Post Modern Mindset (#8)
The last week for our memory verse in 2 Tim 3 we looked at the self-centeredness of the Post Modern Mindset (PMM). This mindset is not a mindset that is foreign to the Church as we are all self-centered to a certain extent. It’s called the flesh and until glory we all walk around in the flesh. My point is Paul brings his pretty exhaustive list to a close and then concludes with two closing comments: 1) “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” and 2)”Avoid such people”. After this exhaustive list of sins why close with “having the appearance of godliness, but denying the power and then to avoid such people?
The Scripture is clear that to enter heaven we must be born again (regenerated) (John 3:3) and upon this regeneration we are “a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2Cor 5:17). I believe his point in context is in the last days these lovers of everything but God, will profess to be godly and may even appear to be godly but nothing changes…nothing has become new. They actually have not been born again. When you are born again you are literally new from the inside out. You are still in a body of flesh but the Spirit of God who dwells within you as a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance (Eph 1:13) is in the process of conforming you to Christ likeness (Rom 8:29). Make no mistake the sanctifying process is broad and gradual but the issue of conforming us to Christ likeness is not based on our ability to perform but on the basis of God’s nature. Yes it may be slow or it may be fast, but you will be being sanctified.
Why the “avoid such people”? It’s tough to be dogmatic (as much as I like to) but I would compare it to the difference of being indoctrinated to inoculated. In the indoctrination you understand you are a sinner and upon humility and repented you’ve understood you need forgiveness of sin. The process of inoculation you are actually systematically introducing a protectant from the truth and the reality of your sin. Jesus becomes your best friend and you never have to deal with your real problem of sin. All at once “who does Jesus think He is” is your mantra and your heart has been hardened to sin not repented of (see Heb 3). I’m a Christian you exclaim when all the while there is no change, no new birth. If your attitude about Jesus being Lord and Savior has been reduced to your best friend and somehow you’ve been elevated to be above sin, I’m not so sure you’ve looked at 1 John 1:8. The “avoid such people” comment would be to keep you from being inoculated from the truth of being a sinner. If you hang around with people that say Jesus and pack their Bible but nothing ever changes…I would avoid them. More importantly Paul through the Holy Spirit would recommend avoiding them.