WHAT MANNER OF PERSON ARE YOU?
2 Peter 3:11-13Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?NKJV
2 Peter 3:14-15Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.NKJV
Last week we studied how the Father is waiting for the precious fruit of the earth, the souls of men and women of all ethnic groups before He can return. We found that we can hasten His return.
In the above Scripture, the apostle Peter challenges us with a question. Since we are living at the end of the age, and we know that the Father is waiting for these souls of men, what manner of people ought we to be in our readiness to be used of Him, living in holy conduct and godliness?
Let’s focus on holy conduct and godliness. Why are people not ready to reach out to others? Why are people usually beat up on the game of life instead of living over their circumstances with a readiness to go where God sends them to go and to do what He tells them to do?
Most people attribute their failure to the devil and his demons. But the truth is that some things folks attribute to the devil are really nothing more than works of the flesh. Everything that’s wrong in life is not directly the work of an evil spirit being present in them though he (the devil) may tempt and influence them.
The Bible in Galatians 5 lists the works of the flesh.
Gal 5:18 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.NKJV
Gal 5:19-2119 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like…NKJV
What many people call the “work of the devil” the Bible calls the “works of the flesh.” They are traits of the “old man” which is the flesh or man’s unregenerate nature. When you were born again, your spirit was recreated. Your mind and your body were not “yet” changed. You began a walk that must include the renewing of your mind and the crucifying of your flesh or bringing it into subjection to the new you…your spirit.
Keeping the flesh under control involves keeping all the evil tendencies of the flesh in check and under the dominion of the recreated spirit.
In Ephesians 4:25-32, Paul lists some of the traits of the “old man” as lying, excessive extended anger and wrath, stealing, laziness, corrupt words that don’t edify, bitterness and unkindness, un-forgiveness, malice and he shows us that these actually “give place to the devil” and also sadly “grieve the Holy Spirit.”
As you can see, the works of the flesh involve more than just sexual desire but include those listed in Galatians 5. What does Paul say to do about it? He says, “Let them be put away from you!”
You and I must make up our minds to either live yielded to the Holy Spirit by doing what the Word of God says, or yield to the devil by allowing our flesh (un-renewed mind and unrestrained five physical senses) to have their way.
Brethren, what are you going do with your own flesh? What manner of person are you in these last days where there is such an urgency for us to be ready for the Master’s use?