan for His human creation was to make us like Him. We were supposed to “take part in the divine nature”:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4, emphasis added).
I don’t take this to mean we will be made into gods, like some religions teach (I won’t mention any names, but they start with an “M”), but that we will in our natures be more godly. We will take on some of the attributes of God, specifically becoming more holy as He is holy. To say otherwise is to agree with Satan, who told Adam and Eve in the Garden “God knows that when you eat from it [the forbidden tree] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Satan told the truth and a lie in one statement here – eating the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would open their eyes, and they would be able to discern good and evil like God did, but he framed it in such a way as to make Adam and Eve think that they would be gods in their own right. He convinced them that they could be the gods of their own lives, and that they didn’t need God.
This is Great Lie that Satan has been spreading for thousands of years. He has convinced people to focus on themselves and to forget about God. Or at times, He has convinced people to focus on themselves in a vain attempt to please God, which really isn’t pleasing to Him at all. People have been falling for this lie, living self-centered, self-gratifying lives and practicing self-effort in an attempt at self-righteousness, thus why I say that everyone has been living a lie.
This lie affects nonbelievers:
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, emphasis added)
Satan blinds people to the truth of the Gospel, so that they never come to a revelation of the saving grace of God. But he also uses the Great Lie to affect Christians. We’ve been talking about the Gospel in relation to us as believers, and how it not only has to do with the forgiveness of our sins (the first quarter of the Gospel), but also with the freedom from the power of sin (the second quarter) and walking in the Spirit as a new creation (the third quarter). The way Satan uses his Great Lie to affect believers is to keep us from understanding the whole truth of the Gospel – all four parts (the last part we’ll talk about later).
The way Satan blinds us to the whole truth of the Gospel is the same as how he blinds people from the coming to faith in Christ in the first place – he gets them to take their eyes off of God and place their focus back on themselves. One way I see this occuring a lot among believers nowadays is in how they focus so much on the lie. They spend all their time focusing on those things that they believe are bad or wrong (i.e., dancing, going to the movies, drinking alcohol, etc.), and they end up taking their focus off of God. They sink back into a legalistic lifestyle, riddled with self-effort, all in an attempt to “not be duped by the devil.” The sad thing is, they already have been.
The lesson today pointed out that our walk with the Lord is simple. If we want to know if something is bad for us or wrong, we can ask one simple question – “Does it distract my focus off God?” If so, you have your answer. The way the lesson summed it up was this:
The “new way of the Spirit,” however, has condensed your requirements down to just one: Keep close to God. It is out of this life in the Spirit that the fruit of the Spirit are expressed. As long as you have your eyes fixed on Jesus and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the dynamic of grace will empower you to live a life pleasing to God.**
And this, my friends, is living a truth. Or better put, it’s living the truth, day by day.
**Taken from Lesson 16: Exposing the Lie, from The Power of the Gospel, OBC