By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Lying is saying something with the intent of creating a false belief or impression. It is an attempt to get someone to believe something that is not true. But why lie? People lie to avoid consequence; whether the consequence is hurting someone’s feelings, losing a job, losing a friend, or a child losing out on their favorite dessert. Based on Proverbs 12:2, it is apparent God sees lying as a faithless action.
Proverbs 12:22 (ESV): Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
Matthew 5:37 (ESV): Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
Reflecting on the reasons a person would lie helps us to see why God would see it as a faithless action. If we are lying to avoid a consequence that the truth would surely bring about, are we not taking matters into our own hands? Are we not leaning on our own understanding and foregoing God’s wisdom?
1 Peter 2:20-21 (ESV): For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
The truth may cost us much in this world, but if our mistakes are bringing about the punishment, the minimal we can do is accept the consequence. If speaking the truth is all we are guilty of, Christ wants us to endure and know that God is pleased with our self-sacrifice. When we speak the truth, we no longer have to worry about what will happen in the future. We do not have to worry about whether we will be able to remember which lie we said to which person. No matter the size of the first lie, one lie begets another lie, which begets another lie. The only way to free ourselves of this prison is to tell the truth. Whether the truth comes out in the beginning or near the end is of no consequence, the reward is the same.
John 8:32 (ESV): And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Walk upright in truth and understand any short term gain a lie may provide ends in destruction.
Proverbs 11:3 (ESV): The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr
In English “scoffer” can mean; “one who mocks, ridicules, or scorns the belief of another“. According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word translated as “scoffer” can also be translated to mean “ambassador”. Meaning a scoffer does not simply disagree with an idea, but they make it their personal mission to prove your idea wrong. Throughout the Bible, a scoffer is considered someone who chooses to disbelieve God and His Word. This is not limited to nonbelievers who believe there is no God (Psalm 14:1), but also believers who choose not to be obedient to all of God’s Words (2 Timothy 4:3).
You will notice scoffers do not like to:
Be Corrected - Proverbs 15:12 (ESV): A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.
Listen to Correction - Proverbs 13:1 (ESV): A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Grow in Understanding - Proverbs 14:6 (ESV): A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
Have People Around Them Who Correct Them - Proverbs 9:8 (ESV): Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
We will never truly be able to avoid scoffers. They will be present within our family, our faith, and our workplace. To combat scoffers, we should "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks . . . to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). With that said, it is important to understand that we need to avoid speaking to scoffers once we start to become influenced and not influencers (1 Corinthians 15:33). But rest assured, there is coming a promised day when "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11). On that day there will no longer be any scoffers. They will finally accept the whole truth, and their scoffing will be forever silenced.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr
There are many thoughts and considerations that pass through the mind of someone thinking about being baptized. A person could be wondering if baptism is necessary to be saved.
Mark 16:16 (ESV): Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
A person could be contemplating if they understand enough to commit to being a Christian.
Romans 10:9 (NIV): If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Do you know why God only requires us to understand Jesus is His son and that He was raised from the dead in order for us to be baptized? It primary has to do with the gift of the Holy Spirit. You receive the Holy Spirit once you are baptized and it will help you better your understanding of God.
Acts 2:38 (ESV): And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:12 (ESV): Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
Quite simply, you cannot lean on your own understanding when deciding when you know enough to be baptized. You have to trust in the Lord’s wisdom and understand that you will always be learning. There will never be a point in your Christian walk when you can confidently say, “I have it all figured out”, so don’t wait another day to be a Christian.
Proverbs 3:5-7 (ESV): Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery and God wants us to imitate Him. Similar to the relationship of parent/child, we teach our children how to mature physically while God is teaching us how to mature spiritually. Also in like fashion, it our responsibility as children of God to correctly mimic the example provided. The best way for any child to show love to their parent is through obedience.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV): Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Mimicking God is the only way to stay on the path of righteousness.
3 John 1:11 (ESV): Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
For a Christian to endure suffering, they will need to mimic God’s mindset.
1 Peter 4:1 (ESV): Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
To understand and live holy, one needs to understand and mimic God.
Leviticus 11:45 (NIV): I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
Before you are baptized for the remission of sin, you are of the world and surrounded in darkness. God provides the light that leads to joy and happiness. Follow that light to salvation by mimicking the examples found in the Bible.
Ephesians 5:8-11 (NKJV): For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.